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So, first off, you're definitely over-thinking this. 'It's not rocket science' was one of my Monterey Bay Aquarium Curator's motto's.
Second, are you using a sump/reservoir to run all of your tertiary systems? I need to know the answer to that question to progress further.
 

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Plus, the relative presence of the enzyme rubisco is directly related to the intensity of lighting used. None of what you're considering has shown that relationship. What is your lighting? CO2 diffusion is irrelevant without a known value of light intensity. CO2 and light intensity are intrinsically correlated.
 

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This is what the final product looks like to give you an idea. This is currently being used on a mini-m nano tank. For that one I had to buy a cga320 nut and bolt.

Regulator - $50
Solenoid and needle valve and 12v power supply - $90
Mic fittings including cga320 nut and bolt - $24
Bubble counter - $30

Total - $194

Keep in mind that the build includes $40 in bubble counter and heavy duty check valve which most people don't spend that much on. That figure also includes $10 on a new cga320 nut and bolt which you may or may not need depending on what you get on e bay.

Bump:

Mcmaster-carr. New gauge is around 11 bucks. I like the 215D because the gauges are fine. Sure you not going to push 200psi to your tank but it's quite easy to get it to do 20-30psi.
This is super helpful. Been planning on getting a GLA reg for awhile but some recent posts have me second guessing that option. Where do you get your bubble counter and what fitting are you using to connect to the needle valve.

How precise is the Fabco needle valve?
 

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Here is what I am looking at:

Single stage Regulator- https://store.cyberweld.com/smco2re...MI2MGUyeOz2gIVyY-zCh0ligHLEAQYASABEgJc5fD_BwE

15-pound Cylinder: https://beveragelements.com/beverag...linders/15-lb-co2-cylinder-steel-recertified/

Burkert soleniod: Burkert Solenoid Valve

Fabco NV-55-18 https://www.diyco2regulator.com/fabco-nv-55-18-needle-valve

I'm at $255.84 and I don't have tubing, drop checker, diffuser, or misc fittings.







That may not be a bad way to go.

How easy is it to swap out needle valves? Say I buy a ready to go setup and a Fabco NV, would it be easy to install?
I have a system I'm willing to make you a good deal on for c02. Please email me or text me. [email protected] 8593 five 16314
 

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This is super helpful. Been planning on getting a GLA reg for awhile but some recent posts have me second guessing that option. Where do you get your bubble counter and what fitting are you using to connect to the needle valve.

How precise is the Fabco needle valve?
I put a high quality check valve on the output of my needle valve and then the bubble counter on top.

BC
https://buceplant.com/collections/c...o2-brass-bubble-counter?variant=3428108533800

Check valve
https://www.mcmaster.com/#7768k15/=1ch3u93

The fabco is good enough for our purposes.
 

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I put a high quality check valve on the output of my needle valve and then the bubble counter on top.

BC
https://buceplant.com/collections/c...o2-brass-bubble-counter?variant=3428108533800

Check valve
https://www.mcmaster.com/#7768k15/=1ch3u93

The fabco is good enough for our purposes.
I knew that bubble counter looked familiar, just couldn't place it.

Guess building your own regulator is not as difficult or daunting as I was making it out to be in my mind. If I put together a parts list, would you mind if I PM'ed you to make sure it was complete?
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Plus, the relative presence of the enzyme rubisco is directly related to the intensity of lighting used. None of what you're considering has shown that relationship. What is your lighting? CO2 diffusion is irrelevant without a known value of light intensity. CO2 and light intensity are intrinsically correlated.
I am running (4) 23watt CFL bulbs in 8.5" dome fixtures. I am looking at LED units, but it was pointed out to me that I could buy a LUX meter and get a very rough estimate of my par that way. So I ordered a meter from flea bay. If the LUX meter puts me in the 40-70 range then I am going to leave things as they are. I would like to have around 50 par at the substrate. Just from what I read, 50 par should grow most any plant and would allow me to keep light as the limiting factor. With the CFL bulbs, I can swap out to 19 or 14 watt bulbs to lower the par.
 

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paintball co2 tank $25
aquatek paintball regulator+solenoid $90
diffuser, bubble counter and tubing $20

amazon.com
Don't go with paintball. The tanks are only good for a year or two, then you have to buy more. You can get a 5# tank for $75 full and refill/exchange it at a local air/gas supply store as needed and never have to worry about certifying or buying another one.
 

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Don't go with paintball. The tanks are only good for a year or two, then you have to buy more. You can get a 5# tank for $75 full and refill/exchange it at a local air/gas supply store as needed and never have to worry about certifying or buying another one.
no way my paintball co2 tank has lasted me more than 2 years.

each refill lasts me about a year

paintball is a good budget set up for anything around 10 gallons.
 

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I love my CO2. I now have it for 2 tanks. I have had it for a couple of years. I was using a friends that had sold his fish tank. He wanted his CO2 tank back. He convinced me to look for a dual stage regulator. I bought one at my local welding/gas shop. It was cheaper than on line and a high quality one. I also bought my CO2 tank from him. I could have leased it, but decided not to. I purchased the tank. I can get it filled there or at the local paint ball shop. I then had to attach the CO2 injector glass to the new regulator. Hit up my local hardware shop for some brass fittings. I did hook up Milwaukee's continuous pH monitor and switch. I love that! No more checking pH. Shuts on and off when I want it to. Only have to QC it once in a while. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for, but you can also get some great deals once in a while and some great used parts deals too! Amy way you do it, I'm sure you'll like it.
:grin2::smile2::laugh2:0:):|:smile2::smile2::smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I love my CO2. I now have it for 2 tanks. I have had it for a couple of years. I was using a friends that had sold his fish tank. He wanted his CO2 tank back. He convinced me to look for a dual stage regulator. I bought one at my local welding/gas shop. It was cheaper than on line and a high quality one. I also bought my CO2 tank from him. I could have leased it, but decided not to. I purchased the tank. I can get it filled there or at the local paint ball shop. I then had to attach the CO2 injector glass to the new regulator. Hit up my local hardware shop for some brass fittings. I did hook up Milwaukee's continuous pH monitor and switch. I love that! No more checking pH. Shuts on and off when I want it to. Only have to QC it once in a while. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for, but you can also get some great deals once in a while and some great used parts deals too! Amy way you do it, I'm sure you'll like it.
:grin2::smile2::laugh2:0:):|:smile2::smile2::smile2:
Thanks, I'm excited to try out CO2. I'm a bit overwhelmed, I started this thing out scouring low tech plants and came up with a solid list. Now that my options are endless, I'm having a hard time deciding what to pick!
 

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Me too please on the parts list

I knew that bubble counter looked familiar, just couldn't place it.

Guess building your own regulator is not as difficult or daunting as I was making it out to be in my mind. If I put together a parts list, would you mind if I PM'ed you to make sure it was complete?
Could you also send me a copy of that parts list? I'm also looking to do my first DIY CO2 build and could use this.

Thanks!
 

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Oh, I was just wondering which regulator he suggested, as well as the connector for the needle valve to the tubing. This is all so new to me that I'd love a full shopping cart where I can just go out and buy it all at one time, even if it's from different websites. The tank excluded, as I know where to get that.
 

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I can post my mcmaster-carr parts list here in a bit. It will be based on an airgas y12-215d but for the most part all regulators will be the same unless you want it to elbow out differently or whatever else.
 
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