If you're a serious hobbyist and you use pressurised CO2, then you're already heading in the right direction. Providing your plants with CO2 is a must if you want your plants to grow as nature intended - and if you want to grow foreground plants then it's an absolute must.
In the past, it was difficult getting CO2 bottles refilled as businesses would only refill their own bottles for health and safety reasons. Frustrating but understandable. But like most things in life you can find solutions to problems and the answer was to use pub style CO2 bottles or fire extinguishers. These can be refilled easily and you can buy/rent them for very little money. So what sort of regulator should you use on a fire extinguisher? The answer is:
This regulator is terrific value for money as not only is it well made but also has two gauges, a non return valve and a solenoid valve which means you won't be wasting any gas either. I do not believe in running gas 24/7 - I see little point in it and I have never found certain plants to melt (such as crypts) because of this. What I have seen is fish die due to a CO2 concentration being too high for the fish to be able to breath properly - if the CO2 had been turned off when the lights were off, this wouldn't have happened. Regardless, the fact this regulator has a solenoid valve is simply a bonus. The key feature is that it fits any CO2 bottle with a connection size DIN 477 - this is the UK standard thread size.
So if you're wondering if this is the right regulator for you, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I want to use a fire extinguisher or pub style CO2 bottle
- Do I want a solenoid valve attached to save gas (and money)
- Do I want a quality regulator that won't let me down