SMALL CO2 SYSTEMS/BOTTLES (MAYBE REFILLING)

Andrew Butler

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I'm not finding the information I'm looking for with clarity, or ease so thought I'd start a post on it and hope to find the answers.

Firstly I'm looking for a small system that will sit alongside an ADA 45-P sized aquarium (450 x 270 x 300mm) on a desktop.
I'm aware this is not the most cost efficient way to run CO2 but I simply don't have anywhere to put a larger cylinder that fits anywhere close by.

I've been pointed towards GLA but am not clear on thread sizes and what options this would give me with ease in the UK.
Probably worth noting that there's nowhere close by that refills CO2 I know of which brings me onto the next topic.................Refilling CO2!

When looking around I've seen some systems that enable you to refill the likes of sodastream bottles and the likes yourself, has anyone tried this?
When first seeing this my initial reaction would be no, however, if using the correct equipment in a safe manner then maybe this could be an option.

Finding clear thread sizes and descriptors all in one place (and in an idiot proof form) would be great if anyone knows of one?

All help and information welcome
Thanks
Andrew
 

Luketendo

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CO2art (forum sponsor) do all the kit you need for this including a sodastream adapter and will be able help you with it if you ask via their website.

Their regs are quite large though so may not look the best. However, nano regs (including many of those GLA) are unlikely to be as good quality I would think.
 

Andrew Butler

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Hi @Luketendo
Thanks for the input, I knew CO2art sell the additional adaptor for converting to Sodastream BUT is an add on to their regulators, as far as I'm aware.
This sure does make a large system.

I'm told the GLA are 'the best' from what I consider a reliable source.
 

Andrew Butler

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Information like this is what made me question things and wonder quite how safe this really is.

I still need to find a nice, small and compact system, if such a thing exists. I'm finding the obvious ones but unsure on whether any are dual stage and some finding the actual thread sizes.
 

Luketendo

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Hi @Luketendo
Thanks for the input, I knew CO2art sell the additional adaptor for converting to Sodastream BUT is an add on to their regulators, as far as I'm aware.
This sure does make a large system.

I'm told the GLA are 'the best' from what I consider a reliable source.

There is another similar CO2 retailer in the UK, not sure if I am allowed to name due to non-sponsor. They might have something smaller?
 

Andrew Butler

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Hi Luke,
I imagine you're referring to CO2supermarket; I've never dealt with the company and have always gone with CO2art products but unfortunately they don't offer the smaller solution I'm looking for.
No phone number to speak with them either.
 

hypnogogia

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Hi Luke,
I imagine you're referring to CO2supermarket; I've never dealt with the company and have always gone with CO2art products but unfortunately they don't offer the smaller solution I'm looking for.
No phone number to speak with them either.
I think a couple of people have had some bad experiences with the supermarket recently from some of the threads I've seen.
 

Luketendo

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I think a couple of people have had some bad experiences with the supermarket recently from some of the threads I've seen.
Same for CO2art here in Australia but mines not too bad. Needle valve is a bit faulty atm but I have it set and forget and just adjusting timings instead now.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

ian_m

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Couple of points to think about.

Never overfill a CO2 cylinder. A CO2 cylinder must have space above the liquid CO2 to allow "expansion room" if the cylinder is over heated. This is why CO2 is put into a cylinder by weight than by volume. The above video does not show venting the excess gas to lower the weight to the correct filled weight. Generally if over filled, there is a risk the over pressure burst disk/valve will rupture wasting all the gas and causing a change of underwear scenario if done at home.

What about remotely locating a proper CO2 cylinder (fire extinguisher or pub gas). Many people have placed the CO2 cylinders away from their tank and connected in CO2 tubing through walls, along skirting board etc. You place the cylinder & solenoid in a WAF friendly place (wife acceptance factor) and route CO2 tubing to tank. You open the needle valve at cylinder end (open enough so the length of tubing pressurises in a reasonable time) and need another needle valve at tank end to adjust your CO2 flow. Job done.

Also, as you are using so little CO2 compared to say putting a fire out, you can store the CO2 cylinder in any orientation. I ran mine for months with the fire extinguisher sat on its side in a magazine rack, with no issues.
 

Andrew Butler

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Thanks @ian_m
What about remotely locating a proper CO2 cylinder
I wish, there's simply nowhere, without going over architrave, around cabinets and all on the surface etc.

