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[APD] re: complete CO2 system
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! :)
I guess I am lucky not to have those local restrictions you have to deal
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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