The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently using two DIY 2 liters co2 on my work 10g. While I'm reasonably happy with the output, I'd love to have the control and confidence that comes with a pressurized system for this tank. However, as this is only a 10g, I'd like to stay on a reasonable budget when it comes to this project. I'm wondering about how much I'd be looking at, minimum, for a reliable complete co2 system for this size tank. I'm more than willing to put in the work to piece it together myself to save money, just a matter of needing help finding ways to cut the cost back without compromising the build to the point that I'll have issues with it in the end. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I'm in the same boat as you. My plan was to get an inert gas regulator on ebay for cheap, which I did and still waiting for it in the mail. For some reason stating that a regulator is for CO2 seems to yeild higher prices on ebay. the next part would be to get an adapter for the regulator to hook up to the co2 tank. Then comes the needle valve and the co2 tank itself.

Also craigslist can be a good place to find a cheap co2 tank
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,009 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
Hi SvenBoogie

Since you are adding pressurized CO2 to a small (10g) aquarium, control of the amount of CO2 released is very important. You should use a good quality needle/metering valve. The Fabco NV 55 needle valve, Ideal 52-1-12 metering valve, and various low flow and medium flow Swagelok, Whitey, Nupro, Parker, etc. metering valves are all very good. The key word for those is metering valves as they make various needle valves too that probably won't deliver the fine control needed for CO2 use.

The stock needle valve that comes with the Milwaukee, JBJ, Azoo, and several other regulators is not very good. The Clippard needle valve isn't very good either. Rex has some pictures of several valves: http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/CO2.html#needle

Left C
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,014 Posts
I would say that the cheapest build you get (with a single stage regulator) without looking for the "best deals" would be ~$150.

You're looking at about $40 for the regulator, another $25 for the Fabco, and ~$75 for a 5lb CO2 tank (it could be more expensive, or cheaper). Of course, there are other "optional" parts such as a solenoid, and also "non-optional" parts such as check-valves.

Of course, you can always get cheaper deals. Left C managed to pick up a metering valve for $0.99 and herns managed to pick up a dual stage Concoa for $9.99!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
im in the same boat i want to go pressurized but staying cheap and only splurging on the needle valve.

ive found some nice prices on regulators and bottles here

http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingcart/categories/Brewing-Equipment/Kegging-&-Serving/Gas-Side/

but ive also found these cheaper inert and oxygen regulators which im wondering if they are able to be converted to Co2 use.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94846
and
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94841

not sure what all the difference there are between regulators or if it is just the adapter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,014 Posts
In terms of pricing: the bottles are fairly standard; do note that they ship empty and that you will have to find some place to refill them (adding about $20 to the cost of the bottle alone). Factor in the shipping cost and you may be better off finding a local store to buy the tank from.

As for the inert gas regulators, these will work for our purposes and can be converted to CO2 use. You will need to change the adapter to a CGA320 fitting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
If there is a marine aquarium club where you live check out their For Sale items. Here in Dallas you can find deals all the time.

Craigslist is also a good place to check on a regular basis.

Other than that you can't get much lower than $40 for a regulator + $15 for a needle valve + $60 for the bottle + $10 for a powerhead diffuser.

--Nikolay
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top