The 9 Best Aquarium CO2 Systems of 2020

Best Aquarium CO2 System

CO2 systems have numerous benefits when added to your aquarium. They support healthy aquatic plant life, which in turn, provides a constant supply of food for fish.

Ensuring an optimal supply of CO2 to your aquarium plants is vital to their survival. Too much or too little CO2 could harm both plants and fish, hence the need for a CO2 regulator.

It will help moderate CO2 levels and even help with harmful algae removal. In this top 10 aquarium CO2 system review, we’ll help you choose the most efficient, accurate, and one that’s compatible with your fish tank requirements.

9 Best Aquarium CO2 Systems – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Fzone CO2 Regulator

1. Fzone CO2 Regulator (Best Overall Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Dual pressure gauges
  • Low 12V input power
  • Fine-tuning valve
  • Efficient bubble counter
Estink D201 Generator

2. Estink D201 Generator (Best Budget Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Reasonable price
  • Strong ABS construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Pressure gauge with display
Anself CO2 Generator

3. Anself CO2 Generator (Best DIY Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Easy assembly and operation
  • Sealed and strong fittings
  • Automatic/manual decompression
  • Low-maintenance airflow valve
Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator

4. Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator (High-efficiency Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Triple-stage decompression
  • Stainless steel and aluminum build
  • Efficient 12V solenoid valve
  • 3600 swivel needle valves
Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator

5. Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator (Heavy-duty Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Supports large grow rooms
  • Heavy-duty brass components
  • Standard CGA-320 inlet
  • High 4000 PSI outlet pressure
DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator

6. DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator (CO2 System for Hydroponics)

  • Supports stable CO2 supply
  • Durable build materials
  • Superior pressure range
  • 2 pressure gauges for accuracy
DoubleSun CO2 Regulator

7. DoubleSun CO2 Regulator (Universal Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Universal CGA-320 inlet connector
  • Fits most diffusers and atomizers
  • 2 accurate pressure gauges
  • Easy assembly and operation
Mod Complete MDC99005

8. Mod Complete MDC99005 (Durable Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Blue stainless-steel build
  • 2 pressure gauges
  • Accurate gauge displays
  • Fits many diffusers and atomizers
Generic DIY CO2 System

9. Generic DIY CO2 System (Light-duty DIY Aquarium CO2 System)

  • Easy assembly and operation
  • Great fit for small tanks
  • Functional pressure gauge
  • Dispensing tube included

PRODUCT

1. Fzone CO2 Regulator

(Best Overall Aquarium CO2 System)

Fzone CO2 Regulator
  • Dual pressure gauges
  • Low 12V input power
  • Fine-tuning valve
  • Efficient bubble counter

2. Estink D201 Generator

(Best Budget Aquarium CO2 System)

Estink D201 Generator
  • Reasonable price
  • Strong ABS construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Pressure gauge with display

3. Anself CO2 Generator

(Best DIY Aquarium CO2 System)

Anself CO2 Generator
  • Easy assembly and operation
  • Sealed and strong fittings
  • Automatic/manual decompression
  • Low-maintenance airflow valve

4. Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator

(High-efficiency Aquarium CO2 System)

Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator
  • Triple-stage decompression
  • Stainless steel and aluminum build
  • Efficient 12V solenoid valve
  • 3600 swivel needle valves

5. Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator

(Heavy-duty Aquarium CO2 System)

Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator
  • Supports large grow rooms
  • Heavy-duty brass components
  • Standard CGA-320 inlet
  • High 4000 PSI outlet pressure

6. DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator

(CO2 System for Hydroponics)

DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator
  • Supports stable CO2 supply
  • Durable build materials
  • Superior pressure range
  • 2 pressure gauges for accuracy

7. DoubleSun CO2 Regulator

(Universal Aquarium CO2 System)

DoubleSun CO2 Regulator
  • Universal CGA-320 inlet connector
  • Fits most diffusers and atomizers
  • 2 accurate pressure gauges
  • Easy assembly and operation

8. Mod Complete MDC99005

(Durable Aquarium CO2 System)

Mod Complete MDC99005
  • Blue stainless-steel build
  • 2 pressure gauges
  • Accurate gauge displays
  • Fits many diffusers and atomizers

9. Generic DIY CO2 System

(Light-duty DIY Aquarium CO2 System)

Generic DIY CO2 System
  • Easy assembly and operation
  • Great fit for small tanks
  • Functional pressure gauge
  • Dispensing tube included

1. Fzone CO2 Regulator – Best Overall Aquarium C02 System

Fzone CO2 Regulator
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Output Gauge: 30 - 60 PSI

Starting us off is Fzone CO2 Regulator, the best overall Aquarium CO2 system on our list. It has well-balanced features, multiple pressure gauges, and low power consumption.

