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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you guys point me in the right direction for a good entry-level pressurized CO2 system. I've looked at a couple places and seen some that don't include the actual CO2 tank. Is this normal? Will I need to source the actual canister locally?

Thanks!
 

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Entry level... Cheap with the understanding that it won't last forever :)

Thanks!


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How cheap? Like $25 cheap? Or $200 cheap? For a real pressurized system with a tank, you're looking at close to $170-200 depending on tank size.

Other option is to do DIY which you can do for say $25-35. How big is your tank?
 

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I went budget for pressurized co2, Azoo is an OK reg that I got from Foster and Smith. CO2 Pressure Regulator w/Solenoid
I would rather rid myself of it, but it holds a bubble count and serves it's purpose for now, I have had it since September. I dont think it will last too long, but it works for getting up and running. I would advise shelling out the 200-300 dollars for a good reg from the start, it is better to buy 300 dollars worth of regulator, rather than a $300 and a $100 dollar one. It is normal for them not to come with a cylinder, I got mine from a brewing store, but welding shops will also sell them.
 

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Value is often dependent on your personal view. The tank is almost always separate from the rest of the equipment and a good place to start deciding where value lies for you.
Is the appearance of the tank a big thing if it costs more? A new shiny aluminum tank can be a thing of pride and beauty. But they cost you. Not only at the start but each time you refill it. If you own the tank, want to keep it, you will find far fewer places to refill and they are quite likely to be higher cost per pound.
My choice on tanks is to buy a used tank and then when it is empty, I take it to the place that sells gas cheapest. In my area that is a welding supply shop where you take the old tank in and pick up a new from the dock as they do not fill the tanks onsite. They will also take care of the retesting of the tank that is needed every five years. ($25-50?) I find the local pricing is about half where I go versus one of the home brew shops who fill while you wait. Each area is different so maybe locating where to refill and asking what it costs will be a start?
For a not lasting forever, I might suggest the Milwaukee as one that does work but has some with complaints also.
 

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before you buy a tank from online make sure you have some one that refills and not does trade ins for the co2...if its a trade in then look on craigslist for a used one and go trade it in..it will be a lot cheaper and plus trade ins the tanks arent always that pretty... also look at Aquarium CO2 System Specialists | Diffusers, Regulators | CO2Art.co.uk they ship from UK but they are one of the better business that stand behind their products


also check out this thread http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/1041281-co2-regulators.html good information and others posting about regulators

also some oen else posted this picture in that thread but it might be some thing to look into also
 

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I second co2art, I went with one of the all in one kits and it was basically plug and play. http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections/complete-co2-systems I got the Advance complete system, got a 24oz paintball tank, and one of their premium paintball tank adapters with open and close valve. I think after everything I needed including filling the bottle I spent just shy of $200. Haven't had one single issue with it and I have zero experience with co2 before hand, complete newb haha. I heard some bad things about their dual stage regulators, didn't read much into it though and not sure what ever came of them... Just letting you know you may want to do a bit of research there if you consider one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How cheap? Like $25 cheap? Or $200 cheap? For a real pressurized system with a tank, you're looking at close to $170-200 depending on tank size.

Other option is to do DIY which you can do for say $25-35. How big is your tank?
I've done the DIY stuff with sugar and yeast... is there a pressurized DIY way? I would definitely do that I think at least at first...

but the systems look like they go for about $100 and then another $100 for a tank... $200 or less would be expected I think.

Thanks!

Bump:
Value is often dependent on your personal view. The tank is almost always separate from the rest of the equipment and a good place to start deciding where value lies for you.
Is the appearance of the tank a big thing if it costs more? A new shiny aluminum tank can be a thing of pride and beauty. But they cost you. Not only at the start but each time you refill it. If you own the tank, want to keep it, you will find far fewer places to refill and they are quite likely to be higher cost per pound.
My choice on tanks is to buy a used tank and then when it is empty, I take it to the place that sells gas cheapest. In my area that is a welding supply shop where you take the old tank in and pick up a new from the dock as they do not fill the tanks onsite. They will also take care of the retesting of the tank that is needed every five years. ($25-50?) I find the local pricing is about half where I go versus one of the home brew shops who fill while you wait. Each area is different so maybe locating where to refill and asking what it costs will be a start?
For a not lasting forever, I might suggest the Milwaukee as one that does work but has some with complaints also.
Thanks for this!

