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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been putting together a plan for my smaller tank, and looking at pressurized CO2. I have found a few good seperate parts I could put together and make a decent CO2 system with, but it would make my life easier to buy one fully assembled.

I found on ebay, a Milwaukee MA957 CO2 Regulator, Solenoid, and Bubble Counter (has needle valve as well), brand new, for $99 shipped. Are Milwaukee CO2 products reliable?
 

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This particular model, not so much. Very well known for end of tank dump as well as other issues. I have one that has operated flawlessly for about 3yrs and I have another that wiped out a small tank of fish. Only using the one that has never failed me. End of tank dump can be avoided my monitoring of your system and knowing when to stop and refill. You could buy worse models I believe.

Spend a little more maybe and build your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are there any pre-built regulator sets that you can recommend? I do want an electronic solenoid and I've read the thread about building your own regulator, but it seems so overwhelming. Don't want to screw it up.
 

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I've had mine for 3 months now and the only problem have been my fault. Even when I thought that it wasn't my fault a malwaukee listened to my problem and ran me through the steps to fix what was my fault. That alone is the reason I'm so satisfied with my decision to get it.
 

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I've had mine for about 5 years EOTD only if you don't like looking at your tank every day, myself I've only had one time where I gassed a few fish, not the whole tank just a few.
As soon as pressure drops I slowly adjust it every day til it's empty, usually 2 weeks after pressure drops.
In other words it's been great for me for the most part, it's not the best but not the worst reg out there.
 

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I've got one that's been running almost a year now. No problems so far. I do recommend using a full size bottle instead of paintball. Mine was sketchy until I upgraded to a 5# tank. I never have to adjust it now.
 

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There is endless horror stories about this regulator, that said in my early years I used them exclusively (3) & never had the extreme pains that people reported, like any single stage regulator it is prone to end of tank dump, the MA 957 more so as obviously it`s not the best quality. The needle valve is finicky to say the least, I did find that upping the working /delivery pressure to around 40 psi as opposed to the recommended 10 psi , it became more consistent.
As far as budget entry level pre assembled co2 regulators the MA 957 is my choice, the company stand behind their product & delivers some great customer service even if the regulator is out of warranty.
In short, it`s not bling, it`s not built like a bullet, it`s not the best quality parts and it`s definitely not 500.00 dollars plus but it gets the job done at a budget price with a few quirks that is easily manageable.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses! I have no problem checking up on it constantly as the big tank is currently running one of those little 45g disposable CO2 systems, that needs to be turned on/off by hand and is a real PITA. I may get it just for the ease of an easy first time system. I do think I could get all the parts for a dual stage regulator kit (just looking on ebay) for about $150-200, but putting it together is way outside of my skill level.
 

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Thanks for the responses! I have no problem checking up on it constantly as the big tank is currently running one of those little 45g disposable CO2 systems, that needs to be turned on/off by hand and is a real PITA. I may get it just for the ease of an easy first time system. I do think I could get all the parts for a dual stage regulator kit (just looking on ebay) for about $150-200, but putting it together is way outside of my skill level.
I feel what you're saying, but I don't think you would have issue. There are so many here that do it and are willing to help walk you through it. It is much easier than you think. I am in the middle of gathering parts to do my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I feel what you're saying, but I don't think you would have issue. There are so many here that do it and are willing to help walk you through it. It is much easier than you think. I am in the middle of gathering parts to do my own.
I took engineering courses in high school and have built robots and other machines from scratch, but neither of those had to hold back CO2 lol. So it scares me XD. I'm pretty good with technical stuff, but again CO2 scares me in ways. I just know I want to try the real pressurized stuff. Even with two bubblers going in our big tank, with the addition of CO2 4 days ago, my moss is actually starting to pearl. as in huge bubbles floating up from it. Would love to see that in my tiny tank!
 

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Even starting planted tanks is scary at first. There are leak test threads to walk you through to make sure your built reg. is good to go and what to do to correct. Its a leap of faith for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Even starting planted tanks is scary at first. There are leak test threads to walk you through to make sure your built reg. is good to go and what to do to correct. Its a leap of faith for yourself.
Lol to be honest I'm just confused with all the parts you have to use to put everything together. I found a dual stage regulator on ebay for a good price, solenoid, needle valve, etc but alas still confused.

I know you said that milwaukee equipment can be faulty, but would it be easy to buy their set, and just change out the regulator for a better one? Or are there solenoid, needle valve and bubble counter bad as well?
 

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Bubble counter is okay :) Needle valve sucks and my solenoids on my MA957s have not failed yet, so maybe they are okay also.
 

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I took engineering courses in high school and have built robots and other machines from scratch, but neither of those had to hold back CO2 lol. So it scares me XD. I'm pretty good with technical stuff, but again CO2 scares me in ways. !
Here is a visual to relieve your fears, nothing to be worried about. If you don`t need a set up to last 3 life times & don't think the bling is necessary just get the affordable parts & build it

 

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I have the model you inquired about.

I bought mine used and had to replace a broken gauge, not Milwaukee's fault, it was operator error.

The needle valve was also obstructed. There are instructions on how to fix this and I have had to free it up again after 3 months of operation.

Otherwise, it has been a reliable regulator for the money. I have no experience with any other regulator though, so I can't compare it to another for you. I don't know if other regulators have the obstruction problems.

But I'm happy with mine. FWIW
 

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I have been recommended aquatek regulators and solenoids, and upon my own research they seem pretty reliable and competitively priced, only 15-20 more than the milwaukee's and I think you can even find them cheaper than $100 if you look on [Ebay Link Removed]


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