The first thing you’ll notice about this CO2 regulator is that it has dual gauges. The two gauges are included to allow for more precise pressure readings or both the inner tank, and the system’s output pressure.

It also comes with an upgraded split-type DC solenoid, which is powered by 12 volts of DC output instead of the standard 110 volts. The system is thus safe, more stable, and consumes low power.

This system also boasts of being high-precision. It has a fine-tuning valve with knurling for accuracy in CO2 output. This valve is also made using durable rust-resistant aluminum.

A bubble counter and check valve are also included to make the system more functional and efficient.

The Fzone CO2 Regulator is, however, notably pricey, but its impressive features make it worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Precise pressure readings
  • Low power consumption
  • High-precision CO2 output
  • Bubble counter for more efficiency

Cons:

  • Pricey

2. Estink D201 Generator – Best Budget Aquarium CO2 System

Estink D201 Generator
  • Output Gauge: 85 PSI

Estink D201 Generator positions itself as the best budget aquarium CO2 system on our list. This affordable regulator also has high-quality and durable construction.

The plastic covers, which are key components of this system, are made using ABS engineering. These covers provide tight locking mechanisms that are resistant to deformation.

It also comes with a metallic adjusting valve, which can withstand the pressure of up to 85 PSI while ensuring the system produces pure CO2 for your aquarium.

This CO2 system is a DIY kit you can assemble without any expert help. Simply follow the instructions included with your purchase to get it up and running.

Other handy features of this system include a pressure gauge and display, and simplified pressure relief.

An issue we noted with the Estink D201 Generator is that only carbonated beverage bottles can be used with this system. It does not accommodate bottles of other types.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Strong plastic build
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Comes with a pressure gauge and display

Cons:

  • Uses carbonated beverage bottles only

3. Anself CO2 Generator – Best DIY Aquarium CO2 System

Anself CO2 Generator
  • Output Gauge: 85 PSI

Anself CO2 Generator is the best DIY Aquarium CO2 system. It is easy to assemble, operate, and very effective in supplying CO2 to aquatic plants.

It comes fully-installed, and you can use it directly by assembling the required components. The system is designed to save you labor and time during assembly.

You’ll also appreciate the fact that this system comes with well-sealed pipes, which are leak-proof and resistant to deformation and damage by pressure.

For safe and efficient operation of the system, it comes with both automatic and manual decompression capabilities so that you don’t have to worry about pressure damage.

The airflow adjustment valve is made using integral metal to make it strong and tight. You can also dismount it when necessary especially for cleaning purposes.

We did notice, however, that the needle airflow valve needs constant monitoring as it can develop some leaks if not adjusted properly.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble and operate
  • Sealed and deformation-resistant fittings
  • Safe operation features
  • Airflow valve is easy to maintain

Cons:

  • Pressure valve requires constant monitoring

4. Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator – High-efficiency Aquarium CO2 System

Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Output Gauge: 45 PSI

Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator is built to be a high-efficiency aquarium CO2 regulator with its triple-stage decompression.

Triple stage decompression works by passing the pressurized gas across three sections of the regulator to ensure stable CO2 output while avoiding the common “end of tank dump” problem.

To ensure the long-lasting durability and reliability, this system’s body is made of aluminum, while its diaphragm is made using stainless steel. The body has also been oxidation-treated after sandblasting. This treatment makes it rust and dirt resistant.

The system’s valve is powered by a 12-volt DC mini solenoid, which is safer and more stable than the standard AC version. It is also a low-consumption unit that uses 0.4 watts only. It also operates noise-free.

It also features 360° swivel needle valves, which fit on standard CGA-320 tanks and cylinders.

Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator does, however, come at a high price, as it is the most expensive model on our list.

Pros:

  • Efficient triple-stage decompression
  • Durable build quality
  • Power-efficient solenoid vale
  • High-performance swivel needle valves

Cons:

  • Expensive

5. Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator – Heavy-duty Aquarium CO2 System

Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Output Gauge: 4000 PSI

Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator stands out from the pack as the leading heavy-duty aquarium CO2 system that’s built to handle expansive and intensive growing environments.

