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i have a 110 high tank set up..nothing in tank yet except substrate..i have a fluval fx5 filter running....i also have 4 t5 florescent light kit..i want to do a planted tank and looking for info from all those experienced in this..
im new to aquarist and find some of the tech stuff overwhelming..but any info appreciated..
1st..do i really do need a co2..
2nd..which brand is good....or should i go homemade..
3rd...where to buy..online.
thx all..
 

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You can get a 5-lb CO2 tank from a local welding company, but they are expensive. We have a store called Tech-Air and they charged me $80. Be advised that people who illegally grow marijuana also use CO2 systems, so you may be seen as one of those. Then you need a regulator with a good needle valve. You can either go to a web site like Mountain Home Brew and get a regulator and then buy a Swagelock needle valve, but the cost would be about the same as getting a JBJ or Milwaukee regulator, which are made specificially for aquarium hobbyists and come with a solenoid shutoff valve. You will also need an efficient diffuser - something that will deliver the CO2 into your water. Compressed CO2 is expensive, but if you have strong lighting and if you fertilize, you pretty much have to have the CO2, otherwise the plants will not be able to take advantage of the lighting and the ferts, and algae will fill that niche.
 

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CO2 is always beneficial. With a 110 gallon tank, DIY CO2 will not do much for it. Guessing from your lighting, you should have 2 cords so you can run 160 watts or 320 watts. If you run 160 watts, you might be ok without CO2. If you run 320, you definitely will need CO2. 160 watts is a good amount of light. I run 160 watts on my 135 for 10 hrs/day and use another 160 for a 3 hr burst. I run pressurized CO2.

Research where you can get CO2 refills. I get it at AirGas which swap tanks. If the place near you does swaps, get a used tank from craigslist or them. Don't get a new tank as you won't have it long.

As for CO2 regulators... check out
http://sumoregulator.com/
rexgrigg.com
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/index.html


Get a good needlevalve, the fabco NV55, ideal or swagelock.
 
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