Top 6 Questions About Paintball Air Tanks

What's going on guys? It's Tony, from Lone Wolf Paintball. And today I'm going to go over the top five questions we get about purchasing a tank.

1. What’s the Difference Between CO2 and Compressed Air

[Mark] Alright, so, I hear CO2 and I hear about compressed air, what's the difference?

Okay, CO2 and compressed air. Right here, guys, pretty much CO2 has been around since the beginning, the inception of paintball. So CO2, you're actually filling this CO2 Tank with liquid CO2. So the faster you shoot your gun, the more frost or freeze you're gonna see come out the end of the barrel. CO2 is being slowly phased out, it still works for your old school, you know, Tippmann 98 Custom, stuff like that, very, very beginner-ish stuff. So, I would highly recommend, CO2 gets the job done, but I would stay away from it. Secondly, you can't run CO2 on your beginner like tournament guns, 'cause it's gonna freeze up the solenoid, it's gonna freeze up the gun and you're gonna have nothing but issues and broken parts to fix. So CO2, the difference is here, I'm literally filling this bottle with liquid CO2, which eventually will be sucked up into the gun, and it's gonna freeze it up over time, compared to like your high pressure air here. People call it nitrogen, or HPA, known as high pressure air. This is literally just a straight gas and this will not freeze up your gun. So I would highly recommend going with the beginner HPA bottle.

[Mark] A bonus question on that topic.

Go ahead.

[BONUS QUESTION] Can I Fill a Paintball Tank With a Garage Air Compressor?

[Mark] Which one of those can I fill with my garage air compressor?

You cannot fill either of these with your garage air compressor. We get asked that all the time. You need something that has a minimum output of around 3000 PSI to get this tank to its full capacity.

Take a look at our helpful YouTube videos below about filling paintball tanks:

2. What Are Paintball Air Tanks Made Of?

[Mark] All right. Next question is the difference between what are bottles made out of? I hear aluminum, I hear carbon fiber, I hear steel, which is it?

 So pretty much bottle composition, per se. So, this is your standard aluminum bottle here of CO2. You also have your high pressure air tank which is 48ci , which means cubic inches and how big that tank is, how much air it holds. This is also aluminum-based. Then you move on to your carbon fibers. Mark, here which are gonna be the rest of these over here. Carbon fibers, you pretty much have a tank similar to this but also wrap the outer layer in carbon fiber for extra security, for extra strength because these bottles are gonna be holding more pressure than these other two over here. So pretty much you have your two aluminums and then you have your carbon fiber bottle wraps.

[Mark] So where's the steel tank come in? I hear steelies, steel tanks.

Steelies, they call these steelies. Hey, I need a 3000 steelie. These are aluminum bottles. They're not steel, so.

[Mark] Okay, they're trying to trick me, okay.

Yeah, they I think there was a couple bottles made out of steel. I'm almost completely positive these are aluminum bottles.

3. What Does CI Mean in Paintball?

[Mark] Okay, you had mentioned ci, cubic inch, what does that mean? How do I know how much it holds? How much air I can put in there?

So pretty much what we have here. So this is a 40, you can see on there, 48ci, cubic inches. That is how the actual, the diameter, or how much air this tank is going to hold. You've got a 48ci. These two right here, these are 68ci, which just means you're gaining, you have bigger capacity within holding more air, and with inside of the bottle. And then you move on to stuff, we have 77s, we have 80s and there's 90s, I believe this one is the infamous 80. Yep, this one's an infamous 80ci right there. So as you see, ci, cubic inches, you're having more air capability with inside of the bottle, so.

[Mark] So does that mean it pushes harder or that I get more shots?

More shots, I was just gonna say that it doesn't push harder, it's just gonna get you more shots on whatever marker you guys are shooting, so.

4. What Determines a Paintball Gun’s Operating Pressure

[Mark] So, what dictates how much pressure comes out and how hard the gun needs--

Is that going to be like number four-ish 

[Mark] Maybe?

We're talking about regulator quality here. So we'll start off with, this is... Let's do just a rough price point first, before I talk about regs and why that's important. So like a standard CO2, probably around 35 bucks here. You step on up to the high pressure air tank with a nice gauge on there, shows you how much air you have left. These are going to run you about anywhere from 50 to 60 bucks for your aluminum 3K tank. And then you get onto something like, the Empire Mega Lite around 140 bucks. Ninja, better reg quality, which we'll go over in just a second, 160 to 170. And then you step on up, better reg quality, $230 price point and then around, up to here, even better reg quality for, shoot, 270 to 280, depending on what you want with it. 

So reg quality, this 68/4500 tank, 4500 meaning that's the maximum PSI that the tanks can hold. It's very standard, basic reg here. Probably made overseas, gets the job done. We're moving on to a Ninja regulator here. Stuff is made in the USA, tested, truly tested, time after time. And these things are just better quality, better metal, per se used, so it doesn't strip out on your gun and you have to replace the top bonnets on these tanks. So Ninja, made in the USA, better quality there. And then you're moving on to something, you've got this Ninja, it's got a Pro V2 on there. You can change out pressures, output pressures, stuff like that. 

