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The Continuing Saga of the CO2 Wars....

Sorry to hear about your accident with your CO2 setup Jeff, but there were a
few things you might have missed from the huge CO2 thread which took place a
short while ago:

1. Because CO2 is a liquid inside of the compressed gas cylinder, the
pressure on the Cylinder guage will be at or very close to the vapour
pressure of liquid CO2 until most, if not all of the liquid CO2 has turned
into a gas and been released from the cylinder. At 70F, a full cylinder
gauge should be reading pretty close to 830 psig (the vapor pressure of
liquid CO2). A reading of 400 psig indicated that all of the liquid phase
had evaporated and you were "running on fumes". ALL systems can get unstable
in this condition, so you can't blame anyone for this, just keep it in mind
in the future.

2. A good needle valve would have prevented the sudden release of CO2 into
your aquarium. Good needle valves _can_ cost a lot more than a cheap
regulator but they are great insurance against just this type of problem.

3. A "high pressure" system, if properly designed (i.e. with a regulator + a
needle valve) and monitored (watch your Cylinder gauge pressure and change
cylinders once it gets close to approximately 500 psig) can be just as
"foolproof" and "safe" as a "low pressure" system.

As for your current system (I don't know which one you have), all you
_should_ need to do is to get a good needle valve and put in into use.
Nothing needs to be thrown in the garbage.

The only "fool-proof" CO2 system is NO CO2 system. They ALL require care in
equipment selection, setup and maintenance. And, at least in MY opinion,
this isn't one of those areas where you should cut corners cost-wise. It
need not be expensive, but you shouldn't be low balling it either.

James Purchase