It is suitable for supplying CO2 to indoor grow rooms, grow tents, greenhouses, and large aquariums.

This system is professionally-built. It features heavy-duty brass components, which are durable and can sustain continuous usage for many years without rusting.

You can use this regulator with many CO2 tanks because it comes with a CGA-320 inlet connection. Also, it features a high-quality solenoid valve, which attaches to a hose for system-wide threading.

The system also comes with a high-performance CO2 gauge, which can handle the pressure of up to 4000 PSI, which no other regulator on our list can rival.

Caution is, however, necessary when operating the Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator because a prolonged operation can cause the solenoid to overheat.

Pros:

  • Supports large growing environments
  • Heavy-duty brass construction
  • A standard outlet for multi-tank support
  • High outlet pressure

Cons:

  • The solenoid may overheat after extended operation

6. DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator – CO2 System for Hydroponics

DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Input Gauge: 2000 PSI
  • Output Gauge: 150 PSI

DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator is a system specially optimized for use in hydroponic setups that prioritize the healthy and sustained growth of aquatic plants.

The regulator is ideal for plant aquariums because it provides a stable and accurate CO2 output, which is also easy to adjust using a high-performance pressure gate.

This aquarium system has been designed using high-quality materials for long-lasting and dependable performance. It is this high-quality build that enables the system to deliver gas pressure of between 150 PSI and 2000 PSI.

Its dual gauge will show both the inlet pressure and output pressure with high accuracy to ensure your CO2 supply is supporting the optimal plant metabolic rate for the best growing conditions.

DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator is, however, one of the pricey CO2 systems we have in our review, and it may not appeal to budget buyers.

Pros:

  • Stable CO2 supply
  • High-quality and durable build
  • Handles a wide range of gas pressure
  • Dual pressure gauges for accuracy

Cons:

  • Pricey

7. DoubleSun CO2 Regulator – Universal Aquarium CO2 System

DoubleSun CO2 Regulator
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Input Gauge: 2000 PSI
  • Output Gauge: 150 PSI

DoubleSun CO2 Regulator is a universal aquarium CO2 system and regulator, which is compatible with most high-density aquarium tubing for quick and easy gas injection.

The regulator comes with a universal CGA-320 inlet connection, which is a suitable fit for most CO2 tank brands. Therefore, you can use it to set up a new CO2 supply, or as a replacement unit for your aquarium.

It will also work well with most diffusers and atomizers that are commonly used in aquarium setups.

Besides the universal features of this regulator, it also has 2 pressure gauges. One measures low pressure of up to 150 PSI while the second handles high pressure of up to 2000 PSI.

The mini-gauge is also easy to read on top of the accuracy it offers.

For easy assembly and use, the regulator comes with a tightening tool, a hex wrench, an extra seal ring, and clear setup instructions.

DoubleSun CO2 Regulator is, however, notably pricey and may not appeal much to buyers on a budget.

Pros:

  • Universal inlet connector
  • Compatible with diffusers and atomizers
  • Dual high-performance pressure gauges
  • Easy to assemble and use

Cons:

  • Notably pricey

8. Mod Complete MDC99005 – Durable Aquarium CO2 System

Mod Complete MDC99005
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Input Gauge: 2000 PSI
  • Output Gauge: 150 PSI

Mod Complete MDC99005 is a reliable and durable aquarium CO2 system, which is made using high-quality stainless steel as its core material.

Constructed using sturdy and high-quality blue stainless steel, this CO2 regulator system is built to run for a long time with minimal maintenance.

Another benefit of using steel is to enable the system to produce precise CO2 measurements under high pressure. It comes with 2 pressure gauges that can withstand output pressure of 150 PSI and input pressure of 2000 PSI.

Its mini dual-display provides clear and accurate pressure reading to ensure your aquarium plants are getting the ideal amounts of CO2.

This dual-gauge system is compatible with many brands of high-density fish tank tubing, and several brands of diffusers and atomizers.

You may notice, however, that the secondary pressure adjustment valve of the Mod Complete MDC99005 – Durable Aquarium CO2 System may feel stiff, thus requiring some extra effort to turn.

Pros:

  • High build quality
  • 2 precision pressure gauges
  • Clear and accurate gauge displays
  • Compatible with many diffusers and atomizers

Cons:

  • Secondary pressure valve may feel stiff

9. Generic DIY CO2 System – Light-duty DIY Aquarium CO2 System

Generic DIY CO2 System
  • Output Gauge: 85 PSI

Generic DIY CO2 System is a light-duty DIY aquarium CO2 that is designed for low-cost plant aquarium use.

