Want to DIY a co2 reg
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
scbrooks87
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Want to DIY a co2 reg


Hey everyone. I want to DIY a co2 regulator... Originally I was looking into getting an aquatek co2 regulator, but then I reminded myself that I am doing things right on this tank... not just going for what's cheap.

Here's my dilemma..... I have no idea what to look for for the main regulator body. I've tried looking online, and have found a fair bit of information, but I just can't seem to figure it all out.

What's the benefit of dual stage over single?

Should I be looking out for specific brand names?

What is a reasonable price for the regulator body if purchased used on ebay?

I see a lot of regs that are for oxygen, or acetylene, or other welding purposes... Are those usable for this? or does it have to be specifically a co2 regulator?

I just have not had a ton of luck finding this stuff in my searches, so I'm really hopeful that maybe this thread will serve as a benefit to me, and anyone else that wants to DIY a regulator for a compressed co2 system instead of buying a pre-built.


Thanks for any and all replies!
-Scott
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
Darkblade48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
What's the benefit of dual stage over single?

Should I be looking out for specific brand names?
Take a look at my guide for pressurized CO2 (linked in my signature) for more information regarding these questions.

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What is a reasonable price for the regulator body if purchased used on ebay?
This is harder to answer; the demand for regulators has been increasing, while the supply has been decreasing. This results in the price going higher and higher.

I suppose it depends on how lucky you are. I saw some single stage Concoas that went for $15 just a few months ago.

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Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
I see a lot of regs that are for oxygen, or acetylene, or other welding purposes... Are those usable for this? or does it have to be specifically a co2 regulator?
In general, people either get CO2 regulators or re-purpose inert gas regulators for use.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Hopefully I got a good deal, cause I ordered a regulator last night! It's a Victor VTS250c reg, dual stage. I think, if I've been looking at the right threads, I'll need to replace the adapter with one for co2 tanks, and then add the extra equipment to make it usable in the tank, but it seems this is one that people have used before for this. It was $45, and looks to be in pretty pristine condition. Do you think $45 is a good deal?

I think I'll need to replace the working pressure indicator, as this one is up to 200, and I've seen most people want one that goes up to 100, so they can better dial in their working pressure.

What do you guys think? Should this work well for me?

Thanks
-Scott
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Hopefully I got a good deal, cause I ordered a regulator last night! It's a Victor VTS250c reg, dual stage. I think, if I've been looking at the right threads, I'll need to replace the adapter with one for co2 tanks, and then add the extra equipment to make it usable in the tank, but it seems this is one that people have used before for this. It was $45, and looks to be in pretty pristine condition. Do you think $45 is a good deal?
A reasonably good deal.

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Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
I think I'll need to replace the working pressure indicator, as this one is up to 200, and I've seen most people want one that goes up to 100, so they can better dial in their working pressure.
If the gauge goes from 0-200, then there will be a minimum working pressure as well (check the product specification sheet). Some of them can only go down to (say) 10 PSI, which might not be suitable for smaller aquariums.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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This will be a 40 gallon breeder. I want to do an atomic diffuser, which I've heard needs a minimum for 30 working PSI to use... so in that case I'd probably be ok yeah? I figure I'd set it right at about 40 or so working PSI.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:50 AM   #6
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I don't really see a need to change out the low pressure gauge then. My personal regulator goes from 0-200 PSI for the low pressure gauge as well, and it works fine.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:37 AM   #7
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OK cool thanks. Now my next purchase is going to be the needle/metering valve. I always get sooooo confused by model numbers with this CO2 stuff, probably why pre-build systems are so expensive lol.

I have been reading and reading about which valves, and I'm seeing good things about swagelok, and ideal, but I cannot seem to figure out if certain models will work for me or not? I just don't understand it. I'm seeing some valves for pretty cheap on e-bay, but just don't wanna buy it unless I know it'll work. Well any needle valve model within those top brands work for this? Or is there something specific I can look for?

Thanks
-Scott
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
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I think I figured out which needle valve! Parker 2F-H3L-V-SS-TC. Found it for a pretty good price. I've done some research and it seems this is a good valve. It's nice looking, and seems to be well liked.

Anyone wanna chime in on if this is good? Should I jump on it? I'd like to buy ASAP if someone can say yea or nay?

Thanks!
-Scott
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
I think I figured out which needle valve! Parker 2F-H3L-V-SS-TC. Found it for a pretty good price. I've done some research and it seems this is a good valve. It's nice looking, and seems to be well liked.

Anyone wanna chime in on if this is good? Should I jump on it? I'd like to buy ASAP if someone can say yea or nay?
This is a good valve.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
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Thank you! Purchased... Now to look into the solenoid. May not need help with this part, but we will see lol. let the research commence!
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
I think I figured out which needle valve! Parker 2F-H3L-V-SS-TC. Found it for a pretty good price. I've done some research and it seems this is a good valve. It's nice looking, and seems to be well liked.

Anyone wanna chime in on if this is good? Should I jump on it? I'd like to buy ASAP if someone can say yea or nay?

Thanks!
-Scott
On evilbay for $25?
I got one or a very very similar model and I love it.
It's my first good bubble valve and it is amazing value for the price.
The turn counting handle allows you to dial your settings in and adjust with precision while always being able to go back to the baseline.
Plus it looks badass lol
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:09 AM   #12
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Lol, you called it! I bought the one on evilbay for $25. seems a ridiculously good deal for something that normally retails many times that price, but hey.... How can I complain about a good deal?

It does look badass in the pics, I am stoked to see it, and hopefully I can figure out how to put everything together once I get it.

Darkblade- I didn't mention this to you, but I wanted to say thanks for your primer to co2... it's pretty much what I've been following as a base line for research on this project. I use other sources as well, but your thread is a fantastic write-up... So thank you for taking the time to make it

-Scott
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:01 PM   #13
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Ok, think I've figured out the solenoid, will be ordering after payday... But here's my next question... Seems like there are always more questions! lol. Sorry if any of them come across pretty stupid...

The reg that I got looks like this in the pic:


And in case that doesn't work, It's ebay item number: 300664732392

So it looks like it doesn't come with the stem or the nut to connect to the tank, which is just as well really, as I will need to buy that anyway, but since the stem isn't on it, can I just buy any CGA 320 nut/nipple and just screw the nipple into the reg where it's normal stem would go? Or is there a different thread pattern I need to worry about?

Thanks
-Scott
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #14
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Just thread the cga-320 into the input threads of the regulator. Make sure to keep the teflon tape out of the co2 flow stream or it can come off and clog the regulator. Only adapter you may need would be pipe thread style to mate the nipple to the regulator if they don't match.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #15
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everything you could ever want to know about this... http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=148509
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