Leland NR-24 DIY nano regulator - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,
I'm starting my first high tech tank, a Fluval Spec 16 gallon, and I've decided to go the DIY route for my CO2 system. I need help with all the post-body parts I need, as well as assembly. I would like this system to be as compact as possible due to space restrictions, but without sacrificing quality. For now I will have it set to take cartridges, but once I have more space I've heard of adapters I can get for the Leland regulators so they can take paintball canisters, so I can upgrade later.

The main parts I've come up with so far are as follows:

REGULATOR
Leland NR-24 (Part No. 50047-001)
This one goes up to 50 psi, should I go for the one that goes up to 80 psi?

NEEDLE VALVE
SMC AS1200-U10/32
Is there a better quality (more precise) needle valve around the same size? Should I go a little bulkier and go with a Swagelok instead? Or is the SMC one accurate enough?

SOLENOID VALVE
Mini Solenoid from ASCO
Are there better quality Solenoids of the same size? Are there smaller ones than these?

CHECK VALVE
10-32 ports check valve (from DIY CO2 regulators)
Other suggestions?

If someone can help me with the hardware I need to put it together that would be awesome.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Also, where should I go for good quality hardware? Is stainless hardware available? If not, at least nickel plates brass to match the Leland regulator?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-11-2019 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm starting my first high tech tank, a Fluval Spec 16 gallon, and I've decided to go the DIY route for my CO2 system. I need help with all the post-body parts I need, as well as assembly. I would like this system to be as compact as possible due to space restrictions, but without sacrificing quality. For now I will have it set to take cartridges, but once I have more space I've heard of adapters I can get for the Leland regulators so they can take paintball canisters, so I can upgrade later.

The main parts I've come up with so far are as follows:

REGULATOR
Leland NR-24 (Part No. 50047-001)
This one goes up to 50 psi, should I go for the one that goes up to 80 psi?

NEEDLE VALVE
SMC AS1200-U10/32
Is there a better quality (more precise) needle valve around the same size? Should I go a little bulkier and go with a Swagelok instead? Or is the SMC one accurate enough?

SOLENOID VALVE
Mini Solenoid from ASCO
Are there better quality Solenoids of the same size? Are there smaller ones than these?

CHECK VALVE
10-32 ports check valve (from DIY CO2 regulators)
Other suggestions?

If someone can help me with the hardware I need to put it together that would be awesome.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Cartridges: I think you should go with the adapter from the start. A paintball tank will have a lot more capacity and will be much more economical than cartridges. Cartridges are a continuous expense that will stack up fast. You will constantly be replacing cartridges. They are individually cheaper, but if you are replacing them every day or two... Well, you get the idea. And trust me, running out of CO2 and not noticing will cause very bad things to happen. Usually a stall in plant growth and an algae outbreak because balances are off.

Regulator: 50 psi should be fine. I prefer a 2-stage regulator, but there is probably not one available that has the small form factor of the Leland.

Needle Valve: The SMC may not be precise enough for a 16 gallon. A Dakota 6AMV1120, Swagelok S series, Hoke 1335 series, or Ideal 52-1-12 (among others) would be best (all ~1 degree needle valves). They can be expensive though. There are a lot of 3 degree valves out there (Fabco, Hoke 1315 series, Ideal 52-2-12, and many other choices) that still offer good precision for a cheaper price. Be very aware of the connection types. 1/8" NPT is ideal. 1/4 tube fittings are usually the second choice (but require adapting), 1/8 or 1/16 tube connections are very delicate, and VCR fittings should be avoided because adaptors are quite expensive and hard to find.

Solenoid: I prefer the Clippard Mouse solenoids for low power usage and they run completely cool. Still a pretty small form factor especially if you go with the ones that are not manifold mount (would probably have 10-32 connections though). I like the manifold mount type due to the 1/8 NPT connections.

Check Valves: The ones on Diyco2regulator is pretty good. I believe it is a clippard check valve. I would also recommend adding an additional disc type check valve in line as a disposable primary check valve.

