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Old 03-21-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
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CO2 systems

I'm looking to get something setup that's not to complicated or expensive...

Any thoughts on this one?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...pc=1&N=0&Nty=1
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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It says that one canister will last 260 days at 4 BPM. If you try to obtain 30 PPM CO2 in the 20 gal tank, figure around 1 BPS or 60BPM. If my math is correct, that would mean one of those canisters would last for 17 days. Two canisters a month for a year at 20 bucks a pop lands you around 480 bucks, if you stick with their product.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:01 PM   #3
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Great point.... what about this one?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...1&N=2004&Nty=1
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:05 PM   #4
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For around $170 you can have a full pressurized system. Buy a CO2 tank locally, get the Milwaukee MA957 off ebay for $78. THen all you need is some tubing and a diffuser or a reactor. That'll last you 6-8 months, maybe more on a 20.

I'm running my 20 at 2bps right now.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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I believe Fishyfanatic purchased the deluxe model. I would ask her about it. If I remember correctly, she ended up around 300 total for the whole system.

You would be better off looking through the stickys at the top of the forum under CO2. There are some links to some very inexpensive ways to obtain a system.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Call a few local Welding Supply companies and look for a 2.5lb or 5lb bottle. That should run you between $50-100. You can get one here for $70, but will need to get it filled locally: http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1151

Then get a regulator like this ($79): http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=4

Pick up a cheap timer at your local hardware store for maybe $5, and find a sticky on building a DIY CO2 reactor - they seem to run between $2-5 to make. Or just use a cheap diffuser and place it under you filter outflow, something like this would work: http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...nta&1174684237

Also pick up some CO2 tubing - http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=235

Of course you can spend more and buy a reactor, digital timer, pH meter, etc, but you don't need to.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:39 PM   #7
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dapellegrini, the one from dr fosters comes with a solenoid...is that not the same as a regulator?
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:42 PM   #8
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No solenoid is an electric valve to turn the gas on and off, A regulator is the device that allows the gas to come out of the tank at a manageable level. The solenoid is what allows you to put the system on a timer or a PH controller. the regulator is a necessary purchase the solenoid is optional.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:27 PM   #9
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The regulator link I gave you has a solenoid and bubble counter built in.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:59 AM   #10
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THIS is great info everyone. Thanks a lot!

I think I may look into Dr Fosters complete system for $380 - because it also comes with a PH controller.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:10 AM   #11
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I wouldn't waste the money on the system you linked in your first post. In addition to the others' comments, it is rather expensive, and it looks like a new product - not that there's anything wrong with that, but for that expense, you don't know how long it's been on the market yet or how long it's been tested in aquaria. Stick with a regular pressurized system. You can get one for about that same price as the first product you linked, and a lot of us here run a pressurized system, so we'll be able to help you get it started. If you had questions about the first product you listed, you might be on your own trying to figure it out.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:49 AM   #12
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Ad a pH Meter to my last listing for $99 - http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=612
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:55 AM   #13
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If you could list out all of the components of a pressurized system, that would help. Of course, I want to spend as little as possible, but as usual, with something I don't fully understand, I feel overwhelemed.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:00 AM   #14
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Tank - $75-$100 depending on what size you want
Milwaukee Regulator/selonoid/needle valve/bubble counter - $78 on ebay
Milwaukee pH Controller - about $95 or so
CO2 tubing - ~60cents a foot
Diffuser - anywhere from 10 to 100 dollars depending on what you want to do

Just for note I'm not running a pH controller, but with the milwaukee reg I can always add it later should I deem it necessary, but for right now I don't ahve it, and lots run this way.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:03 AM   #15
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A basic setup that streams CO2 into your tank and shuts off at night consists of:

- CO2 tank
- Regulator/Solenoid
- Bubble counter (included on some regulators)
- CO2 tubing and a check valve (make sure water doesn't creep back up your CO2 line
- Timer (to turn it off at night)
- Diffuser or Reactor
- pH Meter (not required)

You need some way of diffusing it into your tank. If you currently have a powerhead you can plug your CO2 line into that and it will shoot tiny CO2 bubbles all over the tank (a good thing). If you have a canister filter, you could easily add a reactor to the outline (this is just a little piece that helps mix the CO2 into the water before it gets to the tank. You can also use one or more glass diffusers.

The final addition, and not completely necessary, but nice is a pH Meter. Since adding CO2 decreases your pH, you can set this devise to turn your CO2 on/off to maintain a constant level of CO2.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:45 PM   #16
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I'd recommend giving this article a look as it covers all the equipment and options and even explains how to set it up.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:49 PM   #17
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Is this used instead of a diffuser?

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=434

So... the tank connects to the solenoid (and bubble counter) then goes to the diffuser ( or reactor) into the tank. Does the PH controller (if used) go in between the regulator and the diffuser? Anyone have a diagram?
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:50 PM   #18
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http://www.aquariumplants.com/CO2_Accessories_s/50.htm

Controller 88$
Regulator 78$ (not the one at the top, it's further down)
Tubing is cheap (you can use silicone airline, the blue or green stuff)
Tank, local, used can be cheaper then 80$ full. for a 10lb.

Comes in way under the price you mention. You can also pick up the controller later if you find the need.. so 170$.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:26 PM   #19
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thanks. the article helps tremendously
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:28 PM   #20
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The pH controller really does not go between the regulator and the diffuser. The only thing that goes between the regulator/bubble counter and diffuser is the CO2 tubing, and a check valve along the tubing.

The regulator is connected to the solonoid and the bubble counter. All three units are connected in my system. The CO2 tubing runs from the top of the bubble counter right to the diffuser in the tank. The solonoid is plugged into the pH controller, so it gets info from the controller on when to turn off and on, based on your pH setting.

The pH meter has three cords attached to it. Two cords have plugs on the other end and the third cord attaches to the probe in the tank. I have my diffuser and probe on opposite ends of the tank. The Milwaukee pH meter I got has good instructions on how the parts all go together. One plug is very large - a big black square. Plug your solonoid plug into this big black box, and then plug that into the wall. The other plug from the pH meter is a bit smaller and it can go on a strip plug, with your lights and filter. That plug powers the actual meter and display. When you calibrate the pH meter, you can unplug that big black box the solonoid is in, and leave the meter itself plugged in.
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