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Old 03-31-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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NOOB alert! Buying a co2 tank today....

So I found a good deal on a #20 co2 tank, and it even has the regulator thingy with it. Here it comes....I'm going to sound like an idiot, I'm sure. The tank was used for a soda machine, I think so will the regulator still work for my purposes? Or do I need a special one?

We plan to build this to use with our canister filter:
Aquaticscape.com

So that eliminates the need for a diffuser...right?

And I'll need a bubble counter? Anything else I'll need? Besides tubing, of course.

Is there a good thread somewhere about what is needed to hook up a co2 tank to your aquarium? I need this to be CHEAP....not afraid to make my husband build things. He has a cnc shop with welding equipment and likes to do it anyway.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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Stop hijacking the thread, lets keep it on topic. Noob is not on our list of censored words, but if you have a problem with it you are welcome to send your grievances to the help desk. Also, this particular forum is easily one of the most family friendly fish forums out there. There is an age limit for those who make accounts here, and in general on internet usage it's a good idea to filter what your children are exposed to.

Now back to the subject. I've known people to use co2 tanks/regulators from beer setups and drink machine setups. They do work, but I believe the type of regulator isn't the same and the needle valve (if they even have one?) doesn't regulate the flow down to a precise minute level like you'd need for a planted tank.

For the sake of the inhabitants of the tank I suggest doing more google research on the subject and going with a proper regulator made for the job. The tank itself will work, though.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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Thanks, jetajockey.

I've googled it all until I'm blue in the face! lol I guess I'll need the actual equipment in front of me to be able to figure it all out. Just reading about it....it's all greek to me.

So generally people buy regulators specifically for planted tanks...that's a bummer.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Look at the milwaukee ma957 regulator, its one of the cheapest yet generally well functioning one out there. Compare specs to the one that is on the tank now and you'll see the difference, assuming there is one. There's no telling, I've seen some kegerator setups that use the same ma957, so it's good to compare.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
Look at the milwaukee ma957 regulator, its one of the cheapest yet generally well functioning one out there. Compare specs to the one that is on the tank now and you'll see the difference, assuming there is one. There's no telling, I've seen some kegerator setups that use the same ma957, so it's good to compare.

That's an excellent plan....thank you.

I read elsewhere that it must have a check valve and a solenoid seems debatable depending on what site I'm on.

Can't wait to at least get the tank and regulator in my hands to physically see what I'm working with. Maybe I'll post a pic of it when I get it home.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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The purpose of a solenoid is so that it can be put on a timer, if you don't mind turning it off and on every day/night then you don't need one, but I suggest getting one on a timer just for ease.

The check valve thing is the same basic concept as a check valve on an air pump.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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I used an MA957 for years and loved it. You can get a good price on the setup here:
$89 - Milwaukee MA957 CO2 Regulator, Free Priority Shipping!
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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Jill,
You will need a drop checker.
When the fluid in it turns from blue to a green color, you will have sufficient CO2.
I have a Milwaukee unit and diffuse using an Up-Aqua diffuser on the intake side of my Rena XP2 canister. I also have a Milwaukee SMS 122 Ph controller.
The controller will turn the solenoid off when a preset Ph level is set. The Ph level sort of indicates the amount of CO2 that is dissolved in the water.
You can also use the solenoid with a timer to turn on the CO2 injection when your lights are on and off at nighttime. Instead of the Milwaukee solenoid, I use a Burkert 6011 solenoid which a lot of aquarists' desire over other brands. I am not happy with the Milwaukee supplied needle valve, I recently ordered a Fabco NV 55 needle valve from Green Leaf aquariums. ALWAYS use a check valve behind your expensive regulator. Water will siphon back and do major damage to it.
You can look for the foreign made Up-Aqua diffuser on Ebay for under $20 shipped:

Use caution when starting your pressurized set up at first, I gassed some angels. Luckily for me, I saw them floating upside down and sideways, threw an airstone in and revived all of them.
On my smaller tanks, I still use DIY CO2 (yeast, sugar baking soda and water). You can find numerous recipes on plantedtank.net or aquaticplantcentral.com.

Some folks say that shrimp are sensitive to CO2. Mine are NOT.
Good luck,
Charles

PS: Didn't you find a regulator on Craigs list? I don't have experience with that one, but it should work.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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Hi Charles!

Thank you again for the Mexican Oak Leaf you sent me. It will be the first thing in the 55 gallon when I get it all set up. It's floating in another tank now.

I did find a regulator on craigslist, but when no one had any opinions on it, I dismissed it. Hearing you say that it should work prompted me to email the seller. It's a great deal! I hope he still has it.

Thank you all for all of your insight. I am so green when it comes to CO2, but I'm addicted to plants, so what's a girl to do?
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Check ebay for drop checkers too. They are a fraction of the cost compared to buying in a store or elsewhere online.

Personally, I never had any issues with the milwaukee needlevalve or solenoid. Both worked fine with continuous years of use, and through several moves. I sold the setup to another member recently and he is now using it with no issues.

If you have a canister filter, one of the best ways to diffuse CO2 is to use a DIY inline reactor. It can be built with a few dollars in parts from home depot or lowes, and requires very little DIY skills .

Another option, and one I almost always use is an in tank glass/ceramic diffuser.

I also have a milwaukee SMS122 pH controller. It is a nice toy to have, but definitely not a necessity when it comes to injecting CO2. A $5 timer from home depot can get you close to the same results (though the pH controller is a little more efficient and saves some CO2... but CO2 is cheap).

If the setup of the regulator is a little abstract to you, you might find this sticky helpful: How to set up a CO2 system

It has a lot of pics on how a system goes together and should make it easier to understand.

Here are some other resources you might find useful in setting up a system:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ml#post1810864
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