Hardware: SS parts are pretty expensive and more difficult to find. You can find some of them from China sellers for a good price, but you would have to wait to get them. If you are looking for a SS look then chrome plated brass could be a good option for some parts. If you do decide to go SS, be aware that there is a difference in the appearance of 304 and 316 SS. 304 is usually cast and has a matte finish. 316 is more expensive, but has more of a shiny polished finish.

For bang for the buck, you can't beat the diyco2regulators post body kit #1. It offers the best value out there for most peoples builds.

I hope this is helpful.
wastewater and Ken Keating1 like this.

Last edited by AguaScape; 02-09-2019 at 08:22 AM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AguaScape View Post
Cartridges: I think you should go with the adapter from the start. A paintball tank will have a lot more capacity and will be much more economical than cartridges. Cartridges are a continuous expense that will stack up fast. You will constantly be replacing cartridges. They are individually cheaper, but if you are replacing them every day or two... Well, you get the idea. And trust me, running out of CO2 and not noticing will cause very bad things to happen. Usually a stall in plant growth and an algae outbreak because balances are off.

Regulator: 50 psi should be fine. I prefer a 2-stage regulator, but there is probably not one available that has the small form factor of the Leland.

Needle Valve: The SMC may not be precise enough for a 16 gallon. A Dakota 6AMV1120, Swagelok S series, Hoke 1335 series, or Ideal 52-1-12 (among others) would be best (all ~1 degree needle valves). They can be expensive though. There are a lot of 3 degree valves out there (Fabco, Hoke 1315 series, Ideal 52-2-12, and many other choices) that still offer good precision for a cheaper price. Be very aware of the connection types. 1/8" NPT is ideal. 1/4 tube fittings are usually the second choice (but require adapting), 1/8 or 1/16 tube connections are very delicate, and VCR fittings should be avoided because adaptors are quite expensive and hard to find.

Solenoid: I prefer the Clippard Mouse solenoids for low power usage and they run completely cool. Still a pretty small form factor especially if you go with the ones that are not manifold mount (would probably have 10-32 connections though). I like the manifold mount type due to the 1/8 NPT connections.

Check Valves: The ones on Diyco2regulator is pretty good. I believe it is a clippard check valve. I would also recommend adding an additional disc type check valve in line as a disposable primary check valve.

Hardware: SS parts are pretty expensive and more difficult to find. You can find some of them from China sellers for a good price, but you would have to wait to get them. If you are looking for a SS look then chrome plated brass could be a good option for some parts. If you do decide to go SS, be aware that there is a difference in the appearance of 304 and 316 SS. 304 is usually cast and has a matte finish. 316 is more expensive, but has more of a shiny polished finish.

For bang for the buck, you can't beat the diyco2regulators post body kit #1. It offers the best value out there for most peoples builds.

I hope this is helpful.
Thank you for the info.

Regulator: if I eventually want to use this setup for a bigger tank, would it be better to go with the 80 psi version?

Clippard mouse: I read a few people complaining that these actually run hot, that’s why I was hesitant to consider them. Are the ASCO solenoids considered better quality? Also, is the Clippard one the smallest available?

Needle valves: of the ~1 degree ones you mentioned, which would be considered the best? I’ve heard a lot of people mention Swagelok

Hardware: where is a good source for chrome plated brass?

Finally, does the diyco2regulator post-body kit have everything I need?