I'm going to source a refill option and go from there I think... a big shiny new tank is definitely not a necessity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I second co2art, I went with one of the all in one kits and it was basically plug and play. Complete CO2 Systems | Regulators, Cylinders & Atomizers | CO2Art.co.uk I got the Advance complete system, got a 24oz paintball tank, and one of their premium paintball tank adapters with open and close valve. I think after everything I needed including filling the bottle I spent just shy of $200. Haven't had one single issue with it and I have zero experience with co2 before hand, complete newb haha. I heard some bad things about their dual stage regulators, didn't read much into it though and not sure what ever came of them... Just letting you know you may want to do a bit of research there if you consider one.
Buuuut everything is in not-dollars! :) Is it an issue shipping across the pond and currency conversion and whatnot???

Looked like a good site but my instinct is telling me to stay state-side.
 

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Buuuut everything is in not-dollars! :) Is it an issue shipping across the pond and currency conversion and whatnot???

Looked like a good site but my instinct is telling me to stay state-side.
At the top of the site there is a currency converter, at least there is for me when browsing with my phone. Also they offer free shipping worldwide. It may take awhile to ship, but you can upgrade it for a few bucks or even more if you need it faster. I upgraded shipping just one up from free and I got my kit in about 18 days.
 

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I am not famialar enough with your area but might assume it to be somewhat rural? Being small town background, I know how that can effect shopping for things. Sometimes a trek to the city is worth it and sometimes not.
But if you do go into Richmond at times, it might pay to arrange an extra trip to get a used tank.
A little looking around your area may turn up some real bargains if you are able to travel.
One to make you cry?
5 lb CO2 tank for home brew

Sorry! Had to do that as I'm a dedicated Craigslist shopper.
 

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Entry level... Cheap with the understanding that it won't last forever :)
I would advise you to not think like this when it comes to this hobby unless you understand exactly what you are doing and what the consequences are. Get the best equipment you can afford especially when it comes to pressurized co2.

Even for now if you can only afford a good standard (cga-320) regulator, you can buy paintball tank adapters that will allow you to use a standard regulator on paintball tank threads. This would be a cheaper up-front option until you can purchase a standard (cga-320) cylinder though if you were to buy 2-3 paintball tanks you would be close enough in price to where a standard cylinder wouldn't be that much more money.

If you understand it won't "last forever", you are just wasting money, IMO, that could be used towards quality equipment. Waiting until you have that quality equipment will make your experience much more fulfilling and less stressful.

Having said that, I've heard decent reviews for Co2Art regulators and I'm pretty sure they have a "state-side" customer service although, they do ship from the UK.

Milwaukee's have been around a long time and though they may be "cheap" and have their own inherent issues, lots of people have them so trouble shooting issues shouldn't be a problem if they arise.

Aquatechs are pretty popular and considered entry-level.

Actually, I guess you can consider all 3 of those entry level but all have their issues. Mainly, from my research, it's the needle valves in those regulators that has issues, also the solenoids.

I bought a gla-gro1 about 4 months ago and couldn't be happier. It did cost $220-shipped but I haven't regretted it at all. 3 year warranty is great. That's also a good thing to look for and ask about with any bit of equipment, a warranty.
Add a 5# pound cylinder I bought locally for $90 filled (you exchange it when it's empty) and I'm in about 300 bucks (not including inline atomizer or drop checker, add about another $50) But now I don't have to worry about quality issues.

Pressurized co2 can be done for less money but you have to look at it as an investment and also be conscious of re-sale value. Is it something that will hold value or will it depreciate in value the second you but it? If a piece of equipment doesn't work out for your particular needs, do you have a $100 paper weight or is it something you can make $75 back on? IMO, I wouldn't pay $100+ for a new Milwaukee/co2art/aquatech if I could find a good used gla/victor/matheson for $150+, maybe even cheaper than that if you look hard enough. But what you are getting is quality, reputation, and locally sourced parts (if needed).

With any hobby, purchase the best equipment your budget allows and never stop researching.

On a side note, have you considered building one yourself? Lots of info on this and other forums on building your own. You may not be out any less cash but I can guarantee it will be a better product than 75% of the regulators available and you will also learn something valuable in the process.
 

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