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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The time has come for my four year old 55 gallon planted Discus tank to pearl. I would like some equipment advice because after researching whats needed and whats available vs prices I can see actual hands-on experience probably matters most. I would like to have to not buy "everything" twice. :)

My basic setup is as follows.

Tank
4 year old established 55g standard
4" to 5" of Eco-Complete, about 80lbs
Filstar XLL - the largest one, standard media, no carbon, 450gph+/-
JBJ UV canister - the small one, surface extractor and for carbon as needed plus circulation, 190gph+/- I like a lot of flow
Four 65w 10000K PC, 8 hour photo period, on typical aquarium glass top
200w Jeager - 80f year round.

Params
RO/DI water, Seachem Equilibrium, 30% wc per week, religious
PH - 6.8
dKH - 2
Nitrate - < 15ppm
Nitrite - nil
Amon - nil
Typical daily Excel dosage 5ml+/-

Load
4 full grown discus
3 corys
4 oto cats
12 neon
6 serpas
and a standard snail eating Clown Loach who apparently loves soft water
Fed every other day, spirlinia, blood worms, cichlid food etc. I feed sparingly.

Plants are basically a few micro swords, amazons, ludwigia, java fern, water sprite and a few crypts. ...and algae (green hair)

Fertilizer
Standard Seachem iron, comprehensive, trace and excel dosages for a 55g.

Growth for three years has been pretty good with a fair amount of algae as expected because of all that light. I found that by letting the taller plants overgrow the lower plants this helped with algae, but I never expected this to be a long term solution and it isn't. My goal for a co2 system on this tank is ph-6.4, and dKH-2 for about 25 to 30ppm of "the good stuff".

Ok, so anyway I would love to hear from you pros about some decent equipment for CO2. I am planing a "on and off with the lights" system with a drop checker from greenleaf for tuning and monitoring. I also plan to monitor PH and KH with Sailfert kits as needed until I am comfortable with a routine.

Specifically I need advice on ...

Regulator
Fine tuning Valve
Tubing
Check valves
Diffuser
Bubble Counter

I have a 10lb tank, standard CGA320 iirc. I have about $300 budgeted for the remaining parts. Thank you ahead of time.
 

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Specifically I need advice on ...

Regulator
Fine tuning Valve
Tubing
Check valves
Diffuser
Bubble Counter

I have a 10lb tank, standard CGA320 iirc. I have about $300 budgeted for the remaining parts. Thank you ahead of time.
Take a look at my pressurized CO2 article that I wrote (linked in my signature) for additional information regarding the parts in question.

If you are willing to do some research and be patient, you can find excellent deals on eBay for equipment to assemble your own pressurized CO2 setup. This is by far the cheapest option.

You can also purchase from some users (myself included) that sell CO2 setups.

Finally, you can buy from Green Leaf Aquariums (GLA).

I would not recommend commercially available brands such as Azoo, Aquatek, Milwaukee, etc, as I personally have had bad experiences with them, but others have not. The judgement call is up to you to make.
 

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Looks as if I will spending a little more than I planned, thank you for the insight and the well written links.
Pressurized CO2 is definitely something you do not want to make a rush/snap purchase on. It is best to do your research, do some reading, so that you can make an informed and educated purchase.

That way, you don't end up buying something that you will need to replace within a few months and/or find yourself upgrading parts because you are not satisfied.
 
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