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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided to buy a new co2 setup soon and want some opinions about the regulators that I have looked at. I have used an old un-named brand that was given to me and has no identifying marks so I am assuming it was ment for purposes other than aquarium use (probably gas welding).

Which brand do you prefer? and why?

1) JBJ like this: http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=JB2111

2) Beer type: http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulators/co2-premium.shtml

3) Red Sea type: http://www.marinedepot.com/ps/ps_ViewItem~idproduct~RS2223.html

4) AP's own brand: http://www.aquariumplants.com/AQUARIUMPLANTS_com_s_Co2_Regulator_The_BEST_p/co2-1.htm

5) Milwaukee brand: http://www.co2-canisters.com/index.html?lang=en-us&target=d631.html

6) Other
 

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Doug, definately go with either Aquariumplants.com you have listed or Rex's. They both have Cornelius brand regulators and take dropping High pressure really well and may prevent end of tank dumps. I have owned JBJ and Milwaukee and they don't compare at all. IMHO, definately worth the extra cost. The only thing you might want to consider is getting one of those Swagelok fine tune gas needlevalves or the other new one Rex has on his site.

I have had absolutely no problems with my two Aquariumplants.com and I also have one of Rexs which is waiting to be set up again. I did have some issues with a two way manifold/ to a reactor & diffuser I was using with Rex's, but the regulator part worked perfectly. The problem may have been two different CO2 devices. And those Swagelok are suppose to be the thing. I bought two, but am waiting till I have built a stand for two 25 gallon tanks - to set up a manifold again on Rexs reg with two of those Swageloks for a Cherry and juvi./Q tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Doug, definately go with either Aquariumplants.com you have listed or Rex's. They both have Cornelius brand regulators and take dropping High pressure really well and may prevent end of tank dumps. I have owned JBJ and Milwaukee and they don't compare at all. IMHO, definately worth the extra cost. The only thing you might want to consider is getting one of those Swagelok fine tune gas needlevalves or the other new one Rex has on his site.

I have had absolutely no problems with my two Aquariumplants.com and I also have one of Rexs which is waiting to be set up again. I did have some issues with a two way manifold/ to a reactor & diffuser I was using with Rex's, but the regulator part worked perfectly. The problem may have been two different CO2 devices. And those Swagelok are suppose to be the thing. I bought two, but am waiting till I have built a stand for two 25 gallon tanks - to set up a manifold again on Rexs reg with two of those Swageloks for a Cherry and juvi./Q tank.


Thanks!

I am going to be setting up a multi this time with 2 nanos a 29G and then adding 3 other tanks as time and $ become available(All off one co2 tank).

I had forgot about Rex's stuff so it did not get on the list above. I will go read up on what he has again since he might nave new/better gear since I first went there.

If your catching this Rex, what's your recomend on the needle valve? I was not aware that there was any differences besides adjustability for small pressure amounts. Is there something I am missing here?

GD
 

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There is a lot of difference in needle valves.

Kind of like the old Sears's thing.

Good, Better, Best.

Right now the bang for the buck is the Fabco valves.

I'm running one Fabco, one Swagelok and one Ideal.

The Ideal has to be used to really appreciate them. But you can get almost three Fabco valves for the price of the Idea. So for most people the budget is what makes the decision.
 

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Hey Rex, I haven't set up my Swagelok yet. How do you like yours?
 

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It works quite well. I do notice that over time (3-4 weeks) it seems to creep down in bubble rate a bit. Like from 3 bps to 2 bps. But then again I just checked last night and it has been holding the same bubble rate now for about six weeks. So that creep may have just been the new setup blues. Or my setting the bubble rate really close to 2 bps and not paying attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do notice that over time (3-4 weeks) it seems to creep down in bubble rate a bit. Like from 3 bps to 2 bps.

Or my setting the bubble rate really close to 2 bps and not paying attention.
Rex Do you think this might be a sign of this type of NV? or are all the more expensive makes going to have some problem eventually with adjustment?

As mentioned, I have a free one, and it looks kinda like thsse at this site: http://www.dragonvalves.com/catalog.asp?model=10P this is the one that is closest to mine (sorry no pics of mine avail).

I just do not want to purchase a VERY expensive one if a) not needed for accuracy/adjustment, and b) is just as likely to breakdown over YEARS of operation as the cheap ones.

Also I noticed on your site that you sell the 52 series of the Ideal make. Do you think it is enough or should someone go for the gusto of the 54 series model? How much more for a 54 series would it be through you (if possible)?

