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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm thinking of switching over to a pressurized system utilizing a paintball tank I have laying around. I was going to buy a CGA320 connector regulator thinking that later on I will buy a full sized tank. I will buy an adapter to fit onto my paintball tank in the meantime. I have seen a few of the threads going around and I posted this in the other thread without any comments so I thought I would create a new one. The other suggested regulators were either too expensive to not reliable. I came across this one on Amazon and wondered if anyone has experience with this one:


If so, please let me know your experience. Thanks.
 

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Hi No.92,

Welcome to TPT!

The regulator is a two gauge single stage regulator and is an adequate 'starter' regulator and may serve you well for several years. The solenoid and needle valve will likely be items you will want / have to replace in fairly short order. The needle valve is at best passable but it can be difficult to adjust and may not maintain a steady output. The solenoids have a reputation for failing and needing to be replaced. If you go into this with that knowledge and still want to proceed at least you won't be surprised.

Another 'starter' regulator choice would be purchasing a beverage CO2 regulator and a post body kit and assemble your own. You will end up with a more reliable system with a better needle valve and solenoid but it will cost more.

When I decided to try CO2 on my first planted tank I did DIY CO2 with yeast and sugar. It certainly improved growth but putting together the solution every few days was a pain so I patiently watched Craigslist and found a 5# CO2 tank for about $30 and a beverage / airbrush regulator for about $50 and purchased the needle valve, check valve, and fittings separately. Not necessarily 'pretty' but it has worked reliably for 7+ years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi No.92,

Welcome to TPT!
Thanks!!

Another 'starter' regulator choice would be purchasing a beverage CO2 regulator and a post body kit and assemble your own. You will end up with a more reliable system with a better needle valve and solenoid but it will cost more.
I saw this link a few days ago. Are these beer CO2 regulators more reliable? I like the price but then you have to factor in the solenoid if you want one and then the needle valve.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Aqua Labs (found on eBay) has a two stage unit for a reasonable amount also. Worth checking out. As far as starters go, these do pretty well. I still use these entry level regulators as I am not ready to shell out $700 for a pimped out chrome covered regulator. ;)
 

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Thanks!!



I saw this link a few days ago. Are these beer CO2 regulators more reliable? I like the price but then you have to factor in the solenoid if you want one and then the needle valve.

Thanks for the input.
Hi No.92,

As good as and probably better than the one you posted, then add the post body kit for another $89. The post body kit has the solenoid and needle valve, both much better than the ones on the Amazon link. In the end you will have a much better system than the one that was pictured....may not be a "pretty" but more reliable and durable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi No.92,

As good as and probably better than the one you posted, then add the post body kit for another $89. The post body kit has the solenoid and needle valve, both much better than the ones on the Amazon link. In the end you will have a much better system than the one that was pictured....may not be a "pretty" but more reliable and durable.
True, but the cost difference here is quite a bit more now. $65 (including shipping) for the regulator + $89 + shipping. We're looking at over $170. I get it that it will last longer, but what are we talking about here as far as quality difference? Is it going to fail? Is the needle valve the only issue? Needle valves should be replaceable for about $20 right?

This is just adding up to be a very pricy venture. :)
 

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True, but the cost difference here is quite a bit more now. $65 (including shipping) for the regulator + $89 + shipping. We're looking at over $170. I get it that it will last longer, but what are we talking about here as far as quality difference? Is it going to fail? Is the needle valve the only issue? Needle valves should be replaceable for about $20 right?

This is just adding up to be a very pricy venture. :)
Hi No.92,

A quality needle valve is typically about $40 - $50 with higher end ones costing $100 or more.

LOL, don't forget the CO2 tank you will need as well. If you are in a metropolitan area check out Craigslist. Here is a listing I just found in Seattle for $70; not a great system but better than the amazon one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi No.92,

A quality needle valve is typically about $40 - $50 with higher end ones costing $100 or more.

LOL, don't forget the CO2 tank you will need as well. If you are in a metropolitan area check out Craigslist. Here is a listing I just found in Seattle for $70; not a great system but better than the amazon one.
Thanks for the additional info. I did do a craigslist search earlier and did not find anything in the Bay Area (that's close to me) that was a deal. But I'll keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So this model that I posted is the A-165 model and after posting an Amazon question, seems like it is working well for people who have replied.

https://www.amazon.com/durability-r...MxOIEXAIL0BBRG&newContentNum=1#MxF398VKHHOSRY

I may have to take a chance on this since I have spent a lot of money on my aquarium hobby in the last 2 months or so after buying the aquarium. I can be your guinea pig. Hopefully it works out so others can save money as well.
 

