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Re: Check Valves & Manifolds for multiple tanks

I wrote:

>I'm curious to know how many of you have found a RELIABLE method of
>splitting off Co2 from one regulator and tank to feed several aquariums
>from one cylinder?  I've been messing w/ homemade manifolds and I got sick
>of the instability and constant fiddleling to keep an even flow. 
>As of last week, I'm out of the DIY-Co2 "business" and have mixed my last
>bottle of yeast!  
>I finally gave up and got the Aquarium Landscapes' 4-way manifold.  Its
>proved to be a MAJOR time & $ saver because it converts continual hours of
>adjusting into a one time job of seconds. 
> The flow is sweet and control is even to the tinyest bubble.  However, it
>ain't cheap, but  I highly recommend its control for those w/ multiple
>planted aquariums w/ expensive fish.

James Purchase:

>As for Dwight's remarks regarding the use of manifolds for feeding CO2 to
>multiple tanks, there are several ways you can go about doing this. The
>ready made one that he sells from Aquarium Landacapes appears to be an
>elegant solution (i.e. fewer individual parts) to the problem. As far as I
>can tell (I've not seen one "in the flesh"), they are building these from
>components more than likely sourced from Clippard Instrument Laboratory in
>Cincinnati. They carry a variety of fluid control products and in their
>Minimatic product range there are several drilled bar stock pieces which
>could be used as the basis for a very workable CO2 manifold. It is merely a
>piece of aluminium bar stock which has been drilled and tapped to accept any
>number of valves and fittings. An enterprising hobbyist could quite easily
>use one of these and incorporate the needle valve(s) of their choice. For
>the "luxe" crowd, I would probably recommend either HOKE Micro-mite ($$$) or
>Milli-mite (less $$$) metering valves or the Parker HR series metering
>valves (also $$$). Using multiple Parker HR's or Hoke Micro-mites is going
>to get VERY expensive, but would offer a "Rolls Royce" ride. A cheaper
>alternative would be to use either Nupro S valves (M3's higher priced
>metering valve is a Nupro S, I believe) or even the Nupro M.
>There are other companies selling these pre-drilled bar stock manifolds -
>they are available in aluminium, stainless steel or brass, and range in
>price from $5.00 - $60.00 (this is just the bar, it doesn't include the
>needle valves or the connection fittings).
>The largest part of the "cost" of one of these systems would be the needle
>valves, as the "manifold bar stock" is not expensive.
>All of these valves are readily available with a wide variety of connection
>sizes and it should be a simple matter to adapt them to work on a Clippard
>bar stock manifold. Unused ports on the manifold bar stock can be capped off
>with plugs and this would also allow for future expansion of the system. The
>hardest part of all of this would be to ensure that the connectors that you
>use will physically allow you to make the connections easily and tightly
>(there isn't much space to screw in a valve when the hole spacing is only
>around an inch apart).
>Another alternative would be to check out Swagelok fittings - they make a
>multitude of individual "pieces" which could be put together "Tinker Toy"
>style. These individual pieces tend to be pricy though, and this would add
>considerably to the cost of the manifold system..
Thanks for the info!  I'm checking into the Swagelok fittings
http://www.swagelok.com/ but I confess a total lack of understanding of
these sofisticated fittings.  I'd feel a lot more comfortable if someone
else "blazed the trail" and did a FAQ on constructing their own
sophisticated DIY manifolds. 'specially since if you're not careful it
could run into a pricey penny.

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