Need List of Materials for DIY Dual Stage Co2 Regulator - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need List of Materials for DIY Dual Stage Co2 Regulator

Hello, I was looking for an idea on what exactly I would need to build my own CO2 regulator. To keep it short and simple here are my questions:

1. Is there a DUAL stage regulator that already has a CGA320 nut attached?
2. What would be the best solenoid?
3. What would be the best needle valve?
4. What do I need to attach these all together?
5. What kinds of tools would I need to put this all together?
6. If question 1. is no, how would I go about attaching a CGA320 nut myself, is this possible even?
7. Do I need thread tape? Is there a paste or something I could use?
8. What is a permaseal, and can you remove the regulator from the co2 tank if you use this item? (I imagine perma means permanent but I also imagine that it'd not be great to permanently attach your regulator to a co2 tank as then how could you trade it in for a new CO2 tank?)

I've come up short on finding any DUAL stage regulators for an aquarium pre made, CO2 Art and GLA are the only sources I seem to head about, I don't know if I trust CO2 Art as their dual stage doesn't look like a dual stage, and GLA charges $600 for their dual stage which I can't afford. I was going to purchase the Pro SS for $300 thinking it was dual stage but after reading I don't believe it is, making it no different from any of their other single stage CO2 regs.

All help on this topic is extremely appreciated, as this has become very frustrating in trying to figure out, heh. I'd prefer to keep this under $300 at the most and free of end of tank dumps, I do not expect to push the CO2 to the edge of killing the fish, I just want to help out the plants against the algae and I feel that not enough CO2 would be better than no CO2 at all.

If anyone could give me an exact list of what I need and maybe where I could purchase them I'd really appreciate it.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:58 PM
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permaseal isn't permanently attached. Just a disc and o ring really.
Do recommend just using the plastic/teflon disposable ones.. Avoid paper.
CGA's are generally easy to remove though on "tight". Makes it a bit hair raising when holding the regulator (preferably well mounted in a vice) and cranking on something.
Gave you a hint as to a new CO2 CGA already attached on eek bay..maybe I'm just talking to myself here..

"Best" needle valve is a bit of a "what you can find" or "what you can afford"..
Hoke micromite (1600 series) is one of the best. There are equiv. in all sorts of different brands. New cost is from $90-on up..
Burkert and Clippard mouse are considered some of the best. Some SMC's are in there too.
Open end wrenches of various sizes.
Rectorseal pipe dope is easiest for beginners (not reserved to them though. ) but sloppy..

look up Aqua Labs as well .Seems to have the old style CO2 Art 2 stage available.. on eeek bay as well.
Haven't verified it as a "real" 2 stage ($270 from hong Kong) but they have a "dual gauge" kit listed as well at 1/3 the price.
Camozzi and SMC are quality parts..

http://aqua-labs.com/shop/advance-pr...dle-valve.html

web pages load "slowly"...
it would be "sooo" easy to tell if they showed the back side..
https://youtu.be/BTq9tTY03hM
see at 4:21.. big bump on the back side..

https://www.zoro.com/harris-spclty-g...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
Ignore the image.. wrong CGA...
It is a start.. You can find used for way less than this..Don't think that is up your alley though..
http://www.clippard.com/part/EV-2-12

http://www.diyco2regulator.com/post-body-kit-1
$90
just need to take wrenches and dope and put it together..
Will need to remove the hose barb from the regulator and probably add a f/f 1/4npt union.. (saves you from removing the needle valve on the new reg.)
https://www.zoro.com/parker-coupling...A&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-10-2017 at 08:43 PM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:30 PM
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I'm in the process of collecting the parts for 2 more regulator builds, both of which will cost about $160 each. Both will be made up of used reg bodies and metering valves found on eBay. This is a gamble due to the parts being used, but if it works out fine, it's a huge savings.

You'll need:

1. A regulator body of your choosing
2. Metering valve
3. Solenoid and power supply. Below is a link for the Clippard solenoid @jeffkrol spok of.
CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. CO2 Regulator Solenoid with 15490-5 manifold
4. Miscellaneous NPT fittings
5. CGA 320 if not equipped on purchased reg
6. Teflon tape

You could brobably get away with a couple of cheap adjustable wrenches if you don't have own or have access to a standard wrench set.

Prices will vary on some of the items depending on what material you want in regards to stainless steel, brass or nickel plated.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
Hello, I was looking for an idea on what exactly I would need to build my own CO2 regulator. To keep it short and simple here are my questions:

1. Is there a DUAL stage regulator that already has a CGA320 nut attached?
Yes, of course. The trick is finding them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
2. What would be the best solenoid?
This is subjective. Depends on how much you want to spend. The Burkert 6011 series are quite solid though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
3. What would be the best needle valve?
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
4. What do I need to attach these all together?
You will need the necessary fittings, such as 1/8" NPT male to male connectors. As the regulator body often times has a 1/4" NPT output, you will also need a reducer.

