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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have recently started a 16gallon planted tank and I would like to use compressed CO2. I’m limited on the space for the system to 10”L x 12”W x 13”H. Do I have any options or am I out of luck?
Thanks
 

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Hello, I have recently started a 16gallon planted tank and I would like to use compressed CO2. I’m limited on the space for the system to 10”L x 12”W x 13”H. Do I have any options or am I out of luck?
Thanks
Paintball tanks come in a variety of sizes you could probably make something fit.... but.. it wouldn't last very long and the bigger question is why you are so limited on space. It would be significantly easier to buy a 10lb tank and put it somewhere with more space then run the co2 line to the tank. You can run a lot of line out of a 10lb tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Paintball tanks come in a variety of sizes you could probably make something fit.... but.. it wouldn't last very long and the bigger question is why you are so limited on space. It would be significantly easier to buy a 10lb tank and put it somewhere with more space then run the co2 line to the tank. You can run a lot of line out of a 10lb tank.
How much space would I need for that, Should I use a paintball tank and what is a good fairly inexpensive regulator($75-125) and is that even possible price wise? it seems the prices go from affordable to way over priced with nothing in the middle for something that works. Also, is it possible to mount the tank horizontally? Or does it need to be vertical? That might help.
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How much space would I need for that, Should I use a paintball tank and what is a good fairly inexpensive regulator($75-125) and is that even possible price wise? it seems the prices go from affordable to way over priced with nothing in the middle for something that works. Also, is it possible to mount the tank horizontally? Or does it need to be vertical? That might help.
Thanks
Online I did not find many places listing the exact external dimensions of paintball tanks. To figure out if it works you would need to go to a brick and mortar store (or find someone listing good measurements) and see for yourself it will fit. You can buy very cheap single stage regulators on amazon which are not great at all but will work. The most recommended regulator if you want cheap and new (and relatively small) is the co2art regulator. Cheap being relative here.

Other options include buying a used 2 stage regulator off of e b ay and adding a post body kit. This is probably your best space savings option since you can find 2 stage regulators that mount from behind.
 

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The tank cannot be horizontal. I think I've seen where some people have mounted them diagonally but not recommended. There's liquid in the bottom of the tank and you need to pull the gas off the top. I don't have any experience with paintball tanks but did some research for my nano tank. I think you could get a few months out of a paintball tank with a 16 gallon aquarium, maybe several months. Of course, it's dependent on the paintball tank size and rate of injection. If you purchased a paintball tank and adaptor you wouldn't be out too much is you upgraded to a 5 or 10 lb tank down the line. Probably even a decent used market for those parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Online I did not find many places listing the exact external dimensions of paintball tanks. To figure out if it works you would need to go to a brick and mortar store (or find someone listing good measurements) and see for yourself it will fit. You can buy very cheap single stage regulators on amazon which are not great at all but will work. The most recommended regulator if you want cheap and new (and relatively small) is the co2art regulator. Cheap being relative here.

Other options include buying a used 2 stage regulator off of e b ay and adding a post body kit. This is probably your best space savings option since you can find 2 stage regulators that mount from behind.
Where can I buy a post body kit?

Online I did not find many places listing the exact external dimensions of paintball tanks. To figure out if it works you would need to go to a brick and mortar store (or find someone listing good measurements) and see for yourself it will fit. You can buy very cheap single stage regulators on amazon which are not great at all but will work. The most recommended regulator if you want cheap and new (and relatively small) is the co2art regulator. Cheap being relative here.

Other options include buying a used 2 stage regulator off of e b ay and adding a post body kit. This is probably your best space savings option since you can find 2 stage regulators that mount from behind.
I’ve looked at co2art and what about Fzone? I’ve read a small amount of bad reviews for both, but they both have a lot of good reviews as well.

Where can I buy a post body kit?
Online I did not find many places listing the exact external dimensions of paintball tanks. To figure out if it works you would need to go to a brick and mortar store (or find someone listing good measurements) and see for yourself it will fit. You can buy very cheap single stage regulators on amazon which are not great at all but will work. The most recommended regulator if you want cheap and new (and relatively small) is the co2art regulator. Cheap being relative here.

Other options include buying a used 2 stage regulator off of e b ay and adding a post body kit. This is probably your best space savings option since you can find 2 stage regulators that mount from behind.
Sorry, this may be a stupid question, but Is a two stage regulator for two tanks?
 

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2 stage means that the regulator has a second mechanism that stops more co2 from exiting the tank then what you want even when the tank gets low. So if your tank has say 4500 psi in it and it empties down low enough, a single stage regulator will dump all the remaining co2 into your tank all at once. This is what is called 'end of tank death' because you gas your fish to death. A 2 stage regulator will never allow more then your set amount to enter the tank. I have no idea if the fzone regulators are actually 2 stage or if they are just lying to people /shrug.

You can buy a post body kit either from people on this forum or from diyco2regulator.com or the individual parts from a variety of sources. A post body kit will run you around 100 to 150 dollars by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
2 stage means that the regulator has a second mechanism that stops more co2 from exiting the tank then what you want even when the tank gets low. So if your tank has say 4500 psi in it and it empties down low enough, a single stage regulator will dump all the remaining co2 into your tank all at once. This is what is called 'end of tank death' because you gas your fish to death. A 2 stage regulator will never allow more then your set amount to enter the tank. I have no idea if the fzone regulators are actually 2 stage or if they are just lying to people /shrug.