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So this model that I posted is the A-165 model and after posting an Amazon question, seems like it is working well for people who have replied.

https://www.amazon.com/durability-r...MxOIEXAIL0BBRG&newContentNum=1#MxF398VKHHOSRY

I may have to take a chance on this since I have spent a lot of money on my aquarium hobby in the last 2 months or so after buying the aquarium. I can be your guinea pig. Hopefully it works out so others can save money as well.
I have 0 experience with the specific item you're talking about. But, most everyone who tires to save a few bucks on this end of the hobby ends up spending more in the long run once you realize why certain things are so much cheaper than the more known, more reputable, more suggested items. Now that doesn't mean you cant have a great setup without breaking the bank; nor does it mean this particular setup wont work great for you either. If you have a little diy knowledge you can piece something together for only a little more $ than what this thing costs that should be far more reliable. Or, you could likely upgrade what you're showing with a better needle valve (which in the end is really what most users complain about) and probably have a great system.

I'm also always surprised when people say they've already spent a lot of money so now they're looking for the cheap way out. The problem with a cheap co2 setup is the likely scenario of gassing your tank. So sure you saved a few bucks on the co2 rig; but now you just killed all the fish you've already spent the money on and incur even more costs by trying to save a few bucks!
 
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I read that they do not hold settings that good.

I bought a Green Leaf Aquarium regulator. One that fits Paintball tank.
Put it on a timer and after getting it set up, it holds perfect.

Just finished my first tank after 2 months or more and never had to change valve settings, unless it was to get more or less.
But it held what I dialed in and it is on a timer as well.

My buddy has the regular full size one and says it holds the same.

You will pay $200, but you will NOT beat their quality for the price.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I got this in the mail already. Came in 2 pieces (if you want to be literal about it). The front knob was not attached. The boxing was a bit sketchy as there was no insulation in the box to prevent it from being destroyed. However, the Amazon box did have the plastic balloon thingies in them. Still, when I shook the inner box that this was housed in, it would rattle a bit. That was possibly due to the knob moving around.

Anyways, it's a solid piece. I haven't been able to try it out in earnest yet because my 20lb CO2 tank is shipping as I type this. I tried to use this with a paintball canister that I had laying around for years. Before I received this regulator, I tried to fill it up at a paintball shop but they refused because it was out of certification and it would cost $20 to recertify but buying a new one was $25. So at that point I decided I didn't want to waste any more money and I bought the 20lb CO2 tank the same day. When I received this regulator, I had already received a paintball to CGA320 adaptor:


So I tried to hook everything together. I failed miserably. After putting teflon tape on it, it still leaked and then the o-ring from the paintball canister broke. Probably from being so old. When I say leaked, I mean there is a tiny hole on the side of the adapter that leaks and quite frankly, I don't know why there is a hole in the adapter. So, now I'm sitting here not able to try the regulator. I should get the CO2 tank in a few more days and will post my experience with it. I can also post some more pictures of it if anyone is interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So I ordered replacement O-rings for my paintball canister and received it last night. I was finally able to try this regulator and so far I'm liking it. The paintball canister is near empty and I think I saw what people were saying about an end of tank dump, but it wasn't like all the co2 was blasting through at the end. The flow was definitely higher than what I had set it at. I have a 125 gallon tank so I think I should be ok as far as not gassing my fish out. Coming from a DIY setup, this is still better than what I had. At this point, I am still pretty happy with this purchase as long as it works well with my 20lb co2 tank that arrives Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Finally got the CO2 after having to wait for the long weekend to be over (ok did I just say that?). Everything was pretty easy to set up and seems to work flawlessly. Bubble count seems to be holding consistently. I didn't know that after they fill the tank would be pretty cold. I'm hoping that's the reason why the PSI on the tank side is a bit lower than expected until it warms up. I was expecting about 1000 PSI from what I have read but it's around 800 PSI which might be right also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So just an update on this. After 18 days of use, it has performed great. No issues whatsoever. Crossing my fingers that it stays that way. The needle valve was pretty spot on but require some very minute adjustments a couple of times but nothing severe or anything to be concerned about. That was before I used a CO2 reactor that I bought. I think also for my tank size (125G) the minute changes to the flow wouldn't make much difference at all. Plants appear, for the most part, thriving nicely and growing well. I've already clipped some plants to create "more". At this rate, I'm going to have too many plants in my tank.

So anyways, anyone who was worried about buying a cheap all-in-one regulator, solenoid, and needle valve, you could go with this one without any issues. Having read up on the End of Tank Dump, I know what to watch out for since this is a single stage regulator and will fill up the tank ASAP once the symptoms arise but with a 20lb tank, that should take months if not a year.
 
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