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Is a paintball co2 set up on a 40 gallon good enough ?

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quick question:

Is a 24oz paintball setup on a 40 gallon good enough to maintain decent co2 levels? If i run it at the average bubble a second for 8 hours a day, will it last me at least 2-3 months? Or is it too small and be a nuisance to have to refill every month?

I have plants that dont require pressurized co2, and plan to keep it that way. Plants like Hygrophila corymbosa, ludwigias, lotuses, aponogetons. So I don't feel a big co2 tank would be worth it, but still want to get into the world of pressurized co2.

Am I underestimating things ?
Thanks in advanced.
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While a paintball cylinder will be fine to maintain reasonable CO2 levels, I would be hesitant to recommend it as it would require refilling every month.

It is unlikely it will last 2-3 months if you are injecting enough CO2 to reach 30 ppm.
 

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That's highly debatable. I never measured how much ppm I got but I was refilling every month with a ceramic disk diffuser (hitting the bright yellow on the drop checker everyday). When I swapped to the inline diffuser, 1 tank lasted twice as long. I had 2 tanks and refilled about every 4 months. I recommend the paintball co2 system with an inline co2 diffuser.
 

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Well it's functionally identical but you'll have to fill it up way more often (pain). I rock a 10lb tank because I only have to fill it every 4-6 months at the most for my 75g.

I think you are making the assumption that paintball CO2 is functionally different from a normal sized tank and regulator. They are still both 'pressurized CO2' and only differ in tank capacity. Paintball tanks are a lot smaller and will run out faster.

Like others said how much CO2 you use varies A LOT based on a lot of things so nobody could accurately estimate how long a paintball tank would last you.

My advice would be to get as large a tank as you can fit. I would use a 20lb if it could fit under my stand. Large tanks are only marginally more expensive and they are cheaper to refill/swap over time and are much less of a hassle.

You'll set up a paintball tank then when you have to fill it up every 4 weeks you will get sick of dealing with it and wish you went with a larger tank...
 

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Some small points that may be missed can skew the results.
One thing besides the hassle of refilling is that you have to WATCH closer. Keep in mind that the high pressure gauge will not work like a gas gauge on a car. The pressure doesn't show you getting low or move at all except for some temperature changes, until all the liquid portion in the tank bottom has gassed off. Only at that point do you get a real indication of how much is left. So with a small tank, the time you have between knowing nothing and seeing the gauge get very close to empty is much reduced. How much this changes the question can depend on your personal situation. Look at what happens when the tank needs changed for you. Does it make a big difference if you have 4-5 days warning over a day? Busy folks, who have lots going on or those who have to really plan an hour or a long drive, may find the smaller tank doesn't work as well as it might for somebody who just has lots of time or only needs to go a few blocks for the refill.
I also like to point out one thing I see on my use. I don't have much trouble with losing gas through leaks but only if I do a thorough leak check when I move/ change things. Part of my liking bigger tanks is that I take things apart less often and that means I spend less time/effort doing leak checks. It also means less wear on the fittings, etc. Things tend to get broken more often when we are working with them than if the CO2 tank and reg just sit there and don't move? I tend to break things like the bubble counter or small parts.
 

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Lots of good points pointed. A 20 lb co2 tank means one of those fancy regulators. I've heard of many stories of different failed co2 regulators but never had I heard of the paintball regulator failing nor experienced any difficulties in maintenance. Takes less than 3 minutes to remove. Theres just a lot of cheap regulators that will make other people that's been in the hobby nod their head sideways. It's mostly due to the fact that a $100 regulator is looked upon as unreliable. Some may swear by a few cheap ones but the majority of the recommended ones are well over $150. The initial purchase of the paintball and a reliable larger co2 system can vary dramatically. Expect to get shamed upon if you're using a 20lb tank with a regulator that's under $100. The only negative thing that I've heard of the paintball setup is that you'll have to make more trips. There's no question about reliability for the money. All I can say to all of those that say 1 bottle only lasts up to 1 month is they haven't explored all the options really with it. Use thick and strong co2 lines. Use a quality co2 diffuser and not a ceramic disk because you're using a lot of co2 just to make the drop checker even green. The injection of co2 is not for everyone. Things can get expensive fast, algae growth is enhanced up to as many percentage as your plants growth and maintenance is unbelievably constant when dealing with stem plants. I always recommend the paintball setup first to anyone wanting to try out pressurized co2 because if you don't like it, you're not out hundreds of dollars trying to sell it on a site 20-30% off. I love my life and don't want to soely dedicate all my spare time on one 1 tank. I had before and it was more of a burden to run co2 just because of the amount of maintenance involved with certain type of colorful plants especially for a tank size of 50 gallons. The benifts weren't really rewarding nor was it worth it. I have a life to live instead of letting a tank run my life. This is why I don't use co2 anymore. Instant growth is just a mask in front of countless hours of maintenance. Love your life too and start out with a smaller setup. If you feel like your tank is actually a part time job and like it like that, go ahead and get a 2-500$ build.
 

