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willyblue 04-14-2013 11:01 AM

CO2 Regulator and parts?
I have a 20lb co2 tank and a regulator that was built for indoor gardening.. got it from a friend. It has a cfm ball guage, i have added a bubble counter and diffuser.. it works but is very unstable. i see it wont hold accurate bubble counts. so i wondered what would the best way to cure this issue, i have seen micro needle valves, different regulators, and outright complete regulator sets, the cost for a replacement complete is 100. plus shipping, This one for example...Milwaukee MA957 CO2 Regulator Solenoid Bubble Counter | eBay

however i wondered about just upgrading mine to be accurate.. any suggestions as to the most economical and effiecent way to do that? or just buy a new one, which i hate to do because i feel like , hey i got one, just need to do something to fix it LOL...

MoneyMitch 04-14-2013 11:12 AM

when I was just setting my tank up I did very extensive homework on all the equipment that I would need. seems that the regulator is the most important piece and not a place to cheap on. unstable co2 can cause algae blooms as im sure you know.

how old is your regulator? might have some debris caught in there causing the sporadic flow. there are steps to follow when you have to take the reg off and re attach it when you have to refill the tank otherwise you can damage the valve or get debris caught in there.

a new needle valve controls flow and not pressure so I don't think that would be the culprit. im gunna have to say its your regulator. I know blackwaterguy and mikalia both use injection systems and may be more help on the issue. hope you get everything worked out!

willyblue 04-14-2013 11:25 AM

Its only a couple years old, but its not designed for such low output, the metering valve is barely and i mean barely open to get couple bubbles a second. It was designed to put out at least a .5cfm to fill rooms with a 1600ppm level.. if it is set to a higher level it is solid as a rock. but at that level its so low its not sure how to work.. i use co2 for many purposes, just not in a aquarium like this.. i had hoped a replacement needle valve would be more accurate.. just running this thru my mind.. im almost 100 sure there is no blockage or damage. its not the cheapest unit costing over 100. and ya i knw they can be way more expensive..pressure is settin at over 1000lb,, im almost sure its just a matter of adapting it for aquarium usage..

MoneyMitch 04-14-2013 12:44 PM

totally understand, again I don't have any first hand experience with these types of setups just from what I have read. you should send blackwaterguy a pm see if he has any insight im sure he would be more then willing to help ya with your issue.

Mikaila31 04-14-2013 10:28 PM

You need a needle valve of some sort. The regulator should be set for 15PSI or 1 Bar output. You need a needle valve to drop it to the bubbles per second output. Not even aquarium made regulators can run properly without a needle valve. I would measure whatever tubing you are using, typically it is 1/4". Clippard is one brand that sells well priced needle valves that can often be run inline so you won't have to modify the regulator. Your regulator will work perfectly fine, specialized aquarium regulators are no different then beverage CO2 regulators. You just seem to be missing an important part in the aquarium reg which is the needle valve.

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