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Re: Tetra CO2 Diffuser

I've never posted here(I just joined) so I hope this works.

Anyway, I purchased one of these Tetra Master CO2 kits a few months ago
because a local pet shop had it on clearance and I figured it was a
relatively cheap way ($40) for me to see if I liked how CO2 would help
my tank.

Although the instructions say to fill the tank only at an 'authorized
Tetra dealer', there was no such dealer here.  So I checked around and
was eventually led to a paintball gun shop.  Voila!  They use the same
kind of tanks with the same fitting, and will fill the tank for $2.50
(with beverage grade CO2).

The only caution is that Tetra states that the tank is rated only for 7
oz. of CO2, but the paintball shop says it looks like a 9 oz. tank.  To
be safe, I have them fill it to 7 oz.

To answer your other questions:
Yes, I think it is effective.  Our first 'real' planted tank looks
great!  The tank (45 gal.) has #2 gravel w/vermiculite, a little Tetra 
substrate fertilizer,
Seachem Flourish liquid, Hagen internal filter, homemade 'power compact'
light hood, and no substrate heating (I'm in Hawaii).

The only 'problems' are having to burp the diffuser (no big deal, just
pull them away from the suction cups and tilt them to the side), and
trying to hide them if their appearance bothers you.

I would also strongly recommend putting in a check valve in the line, as
others have suggested for other CO2 systems, to keep the water away from the 
regulator.  I use the Second Nature check valve and it doesn't seem to be 
affected by the carbonic acid(?)
that forms whenever the water backs up into it.

In short, I think it was a good investment.  Now I am trying to put
together a larger CO2 system with an 'industrial' tank and regulator.

Good luck!

Wade Shimoda
Honolulu, HI
wshimoda at hei_com

P.S.  Thanks to all the contributors to the list for sharing your knowledge 
and questions.  You're my best source for this information.