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Gear Review

March 23, 2010
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Up for review today is Aquariumplants.com‘s electronic co2 regulator.  It can be purchased off the company website, and is usually in stock.  There must be quite a demand for these, despite the high price.

First off, it can be screwed directly onto your existing standard co2 cylinder.  No adapters are required as long as you use the standard size threading.  It takes a little bit of jockeying to get it fully seated while still remaining facing forward.  However, this can be a good thing if you are putting it in a place that requires the adjustment dial to be facing a direction other than straight forward.  I would recommend testing the tightness of your regulator’s seating with a thick soapy solution.  Bubbles will indicate a leak.  The directions that come with the regulator will answer some of your possible questions, though.

Aquariumplants.com's electronic co2 regulator

The model I purchased was the simple version with no LCD display.  That means that my bubble frequency is displayed as intermittent blinks of a red LED.  The bubble frequency and the bubble size can be adjusted to suit your co2 needs and the water pressure of your system (i.e. whether you inject to a canister filter or the tank itself).  It has the input slot for those of you with pH controllers.

This little baby is as precise as they come.  The bubble frequency that I originally set has not changed noticeably.  There is no needle valve, solenoid or manual bubble counter.  That means that they won’t be there to wear out on you and cause fluctuating co2 levels.  This makes maintenance a breeze.  There is nothing to repair!  The only thing that could go wrong would be to have the electronics burn out from a power spike.  You can help prevent that by plugging it into a powerstrip.  But who doesn’t use one of those already with your fish tank?

Pros:

  • Very precise
  • Very easy to use – just screw it onto the cylinder and connect it to your diffuser
  • Nothing to repair such as needle valves, etc
  • Customizable co2 injection rate

Cons:

  • Very expensive (nearly $200 as of today)
  • Adds a little bit to your electricity bill – it uses 12 volts and draws 0.5 amps

Overall, this unit is worth every penny if you are serious about your planted aquarium.  It won’t fail on you, and you can use it even if you aren’t so mechanically inclined.  Now, if fertilizing the aquarium would become this easy we’d be set.

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