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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-30-2012 10:56 AM
sumer I recently bought a Victor HPT 500 with Parker H2A NV. I wasn't prepared to spend this much initially. But when I remembered 'How mad I used to get' when I was using the cheap regulator. CO2 on my mind everytime. The peace of mind wasn't there.
Our hobby is to sooth us, pacify us. Not to make us worried and take our peace of mind. So by paying $300, I bought my peace of mind. I bought the pleasure of enjoying the hobby. Now I can rely on what I bought.
It was just my reason
12-29-2012 07:56 PM
Darkblade48
Quote:
Originally Posted by manzpants92 View Post
Alright cool. Yeah I'm still in the debate cause i have my 55 in the basement and im guessing one day that tank would be really cool to set back up planted but for now i'd be dealing with a 20 gal, which still really could be an okay size for a standard regulator
For comparison, I was using a 10 pound CO2 cylinder on an ADA Mini-S (about 3 gallons).
12-29-2012 01:40 PM
manzpants92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
If you are seriously needing space, then go with the paintball regulators. If you even have an inkling of upgrading to a regular (5 pound or larger) CO2, then go with a standard regulator.
Alright cool. Yeah I'm still in the debate cause i have my 55 in the basement and im guessing one day that tank would be really cool to set back up planted but for now i'd be dealing with a 20 gal, which still really could be an okay size for a standard regulator
12-29-2012 08:02 AM
Darkblade48
Quote:
Originally Posted by manzpants92 View Post
So I was looking at some of the different options for regulators and I noticed how nice with size and all to use a paintball set up. Or would it be best to just invest in a standard regulator and tank?

So I guess the question is how do you guys feel about the GLA atomic paintball regulators compared to a standard one?

Thanks
If you are seriously needing space, then go with the paintball regulators. If you even have an inkling of upgrading to a regular (5 pound or larger) CO2, then go with a standard regulator.
12-29-2012 06:37 AM
manzpants92 So I was looking at some of the different options for regulators and I noticed how nice with size and all to use a paintball set up. Or would it be best to just invest in a standard regulator and tank?

So I guess the question is how do you guys feel about the GLA atomic paintball regulators compared to a standard one?

Thanks
12-15-2012 07:23 PM
manzpants92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUvet14 View Post
I have the GLA Atomic V3 regulator and I'm really happy with it. It's compact, works great, the warranty is nice, plus, it's relatively affordable, especially compared to some of the others that GLA sells.
Thanks! everyone has been helpful. I think my best option may just be to bite the bullet and get a good one. The GLA ones are probably my best bet i think(seem to be high quality and have a good warranty) so ill probably go with that when i end up making the purchase
12-14-2012 09:59 AM
mohican Thanks for the scare, just purchased AquaTek reg and waiting for it to arrive. I know 2 stage are the best but if I got one I still wouldn't be dosing cuz I wouldn't be able to afford anything else.


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12-14-2012 04:44 AM
clang
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbosman View Post
...
The reason I bought VTS 250s is, if you see a VTS 253, meaning its' specifically for CO2, ...
This is true, but there is more to it.

Actually, the current VTS250 model numbers for CO2 duty are below and their delivery ranges are given too:
VTS253A-320 ... 2 to 15 PSIG
VTS253B-320 ... 2 to 40 PSIG
VTS253C-320 ... 4 to 80 PSIG
VTS253D-320 ... 5 to 125 PSIG
Where the "320" means that it is for CO2 duty. The "A to D" means that they are A, B C and D models with differing delivery ranges. And, the VTS253 is the latest incarnation of the popular VTS250 series.

For reference, see the upper right corner on page 19 of the following Victor PDF: http://victortechnologies.com/IM_Upl...-2007_Feb2012/

Pages 10 and 11 in the same PDF also have some helpful identification information.

Page 25 in this other PDF has similar information: http://victortechnologies.com/IM_Upl...Regulators.pdf

BTW IMO, the VTS250 series of regulators are among the best ones for our use.
12-12-2012 04:01 PM
talontsiawd I got my whole co2 setup for free. I will be upfront, it am about 99% sure it was purchased for growing weed and was left by a friend's roommate who bounced out on him. Now, mine has worked pretty decently over the years but I feel I have the same issues as some of the lower end CO2 systems.

Even though I could maintain a reliable bubble count, the only way I really know how to gauge consistency, it was impossible to make fine adjustments as my "needle valve" or more so, flow meter, was not made for fine tuning.

Even though I got mine for free and may or may not be comparable to lower end regulators (It actually seems to be better), by the time I replaced the important components, I would have paid the same or more than building a great regulator, assuming I actually paid for mine to begin with. That's a big reason I would recommend just building one.

Furthermore, even though I am happy with my reg to a point, I still plan to just go ahead and build another. Partly from curiosity to see if I will get better results, partly for cosmetic reasons, partly because it just interests me to DIY one.

