04-04-2010, 10:14 PM
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I'm not familiar with that rubber piece. I would assume that it is for making a seal between the check valve and barb. However I suggest calling beveragefactory and asking them which one it is for specifically. If it is for use with the barb then you don't need it. If it is for use with the check valve then you will still want it on.
Well I have a crappy redsea paintball setup that I would not recommend because it uses a scary amount of plastic on the regulator. It has work reliably for a number of years though. It been down as of this year. I keep trying to use regular plastic check valves with it first one worked for a while, now they all keep failing. I finally ordered a brass one I just got to wait for it to ship from China. There might be a leak somewhere too in this setup. IDK it need some work.
I have a high end rex griggs regulator I went for a fabco needle valve that runs inline. On his site he also sells things called mini manifolds. These are basically splitters, it goes either on the regulator or after the solenoid. Mine supports up to 3 hose barbs, basically meaning I can run 3 tanks on one regulator. Each tank needs its own line consisting of a needle valve, check valve, bubble counter, diffuser, and drop checker. If your tanks are close together this is a much cheaper way to providing CO2 to multiple tanks.
There is nothing wrong with your regulator or needle valve though. I bought my CO2 setup right after high school graduation, knowing one way or the other I was going to be a broke college student. I wouldn't return yours unless you want a higher grade regulator, which will be more expensive. You don't need a solenoid, all that does is turn CO2 off/on and is controlled by a timer.
Rex griggs has your clippard needle vavle on his site too, he also sells it configured for in-line use for $15.50. You can buy one from him or ask him what parts he uses to configure it for in-line use. (bestaquariumregulator.com) Also you should be running a check valve after the needle valve.
I then generally buy "glassware"- bubble counter, diffusers, and drop checkers off ebay. Buy at least 1 extra diffuser, cuz in my experience these will eventually break. I've always bought from aquaticmagic, they are good at replacing items that break during shipping.
Also a good tip, depending on your CO2 tubing it may be a big PITA to get it on glassware. A trick to this is to lightly heat the end of the tubing which makes it soft. It will form a very tight seal on glassware then. I would use slightly less heating to soften it when you want to pull it back off. Otherwise it is a PITA to get off too.