CO2 Regulator Question
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #1
Porkneck
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CO2 Regulator Question


Greetings! Been lurking around for the past couple of weeks, just signed up and this is my first post.

I am very new to planted tanks and so far have been doing a couple of mistakes here and there. Easy to correct but I just need a boost to correct my mistakes. My experience has been mostly on saltwater tanks and am very much into DIY's and mods. Though I have had freshwater tanks with big fish but that was years and years ago.

Anyway, this is in regards to pressurized CO2 systems on the cheap. I was about to do an ASA valve and needle valve paintball setup but I could not justify it's safety. I did buy all the parts needed but I was not convinced that it would work...PROPERLY. Though I did buy a cheap made in china ASA valve which was defective even before I used it.

So while looking scanning the internet for reliable regulators. I came across a post by one of the members here (Cold Mantis) wherein he used a "JACPAC" regulator. Used for pneumatic tools which uses paintball cylinders as a source for CO2. It is possible to regulate the outflow from 0-120 psi.

And by chance I managed to get a brand new one for less than $20. The only mod I did was take off the quick connect fitting and replaced it with a Swagelok needle valve rated at 3,000 psi so as to fine tune the output.

My questions are, to all regulator experts, at what PSI should I set the regulator? For now I set it at 20 psi at just under 1 bubble per second. And if you look at the second photo, on the opposite side of the needle valve is a plug. My concern with this regulator is that I can regulate the pressure but I have no idea how much pressure I have left. Can I install a second pressured gauge rated at maybe 2,000 t0 3,000 psi on that plugged fitting? I don't know if that is the high pressure side or not. I have a feeling it is but I'd rather be on the safe side.

Thank you.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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I tried that once, adding another guage to see how much co2 is left, but it didn't work. wouldn't show any pressure. just look at your bubble counter every once and a while. Also mark your tank so when it runs out you know how long you can expect from that tank.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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Thanks Cold Mantis, I did not expect to get a reply from you but was hoping indeed.

So based on the setup, since we both have the same kind of regulator except for the brand, the one I have is Kobalt which is actually a re-branded JACPAC. How long does a 20 oz. paintball tank last assuming that you run your CO2 at 1 BPS, 24/7 before you installed a solenoid? I saw what you did and would like to do the same, same solenoid since you have tested it already. I don't mind the noise. And if you don't mind, where did you buy it?

My setup initially started exactly 14 days ago. Oh and the beauty of it, I hardly wasted any of the CO2 during setup. No constant fiddling needed.

Did you use a regular paintball gauge (1,500psi what I have) or did you use a higher rated pressure gauge in the 2000-3000 psi range in testing that plugged port?

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Any follow up on this thread?
I'm looking into getting one of these for my fiancee's ebi, is it still working well?
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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This thread got me doing some looking. That looks like a Kobalt (Lowes) regulator on there. They sell a "Kobalt Mini Regulator" with 1/8npt ports on it. Anybody attempt to plumb this into a standard ASA adapter and use with a PB setup? For $20 this could make the PB rigs much safer and more practical.
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