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co2: metering valves (alternative to regulator)

Hi all,

Maybe this little tid-bit would be useful for those who are looking into 
compressed co2 but dont have the wallet for it.

the cost for 2.5 lbs bottle and valve was around $30--you may pay a little 
more depending. I bought a new Aluminium bottle for $20 at parsons airgas in 
San Diego (on sale) and bought a 5000 psig "Parker" metering valve locally. 
Connected it to the bottle directly and skipped the regulator altogether. I 
recall reading someone else's experience with the same "experiment" which 
prompted me to give it a try.

Well, it works great and nothing blew up. very consistent airflow. less 
valves and connections to worry about. Only problem is that initial setting 
is difficult but after you set it once, you just leave it there. I have it 
in a room where temperature flux is pretty drastic but the effects of 
thermal expansion is negligible on this valve. has been consistently putting 
out a bubble every 2 seconds.

I should warn that not every metering valve is adequate for handling liquid 
co2, the one I bought specifically says 5000 psig on it (what does the g in 
psig stand for anyway?) and i think compressed co2 is 2000 or 3000 lbs. If 
you have any questions or advice, feel free the email me. I have lots of 
time because I am on SPRING BREAK BAY-BEEEEE!

And, oh, I will be taking a road trip with a friend to tour San Francisco 
this week. Any suggestions on interesting petshops, expecially those that 
have exotic fish and aquatic plants especially healthy riccia, would be 
greatly apprecited.

I read that the variety of riccia used in Japan, as in Armano, have tendrils 
which help them cling to wood better than the ones we use, is this true? If 
so, anyone know where i can find some? Im considering a tank with nothing 
but large amounts of driftwood and riccia and a small school of cardinal 

Toan Tran
sunny San Diego, CA
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