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BioPlast CO2 cartridges


I sent this message in last Friday, but didn't see it on the list, so I'm
sending it again. Forgive me if it appears twice.

I'm finally making the transition from yeast-generated CO2 to pressurized
CO2, and having saved enough store credit from trading in my plant cuttings,
I got a BioPlast CO2 Starter Kit (the only one the store carries).  This kit
comes with a regulator, needle valve, hoses, bubble counter and reactor
chamber.  It uses small CO2 cartridges that are just a little bit larger
than the CO2 cartridges sold in sporting good stores for BB guns (to prevent
you from second sourcing the CO2 supply, I guess ;-).  I also compared it
with the CO2 cartridges sold for inflating bicycle tires, and they don't
match either.  I have not tried the dive shops yet.  Although I probably
could keep going indefinitely by trading in plants for new CO2 cartridges,
it would probably be nice to find a second source, in case the store decides
to drop that line.

Does anyone have experience with this CO2 kit?  How long would a cartridge
last (roughly)  on a 75-gallon tank with hard and pH 8.1 tap water?

I would also like not to have to change CO2 cartridges so often, so I went
around town to welding supply shops to look for adaptors that would fit this
regulator to a 5 lb CO2 cylinder, but couldn't find any.  The regulator
takes metric fittings, and the CO2 bottles don't.  Has anyone found a
solution for this problem?  Also, is the 5 lb bottle the smallest I can get?
It is a little too tall to fit in the cabinet under my aquarium.

Thanks for any advice,