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other than DIY, are there other less expensive ways to build your own c02 system? or does anyone know of any web sites that has complete systems for cheap?
 

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build your own is DIY though. Next step would probably be the premade ones with the solutions and a bottle, but honestly thats the same as DIY.

Next step after that is pressurized co2, but honestly was out of my pricerange. I been doing some homework on DIY co2 and thats as probably as cheap as you can get. Ill probably do that with my tank.

I think there is this other website that sells the stuff for pressurized co2 for like 100 but that doesnt include the tank which is about 60 bucks. I heard that the regulator sucks though.
 

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you can find cheap tanks locally on Craigslist or on here. Regulators are the most priciest. You don't need those co2 controllers that cost like 200. Regulator with solenoid valve on a timer should be alright. Don't forget the diffuser and the drop checker!
 

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Well you can also go paintball pressurized.

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/239899/product.web

I am looking at picking this up in about a week or so. Should work well on my 20 gallon tank.
If you are like me with 10 20oz CO2 tanks laying around from my paintball days, then this would be a good alternative. Also if you look around enough you can pick up a cheap paintball tank for under 20 bucks (used of course).

Granted it doesnt have all the bells and whistles, no solenoid, no bubble counter, no PH monitor. Just the basics.
 

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I believe there was a post discussing that regulator you linked to. It seems to not be a regulator at all, so I would be wary before purchasing it.

There are decent single stage regulators that can be had for ~$40. They will work with any CO2 tank, as they have the standard CGA320 fittings.

Also, do note that in general, CO2 refill costs are the same, regardless of tank size. For myself, a 5 and 10 lb tank both cost the same to refill. Larger tanks are also only slightly more expensive (for example, a 5 lb tank costs me $75, whereas a 10 lb tank costs $85. A 20 lb tank costs $130).

To be honest, a 20g tank running on a 20 oz CO2 tank will likely run out within a few months.

The best thing I recommend is to go with pressurized straight from the start. No need to muck around with DIY CO2. If you are patient, you can pick up excellent deals on eBay; Left C purchased a Swagelok metering valve for $0.99 and herns picked up a dual stage Concoa regulator for $9.99!
 

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I agree, the cheapest regulator you can get is one you build yourself. I got the same "Victor Dual-Stage" setup that was available on GLA for $279.00 for a total of maybe $130, and that was including the tank and everything.
 

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From: CO2 Regulators: Price vs Quailty
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/80542-c02-regulators-price-vs-quailty-4.html#post902951

I thought I'd toss in an observation or two after three months with an Ideal needle valve. All I can say say is why didn't I switch sooner. It has been nothing but consistent. I actually can't remember the last time I had to adjust it. With the Clippard, adjustments were a daily ritual.

One thing I was interested in was how it would behave as the bottle emptied and the pressure began to drop. I should point out that I initially installed the NV on my old Aquariumplants.com reg but soon after I put it on a dual stage Victor so my observation may be due to the regulator, but as the bottle began to empty my bubble count didn't change. It remained as steady as ever.

Another thing I noticed was I apparently had a leak in the Aquariumplants regulator. At the bubble count I'm running I would have gotten 2 months at the most out of a 5lb bottle. I just refilled last week after 3 months. Just an added bonus to an already winning situation.
 

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(for example, a 5 lb tank costs me $75, whereas a 10 lb tank costs $85. A 20 lb tank costs $130).
You pay $75 to refill your 5lb CO2 tank? Whoa. Am I missing something? I go to the local welding store, trade in my tank, and get a full one for ~$18.
 

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You pay $75 to refill your 5lb CO2 tank? Whoa. Am I missing something? I go to the local welding store, trade in my tank, and get a full one for ~$18.
Those prices were for brand new, pre-filled tanks. :)

Refills are $19, I believe. Size is irrelevant in this case.
 
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