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

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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?
"Do not need anything to block the Seascapes."

My 25 gallon Solana cube

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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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