You can buy a post body kit either from people on this forum or from diyco2regulator.com or the individual parts from a variety of sources. A post body kit will run you around 100 to 150 dollars by itself.
Thanks for all the info
 

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I had a similar problem with space + not wanting a large cylinder of gas and scaring the family. I have a 60p which is 17.1 US Gal I think. I use a paintball system and personally love it. In my experience, if you're efficiently dissipating the co2 into your water, a paintball tank can last 3-4 months in a tank your size (depending on the paintball tank size). What I do is have two 20oz co2 paintball tanks that I fill up at the same time. Then when one empties, I have a backup ready. I used to use a Co2 Art dual stage regulator with it, but it was honestly cumbersome. Because of the design, it was top heavy and the tank would fall over unless I had it strapped to the inside of my cabinet, it wasn't ideal for a paintball tank. I eventually pulled the trigger and got a co2 regulator designed for paintball tanks. A compact single gauge (YES SINGLE). Now there are handful of makers of these out there, but I ended up getting one that GLA makes, which is pricy, but the build quality was excellent. And I have no issues with "end of tank death". It just works really well for me. And there are less connection points, and no washers you have to worry about, so there are less places for it to potentially leak imo. This one allows you to adjust the bubble counter angle but even with that, you may be higher than 13",unless maybe you were running smaller co2 tanks. Here's a photo with a ruler for reference.

1025768
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the info
Thanks for all the info
Good morning, so I purchased a UNS mini dual stage regulator along with a 20oz bottle, co2 hose, drop checker and an aquario neo diffuser. The only thing that I missed was a check valve(figured that out this morning when I had 5’ of water in the line). When I get one today, should I place the check valve as close to the top of the outside of the tank as possible? Seems obvious, but checking to see if there is something different I should do.
Thanks
I had a similar problem with space + not wanting a large cylinder of gas and scaring the family. I have a 60p which is 17.1 US Gal I think. I use a paintball system and personally love it. In my experience, if you're efficiently dissipating the co2 into your water, a paintball tank can last 3-4 months in a tank your size (depending on the paintball tank size). What I do is have two 20oz co2 paintball tanks that I fill up at the same time. Then when one empties, I have a backup ready. I used to use a Co2 Art dual stage regulator with it, but it was honestly cumbersome. Because of the design, it was top heavy and the tank would fall over unless I had it strapped to the inside of my cabinet, it wasn't ideal for a paintball tank. I eventually pulled the trigger and got a co2 regulator designed for paintball tanks. A compact single gauge (YES SINGLE). Now there are handful of makers of these out there, but I ended up getting one that GLA makes, which is pricy, but the build quality was excellent. And I have no issues with "end of tank death". It just works really well for me. And there are less connection points, and no washers you have to worry about, so there are less places for it to potentially leak imo. This one allows you to adjust the bubble counter angle but even with that, you may be higher than 13",unless maybe you were running smaller co2 tanks. Here's a photo with a ruler for reference.

View attachment 1025768
thanks, I just purchased a UN systems dual stage mini regulator. It looks similar to yours. With a 20oz tank and an aquario neo diffuser. I set it up this morning and it’s working perfectly in the space I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello, I have recently started a 16gallon planted tank and I would like to use compressed CO2. I’m limited on the space for the system to 10”L x 12”W x 13”H. Do I have any options or am I out of luck?
Thanks
Good morning, so I purchased a UNS mini dual stage regulator along with a 20oz bottle, co2 hose, drop checker and an aquario neo diffuser. The only thing that I missed was a check valve(figured that out this morning when I had 5’ of water in the line). When I get one today, should I place the check valve as close to the top of the outside of the tank as possible? Seems obvious, but checking to see if there is something different I should do.
Thanks

thanks, I just purchased a UN systems dual stage mini regulator. It looks similar to yours. With a 20oz tank and an aquario neo diffuser. I set it up this morning and it’s working perfectly in the space I have.
1025769
 

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That's great to hear! Yeah a check valve isn't 100% necessary if your bubble counter has a built in check valve, but like you said, it will still let water backtrack into the co2 hose, which then means it takes a lot longer for the co2 to get back into your system when it cuts on it the morning. A check valve lets the co2 through with a one way valve, and prevent water from backtracking through it, so you'd want to install closer to the diffuser. With the neo diffuser you'd probably want a small segment of hose attached to the diffuser's acrylic pipe, then the check valve, then the rest of your co2 hose back to the regulator. Also, you should cut off any extra slack in the hose, it shouldn't be overly long, just enough to comfortable work around. Make sure the check valve is rated for co2, otherwise it could start to break down over time.
 

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I know brands like Fabco, Ideal, and Swagelok were big CO2 brands in 2010; if OP or someone wanted to buy a complete pressurized CO2 system for their tank (instead of DIY or building one from paintball pieces), something that will last a long time and be pretty reliable, are there any brand names that have risen to the top since 2010?
 
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