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Looking at both CO2Art (and now owning CO2Art) and GLA, I have speculated that the "aquarium CO2 regulator" is generally less resilient and less well made than CO2 regulators that have been in use forever in beverage, welding, and other commercial and industrial practices. I think with these we are paying for a lot of glitz.

For sure these boutique regulators for aquariums look nice, and ergonomically are better suited for aquariums. For example I see many beverage and welding regulators that have the output pointed downward as that is how the hose would plug into a keg or welding equipment. With an aquarium we want the output parallel to the ground or pointed up, so we can screw on a bubble counter.

So that's the main question I have. What PITAs await someone buying a beverage, welding, or other industrial regulator for an aquarium? And what work arounds are there? For example I see two things right off the bat, the aforementioned position of the output and I notice a lot of these bev/weld regulators come with barbs for beverage or welding lines, not 3/16" aquarium tubing. So perhaps a U bend pipe can be purchase to rectify the downward position of the output, and maybe a different barb can be purchased? Anyone with experience with this?
 

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I once had a Victor CO2 regulator and a NuPro needle valve, with Victor being a common welding supply brand. I used bent metal tubing and Swagelok fittings to connect the regulator output to the needle valve, and a barb fitting to connect the needle valve output to 3/16" aquarium tubing, which bubbled directly into the intake of my Eheim 2015. I did not use a bubble counter, as I could see and count the bubbles as they exited the airline tubing.

It was a great setup and it served me for many years. I also got my 20# CO2 cylinder from a welding supply dealer. I would return the empty cylinder to them, and they would exchange it with a new, full one for $10-$15. It was a great deal.
 

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So that's the main question I have. What PITAs await someone buying a beverage, welding, or other industrial regulator for an aquarium? And what work arounds are there? For example I see two things right off the bat, the aforementioned position of the output and I notice a lot of these bev/weld regulators come with barbs for beverage or welding lines, not 3/16" aquarium tubing. So perhaps a U bend pipe can be purchase to rectify the downward position of the output, and maybe a different barb can be purchased? Anyone with experience with this?
As you already mentioned, ergonomics (convenience) is one. There are regulators that have parallel (to the ground) outputs, and for the ones that output downwards at 45 degrees, you can always use angled elbows to 'fix' this.


They're also a bit larger and clunkier, and maybe not as 'pretty' as boutique regulators (though this is in the eye of the beholder).


As for the other minor things (wrong output size, lack of hose barbs/compression fittings, etc), there are always adapters. I have not had any problems adapting the various industrial regulators I have purchased over the years for aquarium use; it is just a matter of finding the adapters, knowing where to look for them, and how they all fit together.
 
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