CO2 kits

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by Ed Seeley, 31 Jul 2007.

  1. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hi all,
    I've just been to Weld UK (http://www.welduk.com/index.asp), who supply welding gear to trade and DIY and are a great source of disposable CO2 tanks which are identical to the JBL ones in all but label. You can even remove the black plastic base from the JBL tank to fit these!

    I went to pick them up to save postage as they're so near and got talking to the guy there about the price of aquatic CO2 kits and he was saying about how they are basically identical to what they sell. They even sell Solenoids and can supply regulators for disposable tanks or larger re-usable tanks, called Mini-regulators (they're not on their website, but basically look absolutely identical to the ones supplied in CO2 kits).

    The up-shot of this conversation was that they are looking at supplying regulators suitable for the planted tanks with brass nipples to allow our CO2 proof tubing to be used rather than the stiffer Welding tubing too. He's going to get in touch with me about this in a few days, but this may finally be a cheaper source for CO2 kits available in this country rather than getting it from Malaysia!

    What I really wanted to say here was what do most people want from a CO2 kit?

    Do you want a solenoid valve?

    Do you really use the Dials for your regulator? (Regulators without dials are cheaper and the guy pointed out whatr do you need them for? The only thing mine tells me is when the gas is starting to run low and then about a day later it's run out anyway!

    Would you rather get it all-in, without bubble counter and diffuser, or would you prefer to buy the basic regulator and CO2 tanks, then get your own diffuser and bubble counter from a dedicated place?

    I'm after opinions guys as I've only used CO2 for about 8 months and have very limited experience on it. We can then help this outlet to offer kit that we actually want, rather than what the large manufacturers want to sell to us! It may not end up being lots cheaper, but it'll be good kit and the best price they can do. I'm sure it'll be way below what the aquatic manufacturers ask!
     
  2. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Nice one Ed.

    I use a JBL and an Aquamas regulator, and for me the major issue with both of these is that once the cylinder pressure starts to dip below 50 Bar, at some point the remaining contents of the cylinder are dumped in to the tank, with potentially disastrous consequences for the tank inhabitants. A gaurantee that this won`t happen with WeldUK would give a lot of peace of mind.

    If people do not have a spare CO2 cylinder on standby, then I would say a contents gauge is important. If the regulator has a fixed pressure drop down to somewhere between 1 and 2 Bar, then maybe the regulated pressure gauge isn`t necessary.

    A decent needle valve is fairly important. I find the JBL version to be way too coarse.

    Non plastic NRVs would be a nice thing to have, as I wonder what the CO2 is doing to my plastic ones.

    For anybody getting in to pressurised CO2 for the first time, a one stop port of call selling everything all in one would make life a lot easier. On the other hand, for people like me, having the option to buy separates would be appealing.
     
  3. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    good find :)

    I dont really care about the operating dial, although main tank pressure is useful to see when its about to empty, which itll do quickly as you say. when mine drops below 50, I whip on my reserve 500gram JBL tank, and refil the fire extinguisher, which i can get done same day, on exchange. This way i never get any sudden co2 dump.

    For me a solenoid is essential as Im lazy and dont want to be turning it off/on every day.. and I wont add co2 24/7 because its extremely bad for the fish if your adding large amounts.

    IMO, a bubble counter is totally useless, unless your using an in-line injection system that doesnt show you any flow.. if your using a diffuser then you might as well look at that.

    your right, the jbl needle valve is extremely course, its an overall cheap unit aimed at people like me who didnt have the funds for something nicer :) but it does to the job fine
     
  4. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I looked at Weld Uk when I was sourcing my own components, but found them a little dear - obviously I was looking at the prices for standard regulators etc!