Where the positioning of the fill nipple is and the gauge is on your gun, you can move this gold ring around. That's a great option there for the Ninja Pro V2s. And then you move on to something made by Powerhouse, which is made with stainless steel. So I highly, highly doubt something like this will ever strip out on you. I mean, you've really gotta be doing something completely wrong, screwing your tank on the gun to strip out something made of stainless steel. So reg qualities, cheap aluminum, a lot better aluminum, you know, built in the USA. And then you've got pretty much your top-notch stuff made out of stainless steel.

[Mark] What's on the two steel tanks?

What, these? Yeah, just your standard aluminum.

5. Why Do Paintball Gauges Go Past Tank Capacity?

[Mark] Okay, yep. While we're there, still talking about the regs, I'm curious, so my tank's a 3000, my tank's a 4,500. Why are my gauges go up to 6500?

Okay, so pretty much any tank out there, it's always going to be tested well above and beyond what is the advertised capacity is, per se. So a lot of these gauges, I've heard it time and time again. Yeah, this gauge goes up to 6,000 PSI. Clearly on the bottle, this is a 3000 PSI tank. You're only going to fill this tank to 3000. You never fill it until the gauge goes off the charts. So, it is a 3000 tank. The reason why is because these gauges are all universal. These companies aren't going to make a gauge that only goes up to three, let's say 4,000, and put it on here. Keep the same gauge universal across all the platforms, but just be aware of what your tank actually reads on the bottle. So you got 3000 PSI here, and then all of these other tanks are going to be holding up to 4,500 PSI, you're gonna have more air. Does that answer your question?

[Mark] I think so.


[Mark] If not, somebody will tell me in the comments.

Okay, cool, that's good, next step.

6. Do HPA Tanks and CO2 Tanks Look Different?

[Mark] Next is kind of like cosmetics, I mean. 

So, this is number five then?

[Mark] Yeah, everything doesn't look the same, right?

No, so, pretty much cosmetic-wise, obviously, CO2, you've got your standard, your steelies, or your 3K tanks. They come in just all black, red, blue, green, gunmetal, all sorts of colors. But then, you move on to something like this. Higher-end tank, just a standard, like a black smoked color. Cool, but hey, your setup's all green, get a green tank. Your setup's blue, get a blue tank. Then you're talking stuff like this, also same thing. It's not super flashy or fancy. It's just got tons of different color options on the Ninja bottles and then other companies as well. You want a skull? Do you want a fancy diamond print? Do you want Gucci print on your tank? Cosmetics is pretty much going to be up to you. Speaking on that point, you're looking at tank cases. This stuff's expensive, guys. You're gonna want tank cases, depending on what brand you like or who you choose, we've got tons of options. If you guys want, I would highly recommend actual tank covers. So if you guys want something flashy, fancy, speaking back to the cosmetic-wise. So they have tons of tank colors. And I mean, what's your favorite? You have a controller tank cover, Mark. 

[Mark] Yeah, mine has like the Nintendo style controller. 

Exactly, so they make tons of different options for that. The list goes on, check them out on the website. And then even like this HK army tank, it's a white tank, looks pretty flashy and fancy, so. Stuff like that, the cosmetics is always up to you guys, depending on what you like.

[Mark] And it helps protect them, right? I mean, these tanks are durable, but they do get chipped. They do get scratched, the coatings come off. So keeping them protected, whether it's in a cover while you play, or a tank case for storage and transportation

Well, that's it too. Speaking on the last cosmetic type. It's like people are like, "Why do I care if this has a skull on there, "if I'm just going to cover it up "with a tank cover anyways?" So it depends, it's all personal preference at that point in time. There's hundreds of different designs out there. It's just on you guys to pick what you guys like. So, if you don't think that the design of the tank matters and you're going to cover it up with a tank case anyways, then, so be it.

[Mark] All right, if you guys got any questions that we didn't hit 

That's it.

[Mark] Let us know in the comments below and we'll do another follow up video.

Oh, lastly, because I know, yeah, for sure. I just want to talk a little bit about, you know, air pressures, like these Ninja, the Pro Regs, you can take out shims, you can lower it from 800 to, I believe, 450 is the lowest the Ninja goes. The Haymakers can go all the way down to 400. So, depends on what type of style marker you're using. The higher-end tanks, and that is why you're paying more money. You can mess with adjusting pressures, as long as you know what you're doing. And if you don't, take it to your local field where a professional can help you out. 

[Mark] Yeah, I mean, doesn't my gun regulate the pressure?

It will, but a lot of people like to run, some guns can only run on super low pressure tanks. So it just depends on what type of marker you guys are running.

[Mark] All right. 

That's it for now. Check out the website,, obviously. And hit that subscription button, if you haven't already.

[Mark] And if you haven't joined our new Facebook group, about asking questions that aren't related to this video, go join us over there because we're going to be doing a bunch of stuff. That's it.

Take it easy, guys.

[Mark] See you.