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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm trying to compile a list of things I need for my' recently aquired birthday gift - an Eheim aquastyle 9. The person who gave me this is also wanting me to draft up a list of things I need for the aquarium and with the LED fixture being somewhat bright, I've been considering getting a co2 system but I'd like to keep the cost down as much as possible in the short AND long term with as little of a hassle or learning curve as possible... How does the Fluval mini co2 system fare?
 

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Plant Clown
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Assuming you immediately switch to the larger 88g cartridges, you're looking at 27 cartridges, or 9 3-packs, to equal a 5lb cylinder.

Granted, your tank is quite small. But, you wanted total cost, so here's a very general breakdown.

A5lb cylinder might last 12-18 months on that 9g. In those 12-18 months, you will spend:

Cheapo reg, including solenoid valve: $100
5lb cylinder: $65
First fill: $20
Odds and ends: $25
Total $210 (Add another $150 for a dependable rig with high quality components, so about $360)

-OR-

Fluval mini CO2: $30
9 3-packs of 88g cartridges: $324
Odds and ends: $20
Total: $394 (Multiply cartridge cost by 3 since there's no solenoid valve, and CO2 will be on 24 instead of 8 hours a day, so about $1022)
 

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I agree those little things are expensive. There are a couple alternatives though.

I have this paintball regulator attached to my fluval flora with a 20oz. paintball tank. It usually lasts a few months before it needs to be refilled at 3.50 per fill at Sports authority. The needle valve is not the best, but it does have a solenoid so there is no need to run it 24/7

http://www.thatpetplace.com/dual-co2-regulator-needle-valve-solenoid-paintball-tanks

Assuming you immediately switch to the larger 88g cartridges, you're looking at 27 cartridges, or 9 3-packs, to equal a 5lb cylinder.

Granted, your tank is quite small. But, you wanted total cost, so here's a very general breakdown.

A5lb cylinder might last 12-18 months on that 9g. In those 12-18 months, you will spend:

Cheapo reg, including solenoid valve: $100
5lb cylinder: $65
First fill: $20
Odds and ends: $25
Total $210 (Add another $150 for a dependable rig with high quality components, so about $360)

-OR-

Fluval mini CO2: $30
9 3-packs of 88g cartridges: $324
Odds and ends: $20
Total: $394 (Multiply cartridge cost by 3 since there's no solenoid valve, and CO2 will be on 24 instead of 8 hours a day, so about $1022)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What do you guys think of this?
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=9935

What would you suggest I get for a 9 gallon aquarium that is cost effective in both the short and long term? I'd try DIY but it seems like a hassle... I know there are some commercial biological systems but there's usually some caveat I don't enjoy.

I don't want to be forced to purchase fluval's co2 cartridges at an alarming rate, so anything that gives me the versatility to get a paintball or 5lb tank later on....or for that matter any small co2 cartridges would be great... Although I'm okay if Fluvals' 88g cartridges last for about two months with a 9 gal tank like mine.

It would be nice to not "need" a co2 system and save some money but then again this is a birthday gift, I don't know if there's a budget but I don't want to surprise anyone with very expensive requests or anything.
 

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amazon and e bay sell co2 cartridges 25 for 25-35 bucks they arent fluval brand but if one .7 can last you a week then 80 bux buys a ok system for a year !!
 

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The best way to go is the Aquatek Paintball regulator with a 20 oz paintball tank. The regulator is $80 plus the paintball tank at $20 and the tubing and the diffuser, then you have yourself a nice setup for $125 or less. The paintball tank has lasted 5 months so far with me. Refills cost $4 so overall maintenance is cheap and easy
 
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