Assembling and using this system is simple and straightforward. Just ensure you follow the instructions carefully. It is self-running and operates under the pressure generated by chemical reactions you can initiate by yourself.

The system has a pressure gauge, which can handle outlet pressure of up to 85 PSI, which is adequate for a small home aquarium tank.

You also get a long dispensing tube to connect the CO2 system with the aquarium tank being fed the gas.

We did note, however, that Generic DIY CO2 System’s needle valve is not the sturdiest and is prone to inconsistencies in pressure control.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Ideal for small tanks
  • Pressure gauge for easy monitoring
  • Comes with a dispensing tube

Cons:

  • Needle valve could be stronger

How to Buy the Best Aquarium CO2 System

How to Buy the Best Aquarium CO2 System

1. Usability

The usability of your aquarium CO2 system should be a top priority when choosing the whole setup. You want a system that will be up and running within the shortest time, and with little monitoring and maintenance.

Usability is enhanced by clear user instructions, and the degree of system pre-assembly before you can get it up and running. Most of the aquarium CO2 system we reviewed are relatively easy to use when you follow their setup instructions clearly.

Anself CO2 Generator and Generic DIY CO2 System are generally easy to use because they are designed as a DIY system requiring minimal assembly.

2. Dual Stage or Single Stage

When shopping for an aquarium CO2 system, you may encounter single-stage, dual-stage, and even triple-stage regulators.

This categorization is based on the number of stages CO2 pressure regulation undergoes before it is released into the aquarium tank.

The more the stages, the more accurate the regulator is. Fzone CO2 Regulator, DoubleSun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator, DoubleSun CO2 Regulator, and Mod Complete MDC99005 are all dual-stage regulators.

Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator is the only 3-stage CO2 regulator on our list. It is very efficient and accurate.

3. Readability

Your aquarium CO2 system comes equipped with a pressure gauge for easy monitoring of inlet and outlet pressure, in the case of dual gauges.

Whether your system has one or more gauges, they should be readable to allow for easy and accurate pressure monitoring.

Readability is a function of the quality of gauges used in your CO2 system. Most of the gauges we reviewed are clearly marked and easily readable for accuracy and precision monitoring.

4. Compatibility

For slightly advanced CO2 systems, especially the electricity-powered ones, most are made for use on CO2 tanks and cylinders, which can be connected through high-density tubing.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a CO2 system that works for your tank, it's vital you confirm their compatibility.

One of the CO2 system’s features which were found to be compatible with most tanks and cylinders is the CGA-320 inlet connection, which is included in the DoubleSun CO2 Regulator, Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator, and the Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator.

5. Materials

Most aquarium CO2 systems are made using a combination of materials, which uphold regulator usability, flexibility, and durability.

Our review showed plastic as a key material used to make CO2 system components, especially covers and locks.

Some systems feature more heavy-duty materials such as the brass construction of Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator and stainless-steel build of Mod Complete MDC99005 and Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator.

Metallic CO2 systems are especially reliable and long-lasting.

6. Accessories

The accessories that come with your aquarium CO2 system make it easier to use and more efficient.

Some of the vital accessories you should look out for in the CO2 systems you’re considering buying include assembly tools such as hex wrenches and others, dispensing tubing, bottle caps, rubber seals, bubble counters, and timers, among others.

The more the accessories, the better your CO2 system is likely to perform.

Conclusion

Our aquarium CO2 system review shows that these tools are highly useful in optimizing and supporting aquatic plant growth.

If you want the best of them all, pick Fzone CO2 Regulator. It has dual gauges, boasts of low power consumption, and is very precise.

For those on a budget, Estink D201 Generator is your best pick. If you just want a simple DIY CO2 system you can assemble fast with minimal effort, go for Anself CO2 Generator.

We also recommend the Fzone Triple Stage CO2 Regulator for its high efficiency and the Vivosun Hydroponics CO2 Regulator for its heavy-duty features.


Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?
Related Reads

Aquarium backgrounds are decorations you can install on the glass of fish tanks, […]

Inserting objects into the aquarium to wipe away dirt and algae is very […]

An aquarium vacuum cleaner is a handy tool every fish-tank owner appreciates. It […]

An aquarium silicone is a powerful adhesive that is used to seal the […]

A pH meter is a small device that you can use at home […]

A pond aerator is a handy electric tool that pumps a constant and […]