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Old 02-18-2007, 12:44 PM   #1
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Co2 system recomendation

Guys,
Im doing my research and trying to save some pennies.
Any recommendations for regulators or other components of a co2 setup?
I see Milwaukee, Rex hand made units, Azoo etc..
Im going to local welding supply to see about a 5-10lb aluminum tank. (how long will a typical 5 or 10lb tank supply CO2 to a 55 gal aquarium ?
what about diffuser etc?
Thanks (wifes going to throw me out!
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:24 PM   #2
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A 5 lb should last about 6 mos on a 55g tank.
To save money on a regulator, you can get a welding one from Welding-Direct
http://weldingdirect.stores.yahoo.net/sinstagflowg.html $44.85
Or from Welding Depot: $42.90
http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/weldingdepot/R15.html
http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/weldingdepot/R14.html

Then make your bubble counter/gas separator out of a soda bottle.

You will need a needle valve. The "FV 1/4" from STC valve costs only $7.37, and performs better than the ADA needle valve IME.
http://www.stcvalve.com/Instant%20Fitting%20A.htm

Personally, I like using a solenoid on a timer to shut off the CO2 at night. There is a machinery "junkyard" near my house where I buy high quality industrial solenoids for $3.95. If you live near such a place, that that may be a good option. If that is not an option for you, then STC makes the 2W025-1/4 for $27.50 which works well. If you want to save money though, you can simply leave the CO2 on all the time, and run an air-pump and air-stone at night to prevent CO2 excess.

Regardless, of what you choose, shop around. Once you know what you want, find the best price. It is easy to spend more money that you have to in setting up CO2.

Edit:
Oh yah, for diffusion, run the CO2 line into a Power Head. This may be the cheapest and best method available.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Dr's Foster and Smith are having a special on their sets. The fully automatic (expensive one) isn't such a deal, but the semi-automatic one is an awesome deal. Just needs better tubing and check valve to be perfect. Here's a link:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113779

This setup will include your regulator, solenoid, timer, diffuser, check valve, needle valve, bubble counter, and tubing. Just add your CO2 cylinder and you're set!
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:40 PM   #4
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Rex's setups are more for those who want to run multiply tanks. I purchased a regulator locally and added clippard parts to it just like Rex does.

If you are only going to be running one tank, then I would look into the Milwaukee or Azoo units. It also depends if you like to build stuff yourself. I like the fact that I made my own.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:08 AM   #5
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Guys,
Thanks for all the advice--I want to keep it simple so I dont want to build it myself. (wife has other house projects for me The Dr foster kit looks like a no brainer right now. Im going to a local welding supply today to see if they have 5lb aluminum tanks
Thanks again--14 degrees and windy here!!
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