Advice For A Co2 System For A 46 G ?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by MissStarfish, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. MissStarfishNew MemberMember

    I am completely new to planted tanks, but I want my new 46G to be planted. I know there are Fluval systems for smaller tanks, but not larger tanks.

    I do not want to even mess with a DIY system.

    I just want to buy a system and keep up with it.

    The problem is, I'm not sure where to start looking. It's all very confusing for me.

    I will take any suggestions or links to a Co2 system I can buy that will work for a 46 G planted aquarium.
  2. Jamieson22Well Known MemberMember

    What's your budget?

    A two-stage regulator is preferred. These are much cheaper to put together yourself via eBay, etc but if you want pre-made this is worth a look for a regulator:

    GLAs also builds nice setups:

  3. MissStarfishNew MemberMember

    I don't really have a budget. Possibly something $400 or less but I'll buy whatever it takes.

    For the first link, does it come with canisters or no?
    For the second link, does it come with a regulator?

    On both links, do I need to buy anything additional besides the canisters and regulators ?

    Also, what would be the monthly cost ( I'm assuming you have to replace the Co2)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2017
  4. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Citric acid and baking soda working extremely well for me, and it's insanely cheap. No need to spend hundreds on dollars on regulators IMO
  5. DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    You don't need CO2 to have a great tank, especially as a beginner, I would suggest avoiding CO2 injection of any kind until you figure out your particular tank. There are tons of plants you can have without CO2 injection. You may need to use some liquid CO2 substitute like Seachem Excel, but it's very doable. I have a 40 gallon breeder with great results, running a Finnex Planted Plus LED fixture for about 8 hours with a split photo period. Here is a link that explains easy low light planted tanks...
    How To Set Up a Low Light Low Tech Planted Tank

    If you still want to go the CO2 injection route, I would advise avoiding the home/DIY kits, they are tougher to keep a steady, consistent level. Algae thrives on fluctuations in CO2, not just low CO2, so a proper regulator/tank system is best to do this. I would suggest going with Green Leaf Aquariums, or GLA for short...


    They have high quality stuff as well as fertilizers, dosing equipment, and info on proper dosing, etc.
  6. MissStarfishNew MemberMember

    Thank you, but I don't want to mess with a DIY system.

    I already know what specific plants I want. Maybe you could tell me if they will do good without Co2?

    I know I want either dwarf hair grass or dwarf baby tears.

    Maybe water lettuce.


    And maybe some Anubias here and there.

    The link for the low light plants sends me to a molly thread for some reason.
  7. Jamieson22Well Known MemberMember

    Some of your plants will require CO2 injection.

    For CO2, you really need following:
    • Regulator w/ solenoid to turn flow on/off and needle valve to fine tune CO2 flow rate
    • CO2 tank
    • Tubing (airline of CO2)
    • Bubble counter (inline on tubing or attached to regulator
    • 2 or more check valves
    • Diffuser/Reactor to introduce CO2 into the water
    Single Stage regulators are cheaper BUT when a tank nears empty you run risk of "end of tank dump" in which all remaining CO2 flows from tank. This can cause excess levels in tank which means dead fish. Two Stage regulators prevent this BUT are more expensive. Be aware of that when you are comparing prices - on GLA the Two Stage regulator kits are much more expensive.

    CO2 tanks can be found anywhere and often cheaper to get locally than with kit. Find the biggest one your stand can contain and buy it as the cost to refill is usually close to the same for 5-20lb tanks. I just grabbed a 10lb aluminum refurb for $63 shipped. Check Craigslist, etc as well. Just be aware tanks need to be hydro tested every 5 years so find out what date any tank is stamped with. Testing is usually $25 so make sure you don't get stuck paying when you buy a tank. Also many CO2 places swap tanks rather than fill. SO if you buy a fancy nice new aluminum tank, know if the CO2 place will take it and give you a crappy old steel tank - so find one first and call to ask.

    For diffuser I'd look at bazooka diffusers to start.
  8. MissStarfishNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for all of this information !
    I guess I better start saving

    How long would a 10lb canister last me?
  9. Jamieson22Well Known MemberMember

    It can vary but I'd guess a year. Often a 20ln tank does not cost much more to buy. Check Amazon.
  10. MissStarfishNew MemberMember


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice