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Discussion Starter #1
OK. I am totally fed up with the company I ordered my CO2 equipment from two weeks ago. I ordered on 4/22, they said the ship date would be 4/27, last night (5/2) I ask where it is and today they tell me, "well, we just found out that one of the components isn't available anymore and, well, we could ship you the system with a different one then get you the right one when it is available. . ." I told them to have in enroute tomorrow or cancel the order. Assuming that it will not be shipped by then, what would you suggest in the under $150 category - and the vendor has to be reliable.
 

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Are you dead set on buying new? I'm sure you could find some deals on E-bay or craigslist. Craigslist is especially nice since they encourage "in person" deals. Makes it much easier when you can see the product before you buy it.

I got a 55 gal on Craigslist and the guy even filled the tank for me to prove it was leak proof upon my request.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually did check Craigslist, eBay and even Freecycle. I just got a tracking number from the vendor. Says the weight is 4lbs. Sound about right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It has been shipped!!! Yay!!!

Milwaukee regulator, solenoid and bubble counter. Don't know which diffuser I am getting since they are locating an alternate since the one they used to send is no longer being made. Silicone tubing and check valve, too, of course.
 

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Queen Platy
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Provide feedback once in a while on the Milwaukee. I was was the verge to buy it but was unsure and hesitated because I could not find any reviews on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will do, but I found oodles of reviews and virtually all of them had nothing but good to say. There was one that said the needle valve would get jacked up if you kept fooling with it but using a time (which I will do) takes care of that.
 

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Queen Platy
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Will do, but I found oodles of reviews and virtually all of them had nothing but good to say. There was one that said the needle valve would get jacked up if you kept fooling with it but using a time (which I will do) takes care of that.

Oh yes, I did read about that too. The needle valve deal. The Milwaukee near my place is selling for $150 w/out the cylinder. So it would be around $200 if I get it O.O

I do not remember the model number of it unless they only make 1 model.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have only heard of the ma957. I'm not going to buy a cylinder, though. Will just pay a deposit and exchange it for a full one. Don't want to fool with dropping it off and coming back, maintaining it, etc.

And you are lucky. My LFS closed in January. Next closest one is fine if you want goldfish or cichlids. Must be 250 tanks and most are goldfish or cichlids. No CO2 stuff for larger tanks.
 

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I have only heard of the ma957. I'm not going to buy a cylinder, though. Will just pay a deposit and exchange it for a full one. Don't want to fool with dropping it off and coming back, maintaining it, etc.

And you are lucky. My LFS closed in January. Next closest one is fine if you want goldfish or cichlids. Must be 250 tanks and most are goldfish or cichlids. No CO2 stuff for larger tanks.
That sucks. My nearest Specialty fish shop is 50 miles from me :( Petco nearby, but they have the BARE minimum when it comes to people who want to take the hobby seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, it is all set up and running and the "temporary diffuser" they sent until they get the new ones in is.... AN AIRSTONE. Needless to say, I am not amused. I went ahead and put it in my filter in hopes that I get more good out of it than I would have gotten with it in the tank. At this point, I would just go out and buy a diffuser but of course, you can't walk into even what bills itself as a "real" fish store and find anything. I am putting this all together tomorrow, so what do you suggest as an interim diffuser?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For the short term, I got the filter from my quarantine tank, attached the CO2 line to the venturi port and the bubbles are a lot finer now. Not that I am happy with it, but it works for now. I am looking at the Aqua Medic double membrane reactor - anyone using it? The more efficient the reactor, the fewer trips to AirGas.
 

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Right now, I have a few overgrown wisterias and crypts, and 1 surviving ludwigia. That one popped out of nowhere after removing all of them 3 months ago! :)

I haven't been running any CO2 or ferts, so the plants are starting to grow a little red/brown algae. Lighting is from a WalMart 48" fixture w/ 2 NO T8 6700K bulbs.

I'm considering the "deluxe" injection kit from AquaBuys that is the basic kit + pH controller and an Aquamedic CO2 Reactor 1000:

(Can't post links yet, but it's easy to find.)

But I have 2 concerns with the reactor:

1) Will this be overkill for a 55g?
2) Will it fit the flex tubing of the Fluval 305?
 

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Another plant enthusiast pointed me to Green Leaf Aquariums. They make their own high-quality regulators and solenoids, but at a premium price. They also have hand-blown glass diffusers. Good stuff, but like I said, it comes at a price.

I found some brand new aluminum CO2 bottles at a great price on eBay last night.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As far as the cylinders, unless you are going to turn yours in and return to pick it up refilled, you might think about doing what I did - just bought one at my gas supplier and just swap it out for a full one when it is time. Then, I don't have to worry about maintaining them. My son-in-law paid a deposit on his and just swaps it out for full ones, so he should be getting his money back if he decides he doesn't need it anymore.
 

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Queen Platy
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I bought a used JBJ Regulator. Its 2-3 yrs old. I dropped soapy water from end to end checking for leaks during setup. No leaks. And the regulator works very very nicely. I like it a lot. However, I'm unsure about the price of it. But IMO JBJ is a good regulator.
 

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As far as the cylinders, unless you are going to turn yours in and return to pick it up refilled, you might think about doing what I did - just bought one at my gas supplier and just swap it out for a full one when it is time. Then, I don't have to worry about maintaining them. My son-in-law paid a deposit on his and just swaps it out for full ones, so he should be getting his money back if he decides he doesn't need it anymore.
The 5lb tanks I found were about $50 shipped. Buying 2 wouldn't be a problem unless it's just cheaper in the long run to swap out for a filled tank.

There's also the fact that if I decide to lose the plants and CO2, I can always keep the purchased tanks as regular air tanks for my Jeep. When hitting the trails, I'm always deflating my tires to 10-15psi using a heavy-duty 12v compressor to air up when hitting the pavement. On-board air tanks would make inflating the tires much faster.
 
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