Being a guy on a budget, I'm wanting to upgrade to a pressurized co2 system in the near future. I am looking at some of the no name regulators on ebay, and while the price is right, does anyone have any experience with any of them, or any suggestions on a descent regulator? It needs to have a solenoid and be under $100. Thanks for looking!
I think the Milwaukee regulator is inexpensive and comes with a bubble counter. It worked well for me for years until I upgraded. Keep an eye on your tank's psi though. I didn't and it allowed the tank to dump. But when I kept and eye on it and refilled the bubble counter when needed, it ran fine. I actually kept it as a backup.
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I suggest looking at the sale threads on here, as there are many members selling reasonably priced, high quality systems. You can get a full setup with a good regulator, top notch needle valve, and a nice solenoid for $300 or less. Dunno what your price range is, so it may be better to start off with an Azoo setup. In the long run, I say it's worth the extra money because the systems other members sell will last you forever. Cheap regulators and solenoids are more prone to failure.
I suggested the azoo only because he wanted a regulator with solenoid for under $100 If you can afford a higher quality rig from the great people on TPT I suggest that rout, but I too was strapped for cash when I bought my first rig and I have had no issues from it so far (knock on wood).
I've been using ReefFanatic but just purchased a custom made one which should be arriving this week. The ReefFanatic one isn't the greatest looking thing but it's cheap and it does the job. Keep an eye out in the ForSale section since I'll be throwing it on there this week.
My second recommendation is the Milwaukee or JBJ regulators. Both are cheap and do the job.
Yep, it depends what your goal is. Long term savings or short term savings. If you have the extra cash, go for quality. Otherwise the cheap units others recommended are good starter regulators that include just about all you need.
I bought an aquatek a while back and it hasn't done me wrong yet. For sort've long term insanity I switched the needle valve on it to a higher quality one (NV55-18). The regulator cost me about $80 and the needle valve cost about $30 for all of the parts. I also added an inline bubble counter that mounts on top of the needle valve and that cost about $15. In all I have a ~$120 regulator with adjustable pressure, precision needle valve (it helps aid against end of tank dump I've found), and bubble counter. I run it into an inline GLA atomic automizer.
Although not many will agree due to the internet rumours, but i have had no problems with either of my Milwaukee regs. For around $80 i dont think you can find better. If your budget can stretch then i recommend asking certain members on here to build you one.
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