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Re: What exactly is a solenoid?

A solenoid on a CO2 regulator is basically an electronic valve that when 
energized is open and closed when it is not. It either flows the gas or stops 

Wether you "need" a solenoid is a matter of opinion, really. Some folks keep 
a slow, continuous bubble stream going and are fine without one. Some people 
use a solenoid and have the gas come on and off with the lights, when the 
plants need the CO2. I use pH controllers on my tanks and the controller 
turns the gas/solenoid on/off as needed depending on the pH of the tank. pH 
controllers need calibration and add to the total cost of a gas setup, but I 
like using them. If I didn't use controllers, I'd probably still use 
solenoids on my regulators and tie them in with the tank lights.