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I used to use 24 OZ paintball tanks with a 57 gallon aquarium shooting for 30 ppm CO2 levels. I've used diffusers, inline diffusers, reactors, and generally, it lasted a month before a tank swap was required. Unless of course, I missed a leak somewhere which happens when you have to take it apart on a monthly basis. I then went with a 5 lb which would last about 6 months. Since it wasn't disassembled monthly maybe, it did save some gas. Anyway, the 5 lb tank's certification expired so I bought a 10 pounder. I will get the 5 lb tank recertified but, I'm guessing I have a year to do it. ;-)
 

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I agree with klibs. While the others are correct in that it's hard to pinpoint exactly how long any set up will last on any specific tank, you can be sure that a 5lb tank (or larger) will last a lot longer than a paintball cylinder on any set up. I use a 5lb tank on a 46 gallon aquarium and get 6+ months. I also seem to get 2 or so weeks warning when the tank starts to run out. The needle starts to slowly move down each day and I'll change the tank when it hits the red "order gas" portion of the gauge. I've never actually run it completely dry.

Anyway, I'd go with a larger tank just for convenience. I wouldn't want to mess with it every month or two which is likely what will happen on a 40 gallon with a paintball setup. The upfront cost will likely be more so you just need to decide if the difference in pricing is worth the extra convenience. So maybe price out a couple of setups and see what sounds better at that point.
 

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The gurus are way more knowledgeable than me on just about everything, but I will tell you what I know from experience about the pressure drop. I have a GLA Pro connected to a 24oz paintball tank via an Aquatek adapter. I have never experienced a leak. Like I posted before, I have the c02 on for 6 hours a day, atomic diffuser, 35psi, about 3bps. My tank pressure will hover around 800psi like it should for about 7 weeks. (varying slightly depending on temp). At around the 7 week mark, I will see an overnight drop to about 700psi. It will gradually go down by about 100psi every few days. By week 8, I am typically down to 400psi. That is around went I change it. This is a single stage, and I have never had any psi rise. If you wanted to be really careful, you would replace the tank a few days before me. If you wanted to be a little more risky (or you trust GLA’s no eotd claim on single stage) you probably could squeeze out a few more days.

I would say 40 gallons would be pushing up upper limit. But again, like others are saying, it depends on method of diffusion, etc. Paintball is easier for me to get refills, takes up less space, and takes me under 5 minutes to change. I would say as long you don’t have to fill it up more than once a month, it would be worth it as long as you don’t mind spending more. I pay 5 bucks a refill. I have two tanks I rotate so I am never without c02.
 

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...Am I underestimating things ?
Thanks in advanced.
It's definitely worth it IMO. Everything grows better with co2. It's not only about speed of growth Plants grow fuller they are more lush with co2. Even low light plants like Anubias, Java Fern there is no comparison when grown with co2.

You also don't need high-light tor realize benefits. The fact that the plants grow quicker also helps with keeping algae off them, particularly plants that are normally slow growers and can be a magnet for certain types of algae.
 

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It's definitely worth it IMO. Everything grows better with co2. It's not only about speed of growth Plants grow fuller they are more lush with co2. Even low light plants like Anubias, Java Fern there is no comparison when grown with co2.

You also don't need high-light tor realize benefits. The fact that the plants grow quicker also helps with keeping algae off them, particularly plants that are normally slow growers and can be a magnet for certain types of algae.
Totally agree with this.
 

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Go as big as you can fit in your stand. You will thank us later. I've done the paintball route. I would only use a paintball system on a 5 gallon or less. A 40 is gunna burn through that paintball tank faster than you will like. You gotta figure gas and time driving down every 3-4 weeks for a refill. Gas alone would be more expensive than running a bigger co2 tank.
 

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I m using a 3 kg/107 oz cylinder for my 18Gallon tank which last around a year for me. Which means I need around 10g of Co2 per day. 24 oz /0.68kg of co2 may last 2-3 months for me.
Not sure how much is the concentration but my rate is around 0.5-1 bps.

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