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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I'm setting up a new tank and I'm doing CO2 for the first time. I've never done DIY CO2 and I was thinking about it but hear really good things about pressurized and am leaning more towards it because I am a grad student with not too much time (med), so I'd like something that's sort of 'set-it-and-forget-it.'

Anyway, because I'm a grad student I'm also on a budget, and I can't find a lot of information on assembling your own CO2 kit. I was wondering 1) if anyone had a link to a good guide on what components you need?

2) How to do it with a paintball tank (as in what size tank you'd need and add'l components necessary etc.)?

Because I see people selling paintball tanks in the ~10 lb range for like $30 on CL but I'm wary because I don't know what other materials I'll need to make one of these tanks work with my tank and I can't find info on how large a CO2 tank / setup I'd need for a 46G Bowfront. Thanks for any help!
 

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Also meant to ask that at this point should I still be considering DIY CO2?
because I am a grad student with not too much time (med), so I'd like something that's sort of 'set-it-and-forget-it.'
I believe you answered your own question in a previous post.

I can't find a lot of information on assembling your own CO2 kit. I was wondering 1) if anyone had a link to a good guide on what components you need?
Here are the things you will need:

CO2 Tank: I believe this is obvious.
Regulator: This will reduce the tank pressure from ~800 PSI to a workable delivery pressure (most people set it between 20-30 PSI).
Needle Valve: This will further reduce the working pressure to an even lower rate (i.e. bubbles per seconds).

Some more "optional" equipment (in quotations, because in reality, they are needed, but are more for "safety")
Check Valve: You don't want a back siphon to start and have water destroy your regulator build

Optional, but highly recommended equipment:
Solenoid: Allows you to put your CO2 on a timer, so that it will turn on and off automatically.
Drop checker: When used in conjunction with a 4 dkH reference solution (can either be bought or made; I assume you work in a lab, so you likely have access to lab equipment to make your own), it will allow for "at a glance" levels of CO2 in your aquarium

Optional equipment, if you have cash to spare:
pH controller: Allows the constant monitoring of pH and can control the injection of CO2 (when used with a solenoid).

2) How to do it with a paintball tank (as in what size tank you'd need and add'l components necessary etc.)?

Because I see people selling paintball tanks in the ~10 lb range for like $30 on CL but I'm wary because I don't know what other materials I'll need to make one of these tanks work with my tank and I can't find info on how large a CO2 tank / setup I'd need for a 46G Bowfront. Thanks for any help!
I'm not too sure what you want here; do you want a paintball tank (i.e. 20 oz) or a normal CO2 tank (5, 10, 20 lbs)? I do not know of anyone in paintball that would want to use a 10 lb CO2 tank :D

I would highly recommend, however, the usage of a 5 or 10 lb CO2 tank (the larger, the better). Pricing for tanks appears like a logarithmic curve; while a 5 lb tank may cost $75, a 20 lb tank (for me, at least) costs about $130. Refill costs are essentially the same, so if you can spare the space, get the largest tank possible. In addition, a 20 oz paintball tank would not last very long in a 46 gallon tank. Finally, if using a paintball canister, you would need to get an adapter that will fit the paintball canister (i.e. depresses the pin) to a standard CGA320 CO2 fitting; this would be additional unneeded expense.

Hope this helps,

Edit: If you are in no rush to set up a pressurized tank; I would suggest waiting in the Swap and Shop and/or on eBay for the best deals. Members have been able to pick up dual stage regulators for $9.99 and Swagelok metering valves for $0.99. More recently, there have been Parker solenoids for $15 on eBay and Parker metering valves also for $15.
 

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invert1 said:
Because I see people selling paintball tanks in the ~10 lb range for like $30 on CL
I do not know of anyone in paintball that would want to use a 10 lb CO2 tank :D
These may be tanks that were used to fill the smaller tanks that actually connect to the paintball markers. If that's the case then I would jump on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^ Yeah that's what I meant with the paintball tanks; large tanks used to fill the small ones you carry out. Thanks S&KGray!

Darkblade48 THANK YOU! That was a fantastic and concise explanation. I actually get what I need each component for now. I saw a nice kit for $95 on the SnS (included a regulator and needle valve, as well as a diffuser + tubing) but didn't jump on it because I didn't know if it needed any other components. I did PM the person but haven't heard back :-/

Anyway, thanks again I'll be on the lookout for a kit or these components.
 

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^^ Yeah that's what I meant with the paintball tanks; large tanks used to fill the small ones you carry out. Thanks S&KGray!

Darkblade48 THANK YOU! That was a fantastic and concise explanation. I actually get what I need each component for now. I saw a nice kit for $95 on the SnS (included a regulator and needle valve, as well as a diffuser + tubing) but didn't jump on it because I didn't know if it needed any other components. I did PM the person but haven't heard back :-/

Anyway, thanks again I'll be on the lookout for a kit or these components.
The SNS is a great place to find deals, but you need to know your stuff because good deals like a complete setup for $95 aren't going to be around for long.
 
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