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Looking for some advice on a CO2 setup for my fluval spec V. I want to get a decent setup for about $100 before cost of the cylinder. I am pretty handy so if there are regulators out there that are cheaper but not set up for aquarium use I would be alright with buying the extra parts to put on it as long as the total ends up around $100. I've thought about doing a paintball set up, but long term I would like to move to bigger tanks, if this one works out and I enjoy it, but I worry that going with a paintball regulator would limit me in the future. I would prefer a dual stage, but also would be okay with a single stage if it just meant I would have to keep an eye on it and refill the tank before the pressure dropped to low. I can also go without a solenoid for the time being as I plan to only have plants until its grown in to a point I am happy with.

I found this on amazon and might pull the trigger. It only has 4 reviews so I'm not sure if it can be trusted but its cheap.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Honestly I run an fzone paint all regulator with 20oz paintball tanks on my 12 gallon, 5 gallon, and 10 gallon farm tank and I really like them. I've been using them for about 8 months now. I think it was only like $60 on Amazon, its dual stage, with built in bubble counter AND an electric solenoid so pretty much the only other thing you need to purchase is a diffuser and the tank itself. The needle valve is extremely touchy on it which is my only gripe but very minor IMO. It stays put and i only have co2 fluctuate when the tank is getting low on co2 and i dont notice right away. I know you said this defeats the purpose for later use, but truthfully if you aren't doing anything in the immediate future it might not be a waste to you for only $60. A 20oz tank lasts about 4 months on my 12 gal at 1bps and about 2 months on my 5 gal at 2-3bps.
 

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Looking for some advice on a CO2 setup for my fluval spec V. I want to get a decent setup for about $100 before cost of the cylinder. I am pretty handy so if there are regulators out there that are cheaper but not set up for aquarium use I would be alright with buying the extra parts to put on it as long as the total ends up around $100. I've thought about doing a paintball set up, but long term I would like to move to bigger tanks, if this one works out and I enjoy it, but I worry that going with a paintball regulator would limit me in the future. I would prefer a dual stage, but also would be okay with a single stage if it just meant I would have to keep an eye on it and refill the tank before the pressure dropped to low. I can also go without a solenoid for the time being as I plan to only have plants until its grown in to a point I am happy with.

I found this on amazon and might pull the trigger. It only has 4 reviews so I'm not sure if it can be trusted but its cheap.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Ive been keeping fish for many years but I'm very new to planted tanks. My understanding is that using CO2 and then cutting back will negatively affect your plants. They won't be able to process as the volume of nutrients which will cause so leaves to die etc. You definitely want a solenoid. Automation is great. My CO2 starts at 5:30 am, though I'm usually up, I'm often thinking about getting coffee and lunches made. All that dosing and light, forget CO2 and wait for the algae bloom.
 

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Looking for some advice on a CO2 setup for my fluval spec V. I want to get a decent setup for about $100 before cost of the cylinder. I am pretty handy so if there are regulators out there that are cheaper but not set up for aquarium use I would be alright with buying the extra parts to put on it as long as the total ends up around $100. I've thought about doing a paintball set up, but long term I would like to move to bigger tanks, if this one works out and I enjoy it, but I worry that going with a paintball regulator would limit me in the future. I would prefer a dual stage, but also would be okay with a single stage if it just meant I would have to keep an eye on it and refill the tank before the pressure dropped to low. I can also go without a solenoid for the time being as I plan to only have plants until its grown in to a point I am happy with.

I found this on amazon and might pull the trigger. It only has 4 reviews so I'm not sure if it can be trusted but its cheap.

Any advice would be appreciated.
There's an FZONE dual stage mini regulator ( also a UNS style one ) that will fit paintball tanks and larger tanks as well. So if you wanted to start with paintball tanks and later upgrade, this regulator can handle that. I've used it for both and haven't had issues besides having to replace o-rings. Don't skimp on a regulator, get a dual-stage with a solenoid.

Side note, I used paintball tanks for a while, and they work great and are a great size for a 5 gallon...but it is nice having a larger tank. Check around on facebook marketplace or craigslist, I got my giant 20lb tank for cheaper than a 20oz paintball tank.
 

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Maybe just a review from somebody who has NOT used this reg but lots of others?
Sometimes we can see more after we have run through the question more often? So this is what I see on this reg set:
1. the shape of the needle valve rules out any chance of it being a nice precise needle. Several things need to be there to make it a good one and we can see it missing. To make a nice smooth,precise adjustment, the needle has to have a longvery gradual taper and lots of fine threads to make that needle move in and out of the hole a tiny,tiny amount as we turn the adjustment. The needle can't be long and threads are likely not very fine in a short body like this when made of cheap metal often called "pot metal". May work but with tendancy to be a pain?
2. The output meter is almost useless as there is no way you will be able to adjust the output pressure to any specific point in the range we use. Most of us use something less than 50PSI and I mostly run in the 10-12 PSI range.
So imagine how you will want to use the output meter? When you do a tank refill, you want to set the presure back to as near as possible to the point you had finally settled on after weeks of playing the settings up and down. To avoid the trauma of fighting to find that "sweet spot" again, one needs to set the pressure back to what you had before and there is no way to read this meter and set it to something like 18PSI!
3. Note that this last item says it IS NOT for paintball but all the pictures show it on paintball tanks? There is a pretty common theme for folks who are trying to mislead you and that is the ads give you lots of fun info but that info doesn't really tell you anything you can put your finger on!

My bottom line would be to avoid this reg as it has several things that I would not want. If I were starting over and did not mind the work of screwing the parts together, I would start with buying a basic "beer reg" and add the parts to it to get a far better, longer lasting reg set. Maybe twice the price but also four times as good!

I fully understand money being tight but one thing I have learned is that it is more expensive to buy too cheap and then have to rebuy to get thing that I should have insisted on the first time! This is a hobby to have fun, not fight and live with the regret of having bad equipemnt that shoots down all the work I do to get it right!

Sorry and I know that is a bitter pill but then you would not want me to lie to you, either!
 

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I use the FZone dual stage regulator and a 24oz paintball tank. Don't buy thr UNS one for $160 it's the exact same product but the FZone one is $90ish.

Simple to install and easy to use and if you wanted to expand to a larger co2 tank it has both threaded adapters to do so.
 
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