Co2 Regulator DIY help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Co2 Regulator DIY help!

my work place just got rid of a perfect dual gauge c02 regulator so i quickly swooped in and grabbed it before it was junked! but i have no idea what parts i need to retro fit it to a paintball c02 and solenoid. if anyone can give me some advice or point me in the directions on what parts i need and where i can obtain them it would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 09:18 PM
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Your going to need a fitting to go from paintball canister to your regulator you can find them on ebay or amazon just do a search for paintball co2
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 10:00 PM
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Congrats--- I think.
There are some decisions to be made and some of them can still get to be a headache but it sounds like you've got a good start with finding a cheap reg.
If it is a reg that is for CO2, good. If not you may need to change the nipple and nut to fit an adapter to fit CO2. CGA320 fitting is the CO2 standard.
Then you will need to do some intense study on what you want to put on the other side of the reg to get the gas from reg to aquarium and mixed into the water.
Most common are solenoid which acts like a gate controlled by a timer, a needle valve which gives you fine control of the flow and then a reactor or diffuser to mix the gas and water.

Not a great big thing but it can get real deep on each decision as there is no true "best" way for all of us.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 06:19 AM
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That should be all you need in order to use the paintball CO2 tanks. Not sure if you have a bubble counter, check valve, and diffuser but obviously you will need those.

In regards to the solenoid, does it come with the solenoid or will you have to buy a new one? should work for your tank as well in regards to the solenoid valve if you happen to need one.

For tubing there is still a bit of controversy. If you use regular airline tubing the tubing will collapse overnight but most people say it doesn't have any sort of impact. Pretty much it collapses over night and then opens back up in the morning. I'm not sure if that causes any trouble over the long term. I wasn't sure so I just went with actual CO2 tubing. There is a big difference between regular airline tubing and CO2 tubing. The CO2 tubing is much harder and isn't anywhere near as flexible as regular airline tubing. I use the Aquatek tubing and it has worked really well for me.

For the diffuser it really depends on the set up. Most people go with either an inline diffuser or a ceramic disk diffuser. If you have a sump then you want to go with an inline diffuser since they have a higher percentage of diffusion than a ceramic disk. Atomic diffusers are fantastic and produce a very fine mist which is great.

Bubble counters are great since they give you an easy way to measure how much CO2 you are adding into your tank.

Needle valves. These are very basic but VERY important. If you do not already have a needle valve on the regulator, you will need one. Off the top of my head I can't remember which one is typically recommended but you will need a needle valve in order to dial in the right amount of CO2. Do NOT try to skimp on the needle valve. The one I'm thinking of is around $30 USD and they are very worth it. I hate my current needle valve but I've gotten it to work so no need to change it just yet.

Pretty sure that's everything so here is a quick summary. The adapter link is listed above and so is a link to a solenoid if you don't already have one (you need one). If you have a sump/canister then check out inline diffusers or else just go with a ceramic diffusers. Tubing is a personal preference, I've heard people use regular airline tubing and actual CO2 tubing and have good results. Get a good needle valve and don't try to skimp there.
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