Here's a link to them for all Ideal models: http://www.idealvalve.com/

GD
 

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I've been running the Swagelok for a couple of months. And it could have been several things that affected the bubble rate. Back pressure from the CO2 reactor, temperature, height of the mounting of the bubble counter, bad adjustment (on my part), not letting it stabilize before I "knew" what it was. Any or all of those.

The Swagelok valves are rock steady. I have sold a few of them and had no complaints. I know other people purchased them and have no complaints.

The Fabco and Ideal I'm running have been rock solid. As has the Swagelok for the past six or so weeks (about the same period the others have been setup).

I've never used the 54 series. And I have a feeling it's going to be a case of serious overkill. I have no idea of the pricing on them since I've never bothered to ask.

For many people the Ideal valve is overkill. But at least it's not hugely expensive overkill. The Ideal valve gives awesome control. Down to less than a bubble every 30 seconds in most cases.

The Fabco/Swagelok have a bit less control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Ideal valve gives awesome control. Down to less than a bubble every 30 seconds in most cases.

The Fabco/Swagelok have a bit less control.
Sounds like from everything here and others I have talked to that my best bet for my nanos and such that I should get the Ideal 52 series and live and learn...

I wont be purchasing until later summer when things calm down for me. So in between now and then I will comprise a list of things I need like how much tubing and such.

I will either PM or email it to you to see what your $ will be besides other companies for the best "deal" is all around. (I look at more than just price in large purchases)

Thanks to all!

GD
 

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Sounds like from everything here and others I have talked to that my best bet for my nanos and such that I should get the Ideal 52 series and live and learn...
Believe me, you will not be disappointed. I had the Clippard needle valve previously on an aquariumplants.com "best" regulator (similar to what Rex sells). I really hated the needle valve. One miniscule fraction of revolution of the valve dial goes from several bps to a few (my target). Theres enough slop in the main dial also that just pushing or pulling on the dial can adjust the rate. Getting it 'just right' was a real pain. Then once you tighten the locking nut, the flow rate changes again. Even after doing all this and getting close to the desired flow, my flow rate was not consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. And you have to tighten the locking nut, otherwise the main valve dial is loose and a simple bump will mess up your settings.

I just installed (yesterday) the Ideal needle valve from Rex. It's too early to see longer term consistency, but it is clearly a much better valve for our application. It is a dream by comparison. I was still able to use my inline on-regulator bubble counter just after the needle valve also. There is no locking nut, but this is not needed with this valve. The dial is fairly stiff and not accidentally changed. The dial is a good size (unlike the Clippard) so intentional changes are also easy. It works like butta ... I cannot emphasize this enough. I have plenty of adjustability at the flow rates we need with pressurized CO2 in planted tank applications. I can easily and extremely precisely adjust from a bubble every ten-twenty seconds to 5-6 bubbles per second (as much as I can count reasonably accurately in a second). It's a solid valve and seems to be very well constructed. I have no need for anything more (and I'm a pretty picky person).
 

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Until you have actually used the Ideal valve it's really hard to understand what a quantum difference they make.

The Fabco is also a great valve. Is the Fabco Ideal worth almost 3X as much.... hard to say. I'm running both valves and find almost the same ability to control bubble rate.
 

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Hmm... must have been a mail order. I just shipped every ordered regulator I had waiting. At least I hope it's a snail mail order.

Mike,

Let me know would ya. Because now I'm questioning my sanity even more than usual.
 

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I had the Clippard needle valve previously on an aquariumplants.com "best" regulator (similar to what Rex sells). I really hated the needle valve. One miniscule fraction of revolution of the valve dial goes from several bps to a few (my target). Theres enough slop in the main dial also that just pushing or pulling on the dial can adjust the rate. Getting it 'just right' was a real pain. Then once you tighten the locking nut, the flow rate changes again. Even after doing all this and getting close to the desired flow, my flow rate was not consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. And you have to tighten the locking nut, otherwise the main valve dial is loose and a simple bump will mess up your settings.
Somewhat describes my experiences with one of two Clippards I have. I endend up re-hooking up my CO2 controler on that tank and it took care of all the hassle. I am looking forward to getting my Swageloks going on my third reg. soon. Nice to hear someone else confirm the sometimes flakyness of the Clippard NV. Because previously, everyone was saying how great they were. But I always thought mine were a little tipsy.
 

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I think all of the newer needle valves from Rex are inline? I have two Clippard valves from before Rex started selling the new ones. They screw into the solenoid. So how do I connect the inline ones? Do I need an adapter? Anyone with a pic? I tried looking on Rex's site, but he only has pics of the valves alone, and not connected to a solenoid.

FWIW, I have the same complaint about the Clippards. They are very difficult to adjust down at lower bubble rates.
 
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