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kuhli 01-16-2003 05:05 PM

I thought I'd report back with the results of my purchase of the Custom Aquatics Regulator/Selonoid/Needle Valve combo.

It was pretty easy to get going, I had to bump the pressure on the needle valve up higher than I expected to get a lot of adjustability, but once I pressured up to about 50 lbs I've got the precision I need. A comment here, most of the reading I did said adjust the outlet pressure to about 30 lbs and then adjust with the needle valve. In this case it's just easier to back the pressure of to 40 lbs, adjust the needle valve to a few less bubbles than you want and then bump the regulator up slowly till you get your desired bubbles/second. I'm running at just over 2 bubbles per second to get my 135 with 4.5 deg KH down from 7.6 to 6.8. I don't have a diffuser or anything, I'm just running into my powerhead for now. That will change with time, I don't like the bubble mist.

Also, I couldn't find any C02 tubing so I went with the green lee's Ozone safe tubing. We'll see how it goes.

spihunter 01-17-2003 02:33 AM


I got the same regulator yesterday from Custom aquatic. I hooked it up to my cylinder and everytime I start to slowly
open the valve it gives off a really loud squeal & air shoots
out of the little hole on the left side. What am I doing wrong? I feel pretty dumb.

kuhli 01-17-2003 05:00 AM

But the little hole on the left side? Where do you mean?

lanstar 01-17-2003 07:59 AM

When you put the regulator on the CO2 bottle, did you get and use a little white plastic washer? Some of them are black or dark grey. The washer goes inside the fitting that screws on to the CO2 cylinder. Without that washer, CO2 can leak right there where the regulator connects to the cylinder. A few regulators have a permanent "O" ring (black and rubbery feeling doughnut) that fits down in a groove inside the fitting on the stem of the regulator. The CO2 cylinder should also have an "O" ring on the threaded stem that the regulator screws on to. The "O" ring on the cylinder is not enough, you must have either another permanent "O" ring on the regulator or the washer described above. Also, don't overtighten this connection. It should be snug, but don't pull REALLY hard on the wrench when you tighten this fitting. In summary, you should see an "O" ring on the CO2 cylinder and you should have a plastic washer or a permanent "O" ring on the regulator stem inside the nut that screws the regulator on to the cylinder. If you have this then...

It could be that the diaphragm in the regulator is bad.

Turn off the CO2 at the cylinder. Bleed off any pressure so that both gauges read zero. Then, unscrew the pressure regulator knob until you stop feeling resistance so that there is no pressure on the spring that controls the diaphragm...

Now slowly turn on the CO2 valve on the bottle. The high pressure gauge should read something but the low pressure gauge should stay at zero. You should hear no hissing.

If you hear hissing now and it is coming out of the regulator body, the diaphragm most likely has a defect (or was incorrectly installed at the factory). -or- the first stage piston that initially lowers the pressure from tank pressure to intermediate pressure is leaking. In either case, the regulator is probably defective.

If you hear no hissing then slowly turn the pressure regulator knob clockwise until the low pressure gauge comes off the bottom peg. If you get this far, then: Does it hiss at very low pressures or only if you crank up the pressure to a higher setting?

Let us know...

Good luck!


SNPiccolo5 01-17-2003 09:48 PM

The EXACT same thing happened to me, and you have to open the cylinder with the regulator loose, or the black knob backed off all the way and loose. After I loosened the regulator, all worked well.


PhreelancR 01-18-2003 06:39 AM

I also just received that regulator, and it looks to be a solid piece of equipment! I know it's been posted somewhere before (but I can't seem to remember where), but what kind of liquid did you put in the bubble counter?

m.lemay 01-18-2003 12:57 PM


I also just received that regulator, and it looks to be a solid piece of equipment! I know it's been posted somewhere before (but I can't seem to remember where), but what kind of liquid did you put in the bubble counter?
It was posted under "Where did you get your pressurised system" And other places. If you do a search for "Customaquatic" or " Custom Aquatic" you should be able to find all the posts.
Some people just put regular water,but I would'nt reccomend that because as tha water evaps it will leave deposits inside the counter. So some people use distilled water to avoid the mineral deposits but that still doesn't solve the evaporation problem. M3 sells a "bubble counter fluid", nobody seems to know what it is though. Glycerine or mineral oil would do the trick since they don't evaporate. I put baby oil in mine and it works great.:cool:

happy 01-18-2003 11:04 PM

I got one last week. Sorry to say it only lasted 2 days This reg, is made by milwaukee Thay had me a replacement in 2 day. It has been working fine for 3 days. I can see the plants like it after only one day of use. If you are thinking of gitting one i must say it works. dyi co2 naver made my plants come on like this. Happy.

SNPiccolo5 01-19-2003 12:23 AM

I have to get a replacment too, but they can't send me one for 2 weeks, since they don't have any right now....


m.lemay 01-19-2003 01:16 AM

Aww Tim,, That sucks !! We gave them such good press on this board that they must have sold out. Bummer dude.:sad:

happy 01-19-2003 01:39 AM

I called custom aquatics. thay called milwaukee. milwaukee sent me the replacement. Milwaukee instruments is in NC. Im in NC = 2 days. packing slip has address, and phone number if it will help you out I will post. Happy

kuhli 01-19-2003 05:52 AM

It's still working great for me, the only plant pearling is Bolbitis, imagine, Bolbitis pearling, this stuff sat dead in my tank for six months and now it starts pearling!

I'm not interested in my regulator going bad, Canadian customs brokers dinged me 40 bucks(Ups brokers, sue me, its a fact) cdn to get the bloody thing across the border and I don't want to do it again.

I attempted running the CO2 into the powerhead for the first five days and managed to get the pH down. Today I've started running the flow backward through a gravel vacume(with a limewood airstone) with a 301 powerhead driving the flow, it's adjusted to about 65% flow. I'm hoping this will reduce the 'cloudy' appearance I had before.

Also, I'm using Mineral Oil as the fluid in the bubble counter, it slows the bubbles a bit, but at 2.5 per sec its a little hard to keep count. Question: Are all bubbles created equal? The mineral oil is denser, does this mean my bubbles are bigger than they'd be in water? I think so, so I'd estimate by bubble rate to be a bit higher than I''m counting--ANY IDEAS???

kuhli 01-19-2003 05:54 AM

Still growing that tough green algae on the glass, kH 4.0 with RO Water and CO2 hasn't solved that. Not feeding much initially till I get a handle on how things behave.

kuhli 01-19-2003 05:56 AM

I tried using a 12 inch bubble wand to push the CO2 through in hopes it would pass equally well through the hole tube, didn't pan out, basically the gas finds a few bigger passages and just runs to the surface of the water. DON'T bother with a flexible bubble wand.

spihunter 01-19-2003 01:00 PM

It looks like I'm sending mine back as well. I'm going to ask if I can get the aqualine regulator instead. I didnt really need the solenoid.

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