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Suggestions for CO2 setup (58 gallon)

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by mkeevil, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. mkeevil

    mkeevil Junior Poster

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    Looking for a setup for a 58 gallon... I'm new to the CO2 and wanted to find something that would be idiot proof (complete set).. so now I'm not sure if I should go for a paintball or canister setup. Want something that isn't really expensive in case I find it's not for me. I was looking at CO2 System 500 | CO2 Systems | CO2 Equipment | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com but just not sure... does anyone have any suggestions on a beginner setup?
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    You can do a search on the needle wheel pump approach on this site.

    Basically, you feed the c02 directly to a small pump which has a needle wheel impeller. The c02 gets chopped up nicely by the pump and then directed into the tank.

    Or, you can build a DIY external reactor (also search on this site) and buy a pump to drive it, for much less than this kit costs you.

    Either method is more flexible and cheaper.

    Good luck.
     
  3. mkeevil

    mkeevil Junior Poster

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    I have a yeast setup now... wanted to start doing pressure CO2... but wanted to start out with a KIT or something. Wanted to know if there was a good KIT that comes with everything I need... but I don't need the BEST of the BEST :D. Example the link I put in the original seems like a package that has everything... just don't know if it's good or not... and I don't know if a Paintball gun setup is good enough for a 58 gallon.
     
  4. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    The Red Sea system in your link does not look that cheap to me. Unless I am missing something there is also no solenoid included which means that you will have to leave your CO2 on 24/7 or turn it on and off manually. Understand the budget thing being important but a CO2 system is a vital part of your tank set up (if you choose to use one) and what is ultimately more important is performance than price. If for some reason you can't afford what is really needed, save until you can. If you buy based on wanting "cheap" and have bad results you will need to spend more money. Buy once and buy right.
    Couple of thoughts.....
    for a 58 gallon tank if you go with a paintball system you are going to spend way more money on gas and will be having to refill the paintball tank constantly. Better to go with a 5 or 10lb tank. Buy the largest you have room for, the cost difference between a 5 and 10 should be negligible for both the tank and the refills. Check fire extinguisher and welding shops in your area, they can be a great source for inexpensive tanks.
    Take a look at the SuMo Regulators:

    SuMo CO2 Regulators for Planted and Reef Aquariums - Home

    These guys know their stuff and have excellent customer service. They can help you to put together exactly what you need and will offer support in helping you to get everything set up. The two needle valve choices they offer are both excellent. Suggest you look at their Hallmark regulator package with the Swagelok valve.
    "The SuMo Hallmark Controllable CO2 Regulator with Swagelok metering valve package is $135 shipped in the U.S." This package includes a solenoid and they include CO2 tubing and the extra brass check valve you will need. The same package without the solenoid is $105. Guarantee that the components are WAY better than the ones included in the Red Sea package. With either package I believe it is $20-25 to have them add a JBJ bubble counter which will be plumbed into the needle valve for a nice compact "one piece" rig. You would also need to add a drop checker, number of options there, I got an ADA knockoff for less than $10 on ebay and you can build a DIY external reactor (if you have a canister filter to run it inline with) for under $20. Sumo's prices include priority mail shipping. The Red Sea package you linked to doesn't include shipping costs, has no solenoid, no CO2 tubing and I believe you should have a second check valve after the bubble counter which is also not included.
    If you are new to CO2 there is a lot to learn and many people way more knowledgeable than I am on these forums that can help you. Do some more research and keep asking questions.

    Best of luck!

    Steve
     
  5. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    I have the paintball style CO2 system. It's not bad for a small tank. I bought one for my 90 gallon tank but the cost of refilling the bottle every 3 weeks :eek: was too much. Save some more money and get one for a bigger one ( 5 or 10 lb )
    Actually I'm saving some money to buy a regulator for that Co2 system... and this paintball system is going to be used on a 10 gallon tank.
     
  6. mkeevil

    mkeevil Junior Poster

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    I contacted that company... thank you for the help... it's not a problem of money.. it's more I just wanted to start in the middle... (not cheap not expensive). But I will see what they say. Thanks for your input.
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    To really use pressurized C02, you need the following hardware:

    1. A C02 tank. Buying used at welding supply is much cheaper than new on the Web. I purchased a used 10lb (filled) for $60. I paid > $100 for a new 5 lb on the web.....5lb was prettier, but worked no better than the ugly one.

    2. Regulator, solenoid, and needle valve. This is vital and a cheap one will cost you in the long run. This is used to regulate the pressure/flow of c02 from the cylinder. A quality set from Rex Grigg or Sumo is a good deal and quality.

    This component will cost the most, but is really the heart of your system. Don't go cheap here!!!!!

    Quality should cost you < $200 for a top notch reg/solenoid set and the best needle valve. I have the Sumo set.

    3. A method to diffuse the C02. This can be a reactor (bought or DIY), a ceramic disk, a needle wheel pump, or a Mazzei. Many choices here costing $10-50 tops.

    There is no advantage to buying a 'kit' since each component is separate but can be combined easily as they are all standard sizes for the most part.

    It is better to buy the best individual component you can for the money range as it will provide more scalability in the future.

    C02 is definitely an investment and is worth it, but comes with it's own set of issues and concerns.

    I would not buy one of these kits, as purchasing quality components will cost maybe a little more initially, but will provide more satisfaction over time.

    At least this has been my experience, and I wasted some amount of $ (and time) using inferior stuff.

    While it may seem 'easier' to buy a bundled kit, these will not be any easier to use than the more expensive versions. There is no 'beginner' set that would be more helpful than buying your end product.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    ******OOOPS ************

    Sorry, double post :)



    Hi,

    To really use pressurized C02, you need the following hardware:

    1. A C02 tank. Buying used at welding supply is much cheaper than new on the Web. I purchased a used 10lb (filled) for $60. I paid > $100 for a new 5 lb on the web.....%lb was prettier, but worked no better than the ugly one.

    2. Regulator and needle valve. This is vital and a cheap one will cost you in the long run. This is used to regulate the pressure/flow of c02 from the cylinder. A quality set from Rex Grigg or Sumo is a good deal and quality.

    This component will cost the most, but is really the heart of your system. Don't go cheap here!!!!!

    3. A method to diffuse the C02. This can be a reactor (bought or DIY), a ceramic disk, a needle wheel pump, or a Mazzei. Many choices here costing $10-50 tops.

    There is no advantage to buying a 'kit' since each component is separate but can be combined easily as they are all standard sizes for the most part.

    It is better to buy the best individual component you can for the money range as it will provide more scalability in the future.

    C02 is definitely an investment and is worth it, but comes with it's own set of issues and concerns.

    I would not buy one of these kits, as purchasing quality components will cost maybe a little more initially, but will provide less satisfaction over time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    to really save a few pennies, i went to home depot and picked up a needle valve and connectors for about $6 total.

    Here is the original site
    Pressurized CO2 System

    I can dial the needle valve down to less then 1bps. So why spend $20 + on any of the others :) .. just make sure you tighten down the top screw. It controls how tight the seal is inside the chamber, when i first installed it co2 was leaking out. After that everything is great! Also like others mentioned rex has a good price on a solenoid and for a tank + regulator check out Kegerators, Wine Refrigerators, Water Coolers, Beer Taps, Compact Refrigerators | BeverageFactory.com they sold me a new 5lb + regulator for less then $100 bucks. Home depot also sells nice polypropelene and other co2 safe tubing for cheap.
     
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