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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, here I am dithering over whether or not to buy a complete CO2Art Pro-SE system for my newly-cycled tank, and trying not to think about how much $$ I’ve already spent on the tank and supplies. So I was trying to see how much a CO2 cylinder would cost on top of the CO2 kit. Then I remembered that my brother-in-law used to make beer, but no longer does, and that maybe he might have a used CO2 tank he’s looking to rehome. I asked him, and yes he does. He has 2 cylinders and also 2 regulators, and I could have one of each if I want them. Photos below — sorry they are displaying sideways. (He says he bought all of them new).

I think I should definitely get a cylinder (which one?), but not sure about whether I should take him up on his generous offer for the regulator. I know I’d need to get a bubble counter and solenoid (?) and maybe other parts too (?), but do either of the regulators look good for my CO2 dreams? If so, is there any way to tell from these photos how hard it would be to convert a regulator into something reliable for a CO2 system? Or should I just go ahead and buy the CO2Art kit (of course I’d like to save that cash, but not if these regulators are likely to be difficult for me to use/operate …). And is it possible to tell from photos whether these are dual stage or single stage?

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Automotive tire Valve Plumbing valve Gas Concrete
Cylinder Gas Concrete Rectangle Metal
Gas Cylinder Waste container Auto part Composite material
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Product Tread
Thanks for any light you can shed!
 

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Well, here I am dithering over whether or not to buy a complete CO2Art Pro-SE system for my newly-cycled tank, and trying not to think about how much $$ I’ve already spent on the tank and supplies. So I was trying to see how much a CO2 cylinder would cost on top of the CO2 kit. Then I remembered that my brother-in-law used to make beer, but no longer does, and that maybe he might have a used CO2 tank he’s looking to rehome. I asked him, and yes he does. He has 2 cylinders and also 2 regulators, and I could have one of each if I want them. Photos below — sorry they are displaying sideways. (He says he bought all of them new).

I think I should definitely get a cylinder (which one?), but not sure about whether I should take him up on his generous offer for the regulator. I know I’d need to get a bubble counter and solenoid (?) and maybe other parts too (?), but do either of the regulators look good for my CO2 dreams? If so, is there any way to tell from these photos how hard it would be to convert a regulator into something reliable for a CO2 system? Or should I just go ahead and buy the CO2Art kit (of course I’d like to save that cash, but not if these regulators are likely to be difficult for me to use/operate …). And is it possible to tell from photos whether these are dual stage or single stage?

Thanks for any light you can shed!
First keep in mind CO2 tanks need to be re-certified every 5 years.
Your beer person should know that.

They are both single stage and either is just fine.
One w the handle is more convenient.
Same w tank with the collar though if you get co2 from a supplier who swaps tanks out it may not matter
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks @jeffkrol. I think it’s not to hard to get tanks recertified for a smallish fee, correct? Seems like a good option unless I’m missing something.

if these regulators are both single stage, should I seriously consider passing on them and getting a dual stage, which I understand is generally recommended to avoid end-of-tank-dump? Or are there reliable ways to deal with that potential issue with a single-stage regulator? I’m happy to avoid the full price for the CO2Arts kit, but not if it’s a foolish move for a new and non-CO2 savvy person. More important yo save my fish and plants than a few dollars.
Thanks!
 

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Single or 2 stage us a semi- personal choice.
The chance of eotd w/ a single stage is greatly lowered
if one exchanges tanks prior to it going empty.
Btw putting 2 regulators in series that is also a "2 stage regulator".
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see (I think!). So seems like I could save some $ if I used one of these regulators and then added solenoid, needle valve, check valve, bubble counter, tubing, diffuser, drop checker, and anything else Im missing. But I still wouldn’t know how to make sure the parts I buy will all fit together or how to put them together with confidence. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...
Thanks, @jeffkrol!
 

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built about 6 or 7 sets of these back in 2012


you can find the same solenoid and the needle valves, but the difficulty is to find the right fitting adapters.
The solenoid is clippard mouse solenoid, the 10-32 ported version, and the needle valve is the SMC AS1000 series needle valve, also 10-32 port version.

I don't have any more beer taprite co2 regulators, but still have rest of the parts and fittings that I can make a post body.
 

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Nice! You are on your way. Check out this website. CO2 Regulator Parts | CO2 For Planted Tanks And Home Brewing They have parts you can order to build the regulator. I recommend the fabco needle valve 100%.
It's not hard to put these together. Make sure to get some Teflon tape for gas fittings and do not over tighten the treads. Get a pipe wrench (or two) and you are good to go. You don't need a dual stage regulator. Unnecessary for what you want to build. That's pretty much the regulator I have on my tank. Also getting a steel tank is not that expensive and then you can swap them or get them refilled. The aluminum tanks are more expensive and lighter for sure. A problem you will have is the weight of the regulator attached to a smaller sized aluminum tank will make it topple over if you don't secure it. So if your tank isn't expired and you use it, secure it. Just a thought. Here's a shot of my setup below. I run this on two tanks and have had this regulator since 2004. It's connected to a 5lbs steel tank. Never have an issue and it lasts over 6 months on mine. My regulator is from Beverage Factory. good luck!
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