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Needle valve advantage

I have had my tank going for about two years now and
THOUGHT I was using a needle valve this whole time. I
think now that I was mistaken. Apparently, when you
are talking about a needle valve you are talking about
a valve that goes right after the regulator which can
take a fairly high pressure and drop it down to a few
bubbles per second (such as an ARO NO1 or Nupro). I
started out by just dropping my pressure from the
reuglator down to about 5 psi and then fine tuning the
bubbles with air air stone "regulator" (little
plastice blue needle valve made by Lee's for $.99). I
later replaced this with a $4 brass one from Home
Depot. Recently bought a real needle valve and figured
that it would be easier to adjust than the one I had.
I didn't realize that they don't work under low
pressures (i.e. 5 psi), which I guess is why they
"dump" when your tank gets low. Right now I just
started using two of the little blue jobs in sequence
which gives me excellent flow control and I leave my
regulator set at 5 psi. My question is this, what is
the advantage to using a needle valve over the kind of
thing I have set up now, especially when you factor in
the cost and the "dump" possibility? Just curious.


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