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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Im new to co2 and wanted to know what you guys thought of a paintball co2 tank for pressurized co2 setup. Currently I have a planted 75 gallon and would like to grow the montecarlo carpet better and have been thinking of investing in a co2 system. Because it’s my first time, I want something easy and relatively cheap and possibly upgrade with experience. I’ve come across fzone and aquatek regulators that look good quality and are relatively cheap as well as paintball tanks which can be attached. I want to know if this setup will be able to produce enough co2 for a 75 gallon and help my plants grow. I also want a co2 system that I replace or refill every 6 months to 1 year so what size tank should I use? I’ve seen 20 oz tanks for sale, but from reading what others said on this forum, this might only last me a month and I do not want to be replacing it that frequent. Also, I’ve looked into co2 systems on Amazon for 90-120 dollars which use baking soda and citric acid which are sold in 2-2.5L canisters. Will this work for a tank 75 gallons and how does this compare to a co2 paintball system? Thanks again and any experience or insight is appreciated. Looking to spend under $120 for the whole system so if you guys can link what canisters or regulators you use it would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Some people use paintball tanks for nano tanks. For a 75 gallon.... it should last a couple of weeks... that's if you use a reactor. If you use an intank diffuser I'd expect it to go a lot quicker because they are less efficient.

To get a tank that would last 6 months for a 75 gallon you would be looking at 20 lb tank, not a 20oz tank. Even then you would want to be using a reactor for maximum efficiency.

For a 75 gallon tank I wouldn't even bother with the paintball setup. I'd recommend a 10 lb tank (because chances are very good the 20lb won't fit under your stand) and either a co2art regulator (if you want to buy off the shelf) or a diy regulator build if you want better quality. You should expect to pay somewhere around 350 dollars for the regulator, tank, and parts for a reactor, or if you insist, a diffuser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some people use paintball tanks for nano tanks. For a 75 gallon.... it should last a couple of weeks... that's if you use a reactor. If you use an intank diffuser I'd expect it to go a lot quicker because they are less efficient.

To get a tank that would last 6 months for a 75 gallon you would be looking at 20 lb tank, not a 20oz tank. Even then you would want to be using a reactor for maximum efficiency.

For a 75 gallon tank I wouldn't even bother with the paintball setup. I'd recommend a 10 lb tank (because chances are very good the 20lb won't fit under your stand) and either a co2art regulator (if you want to buy off the shelf) or a diy regulator build if you want better quality. You should expect to pay somewhere around 350 dollars for the regulator, tank, and parts for a reactor, or if you insist, a diffuser.
Hey thanks for the reply. Def out of my budget range for now but I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m more inclined now to get one of those citric acid baking soda co2 generators for 100 dollars and just replacing it every couple of weeks to couple of months. The one I’m looking at seems to be 2 L container and weight around 5 pounds, so It should contain more “co2” compared to the paintball setup. What do you think? Obv this wouldn’t be ideal, but my budget is anything under 150 for the time being and will upgrade once the time comes. Thanks again for your insight, it’s much appreciated and helpful in making the decision for what I should do co2 wise on my aquarium!
 

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Hey thanks for the reply. Def out of my budget range for now but I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m more inclined now to get one of those citric acid baking soda co2 generators for 100 dollars and just replacing it every couple of weeks to couple of months. The one I’m looking at seems to be 2 L container and weight around 5 pounds, so It should contain more “co2” compared to the paintball setup. What do you think? Obv this wouldn’t be ideal, but my budget is anything under 150 for the time being and will upgrade once the time comes. Thanks again for your insight, it’s much appreciated and helpful in making the decision for what I should do co2 wise on my aquarium!
Sooooooo will a diy co2 option add more co2 to your water then say nothing at all? Yes, yes it will. But keep in mind that 2L diy co2 container is used typically for nano to small sized aquariums. They tend to produce decent co2 for week or 2 and then tend to produce much less. Most people that use them dump them pretty quickly for the real thing because they do not provide consistent co2 and require you to do a lot to them compared to pressurized co2.

Will it provide adequate co2 for a 75 gallon? I actually don't know because I don't think I've ever seen anyone use one for a 75 gallon, but since I do see people using them on nano tanks I'm going to say probably not.

Anyway I would definitely 100% not buy a 150 dollar diy co2 kit. Theres lots of youtube videos on using some airline connections, intank diffuser, and 2L soda bottle for diy cO2. In other words, you can go down that diy co2 rabbit hole for a LOT less then 150 dollars.

