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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey there, i was wondering since i'm fairly new to CO2 for pressurized system and only been using it for the past 2 months...what are the criteria that makes up a good regulator? is it the build quality, single or dual gauge, internal (maybe?) components, etc?

currently i'm using vivaria single gauge with built in check valve inside the bubble counter
1030962
it costs fairly cheap at around $22

so far the only problem is that the pressure on the diffuser can differ from one day to another, and i need to adjust it almost every morning. the visible cue are how much bps as well as the bubble from diffuser becoming lesser

others has recommend me with ISTA Precise
1030963
and it costs around $35, without check valve and bubble counter

at least in my country, ista precise is sought for the golden standard for the best investment for CO2 users..and this got me thinking about what makes regulator different from the others..does that mean if i use ista precise, it will have a better control over the pressure build from the cylinder?

and if i decided to switch to ista precise, is it advisable to use other brand parts together? say vivaria bubble counter and solenoid on ista precise single gauge regulator?

please advise :)
 

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Machining and tolerances.. Pretty much the major difference between them all.
some quality of parts such as diaphram/seat/seal materials.

None of which is visible to the end user really.

Some of that impacts failure statistics, like some manuf may assume 15% failure is "OK".

A regulator is a fairly simple device.

Same for the metering/needle valve..
Most precise use a need of like 3 degree taper. And it needs to be symmetrical.
More machining precision.
to quote Ista:
Extremely precise processing of the control needle valve which assures the reliability and accuracy in CO2 dosing.
As a side note looks like the output pressure is set to....... something.... atm no idea as to what .


Since most of these "little guys" are probably made somewhere in Asia and not made by "ISTA" itself the quality will depend on the factory of course.
I remember one CO2 supplier had a horrible time w/ quality from a factory and was sort of revealed here after some torn their units apart. Really sloppy internal machining w/ offset holes, scratches ect.
And this was a 2 stage design.
Bottom line their supplier was junk .
some of course worked great... TOO many didn't.

Good quality still costs you even w/ Chinese goods. :)

As to your other question, you can use anything you want.. but like w/ the Ista it needs to work w/ the pressure output.

as to some other aspects of your question
2 stage (not 2 gauge) regulators have more stable pressure from full to end of tank life.
Each component needs to be judged on its own merits like solenoid heat, or even ease of replacement.
Even threads of the parts have an impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Machining and tolerances.. Pretty much the major difference between them all.
some quality of parts such as diaphram/seat/seal materials.

None of which is visible to the end user really.

Some of that impacts failure statistics, like some manuf may assume 15% failure is "OK".

A regulator is a fairly simple device.

Same for the metering/needle valve..
Most precise use a need of like 3 degree taper. And it needs to be symmetrical.
More machining precision.
to quote Ista:

As a side note looks like the output pressure is set to....... something.... atm no idea as to what .


Since most of these "little guys" are probably made somewhere in Asia and not made by "ISTA" itself the quality will depend on the factory of course.
I remember one CO2 supplier had a horrible time w/ quality from a factory and was sort of revealed here after some torn their units apart. Really sloppy internal machining w/ offset holes, scratches ect.
And this was a 2 stage design.
Bottom line their supplier was junk .
some of course worked great... TOO many didn't.

Good quality still costs you even w/ Chinese goods. :)

As to your other question, you can use anything you want.. but like w/ the Ista it needs to work w/ the pressure output.

as to some other aspects of your question
2 stage (not 2 gauge) regulators have more stable pressure from full to end of tank life.
Each component needs to be judged on its own merits like solenoid heat, or even ease of replacement.
Even threads of the parts have an impact.
thanks so much for replying my question...

hmmm, i guess i will need a bit more research on how are the others in my community used their co2 system and i might just copy them hahahaha
 

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Price is one major differentiating factor. Not everyone has the same means, so price plays a big role. Second, if you are confident enough you can build your own. I do build my own. I feel , a good Quality regulator, Solenoid valve and a precise needle valve are sufficient. I usually take a week to fine tune the amount of CO2 I need to supply a tank and then the settings are never changed. A bubble counter is not really necessary for me since I have been doing this for many years now. Most commonly available dual gauge and single stage regulators will work. I use a industrial Solenoid. Its inexpensive and lasts long. I tend to spend more on the needle valve. Its from a Korean manufacturer , I done remember the name, but it gives fine control, similar to the SMC ones from ADA, and of course use a check valve.
 

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Dual stage is a big difference if you have fishes - if you don't single stage is fine. dual stage are more complex and therefore more expensive. Also there is a reliability factor. Most of hte better ones have 5 to 10 year warranties.... also you want one with an Integrated Solenoid (if you have fishes) so you can shut the co2 off at night. That also adds cost esp if it is a reliable model since they toggle on/off every day.
 
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