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[APD] re: complete CO2 system

Robert wrote:
You are lucky. Here in Salem, of the four gas suppliers, only one will
exchange Cylinders that are not their own, and none of them have five pound
cylinders.  When I lived in San Jose California I could not find any
supplier that would swap a cylinder that was not their own, two of these
companies were on the SAME street and they would not take each others
cylinders in a swap. None of them carried 5 pounders, a couple didn't carry
anything smaller than a 20 pounder. Even if the did swap it, what is the
point in buying an empty cylinder by mail when you can buy one filled
locally? Just a rehtorical question! :)

Robert Hudson

I guess I am lucky not to have those local restrictions you have to deal
with, Robert.

None of my tanks were purchased by mail. I bought all mine locally, filled.
I paid $80 each for the filled 20# tanks, and referred so many of my reef
keeping and planted tank associates to the guy that he gave me my 5# back up
tank for free. He sells CO2 tanks to guys with kegs and home beer brewers,
primarily. A side line for him.

The expensive part about a CO2 tank is getting a cylinder, period, empty or
full. Go into any retail gas seller in the Atlanta area, and a filled 20#
tank (not new, just in their system) in an outright purchase is $160-$170
anywhere you go. That is what makes these guys that do it on the side so

The big cost is the cylinder;  refills/swapouts after that are inexpensive.
I swap out my tanks with a welding gas retailer, if that makes a difference.
Not a beverage or a medical gas supplier. The CO2 I use is food grade,
however, although I doubt the plants care either way, hehehe!

So if a mail order, empty 20# cylinder is reasonable enough, even with
shipping, compared with buying one at the retail level locally that is
filled, then you are ahead.  Swap it out with a gas retailer for $13 and
you'll always have one that is pressure checked when it should be, assuming
the place is in compliance.

If you like to keep the same cylinder, that is fine. I have swapped 20
pounders out like I do for the last 5 years and have never had a problem
with any of them. Some look better than others. The main thing I look for is
that the tank valve shuts on and off properly, and that the round, flat area
of the tank valve that meets the plastic disk or o-ring between the tank and
reg is smooth and not scraped. If I don't like the tank they bring out, I
just ask for another.


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