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New to Nano and CO2. System Suggestions?

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Hello,

After a break from aquariums for about a year I got the itch and decided to invest in a 2.6 gallon nano cube due to space constraints in my apartment.

I have done the planted thing once before but never with CO2. I am waiting on my new Aquatop LED light to come in (http://www.truaqua.com/aquarium-led-light-nano-tp.html) and light timer, as well as my ferts (Flourish, Trace, Iron, and tabs) as well as my substrate (Flourite Black Sand). I am planning to replace the internal filter with an Azoo palm filter since the current one creates a bit too much current and takes up too much space. The last piece I feel I am missing is the CO2 as I do not want to use excel. I have looked at this Fluval CO2 system (http://www.petsandponds.com/en/aquarium-supplies/c378121399/p17624673.html) but after seeing the MASSIVE plastic diffuser and reading alot of aweful reviews I am shying away from that one. I do not want to do the DIY route, but am not sure where to go from here without spending an arm and a leg to get some CO2 in my tank...

Does anyone have any suggestions for a nice looking, reliable, and decently economical system? I could justify spending upwards of $80 on something if it is really a good system, but I just cant see myself biting the bullet on something like what I see on the ADA site :icon_eek:.

Thanks for any advice y'all can provide!

Best regards,
Matt M.
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Here is the problem. Without spending a good deal more then $80, it is my opinion that you won't be able to get anything that is reliable. It's not to say it won't work, or that it won't last a long time without failure, that just means under $80 you might have a big failure at some point.

Thius is why I still dose excel. I don't like it, but I'm not comfortable with putting my fish at risk going the cheap route. When I do go with CO2, I plan out getting a dual stage regulator, from a recognized brand, that is meant for low pressure. I think i may even run 2 solenoids, incase one fails. and all the rest high quality parts. Last time I looked through things I was looking at 300-400 bucks. So for now I just deal with my excel dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aquatek Paintball Reg ~$90

Reliable solenoid but touchy needle valve

Once you get it set it is pretty consistent though

Thanks for the suggestion. I just ordered it off of Amazon. So it said it comes with the regultor, solenoid, needle valve. check valve, and bubble counter... I already have CO2 tubing from my LFS, so outside of defuser and actual tank of CO2, is there anything else I am missing to get this thing going?

Thanks again,
Matt M.

Bump:
Thanks for the suggestion. I just ordered it off of Amazon. So it said it comes with the regultor, solenoid, needle valve. check valve, and bubble counter... I already have CO2 tubing from my LFS, so outside of defuser and actual tank of CO2, is there anything else I am missing to get this thing going?

Thanks again,
Matt M.

Oh and I already ordered a glass CO2 indicator and some Fluval CO2 Indicator Fluid as well, and a timer for my CO2 to turn on and off with my lights so thats all covered.

- Matt M.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. I just ordered it off of Amazon. So it said it comes with the regultor, solenoid, needle valve. check valve, and bubble counter... I already have CO2 tubing from my LFS, so outside of defuser and actual tank of CO2, is there anything else I am missing to get this thing going?
Just pick up a 20oz paintball tank from Academy (comes filled) for ~$20 and a diffuser and you are set.

You could also pick up a check valve for safety but IIRC the bubble counter is a check valve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just pick up a 20oz paintball tank from Academy (comes filled) for ~$20 and a diffuser and you are set.

You could also pick up a check valve for safety but IIRC the bubble counter is a check valve
Thanks Dru, yeah I think your right. I also read that there is supposed to be an integrated check valve in the regulator.

Either way, thanks for the advice. This stuff can be a bit intimidating if you are new to it.

Best regards,
Matt M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does anyone have a recommendation for a certain diffuser?... I want to get a glass one but with so many generic/ questionable ones out there I figured I should just ask some people who may know whats good :).

Thanks,
Matt M.
 

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Glass ones look nice but are usually a 1 time use type of tool (really hard to get co2 tubing off a glass diffuser)

I have been using the $5 plastic Fluval diffusers available on amazon in my small tanks. I also have used the cheap glass ones from China.

Just buy a couple so you have a backup in case one breaks. The first diffuser you buy is usually not the last diffuser you will ever buy.
 

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I agree with the Aquatek Mini solution.

Pick up a 2-3 pack of glass nano diffusers on E-bay and call it done. You can rotate clean ones in while you clean the old ones. (Clean when you notice a reduction in output, but they'll go many months between swaps) I've never had a hard time getting the tubing off. If you do break one (I never had, but have heard others report occasional breakage), you have spares available, and again, they're cheap.
 

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How did you get the flow rate of CO2 low enough for a half gallon? I thought the needle valve was touchy?
My experience with these (I have had 3 of them, still using 2) is that fine tuning them for really low output isn't that touchy.. it's actually harder to dial in a reliable bubble count at higher rates than it is for lower.

Also, with the smaller glass diffusers, after a while you will want to cut the tubing off with a razor blade, don't try to just pull it off - you probably WILL break the glass if the tubing has hardened or stuck to the glass.

That said, in a 2.5 gallon tank, I'd suggest upgrading at some point in the future to a zoomed 501 filter with lily pipes (9mm is the right size for the stock tubing, though you may need to heat the vinyl tubing a bit to slip it over the glass tubing), and an inline CO2 diffuser (again, the smallest 8mm size works great) - it's a much cleaner "in tank" look, since with a 2.5 gallon tank space will be at a premium. I ran a 4 gallon tank with that set up for a while, and it worked great.
 

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Agreed, but it's $15 more and it's harder to find short lily pipes in the right size.
Fair point about lily pipes, I never tried to find those with a small tank. $15 is a small price to pay for a reliable filter... if an extra $15 scares someone off, they're in the wrong hobby! :hihi:

I've read a number of noise complaints about the Zoomed, though, and I know my Finnex was dead quiet.
 

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My experience with these (I have had 3 of them, still using 2) is that fine tuning them for really low output isn't that touchy.. it's actually harder to dial in a reliable bubble count at higher rates than it is for lower.
I wish I would have seen this earlier. I started a thread specifically about CO2 tuning for nano tanks and didn't get any replies.
 

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Thanks Dru, yeah I think your right. I also read that there is supposed to be an integrated check valve in the regulator.

Either way, thanks for the advice. This stuff can be a bit intimidating if you are new to it.

Best regards,
Matt M.
I would be wary of water ever getting close to the regulator.

I have been running the stock bubble counter with the integrated check valve for over a year now and it is starting to leak water beyond the valve. My understanding is that they will fail over time. An ideal solution would be to get a diffuser with an integrated check valve. You will have double coverage and shouldn't have to worry about any water from your tank being siphoned beyond the diffuser.
 
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