Hopefully I've found a compromise / solution with the Ista vertical controller and bottles that can be refilled.
I can get them refilled for pretty much what I was paying for a 2kg FE I couldn't get refilled locally any cheaper per kg/L so just the canister outlay and no need to refill myself.
Another bonus is if I get the space back next year is I can just purchase the bigger bottles.
You place the cylinder & solenoid in a WAF friendly place (wife acceptance factor) and route CO2 tubing to tank. You open the needle valve at cylinder end (open enough so the length of tubing pressurises in a reasonable time) and need another needle valve at tank end to adjust your CO2 flow. Job done.
I guess if this was an option it would open up the world of a separate inline solenoid nearer location also for anyone interested to save on the pressure delay.
 

alto

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Ista vertical controller and bottles that can be refilled
Just confirm that the fittings are compatible with your local refill guy (you may be able to purchase an adapter)
Dennerle and Eheim also offer smaller CO2 systems with refillable canister options

Local shops have offered bits and pieces of the Ista system (I’d rate them as medium quality based upon regulator finish and canister threads etc), but no refillable canisters (non-standard thread + shipping issues)
 

hogan53

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Hi Andrew
Look for Aquili System CO2 Small System for Aquarium Set With Cylinder From 300 Gr

The above is an Italian company,
I had a small brass regulator set from the same company....which was pretty good quality!
The reg screwed on the top of a Disposable Cylinder!
The working pressure was set at 2.5 bar...but I think this could be adjusted.

1600231198238.png


The image seems to be their newer system!
hoggie
 

Andrew Butler

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Just confirm that the fittings are compatible with your local refill guy (you may be able to purchase an adapter)
Dennerle and Eheim also offer smaller CO2 systems with refillable canister options
They use CGA 320 which is UK standard, the refill is actually a company I found through ebay.
I did have a look around the big brands and even the not so big ones and having the dimensions was something I couldn't find with a canister that would be value for money and a dual stage regulator - I've always had dual stage and believe it the correct thing to look for.
Local shops have offered bits and pieces of the Ista system (I’d rate them as medium quality based upon regulator finish and canister threads etc), but no refillable canisters (non-standard thread + shipping issues)
I had made the purchase online when I heard someone wasn't too impressed an Ista regulator BUT that was a smaller regulator, to be used with disposable type canisters. Hopefully this is of better quality, is duel stage etc - if it doesn't seem of satisfactory quality then I can just send it back.
Look for Aquili System CO2 Small System for Aquarium Set With Cylinder From 300 Gr
I saw these and as they were single stage I looked to see if they do any dual stage, which they do, but are quite large and wouldn't sit on the footprint of the Ista.

Here's some photos I got sent of the Ista, whether it will stand up alone sturdy enough, or require a brace I'm unsure at the moment.
20200914_124222_resized.jpg
20200914_124230_resized.jpg
20200914_124234_resized.jpg
 

ian_m

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They use CGA 320 which is UK standard, the refill is actually a company I found through ebay.
Nope. o_O The UK, European & Australisia standard FE/CO2 connection is DIN477 (which is actually British Standard 341 Part 1) . CGA320 is North America only. JIS B 8246 is Japan only. They are not compatible.
 

Andrew Butler

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Nope. o_O The UK, European & Australisia standard FE/CO2 connection is DIN477 (which is actually British Standard 341 Part 1) . CGA320 is North America only. JIS B 8246 is Japan only. They are not compatible.
As far as I'm aware UK 2kg CO2 fire extinguisher complies with / uses - BS341 / DIN477 / W21.8X14
I've been told that pub gas and the likes uses CGA320 as does the Ista cylinder and regulator.

The UK FE thread is very unique I believe and isn't what I'm using.
 

PARAGUAY

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Is it the tropica set that hangs on the glass looks neat but need to replace bottles pretty often at 95g . What about the D-D freshwater set 600g mines under cabinet but not too invasive as solenoid. AE used to sell them for some reason more retailers sell the marine version only? Even though they use disposable bottles machine mart and halford have mig welding bottles at around £16
 

ian_m

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I've been told that pub gas and the likes uses CGA320 as does the Ista cylinder and regulator.
No pub gas is DIN477 the UK/European standard. Anything imported from US of A will be CGA320.

The UK FE thread is very unique I believe and isn't what I'm using.
The UK FE is really the world standard, only US and Japan are different.

This site was really informative on CO2. No longer exists but is available on Wayback machine.
https://web.archive.org/web/20150216050554/http://www.teamonslaught.fsnet.co.uk:80/co2_info.htm
 

alto

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The ISTA CO2 regulator you’ve pictured above is described as dual gauge single stage in Canadian shops
 

Andrew Butler

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Is it the tropica set that hangs on the glass looks neat but need to replace bottles pretty often at 95g . What about the D-D freshwater set 600g mines under cabinet but not too invasive as solenoid. AE used to sell them for some reason more retailers sell the marine version only? Even though they use disposable bottles machine mart and halford have mig welding bottles at around £16
Works out flipping expensive that way!
The ISTA CO2 regulator you’ve pictured above is described as dual gauge single stage in Canadian shops
Great, seems I've probably been misinformed :banghead:
So as I'm now a bit in the wind, what defines a dual stage regulator?
No pub gas is DIN477 the UK/European standard. Anything imported from US of A will be CGA320.
Great, seems I've probably been misinformed (again) :banghead::banghead:
Even when you check with reputable companies that are big in the name of pub gas they re coming back with incorrect information - If I had any hair I'd pull it out!
 

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