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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of getting a CO2 setup for my 30G tank.
Reading the current threads I am still pretty lost with all the things needed to set one up.
I am not looking to spend a lot of money because I am still a student and cant afford it.
Would someone be able to give me a list of all the materials needed to set it up and also be able to look at this example if it is worth it or not.
Thank you
Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Semi-Automatic CO2 System
 

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I am thinking of getting a CO2 setup for my 30G tank.
Reading the current threads I am still pretty lost with all the things needed to set one up.
I am not looking to spend a lot of money because I am still a student and cant afford it.
Would someone be able to give me a list of all the materials needed to set it up and also be able to look at this example if it is worth it or not.
Thank you
Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Semi-Automatic CO2 System
Are you thinking of a pressurized CO2 or DIY CO2? If you want to save money, then DIY is the way to go.
 

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in the long run DIY will cost more and its not consistent. plus you have to be more on top of the system then you do with a pressurized..you can get a pretty nice set or a good starter set up if you take your time...you can build, find used, or buy new..look around on here if any one is selling a regulator..look on craigslist for a co2 tank...see what around you refills or switches out tanks then go from there with co2 tanks.. do some more research on this forum...co2 for beginners as in setting up, gathering parts, or answering all sorts of questions... im a college student also and this is an expensive hobby but i have a 40g breeder with a pressurized set up.. and its awesome..and in total i spend $70 for a 20lb co2 tank..$80 on the reg..and at least $25 on parts such as inline diffuse for my canister, tubing, check valves, bubble counter, ect....buy parts as you go and you can find great deals..but take your time and learn and figure if its the right next step up for you tank...hope it helps
 

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Pattern8 I am using a HOB filter, marineland bio wheel 200.
No.92 I'm not too sure, are the DIY worth it will there actually be results?
I agree with patfat that in the long run DIY can be more, but pressurized will cost a lot upfront. If you want something to get by for a couple of years and save money DIY works well enough especially for a 30 gallon.

It would be recommended that you get a canister filter to replace the HOB because the HOB causes surface agitation that would release some CO2 into the air and wasting it.
 

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I myself started my first use of co2 back in December. I agree it can all be a little confusing. Either of the systems you linked to have everything you needed to get up and running. It's actually much simpler than you think. You would just need to have the tank filled when it arrives. I take mine to academy sports. I use 24oz tanks. $6 to fill. Last me about 5 months at one bubble per second 12 hours a day. DIY is always an option but in the end too involved for me.
I ended up going with the GLA mini-s regulator and a ceramic diffuser I purchased off of amazon. The plant growth I've had after running co2 is pretty phenomenal. I was surprised. In fact, I kind of would like to see it slow down a bit.

I also run an HOB on both of the tanks with moderate surface agitation and have not had problems with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the help, I'm going to do abit more research and go with a pressurized system. Big Als fish store close to my home is having a street sale this weekend so I will go there and see if they have anything good for sale.
 

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Thanks everyone for the help, I'm going to do abit more research and go with a pressurized system. Big Als fish store close to my home is having a street sale this weekend so I will go there and see if they have anything good for sale.

lucky you!! they should have some good things on sale... but again look around do research and see what you can do...budget hands!! some times cheap isn't always best depending on the item..no worries see what you find and then let us know!! were all here willing to help and see each other go higher in this hobby and see each others beautiful tanks
 

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Pressurized CO2 systems are big upfront costs, but totally worth it. I did DIY and paintball CO2, but now just upgraded to a 5lb tank. The 5lb tank will last me over a year, and will require little to no maintenance until then.


I know money is tight, but if you go DIY or even paintball, you'll eventually spend the amount it would've taken you to setup a 5lb (or 10). The results will reward you.


Don't quote me on this, but you've got the rest of your life to make $200 lol.
 

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Pressurized CO2 systems are big upfront costs, but totally worth it. I did DIY and paintball CO2, but now just upgraded to a 5lb tank. The 5lb tank will last me over a year, and will require little to no maintenance until then.


I know money is tight, but if you go DIY or even paintball, you'll eventually spend the amount it would've taken you to setup a 5lb (or 10). The results will reward you.


Don't quote me on this, but you've got the rest of your life to make $200 lol.
What sized tank do you have that a 5lb will last you a year? Do you go by bps?

I'm getting my 20lb today sometime (by Amazon) and I have a 125 gallon tank and just wondering how long it will last me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pressurized CO2 systems are big upfront costs, but totally worth it. I did DIY and paintball CO2, but now just upgraded to a 5lb tank. The 5lb tank will last me over a year, and will require little to no maintenance until then.


I know money is tight, but if you go DIY or even paintball, you'll eventually spend the amount it would've taken you to setup a 5lb (or 10). The results will reward you.


