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Hi Guys,

I have been keeping fish for a little over a year. I recently rescaped my tank and went planted. I use STS for the substrate and have Java Ferns, Crypts, Annubias, Xmas Moss, wisteria and a couple strands of anachris. This is a 55g community tank with 108watts of t5 lights.

I recently had an algae bloom of bba and something else and have added some otto cats and started dosing with Tetra Flourapride. The algae is starting to subside rapidly.

I would like to set up a co2 system on here and need some recommendations as to what I should get. I have access to a supplier for co2 and I am not opposed to building/buying a custom unit. I have read a lot of mediocre reviews on the off the shelf systems.
 

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Your best bet is to build a custom regulator. You will wind up with something excellent at a fraction of the cost had you bought the same thing pre built. Check out ebay for parts, or home brew shops for regulators. A well stocked home brew store that sells kegging equipment should be able to hook you up with a good regulator.

Swagelok sells excellent needle valves, though they can be pricey. Again, check ebay. I recently bought a B-SS4 metering valve off ebay for ~$40, when they retail at swagelok.com for $95.

The Fabco needle valves are also good and not expensive, the NV-55-18 sells for about $35 on their website.

As for solenoids, there's a million options out there. Burkert's are very popular and relatively easy to wire. The Clippard mouse solenoids are also very good, and draw very little energy. Really cheap too, I got mine for $24. You will need to come up with your own way to power it, but if you look around you should be able to find something.
 

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I would like to set up a co2 system on here and need some recommendations as to what I should get. I have access to a supplier for co2 and I am not opposed to building/buying a custom unit. I have read a lot of mediocre reviews on the off the shelf systems.
Best thing you can do is to do a search. There is a TON of information here--more than you need to know.
 

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CO2 is whole new direction for a tank like yours. With what you have in there now I would consider it optional at best. Yes it will grow everything faster, but none of those plant species require it. In short, you can have a lush planted tank without it and the stuff you are growing would be the kind of tank that could be lush without it. Take a look a the looooong thread in the Low Tech forum to see what I mean.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=99729

That said, I would not be one to tell you NOT to go this directon. It steps everything about planted tanks up a notch or two and that can be lots of fun. Work too. If you do go with CO2, you might want to consider some plant species that seem to need the CO2.

I have one CO2 tank and two without. Because of the work it adds, I would not inject CO2 unless I wanted to grow plants that seem to need it.
 
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