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CO2 Regulators

"Usually folks are talking about two GAUGE regulators,
heck you can put 100 gauges on a regulator, they won't affect its function,
only measure it.  In reply, James said he had found one but I could not get
their web page to display."

The web site I mentioned is for BOC Group, a multinational group of
companies involved in all aspects of compressed gas manugacture and
delivery. They have outlets around the world, which is why I mention them
(this list has members everywhere, so constantly mentioning only U.S. based
outfits is kind of pointless).

The main web site can be found at http://www.boc.com/ . From the main page,
there is a drop down list of "Products" - look for and select "Gas
Equipment". From the "Equipment" page you can see the wide range of products
made or distributed by the various companies under the BOC corporate
umbrella. Select "Regulators". BOC market a w-i-d-e range of regulators, for
a variety of applications. For our purposes (according to my local BOC
representative) the Chrome-Plated Brass regulators are perfect and there are
Single Stage and Dual Stage models. Look at the BHS500 Single Stage
Regulator and/or the BHT100 Dual Stage Regulator. There are 2 pages of specs
available for each regulator and a w-i-d-e variety of possible setups - the
regulators can be ordered to deliver a wide range of "delivery pressure" and
outfitted with a variety of both input and output fittings, depending upon
the setup you require.

A lot of people will balk at the prices on these items (approx. $188.00Cdn
for the BHS500 or $288.00Cdn for the BHT100) but as in most things, you
usually get what you pay for.

BOC can also supply (and provide help with the selection of) Needle Valves,
Check Valves, and hoses. If they don't carry what you need, they can usually
point you to another local supplier in your area (say, for example, SWAGELOK

All in all, even if you don't buy your equipment from them, there is a LOT
of information available on the web site, and if you are at all unsure about
CO2 equipment it is worth a read.

Another international company in the compressed gas business is Air Products
& Chemicals (home page http://www.airproducts.com/ ). Those of you who have
visited the AGA International Aquascaping Showcase & Contest web site might
notice that Air Products is one of the companies which has donated a Prize
for the Contest portion of the event (a Single Stage CO2 Regulator, retail
value $175.00US). To see the regulator, from their home page, select "Gases
& Equipment" and then click on the link to "Equipment" (ignore the drop down
menu items, they don't seem to work). From the next page, select "Specialty
Gases" (under the "Gases" heading) and you will find a link to "Specialty
Gases On-line Gas & Equipment Catalogue". From the home page of the
catalogue, the first visible hyperlink is "equipment". Clicking on this
takes you to a full index of the products available.Select "General Purpose
Regulators" and you find that they sell both a Single Stage and a Two Stage
Regulator. The specifications for both are available online and you can see
how they can be factory configured for a customer's exact needs. (the needs
of an aquarist might not be the same as someone pumping beer).

As an aside, for the individual who is awarded the Air Products CO2
Regulator in the AGA Aquascaping Contest, their regulator will be custom
configured by Air Products to their exact needs and delivered to the
winner's door by the company! No "surplus" equipment here!

Also of note on the Air Products web site is a "Regulator Selection,
Installation and Operation" section. In this, they describe how regulators
work, how to select the proper regulator for different applications, how to
hook everything up, safety checking, pressure adjustment, precautions, etc.
Anyone using a compressed gas setup should read this.

One thing to be aware of, when dealing with either BOC or Air Products (or
any other company in this sort of business) - don't assume that they know
_anything_ about the use of CO2 in aquariums. The folks at Air Products here
in Toronto were totally unaware of our market potential (but obviously very
eager and open to the possibility of discovering a new market for their
products). So when you are talking to any company rep, it helps if you have
done some basic homework first.

You should know the type of gas cylinder you are going to be attaching the
cylinder to (to make sure that they fit together correctly).
You should know the type of in-tank (aquarium) delivery method you will
use - i.e. a ceramic disc diffusor such as the Eheim, or a proper reactor
like the Dupla Reactor 400 or "S". This is important for the selection of an
"Output Pressure Range" on the regulator and will help you decide if yu are
going to need an accessory Needle Valve (usually not required for a ceramic
disc diffusor as they need an input pressure of between 15-20 psi for proper
operation). - Note that this is _nice_ but _not_ essential - you can run a
variety of devices off of a single cylinder/regulator, you will just need to
use some "T" fittings and individual valves.
It helps to physically take the diffusor or reactor to the supplier so that
they can make sure that the hoses and connectors will fit together and be
sized correctly. (Not all of us are familiar with the differences between
the available options - the folks at both BOC and Air Products are and can
ensure that you get the fight fittings).

James Purchase