Don't quote me on this, but you've got the rest of your life to make $200 lol.
Lol I'm going to have to quote you because that was the best thing I've read all day.
I'm going to start looking for a 5lb tank and system. Just need to figure out all the tools I'll need for it all.
Thanks
 

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I was in the same situation as you not that long ago - looking for an economical way to set up a CO2 system for my 20g tank. I ended up finding a company online by the name of ISTA. I actually found the exact system I was looking for,but at a price of $339.99 + tax at Big Al's aquarium shop in Kanata. After doing a ton of research, I decided that an out-of-the-box system would be much better for me as I really wasn't looking forward to trying to piece it all together and then try to set it up by myself.
The whole thing took about 20 minutes to set up. The system also comes with a dual timer that I use for my CO2 and lights - CO2 on 1hr before the lights come on and off half an hour after the lights go off. Couldn't be any simpler really, and I'm very happy with the whole thing. It took a day or two to get my CO output where I want it, but other than that, it's been excellent so far.
I also have a smaller tank that I use to grow my own plants, and I bought a Fluval 20gram system with disposable cylinders. I will be switching to a refillable system very soon!!
 

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Pressurized CO2 systems are big upfront costs, but totally worth it. I did DIY and paintball CO2, but now just upgraded to a 5lb tank. The 5lb tank will last me over a year, and will require little to no maintenance until then.


I know money is tight, but if you go DIY or even paintball, you'll eventually spend the amount it would've taken you to setup a 5lb (or 10). The results will reward you.


Don't quote me on this, but you've got the rest of your life to make $200 lol.
Lol I'm going to have to quote you because that was the best thing I've read all day.
I'm going to start looking for a 5lb tank and system. Just need to figure out all the tools I'll need for it all.
Thanks


About 15 weeks ago I started my first planted tank. While preparing for setup I was so intimidated by the idea of co2. The more I read on this forum the more comfortable I felt to go for it.

For me I just ordered a co2 regulator with solenoid, bubble counter and ceramic diffusor from Dr foster and Smith. I went down to the local welding shop and bought a 5# co2 tank. Only other piece was the drop checker.

Start slow with the co2 and adjust over a few days until the drop checker shows the results you want.

I've been running the same 5# tank since starting the tank.


Only tools you need is a wrench to tighten the regulator onto the tank.

As far as components; drop checker, diffusor, bubble counter & tubing is all you need in addition to the tank, reg & solenoid.

I'm running a planted + 24/7 so I have a digital timer I have the solenoid plugged into. It turns the gas on about an hour before lamp starts to ramp up and about an hour before light starts to decrease. (8 hours total)
 

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Wow a 5lb tank for a whole year!!! Man then my 20lb on a 40g should last me crazy long!!! Either way it's the best bet to do.. Right off the bat I went with a paintball set up with a 24oz tank, paintball type regulator..I used a ceramic diffuser going in the tank..I filled up the co2 tank 2 times in a matter of 4 months or less..I started to get frustrated with the system for the simple fact that the ceramic diffuser was getting gunked up with algae and I wasn't a fan of the mid size small bubbles in the tank..it really would just cloud it up and I wasn't getting the results I wanted..so I went ahead bought an adapter for the regulator to be able to used on a regular big boy co2 tank for 11 bucks and then found a 20lb tank for $70 filled off Craigslist..hooked every thing up and bought a new bubble counter since the last one (plastic) broke on me. Got a fancy metal on and used that for three days then the integrated check valve on the bubble counter kept getting stuck and would blow my hose off on my other check valve (it's on the line right before getting to co2 bottle) (I'm very cautious got 3 check vales before hitting the tank just for safety) any ways I build my own with a syringe found out how to do it on here..(took the syringe took out the plunger super glued a check valve onto the end filled with water and it's literally the better then any thing I have bought) any ways in the end ya I might I have spent more then I should have at the start but live and learn and things are running smoothly with a inline diffuser coming off my canister return hose..so canister return hose inline diffuser then a inline heater all the way up to my Lilly pipe and out to the tank..I still get a mist of co2 but it's a lot light as most got diffused in the water in the little travel where it doesn't cloud up my tank!! So it's like this learn it all now before purchasing things hahah!! See from others mistakes and solutions and capitalize off of it!! It's worth it in the end!! Just make sure your up to it with dose ferts water changes better faster growth and really taking the time to see out your take will grow!! Also don't worry about algae it happens!! It's not a bad thing it's just unsightly..take your time and do slow changes such as upping or decreasing any thing!! Also having more plants in the tank really help with combating some issues!! But just got to keep up on it!! But let us know the progress and have pictures were all in this together and love to see each other's hard work that goes into each other's tanks!!!!
 
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