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i suggest making your own yeast/sugar diy co2. But if you're looking for a kit i guess the hagen co2 system is alright. It'll cost more in the long run compare to a diy sugar and yeast method. If you're looking to do a disposable co2 kit, those are a little pricey imo, and buying the replacement can get annoying. Another thing is a the diy paintball system, a little hard to tweek it, kind of dangerous and scary, but I've used it before for a year without any issues, im always slightly paranoid that something will go wrong so it always scared me leaving it alone near the tank.

the methods listed above are recommended for smaller tanks, you could do a paintball co2 for larger tanks, but then i'd rather just get a full system.
 

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Pressurized is the way to go, but it isn't cheap. Maybe ± $300.

I just went pressurized.
Milwaukee regulator w/ solenoid $100 (mine works fine, but I've heard others have problems with them)
CO2 canister $60
Gas (+/- 3 month supply) $20
Diffuser $14
Tubing $2

Total for a hassle free setup = $196

IMO Pressurized is the way, many others will agree. I've tried a DIY, and it's too inconsistent and too much of weekly hassle
 

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if its not too personal, may i ask what's your co2 budget? that way maybe we can suggest something within the range of what you're looking for. but like i said, if it's too personal dont asnwer =p
 

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A 5# cylinder lasts 5-6 months on my 29 gallon. Well worth not having to deal with a yeast setup every week. But the initial investment can cost some$.

5# cylinder 59.99
Co2 regulator 68.99
Co2 inline diffuser 24.99
Check Valve 24.99
Bubble Counter 10.00
Cheap Brass needle valve 10.00
Total cost of $199.00
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1352438586.098849.jpg
 

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ebay aquatek paintball mini reg $80
20 oz co2 tank $17
refill at sports authority or the like $5
diffuser of your choice free to $$$
tubing included with reg
bubble counter/check valve included with reg

$100
 

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Get the aquatek regulator for $89.99 then 5 lb tank on amazon for $57.99
Go to paint ball shop and get it filled for $20,co2 airline $5, check valve $1 ,glass diffuser $5,and timer $5

Under $200 you got your self a great ci2 system
 

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Around $100 maybe. Where do you buy or piece together your kits?
This is a difficult budget to work with. If you save now, you may find yourself upgrading in the future, which will cost more.

I would advise you to just put off pressurized CO2 for now, until you have saved up another $100 or so.
 

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This is a difficult budget to work with. If you save now, you may find yourself upgrading in the future, which will cost more.

I would advise you to just put off pressurized CO2 for now, until you have saved up another $100 or so.
+1 UNDERSTATED being cheap in this area isnt where u want to go you will learn with first hand experiance or just listen to what people have sound advice on, you might find a used reg set up if ur lucky for that but not a full kit, then refils it cost me the same to fill up ur paintball tank as it does my 20lb tank which one u think will cost less per volume? all in all the balls in your court but id listen to people that have put there dues in as its always smoother to follow someones tracks vs making your own.
 

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ok with your budget, the best(not the safest, and not really best lol) i think is a paintball co2 with an asa on/off valve. i got both of my setup for less than 100 bucks each. If you're going this route, do not test it in or near the tank, set it up for a day or so somewhere else til you know its stable, you'll be able to find most things locally, you can even order a full setup here on the forums i think. Like i said, it's not the safest, there's risk involve when you set it up and if any explosion...just kidding...maybe, happens dont sue me...if all this sounds scary like it does to me, you can do excel for a little til you get your setup.

oh btw if you're injecting co2 i suggest turning off the airstone you have in the tank. you're losing the co2 you're injecting with the surface agitation.
 

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Explosion! Never mind I'm not going to get co2 now.
I have worked with CO2 both in the aquarium hobby and also at work (in the lab); never had a cylinder explode on me yet.

It's not like you are taking a hammer to the valve stem or hammering a nail into the cylinder. If you do that though, you'd be surprised the damage a flying rocket of steel could do (please don't try this).
 

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yes dont take a hammer to the cylinder. But co2 has its cons, just be careful and nothing bad should happen, there's been explosion with diy co2 but im sure you havent had that issue. That's the downside to a paintball co2 system, it's not as safe as one designed to be used in an aquarium since you are spending about a third of an actual setup. If all that sounds scary then why not go a low tech or excel route, there's plenty of amazing tanks out there with such amazing results you wouldn't know that they were low tech.
 
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