For my own tanks, I have low tech tanks, and currently 1 high tech tank (planning the second high tech tank for months now), and they are vastly different critters when it comes to layout. I suggest just rescaping to acknowledge your current low tech method, and then if/when you can buy a proper co2 system, rescaping again to take advantage of the new equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sooooooo will a diy co2 option add more co2 to your water then say nothing at all? Yes, yes it will. But keep in mind that 2L diy co2 container is used typically for nano to small sized aquariums. They tend to produce decent co2 for week or 2 and then tend to produce much less. Most people that use them dump them pretty quickly for the real thing because they do not provide consistent co2 and require you to do a lot to them compared to pressurized co2.

Will it provide adequate co2 for a 75 gallon? I actually don't know because I don't think I've ever seen anyone use one for a 75 gallon, but since I do see people using them on nano tanks I'm going to say probably not.

Anyway I would definitely 100% not buy a 150 dollar diy co2 kit. Theres lots of youtube videos on using some airline connections, intank diffuser, and 2L soda bottle for diy cO2. In other words, you can go down that diy co2 rabbit hole for a LOT less then 150 dollars.

For my own tanks, I have low tech tanks, and currently 1 high tech tank (planning the second high tech tank for months now), and they are vastly different critters when it comes to layout. I suggest just rescaping to acknowledge your current low tech method, and then if/when you can buy a proper co2 system, rescaping again to take advantage of the new equipment.
Thanks again for your insight. I know DIY Co2 definitely will not work for a 75 gallon, but the one that is $100 on amazon seems to have a regulator, solenoid, and the reviews say that the product is generally reliable and provides similar co2 to pressurized system. However, it is advertised for smaller nano tanks so I understand it will probably not last a long time for my tank. Here is a link if you would like to take a look: Amazon.com : ZRDR CO2 Generator System Carbon Dioxide 2L with Pressure Gauge Automatic Pressure Relief Valve Bubble Counter for Aquarium Plants,Stable Output Sent Steel Bottle Base : Pet Supplies

My reasoning for going this citric acid/baking soda route with this "higher tech" DIY co2 is because I can easily replace the materials and start the reaction on a biweekly basis instead of driving to Dick's or local brewery to get a refill. Obviously, I am going to aim at getting the $350 co2 system with 20 lb canister, but I'm banking on trying the one on amazon and seeing if there are any decent results (its free return for the first month too i believe).

I may try to find a used or cheap 20 lb Co2 tank on craigslist or what not and I already found a 50 dollar regulator that is said to be very good. Fzone brand. This may cut the costs to around $200 which is something I'd be more comfortable doing since it makes night and day diff with the co2.

Thanks again for your time and help. I really appreciate it! Just rn don't want to spend that much on something I don't necessarily need :)
 

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I use a 24oz paintball tank on my 75g and it lasts 10-12 weeks depending on setting. You need a reactor and there cant be too much surface agitation.

Use a skimmer to circulate surface water.

The cheap 5$ fillups from DSG make it price competitive to fills on a 5# tank which are $20+ around here. I have been meaning to get another pb tank so i dont have to DSG as often.

After using pb tank for going on 4 years, only drawbacks is where to get filled and potential expiration of tank which is owned, not exchanged.

Thanks again for your insight. I know DIY Co2 definitely will not work for a 75 gallon, but the one that is $100 on amazon seems to have a regulator, solenoid, and the reviews say that the product is generally reliable and provides similar co2 to pressurized system. However, it is advertised for smaller nano tanks so I understand it will probably not last a long time for my tank. Here is a link if you would like to take a look: Amazon.com : ZRDR CO2 Generator System Carbon Dioxide 2L with Pressure Gauge Automatic Pressure Relief Valve Bubble Counter for Aquarium Plants,Stable Output Sent Steel Bottle Base : Pet Supplies

My reasoning for going this citric acid/baking soda route with this "higher tech" DIY co2 is because I can easily replace the materials and start the reaction on a biweekly basis instead of driving to Dick's or local brewery to get a refill. Obviously, I am going to aim at getting the $350 co2 system with 20 lb canister, but I'm banking on trying the one on amazon and seeing if there are any decent results (its free return for the first month too i believe).

I may try to find a used or cheap 20 lb Co2 tank on craigslist or what not and I already found a 50 dollar regulator that is said to be very good. Fzone brand. This may cut the costs to around $200 which is something I'd be more comfortable doing since it makes night and day diff with the co2.

Thanks again for your time and help. I really appreciate it! Just rn don't want to spend that much on something I don't necessarily need :)
My setup, a chinese regulator from ebay, a paitball adapter, and pb tank, cost about 100. You will also need to make a griggs reactor.

I have not had a single problem with the ebay regulator after 4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My setup, a chinese regulator from ebay, a paitball adapter, and pb tank, cost about 100. You will also need to make a griggs reactor.