    [list- ]Now that I know that the pressure guage on the regulator do sweet FA until it's nearly empty, I'd go for one without a pressure guage.
    I- would prefer a solenoid, but currently do without one, as I was going for low cost when I bought my kit.
    - A CO2 canister would be great - for me 2kg is a lovely size for most smallish tanks and is relatively easy to hide, so perhaps a disposable as standard with an option to upgrade to a 2kg one?
    - Needle valve is a must - this was the item hardest to source for me and I ended up paying over the odds for one just because I'd been waiting months to find one!!!
    - Personally, I'd rather get my own bubble counter if my diffuser doesn't already do the job.[/list]

    So really, IMO a basic regulator, needle valve, solenoid and disposable as standard with a 2kg canister as optional extra would be a perfect kit.
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Old News

    Not to blow my own trumpet lol :twisted:

    I bought my regulator and my first 2 bottles from WeldUK
    £15.99 for 2 bottles @ 390g = 780g = £2.05/100g
    Good Value (or so I thought)

    I bought the last 3 from here (bottles are 600g)
    http://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/acat ... city_.html

    Although the Welders Warehouse bottles have much more content they are the same size

    £29.00 for 3 bottles @ 600g = 1800g = £1.61/100g

    You can see that the Welders warehouse is cheaper, and with the bottles being 'fuller' they don't need changing as often.

    If you wanted the same amount from WeldUK as Welder's Warehouse supply on this deal it would cost £36.90

    NOTE: This of course does not include shipping which if I remember rightly was also cheaper from Welder's Warehouse BUT I did have a regulator with the WeldUK order.

    Andy
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Cheers guys. :)

    Personally I only have the JBL Easy kit and have found that it does a pretty good job for me, I'm not sure whether they use needle valves or not, but I'll pass on the stuff about fine alterations.

    I wanted a solenoid mainly because it saves me money long term! I'm actually thinking that if I move over to a larger CO2 tank and regulator I may not bother and run CO2 24hrs as I've heard it may help reduce BBA. I'd be slightly worried though as I have a lot of fish in my main tank.

    When the guy gets in touch I'll definitely talk to him about the dumping of CO2, but I've a feeling this is to do with the last bit of liquid CO2 in a big tank becoming gaseous and there being a blip in the pressure. I also thought a good needle valve would stop this down line from the main valve. I'll have to talk to the guy.

    Keep them coming guys as the more ideas we have the more we'll be able to influence the kind of things offered.
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    That's a good find Andy, I'll have to talk to them about their gas prices too!!! Maybe they can source the higher filled ones too.

    I was a little dubious about the quantity of gas in the Weld UK bottles as opposed to that in the JBL ones as they state that there is 500grams in their bottles as opposed to 390grams in Weld UK's. But the tare weights are identical, pressure is identical and volume is identical, how can this be? Unless the higher filled ones have liquid CO2 in, and my physics on Boyle's Law is very, very rusty!
     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I bought my solenoid and needle valve and hose from aquarianversan (Germany) on ebay for very good prices. working very well.

    No idea about the difference in weights but it's 600g and it works so why not.

    andy
     
  9. zig

    zig Member

    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    Personally I would like dials, good needle valve, brass non return valve, solenoid could be made optional? but would have to be decent quality so it does not run too hot for enclosed spaces, the cheaper ones run hot.

    I looked at WeldUK before but couldn't work out what to buy when doing seperates, so if they had ones for planted tanks on the menu there is definitely a market for them IMO. Good work eds, choice is always a good thing and if they are decent quality they will sell.
     
  10. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks for all the replies and feedback guys. They still haven't got back to me though so after all this it might come to nothing. If not I'm thinking I may look at the cheapest way of doing various different CO2 set ups and we could post the sources, prices and alternatives on here somewhere so anyone can look at it and save some cash and time!

    I am currently looking at the cheapest/best way of getting a large refillable tank, proper regulator, solenoid (possibly) and splitter to run a couple of tanks and then use my current disposable set up on my nano. Was looking at Aquatic Magic's store on Ebay (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/AquaticMagic_CO2-Equipment_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ4QQftidZ2QQtZkm), but think it might be cheaper to get a regulator and solenoid from Weld UK and just get the splitters and needle valves from them (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-way-Brass-C...hZ015QQcategoryZ66794QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem).

