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What is your budget like?

There are various CO2 regulators out there, but the cheapest ones can often by found on eBay and/or the Swap and Shop section of these forums.

It is possible to buy brand new, single stage regulators (i.e. Cornelius) for ~50 USD.

You can also take a look at dual stage regulators (Victor, Matheson, Concoa). The best deals on these would be on eBay or the Swap and Shop forums, as they are quite expensive brand new.

Finally, be aware that you will need a needle valve in addition to the regulator to control the flow of your CO2.
 

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What we usually call a "regulator", like the Milwaukee one, is really an assembly of a regulator, needle valve, solenoid valve and often a bubble counter. A regulator from ebay will probably not include those extra parts, so the cost savings that way are diluted by having to buy the extra parts. Still, getting an industrial or lab quality regulator on ebay for $20-$50, and adding a good needle valve gives you the absolute best "regulator" you can ever get, even if it ends up costing a bit more than the regulator assemblies made for aquarium use.
 

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It

A feature of some regulators that are made for the aquarium that is often overlooked is a fixed working pressure. The Aqua Medic regulator from Germany is one example. When you open the valve on your c02 tank, the regulator automatically sets to a working pressure off 22 psi. No more, no less. This makes the system EXTREMELY safe. It also has a two year warranty. Ebay regulators are manual. Milwaukee is manual. GLA is manual.
 

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DIY with high-end parts from eBay or Craigslist will get you the BEST quality for the money, but may take time to find all the parts you want. Also requires some confidence in putting it together and troubleshooting. If you're a little handy it should be a piece of cake.

If you want fast and not too expensive, Drs. Smith and Fosters sell a kit that features an Azoo regulator, solenoid and timer for about $117. Hard to beat that combo for the money without going DIY.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3747+9935&pcatid=9935

For the best "one-time" purchase options check out SumoRegulator, GLA and Rexx Grigg. Info on each can be found in the forum.

Then get a small bottle of mineral oil for your bubble counter.

Good luck
 

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One thing about a preset regulator that you can change is that if it gets out of calibration you cannot change it and it will most likely have to be replaced.
 

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I prefer to set the working pressure to 10 PSI so that my Fabco needle valve is less sensitive (takes more of a turn to make a change). In other words, if you use a higher working pressure, the needle valve creates a greater change with less movement of the knob. I would think that a working pressure over 15 PSI might be a PITA.
 
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