If you want to use a plumbed bubble counter, you will also need to account for the 90 degree turn, either with a 90 degree elbow, or using a metering valve that is angled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
5. What kinds of tools would I need to put this all together?
Wrenches, PTFE tape and/or pipe compound, some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
6. If question 1. is no, how would I go about attaching a CGA320 nut myself, is this possible even?
If you purchase one without a CGA320 connector, you will need a wrench to remove the existing connector, and then attach the new CGA320 connector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
7. Do I need thread tape? Is there a paste or something I could use?
Yes and yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
8. What is a permaseal, and can you remove the regulator from the co2 tank if you use this item? (I imagine perma means permanent but I also imagine that it'd not be great to permanently attach your regulator to a co2 tank as then how could you trade it in for a new CO2 tank?)
A permaseal replaces the disposable nylon crush washers that form a seal between the CO2 cylinder and the regulator's CGA320 connector. When you remove the regulator from the cylinder for refill, you just remove the permaseal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
If anyone could give me an exact list of what I need and maybe where I could purchase them I'd really appreciate it.
Finally, please check out my primer for pressurized CO2 (linked in my signature below) for a more exhaustive guide.

Anthony


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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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It's cool Jeff, I saw your post earlier on my other thread about the regs, I have been checking ebay every now and then, seems people caught on to how popular dual stage regs have become, they've gotten quiet expensive unless you get a used one it seems, unfortunately most of the used ones state that they have not been tested, but thanks, everyone, for all the information you guys included, I never did like the idea of messing around with stuff as, well I guess I could say dangerous for lack of a better word, as large contents under pressure, but seeing as I'm more than likely not going to find a decent priced dual stage I can afford I guess there's really no other option left other than DIY, just hope that, well, nothing explodes.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 CARBON DIOXIDE Regulator Inlet NUT & 2" NIPPLE with Washer | eBay

So this is what I would need for any of those regs that don't already come with a 320?
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
CO2 CARBON DIOXIDE Regulator Inlet NUT & 2" NIPPLE with Washer | eBay

So this is what I would need for any of those regs that don't already come with a 320?
Can't see it but sounds correct..


still checking on the one from Hong Kong.. Looks to be the "out of stock" or discontinued model from CO2-Art.
We shall see what the Chinese have to say..
I think it was abot $260 w/ shipping but reg/solenoid/valve..
About 2x what you can piece things together for but a lot less work..

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Swagelok B-4JNA2-SC11, 1/4" MNPT Angle Needle Valve
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/a/(KGrHq...~~/s-l1600.jpg

And this needle valve would work? It's one of the brands that Darkblade recommended. No wait that'd be too big wouldn't it. I need a 1/8?

Matheson 3102A Dual Stage Gas Regulator
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/~P8AAO...0i/s-l1600.jpg

Also looking at these regs.

http://www.clippard.com/part/MME-2PDS-D110
This seems to be the CLippard solenoid mentioned also, seeing as it comes from Clippard.com I'm going to say this is a legit place to buy it from?

Last edited by Aqua Virtue; 04-11-2017 at 06:47 AM. Reason: added to
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
Swagelok B-4JNA2-SC11, 1/4" MNPT Angle Needle Valve
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/a/(KGrHq...~~/s-l1600.jpg

And this needle valve would work? It's one of the brands that Darkblade recommended. No wait that'd be too big wouldn't it. I need a 1/8?

Matheson 3102A Dual Stage Gas Regulator
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/~P8AAO...0i/s-l1600.jpg

Also looking at these regs.

Part# MME-2PDS-D110
This seems to be the CLippard solenoid mentioned also, seeing as it comes from Clippard.com I'm going to say this is a legit place to buy it from?
That's an old Matheson and for that kind of money you have better options IMO. Check out item# 262915247526, it's an Airgas Y12-244D I believe which is the same regulator I used. It fits your pressure needs and look in great condition. There are a lot on there, I'd just shy away from the older models that look beat up.

Don't believe that's the same Clippard solenoid. It would most likely work but it operates at 110v and you'd have to buy the manifold separately. The ones we use operate at 24v and can be found at the link below with free shipping. For an extra $5 you can but the 24v power source from them as well.
CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. CO2 Regulator Solenoid with 15490-5 manifold

There is also an option of purchasing a post body kit that would include the needle valve, fittings and solenoid if you choose.

I don't believe the valve you listed will work well for what we use. Here's a list a member made up quite awhile back but to my knowledge is still pretty valid.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...ed-system.html
I ended up picking up the Swagelok 21RS4 for $45 shipped and should be a good option.