    I also need to see how much Weld UK's large tanks (they do them for collection only) are too before I even think about it or whether there are other places to source refillable tanks cheaply. How much do you guys pay for what size tanks?
    I know fire extinguishers are an option too. Do you just get one off Ebay then fill it up when it runs out or chuck it and buy a new one? Are they standard size or disposable sized threads and where are the threads? Does the firing mechanism pull off or detach somehow? Cheers guys and once I've got an idea of this set up I'll (we''ll) start posting the cheapest, easiest and best ways to get up and running with CO2!?
     
  11. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Re: the fire extinguisher idea - standard regulators fit them. They just screw on where the nozzle unscrewed.

    I have been quoted £5 to get a 2kg one refilled and I'm going on Saturday morning to test this out as mine ran out yesterday :rolleyes:

    Mine was second hand and cost me about £25-8 (including delivery) off a company called 123safer4u on Ebay. The company guaranteed me when asked that if it was empty on delivery they'd refill it again but mine has lasted me a year with no problems, other than my ineptitude.
     
  12. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Ed, I currently run two tanks from one pressurised CO2 set up using a simple T piece with a needle valve in each line. I sometimes find they need readjusting, and reckon this could have been the cause of the algae woes in the two tanks (fluctuating CO2).

    I finally seem to have got it all to settle down, but it was a PITA at one point.

    Dave.
     
  13. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    £5 is what I pay my guy (in the where to buy section) I recon thats very very cheap, but I hear about it more and more. I recon we make good customers for the industry, most of their clients they only see maybe yearly, but us, once every two months for me! Were good business.
     
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks for all this guys. It's a great help and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do this as I'm bored of re-doing the DIY CO2 on my nano tank every week! And it doesn't give enough CO2 anyway!

    Cheers Dave. This is one of the reasons why I liked the look of the splitter and valves from Aquatic Magic (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-way-Brass-C...hZ015QQcategoryZ66794QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem). The way it's built with a needle valve below each bubble counter and straight off the regulator looks to me like it should be way easier to get a controlled amount of CO2 and keep it steady than putting a tee piece in and valves as I was looking at before. What do you lot reckon?
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Well just got off the phone from the guy and he's going to mock up some ideas and send them along to me. I'll share them when they come and get your opinions!

    I've suggested two options;
    1. A really basic disposable kit like the JBL Easy kit (with optional solenoid), with bottle, non-return valve, bubble counter and diffuser.
    2. A kit for refillable bottles with dialed regulator, quality needle valve and non-return valve, bubble counter etc. and again optional solenoid.

    He also talked about using a flow meter that uses a floating ball bearing which not only indicates the flow, but also regulates the flow in itself and may solve the potential problem of tanks dumping completely. He said that he's got some good mains voltage solenoids that don't run hot and can get needle valves for the kits easily. Bubble counters and diffusers will probably be cheaper glass ones that fit into the tubing, although there may be options there too.
     
  16. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    hey eds, any idea how much both the kit will approximate to? I've check their webpage but there is no mentioned of refillable cylinder in the webpage. Sounds like a pretty good deal if they can supply everything and all we pay is a one off delivery charge. Currently it will have to come up to about 85-90 quid if you pick the parts and assemble the CO2 kit with fire extinguisher and etc...
     
  17. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I never heard back from them since posting this. I guess they couldn't make it profitable in the end. They do still sell the regulators, but I think you can get them cheaper from Ebay and they are already prepared for aquarium use - i.e. fit aquarium tubing.

    The re-fillable cylinders are collection only. I think there are a few options for cylinders in the 'where to buy' section of the website.
     
  18. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    What a pity. The cheapest regulator on ebay with solenoid and everything else equiped is going to cost 40 quid with a 20 quid delivery.... With a Co2 bottle delivered and the cost of CO2 tubing and diffuser the whole thing will come up to nearly 100 quid... Guess I will have to leave my plan for high tech tank aside for now then
     
  19. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
  20. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    yeah I've came accross that seller as well. The thing that stop me from buying it is that I wasn't sure if the fire extinguisher would fit on the regulator there. I know there is different type of connection but I wasn't sure which is which.
     

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