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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New guy just starting to set up an aquascape in a 29 gallon tank. I was going to set up a CO2 system with regulator and paint ball 20 oz tank, but was warned I could be using up a tank pretty quickly.

QUESTION: How do I know how long a 20 oz CO2 tank will last in what will be a heavily planted 29 gallon tank? Is there a formulae to use or just trial and error?
 

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You are going to get lots of very different answers because there are lots of variables to consider. For instance, my 20lb bottle lasts me 2 years in a 40b. Contrast that with the previously stated example. See the problem?

You need to determine your needs and decide from there. What is your target amount of dissolved co2 in the tank? What is the natural amount of dissolved co2 currently? What is the flow rate reuired to make up the difference between these two values and how efficient is your diffuser? Will you use a solenoid and if so how long will your co2 be on? There is no real formula that I know of but these are most of the questions, if not all, that should be considered in order to answer your question.

Having said that, bigger bottles have lower refill costs per pound than smaller bottles. Also, research the dangers of using paintball tanks if you haven't already.
 

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Also, another factor to consider is size. I use a 20 lb bottle, but can fit it under my stand. Only been running it a month, so I cannot give an idea how long it lasts .....75 gallon here. I need to snag another bottle for when the current one crashes.....I have time, I think!
 

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I do not recommend paintball except in really confined spaces or really small tanks. One big driving force with me is the number of times we will need to change the tank. When we do get near the bottom we do want to refill BEFORE running out. We don't see any movement on the gauge until all the liquid is used and we start burning through the remaining gas. In a small paintball, there is little space for gas so we get far less notice that we are beginning to near the end. So on a small tank we may only get a day's notice? On a twenty running lots of gas, I get about a week to go refill. That notice time is critical for me so that I can choose when to make the run rather than doing it at some awkward time like when all the stores have just closed.
Two is when we change out tanks is when most of us are prone to leaving leaks or breaking/damaging something. The fewer times we mess with it, the fewer times we risk blowing the operation. We tend to get careless when we get rushed and that is not good around fish.

If there is space and money, go big!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is back to all of you you provided comment on my CO2 question, thanks to all for good feedback. I'm not going to go the paintball bottle route after reading all your responses, that was definitely the common element in all your comments. Thanks.

Bump: Where do you get your bottle refilled?
 

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I have a 10 lb running two tanks for about 6 months each refill.You should call around to welding shops,home brew places or fire safety equipment shops.i use a welding supply shop.Most places do swaps some will refill.
 

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I find I like the welding shops for cheap and quick refills. In this area, I don't find they refill on the spot but have a dock setting full of bottles so that all it takes is drive up to the dock, run inside to pay and they have it set out for me. They are also much more into doing the job so you don't have any of those weird things like somebody who knows nothing about filling?
Some don't like to swap out tanks but I have mine either under stand and out of sight or if I get one that is out and the tank is really gross. I have a small plywood cover that serves as a plant stand for my wife. No need to worry the appearance if I don't see it! Maybe something as simple as a sturdy cardboard box to just hold a picture?
 

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I was going to set up a CO2 system with regulator and paint ball 20 oz tank, but was warned I could be using up a tank pretty quickly.



I run a GLA regulator on a 20 oz paintball bottle in my 70 gallon. One fill will last me 3 months. I just keep a spare tank so it gives me almost 3 months to get it filled when it empties.


Plus it costs $5 to fill. So less than $2 a month in CO2 cost.

Bump:


 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really appreciate everyone's input...sounds like the 5 pound bottle is right for me. Local welding shop won't fill your own bottle but simply includes it with the refill; $25 a bottle. Three months worth of gas for about 80 cents a day. Thanks again!
 

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I run a 2.5 pound bottle on a 17g tank. It lasts around 3 months, but my tank is carpeted and otherwise not heavily planted. I find that it's better than a paintball tank, but still small enough to fit in my small stand.
 

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I run a GLA regulator on a 20 oz paintball bottle in my 70 gallon. One fill will last me 3 months. I just keep a spare tank so it gives me almost 3 months to get it filled when it empties.


Plus it costs $5 to fill. So less than $2 a month in CO2 cost.

Bump:



What bubble count are you running? When I was running my GLA Atomic Paintball reg on paintball tanks I would only get 3 weeks out of them. This is running about 8 hours a day at 5bps. No leaks, changing the orings every fill. I switched to 5lb tanks for both of my setups and I now refill once every 3 months or so.
 
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