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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey community! I've got a small 8-ish gallon tank with some relatively low tech plants in it and am looking to start stepping up my game. I want to start injecting c02 but need some guidance and answers to some questions I am struggling to find answers to on the internet.

Questions:
  1. Are there any drawbacks to using paintball tanks as opposed to larger tanks?
  2. I want to err on the side of caution so I am looking for a good dual stage regulator. Any recommendations on brand for a small tank?
  3. What is something you wish you would have known before using c02 that you learned in the process?
 

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1) They run out faster, necessitating more trips to refill them. They also cost more per pound of CO2.
2) I usually like to DIY my own setups, so I look at second hand regulators from reputable industrial brands: Victor, Concoa, etc
3) Research, research, research.

I do have a handy CO2 primer (albeit, a bit old) linked in my signature that I still recommend to anyone new to CO2.
 

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Questions:
  1. Are there any drawbacks to using paintball tanks as opposed to larger tanks?
  2. I want to err on the side of caution so I am looking for a good dual stage regulator. Any recommendations on brand for a small tank?
  3. What is something you wish you would have known before using c02 that you learned in the process?
1) as mentioned they run out quicker. You ideally want to keep co2 pretty consistent so you will probably want to by 2 tanks to swap out when one runs out.
2) "building your own" is the cheapest and best quality of regulator where you buy a used 2 stage regulator and add some post body parts to it (either from someone selling them here or from diyco2regulator.com, or buy the individual parts and put them together yourself) but keep in mind you will still be in for around 150 dollars total. The cheapest off the shelf solution that is still decent is a co2art regulator.
3) Dialing in the co2 takes longer then I expected. I thought it would be like 10 minute process but its closer to a couple of weeks (at least for me). Also I have found that using less co2 is a lot better then blasting the bubbles per second especially with reactors. If using a reactor and its noisy from the amount of co2 using it means you need to use less not that the reactor sucks ;P. Took a while to figure out that last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey guys thanks for the responses! I ended up going the paintball route to start just because I have the tank in a relatively small space and picked up a UNS mini 2 stage regulator. Its a bit finicky to get dialed in but overall I'm satisfied so far. Also grabbed one of the NEO 2 diffusers that supposedly bend after you heat them up so you can shape it, but I wasn't careful enough I guess and there was a tiny crack in the bend that was letting the c02 escape. Ended up cutting it and just running the tube to the top of the tank.
 
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