Thanks again for your help.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Regulator: if I eventually want to use this setup for a bigger tank, would it be better to go with the 80 psi version?
50 psi is enough for any tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Clippard mouse: I read a few people complaining that these actually run hot, that’s why I was hesitant to consider them. Are the ASCO solenoids considered better quality? Also, is the Clippard one the smallest available?
It is often difficult to tell who actually manufactured a solenoid (or any other part for that matter). I can't be certain which ASCO solenoid you are looking at, but the 411 series looks functionally very similar to the Clippard mouse. The Clippard mouse solenoids run at 0.67 watts. The lowest wattage ASCO I can find states 0.65 watts. I would not be surprised if the Clippard mouse is a rebranded ASCO 411 (or vice versa). Heat is generated by the coil and a higher wattage coil will create more heat. Many of the ASCO solenoids require much more power to operate and those ones would generate more heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Needle valves: of the ~1 degree ones you mentioned, which would be considered the best? I’ve heard a lot of people mention Swagelok
The ones I quoted are all very similar in quality. The fineness of control is a function of the needle angle, the orifice size and the number of turns. Everyone has their personal preference. I really like the Swagelok, but it is more difficult to find them (in "S" series) with the connections you would want. Many of the ones I find are very small tube fittings or the dreaded VCR fittings. Bang for the buck in ultra fine valves has to go to the Dakota ($88.00 brand new directly from the source). Hard to find used though. You can often find another brand cheaper (surplus or used), but it does take some searching. There are many other brands available that would work great (Parker, Fugikin, etc). Be sure to research them as there is a wide variety of flow ranges for every brand.

Many people have great results with 3 degree needle valve (myself included). I have the Fabco NV-55-18 3 degree on my main tank and it works great.

You mentioned that you might want to move it to a larger tank in the future. One thing to consider is if the ultra fine ones will provide enough flow for that tank. It is possible that if I put my SS-4-SS Swagelok on my 180 gallon that I may not get enough flow out of it due to the orifice size. I may switch to an Ideal 52-2-12 for that tank (same 3 degree needle angle as my fabco, but 22-24 turn handle for finer adjustment).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Hardware: where is a good source for chrome plated brass?
Flea Bay and Amazon are my usual sources. There are many suppliers (Swagelok, Parker, etc.) that have everything you could need in one place, but they are pricey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Finally, does the diyco2regulator post-body kit have everything I need?
See for yourself. It includes the Clippard solenoid with manifold and power supply, the Fabco NV-55-18 metering valve and the fittings to connect everything together. You would also need to get a bubble counter and a way to get the CO2 into the water (diffuser, etc). Not the most precise setup, but you can't beat the price point.

If I knew your budget and what size/tech level you plan on going to. I could make more specific suggestions.

Last edited by AguaScape; 02-09-2019 at 05:25 PM. Reason: edit
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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If I knew your budget and what size/tech level you plan on going to. I could make more specific suggestions.
Currently I have a Fluval Spec 16 gallon, I will eventually upgrade to a 20 or 30 gallon. I have high light for my current setup and will add even more light when I upgrade.
As far as budget, I would like to be under $800. Since the regulator I want is $200, that leaves me with $600 to spend on the rest. I’m not sure what size threads I should be looking for to fit my regulator. If I can order all the parts from one source that would make things easier.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanad View Post
Currently I have a Fluval Spec 16 gallon, I will eventually upgrade to a 20 or 30 gallon. I have high light for my current setup and will add even more light when I upgrade.
As far as budget, I would like to be under $800. Since the regulator I want is $200, that leaves me with $600 to spend on the rest. I’m not sure what size threads I should be looking for to fit my regulator. If I can order all the parts from one source that would make things easier.
Damn. With that kind of budget you could just buy most everything directly from Swagelok. That would be throwing money away though.

Search Flea bay with this: Swagelok Nupro SS-SS4 Metering Valve
This will bring up a couple very nice new swagelok valves. I would go with the second one since the angle pattern makes for a more compact build (it also includes the instruction cards for the valve and the fittings). Cheaper price is a bonus as well.

Search: Swagelok® 1/4" OD Tube Adapter x 1/8" NPT Male Pipe 316 Stainless Steel SS4TA1-2
This will bring up stainless steel tube adapters to adapt to 1/8 NPT.

The clippard solenoid with manifold costs about $45 shipped.
If you do not like the yellow cap, it is easily removed (it pops off and on easily). Can't think of a reason to spend more. Not sure how much the ABCOs cost.

The little bits take a bit more searching. But these choices will get you started.
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