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How long do CO2 tanks last? I am growing weary of DIY and want to upgrade to a tank. Should I get a 5lb or something small like a 20oz paintball tank? I dont expect anything exact just a ball park of how long each would last.
 

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depends on the size of your tank and how efficient your diffusion method is but its well worth it. it should last a few months unless there's a leak in the system. i would go with a 5lb tank because its a hassle to keep refilling. (yes, once you get used to not making your own solution ever two weeks or so, refilling a co2 tank is a hassle) i had my co2 on 8 hours a day at about 4 bps and it lasted atleast 5-6 months.
 

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A lfs has a paintball co2 system wit 20oz tank and he said it would last 5-6 months on a 10 gallon right now I think he has it on a ada rimless 40-50g and he refills it every 2 months. I understand what you mean with the DIY, I have to replace mine every 2 weeks otherwise the co2 rate isn't good enough. FYI co2 systems cost a lot, but there some you can find on ebay for cheap.
 

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Look for Victor, Concoa, Matheson and Harris regulators any of the two stage 310/320 models should do the trick as long as there cheap.

There's a Matheson 320 going for 29.99 + 12.99 shipping right now,

I just picked up a Victor for $55 shipped and will probably have another soon for less.

- Brad
 

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I've got a 5# bottle with a Cornelius regulator and NV-55 needle valve feeding a Rex style reactor at a little over 1 BPS and my drop checker stays in the green. Ph is about 6.6 and kH at 4.0. I'm on my second refill (=2+ tanks) in 19 months. I think the key is a good leak free system and a good reactor to maximize diffusion of the Co2 into the water column. Forgot to mention, the tank size is 29 gallon.
 
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