Just a noob


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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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That's an old Matheson and for that kind of money you have better options IMO. Check out item# 262915247526, it's an Airgas Y12-244D I believe which is the same regulator I used. It fits your pressure needs and look in great condition. There are a lot on there, I'd just shy away from the older models that look beat up.

Don't believe that's the same Clippard solenoid. It would most likely work but it operates at 110v and you'd have to buy the manifold separately. The ones we use operate at 24v and can be found at the link below with free shipping. For an extra $5 you can but the 24v power source from them as well.
CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. CO2 Regulator Solenoid with 15490-5 manifold
I'm going to imagine that such as with Victors the A-D would be varying strengths of the regs themselves, with A being light weight and D being heavy weight? So would it have to be a D model exactly or could a C or B suffice as well? Just curious, I'm going to buy whatever is the strongest either way.

Also I've never seen a solenoid like that one, but heck, as long as it works I'm fine with anything heh, looks mean nothing here, I just want a reliable CO2 reg that doesn't cost me $600. The only ones I've usually seen though are the ones that look like plain black rectangles. So if I bought that solenoid and picked up the 24v adapter that's the solenoid valve entirely covered then (I live in the Us so it fits standard US electricity? It'll be plugged into a power strip that also runs the tank filter and heater, as well as led lights)? Check it off the list of needed things.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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I put together a diagram, from my understanding thus far as described by the pieces everyone has listed, of the required pieces for a CO2 set up, to kinda give myself a check list of the parts I need. As is apparent I am unsure if this is everything or if I am missing or mislabeling some pieces necessary. Please correct me if anything is wrong so I can readjust my diagram xD

Note: I've noticed on some of the dual regs there are stems/holes on the bottom of the regulator body (sticking out at almost a 4 oclock and 7 oclock position) would I need to cap these in some way? They mostly seem to be on brewery regulators from what I notice.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:22 PM
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I'm going to imagine that such as with Victors the A-D would be varying strengths of the regs themselves, with A being light weight and D being heavy weight? So would it have to be a D model exactly or could a C or B suffice as well? Just curious, I'm going to buy whatever is the strongest either way.

Also I've never seen a solenoid like that one, but heck, as long as it works I'm fine with anything heh, looks mean nothing here, I just want a reliable CO2 reg that doesn't cost me $600. The only ones I've usually seen though are the ones that look like plain black rectangles. So if I bought that solenoid and picked up the 24v adapter that's the solenoid valve entirely covered then (I live in the Us so it fits standard US electricity? It'll be plugged into a power strip that also runs the tank filter and heater, as well as led lights)? Check it off the list of needed things.
The "D" is used to indicate max output pressure. For instance a 244B has a max output of 50 psi where the D is 100. You ideally would like a regulator with more than a 50 psi output because if you use a ceramic disc diffuser, they rewuire higher pressure to run. Reactors on the other hand require much less pressure, around 20 psi. Getting one with higher psi gives you options on diffusion methods.

Yes the adapter is just a 24v power source. It's really a step-down transformer that converts 110v AC to 24v DC. It's used in most small electronics like laptops for example or the cube for an iPhone charger.

Just a noob


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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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I just wanna say thank you to all you guys so far for the help in this, I've never done anything like this before and I'm sure it shows but I wanna make sure I know exactly what I'm doing, it's something I really don't wanna mess up.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
I put together a diagram, from my understanding thus far as described by the pieces everyone has listed, of the required pieces for a CO2 set up, to kinda give myself a check list of the parts I need. As is apparent I am unsure if this is everything or if I am missing or mislabeling some pieces necessary. Please correct me if anything is wrong so I can readjust my diagram xD

Note: I've noticed on some of the dual regs there are stems/holes on the bottom of the regulator body (sticking out at almost a 4 oclock and 7 oclock position) would I need to cap these in some way? They mostly seem to be on brewery regulators from what I notice.
Most if not all of the regulators you find will have the threaded ports and will likely be blocked off already. I believe they are there for someone to install a pressure release valve, but I could be wrong.

Bubble counter does not have to be mounted on the regulator and can be external.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Virtue View Post
I just wanna say thank you to all you guys so far for the help in this, I've never done anything like this before and I'm sure it shows but I wanna make sure I know exactly what I'm doing, it's something I really don't wanna mess up.
It's probably going to cause you some headaches, it definitely caused me some. But when it all over and the regs running, I think you'll be more satisfied then buying a prebuilt set up.

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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/V10AAO...mH/s-l1600.jpg

Now on that Airgas reg you showed me Nlewis, would I have to remove both of those stems on either side, replace the one with a CGA320 Nut and replace the other with a reducer?

Rather if I bought that reg and this CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing. CO2 Regulator Post Body Kit #1 and hooked them together that would be most of the kit down wouldn't it? That's a fabco needle valve included, which is a good brand from what I've read yes?
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