I have not had a single problem with the ebay regulator after 4 years.
thanks for this reply, Did not think paintball co2 setups could last that long on that large of a tank. I'm still probably gonna go the DIY route since going every couple months to the DSG is a pain and actually get a 20 lb tank with a aquatek/fzone regulator so i can do yearly refills. Again this was helpful information and may consider setting up a paintball co2 system on my 30 gallon or 10 gallon for the cost and reliability!
 

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thanks for this reply, Did not think paintball co2 setups could last that long on that large of a tank. I'm still probably gonna go the DIY route since going every couple months to the DSG is a pain and actually get a 20 lb tank with a aquatek/fzone regulator so i can do yearly refills. Again this was helpful information and may consider setting up a paintball co2 system on my 30 gallon or 10 gallon for the cost and reliability!
My point was that several paintball tanks is cost equivalent to a 5# tank. If you get multiples filled at the same time, it is not a horrible experience.

Making a PB tank last depends on not having too much surface agitation. If I run a bubbler or HOB, the CO2 will not drop appreciably.

Where I live, refilling a 5# is more than 4 PB refills, and the tank costs a whole lot more. I haven't priced 10# tank refill/cost, and I'm sure a 20# tank would not fit underneath my tank.

In the near future, I may get a 10# CO2 tank, but it would require another adapter, maybe even another regulator. So for now I am "locked in" to paintball setup and it has been working better than expected. The best upgrade for me will be to buy another tank so I dont have to go to Dicks as often.
 

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Side note- diy co2 is confirmably very unpredictable. I 100% would not spend $100 on it. If you're going to go that direction carefully research and just go with the 2 liter bottles approach as I've used both (currently "testing" dennerle bio co2 unit- not impressed for cost ($20/ just under a month) and it's honest to god the same exact thing only difference is about $15 and not measuring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Side note- diy co2 is confirmably very unpredictable. I 100% would not spend $100 on it. If you're going to go that direction carefully research and just go with the 2 liter bottles approach as I've used both (currently "testing" dennerle bio co2 unit- not impressed for cost ($20/ just under a month) and it's honest to god the same exact thing only difference is about $15 and not measuring.
Thanks for that info. I agree with you and have honestly decided to go DIY coke bottle Co2 route with flourish excel instead of pressurized. This should be more cost effective and be more consistent than the $100 diy co2. I'm also gonna swap out the monetcarlo for something like s repens or dwarf saggitaria and just keep it relatively low tech instead of the high tech I was envisioning. WIll go high tech once I get the finances for a $200+ dollar co2 system and not cheap out. Thanks!

My point was that several paintball tanks is cost equivalent to a 5# tank. If you get multiples filled at the same time, it is not a horrible experience.

Making a PB tank last depends on not having too much surface agitation. If I run a bubbler or HOB, the CO2 will not drop appreciably.

Where I live, refilling a 5# is more than 4 PB refills, and the tank costs a whole lot more. I haven't priced 10# tank refill/cost, and I'm sure a 20# tank would not fit underneath my tank.

In the near future, I may get a 10# CO2 tank, but it would require another adapter, maybe even another regulator. So for now I am "locked in" to paintball setup and it has been working better than expected. The best upgrade for me will be to buy another tank so I dont have to go to Dicks as often.
Yeah that makes sense. I just feel like for the tank that size it woukd be more cost effective to get a 20 lb container and refill with local breweries once I get the money. However, I am considering a paintball setup for my smaller "high tech" planted tank that I am planning on building so will probably go that route for that. Thanks again for ur input!
 

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It will be more expensive in the long run to go with a paintball tank, especially for a tank that size....ditto for diy... save up and wait, trust me ive done both, currently saving for a 10-20 lbs tank... I have an ista kit with a 1L bottle..in a 20 gal tank with a glass diffuser and my bottle lasts about 1 month $15 per refill...buy once cry once...you will thank yourself later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It will be more expensive in the long run to go with a paintball tank, especially for a tank that size....ditto for diy... save up and wait, trust me ive done both, currently saving for a 10-20 lbs tank... I have an ista kit with a 1L bottle..in a 20 gal tank with a glass diffuser and my bottle lasts about 1 month $15 per refill...buy once cry once...you will thank yourself later.
Yep exactly what I was thinking! Thanks for the reassurance. I'm going the excel and diy co2 route for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't have anything to add but we have chatted on MFK. I just wanted to welcome you to the dark side ;)
Haha Hey Rob :). Nice seeing you here. I've ultimately come up with the conclusion to go low tech until I can get the proper set up like you have! New to this forum and wanted to give it a try. Seems like this has much more palnt finatics than monster finatics so I will def be surfing both these forums much more often!
 
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