Again, my regulator may or may not compare to other cheap ones, I don't really know.
12-12-2012 03:41 PM
AUvet14 I have the GLA Atomic V3 regulator and I'm really happy with it. It's compact, works great, the warranty is nice, plus, it's relatively affordable, especially compared to some of the others that GLA sells.
12-12-2012 03:26 PM
hbosman I think patience, research and Ebay will give you the best result over time. I've had a RedSea paintball regulator, a Total Beverages regulator that I ran on paintball tanks with an adapter and I've even run Victor VTS 250 Dual Stage Regulators on Paintball tanks until I had a larger stand allowing a 5 lb cylinder. All of the setups did work, I never killed any fish but, you see the progression, I've spent money all along the way and ultimately, had to do the research and build my own. I've been using VTS 250s for about three years now and never had CO2 this easy. Dual Stage are truly...set it and forget it until the tank runs out. I just make sure it won't run out on the weekend though. :-)

Below is my first dual stage:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_bosman/4379697140/

I bought 2 VTS 250s for $55.00 not including shipping. It was an Ebay auction.


The reason I bought VTS 250s is, if you see a VTS 253, meaning its' specifically for CO2, the price jumps. A CO2 specific nipple can be purchased for $10.00 in brass. a VTS 250 is for inert gas and works fine for CO2 if you swap the nipple and it saved me alot of money. Just took a little more research and questions from people here.
12-12-2012 03:09 PM
jmhart
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldpunk78 View Post
Over the years, how much do you think you've spent on probes, calibration solution, and what not. How much time invested in maintenance? Just curious.

Not much. I use the pH controller as a tool, not as an analytical instrument. I'm not so interested in what the "pH" of my water is according to the pH meter (because if I were, I'd have to calibrate at least every week, if not more frequently). More of a relative position from CO2 "off" to CO2 "on" As is, I calibrate about every 6 months. I've replaced 3 pH probes in 5 years. If they continue to calibrate, correctly and I don't see a noticeable drop, I keep using them (despite the conventional widom that you should replace them every 6-12 months).

I set my "pH" point to what my fish can handle, not what a chart tells me. This is why I like pH controllers because they allow you to easily make incremental changes versus a needle valve (or a $200 metering valve).

So, maybe $40 in pH probes (ebay), maybe $10 on calibration solution (don't buy it from an aquarium supply retailer), and probably maybe 2 hours over 5 years changing out/calibrating pH probes.
12-12-2012 02:40 PM
etgregoire
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
I suppose I should edit my response. I love the MA957, but I also use a pH controller so that things like over-gassing never happen.

I can buy a pH controller and MA957 (brand new) for less than the cost of a nice/fancy two-stage regulartor.
A ph controller certainly would have prevented this from happening. But I will also say that this wasn't end of tank dump, which better regulators could prevent, but is maybe considered a hazard of the trade. It was just a random Tuesday, with a 3/4 full tank.

I'm not trying to start an argument here, because your setup is clearly working for you. And I'm happy that you didn't have an experience like mine! But I just want to caution the OP to the potential hazards of making a decision about buying something just because the cost is appealing.
12-12-2012 02:32 PM
oldpunk78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
I've used many MA957's over the years. Never had a problem. I think people just hate on them because they are mass produced and don't cost $300.

I've probably owned 5, 4 of which I bought used. The only reason I only have 2 now is because I only have 2 tanks, and sold the other regulators. All worked perfectly.
Over the years, how much do you think you've spent on probes, calibration solution, and what not. How much time invested in maintenance? Just curious.
12-12-2012 02:29 PM
jmhart
Quote:
Originally Posted by etgregoire View Post
Well... I wasn't going to get all into it, but since you brought it up... The reason I bought it in the first place WAS because it didn't cost $300. I have a whole thread about it - but short form:

Ever since I had the regulator, it would always take 2-3 weeks of tinkering with the settings to get the flow to be consistent after replacing the tank. I would get the bubble rate set at a good pace, and I would come back an hour later to find that all of the pressure had gone and I would have to adjust all the knobs to get the flow going again.

After almost a year the solenoid went bad and would never kick on. I called Milwaukee (who I will say were EXTREMELY helpful on the phone) and they instructed me on how to purchase a new solenoid and get the regulator working again. I did this, and it worked again for a few months - but the same as above.

Then a about 2 months ago I came home to find all of my fish at the top of the tank floating vertically, gasping for air, and the tank had so many bubbles it looked like 7up. All of my cories were huddled together in one corner dying together, rolled on their backs, gasping. This happened twice that week. And to a lesser extent a third time.

So I will say that is probably a dramatic example, and not really very common. But I also definitely say that I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for and peace of mind is something that I'm willing to pay for. I travel quite often on the weekends so, to know that I have a quality regulator that isn't going to have a flare up like this is priceless.
I suppose I should edit my response. I love the MA957, but I also use a pH controller so that things like over-gassing never happen.

I can buy a pH controller and MA957 (brand new) for less than the cost of a nice/fancy two-stage regulartor.
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