Solenoid regulator advice
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
SomeCanuck
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Solenoid regulator advice


So I'm still plugging along and trying to figure out an appropriate CO2 system for my Fluval Ebi. Since I plan on eventually upgrading to a much larger tank, I figure I might as well invest in a proper CO2 system now and just bring it over to the new tank in time.

I'm having some trouble figuring out what solenoid regulator to go with. I'm trying to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on one, but I also don't necessarily want to end up buying one that I'll need to replace within a year or 2 either. Also, I'm in Canada so I'm trying to find something that I can get without having to pay crazy shipping costs.

Right now I'm looking at the following 2 as possibilities:

Milwaukee Regulator with Solenoid Vavle, Needle Valve and Bubble Counter
I've seen a lot of conflicting information for this brand/company (some people saying they work great and some people saying they were terrible right out of the box) but there also doesn't seem to be much recent info on them. I'm hoping that maybe they've improved in quality since some of the 2006ish reviews I read, but would anyone have any hands-on experience with them?

American Marine Pinpoint CO2 Regulator With Solenoid and Precision Needle Valve
I haven't been able to find any reviews whatsoever anywhere about this one, so aside from the fact that it looks good and has a nice write-up, I'm entirely in the dark on this one. Anyone know anything about it?

Oh, and if you'd have any other suggestions for decent solenoid regulators, preferably not much more than the $150 price range, I'm open to suggestions! Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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look into aquatek and azoo. The next step up in quality would be to get a single stage regulator and build an aftermarket post body. The next step up from THAT would be to get a dual stage regulator with an aftermarket post body. I would recommend to get the best setup you can afford. I think almost everyone will agree on that.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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Out of those two Milwakee appears to be a much better choice. Milwakee is not a high-end regulator, but at least it is a regulator with adjustable working pressure.

I'd say that one should avoid CO2 regulators with preset non-adjustable working pressure. I have no hands-on experience with American Marine regulator, but the pictures as well as its user manual suggest that this is a non-adjustable design. For this very reason I'd also avoid AquaticLife, Aquatek and Azoo regulators.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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agreed do not get a regulator that does not have adjustable pressure.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btimmer92 View Post
look into aquatek and azoo. The next step up in quality would be to get a single stage regulator and build an aftermarket post body. The next step up from THAT would be to get a dual stage regulator with an aftermarket post body. I would recommend to get the best setup you can afford. I think almost everyone will agree on that.
Would I be able to build myself a decent quality regulator on my own for around $150? And if so, how complicated is it? I admittedly have functionally zero knowledge of how any of this works.

Also, I noticed that you sell regulator kits. Would that be another possibility for me for something that's good quality at a decent rate? Or would shipping to Canada end up driving the price up too high to make it do-able?
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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I've been using dual stage Milwaukee regulators with solenoid, bubble counter and needle valve for 7 years now. They're not too expensive, well built and most important - dependable. The needle valve isn't a high precision device, but at at least 30psi out, it works exceptionally well if you are patient at dialing in the bps count. I think I paid around $95 US shipped to my home from here. I've never looked back since then...hope this helps!
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by styxx View Post
I've been using dual stage Milwaukee regulators with solenoid, bubble counter and needle valve for 7 years now. They're not too expensive, well built and most important - dependable. The needle valve isn't a high precision device, but at at least 30psi out, it works exceptionally well if you are patient at dialing in the bps count. I think I paid around $95 US shipped to my home from here. I've never looked back since then...hope this helps!
Milwaukee is a single stage set up not dual stage.. It is a Dual gauge. But not dual stage.

And id agree that for the 2 that the OP listed the Milwaukee is the way to go.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SomeCanuck View Post
Would I be able to build myself a decent quality regulator on my own for around $150? And if so, how complicated is it? I admittedly have functionally zero knowledge of how any of this works.

Also, I noticed that you sell regulator kits. Would that be another possibility for me for something that's good quality at a decent rate? Or would shipping to Canada end up driving the price up too high to make it do-able?
Building one yourself is the BEST option in my opinion. For more then one reason.

First would be your going to get better parts and a better unit.
Second Its fun to learn and its fun and easy to build.
Third If your unit ever has problems you understand the set up know what to do and can fix it yourself.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Building one yourself is the BEST option in my opinion. For more then one reason.

First would be your going to get better parts and a better unit.
Second Its fun to learn and its fun and easy to build.
Third If your unit ever has problems you understand the set up know what to do and can fix it yourself.
Would you have any suggestions about building my own then? Or where I could get some step-by-step instructions? I've found some guides online, but most of them are old and parts they recommend don't seem to be available anymore. : /
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Would you have any suggestions about building my own then? Or where I could get some step-by-step instructions? I've found some guides online, but most of them are old and parts they recommend don't seem to be available anymore. : /
Yep, Maknwar, Oldpunk, btimmer and bettatail all can sell you the parts you need. They are even helpful to direct you to find stuff outside of them even. All great people to deal with.

There is a great how to guide by oldpunk here at this link.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/eq...lator-56k.html
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Last edited by Aquaticfan; 03-31-2012 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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milwaukees are not compatible with perma-seals, and I highly recommend using a perma-seal
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