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Re: CO2 System

Catalin Dobrescu wrote:
> I am also looking for a CO2 system.  Do you know
> of anyone selling on second-hand?   
> Or do you have any suggestions regarding
> a cheaper way to acquire one?

I don't think there are many second hand ones available but you might
find one by asking on the APD. You can find a wealth of information in
the Krib archives about locating the parts for CO2 systems. There is
more information in the APD archives but its tough to sort through it
all. I've CC'd Erik Olson so he can check if all of these postings below
made it into the Krib. I'd expect to see most of it there except for the
Vancouver specific stuff.

I have some information about distributors for the needle valves here in
Vancouver. Its possible and probable that you can find a cheaper type of
needle valve that has better control if you are willing to spend several
hours tracking down the information and making phone calls. You need to
understand about valve flow coefficients. If you value your own time and
are only buying one or two valves, it may not be worth the hassle since
the ARO valve works well enough for most of us. A finer control valve is
always desirable. Here is some information that I've collected:


The distributor for ARO in Vancouver is Acklands.

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 15:12:17 -0800
From: Dave Mosley <dxm1 at calweb_com>
Subject: Re: co2 gauges

On Sat, 14 Feb 1998 04:41:05, Stephen Pushak wrote:

> Ok, who knows the Canadian distributor for ARO or Nupro?

your nearest nupro distributor can be found at swagelock's home page:

http://www.swagelok.com/enter5.htm  (Who to Call)

i haven't found ARO on the web yet, but a phone call to:

(419) 636-4242

will get you the name of the nearest supplier.
        Sun, 15 Feb 1998 11:57:29 -0600
        "Grant Cockshott" <gwc at total_net>
        <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>


Your call on the CO2 was very accurate ( APD February 14.)

I'm not sure who the "master distributor" might be for Canada of Nupro,
our local guy Winnipeg Valve and Fitting 204-633-4446 claims to carry


Grant Cockshott
Vice President and Sales Manager
Welders Supplies Limited
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
gwc at magic_mb.ca

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:23:06 -0600
From: Tom Petersen <peter334 at tc_umn.edu>
Subject: Re: CO2 valves & 24v transformers

Dave & Steve:

ARO is a division of Ingersoll-Rand.  The site you want to check out for
CO2 valves is:


Phones numbers and valve info is included.  If you're lucky to have a
Grainger's (multi-purpose anything you want store) they have a 3000+
page catalog that has the valves including solenoids from ARO and

            Re: co2 systems
            Tue, 07 Sep 1999 12:19:57 -0700
            Stephen Pushak <spushak at mdsi_bc.ca>
            flyer <flyer at island_net>
            Michael Flegel <mpflegel at istar_ca>


In Vancouver you can contact Canex Cylinders at 273-0300 (ask for Kevin
Dave) if you want the ARO needle valve. You should ask for the
ARO/Ingersoll-Rand part 104104-NO1 which has 1/8" NPT fittings. The
is about $19.75 last time I ordered one. The part will be listed in the
Fluid Products catalogue under Utility Valves.

To find a closer distributor for ARO/Ingersoll Rand you can call Tony
(416)213-4502. Or contact a local Acklands and give them all the
information above. They probably won't know ARO but will know Ingersoll
Rand and you may have to steer them to the right parts catalogue.

For a top of the line needle valve with very fine adjustment you can use
the Nupro BSS4. You can get that from Columbia Valve and Fitting Ltd
(986-5251) in Vancouver for $75.80. That is a Nupro/Swagelock part. A
vernier handle is an additional $25.65. (prices subject to change)

You will also need a regulator. You might be able to find a used oxygen
CO2 regulator for about $40. Mike Flegel might be able to help with a
contact number. I've CC'd Mike on this message. Oxygen regulators can be
converted to CO2 use by switching one fitting from left hand to right
thread. Brand new regulators cost over $120.00 but there are many

You will also need some 1/8" NPT hose barb adapter(s) and other
miscellaneous fittings to join the regulator and needle valves together.
You can gang several needle valves off one regulator in order to inject
multiple aquariums. A welding supply outlet such as Weldco or Acklands
help you out with all those dohickeys. 

I like to use a powerhead to act as a CO2 reactor in the aquarium. See
pictures on my web pages. Its also a good idea to have a spare CO2
to swap in when the old one runs out. It can take over a week to get one
refilled unless you lease one and exchange it.

You can also buy a ready made CO2 injection system however the CO2
cylinders are tiny and expensive to refill/replace. Talk to Jeannie at
Aquariums West if you are interested. There is another large retail
distributor chain which handles CO2 systems however I will not recommend
them. Over priced and uncooperative with the local aquarium clubs and

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 22:14:56 -0500
From: "Dan Dixon" <dandixon at home_com>
Subject: Re: More CO2 Injection Stuff

Peter G. Aitken wrote:

> I have been looking into the Swagelock needle valves. The "S series metering
> valves" is indeed the lowest flow rate valve style they make. The maximum Cv
> is 0.004 (valve fully open) but according to the flow data graph I have you
> can get a Cv as low as 0.00025 with the valve open 2 of its 10 turns. I
> think this will be fine for a low pressure system - if not someone please
> enlighten me before I order one!

Peter, I don't know how useful the Cv numbers are with gasses, but most
people who have used the Nupro S valve say it's very nice. My recent
attempts to find this valve locally were not successful, but in the
I stumbled upon a Parker HR series valve for slightly more (about $52)
the Nupro S valve. I bought it and am so far very pleased with it.

The HR stands for "High Resolution" and the series comes in seven
valve stem tapers (HR-0 through 6) that offer various flow coefficients.
one I got was the HR-1, although from the spec sheets the HR-0, 2, 3,
and 4
models appear to be at least as precise as the Nupro S valve. Here are
Cv figures for the Parker HR-0 through 4 valves:

HR-0:   .00034
HR-1:   .00080
HR-2:   .00140
HR-3:   .00310
HR-4:   .00770

Here are some of the manufacturers' specs for the Nupro S and Parker
                           Nupro S Series        Parker HR-1

Max pressure:                2000 psig            250 psig
Max flow coefficient (Cv):    .004                .0008
Turns to open:               10 (+/-2)           15 (+/-1)
Shutoff:                    not intended        bubble-tight
Cv at turns open (approximate*):
        1 turn                .00010               .00005
        2                     .00025               .00007
        3                     .00050               .00008
        4                     .00080               .00010
        6                     .00180               .00015
        8                     .00280               .00025
       10                     .00400               .00035
       12                       ---                .00050
       15                       ---                .00080

(* I derived these numbers from somewhat lo-rez graphs, so they could be

To make sense of these numbers, I had to learn what "Cv" meant. The flow
(Coefficient of volume) is defined as the number of gallons per minute
room temperature water that will flow through the valve with a pressure
of 1 psi across the valve. However, since we are metering CO2 and not
all sorts of variables factor into the equation because gases are
compressible and the flow rates are affected by temperature and
The math to calculate flow rates for CO2 through these valves is
but it's beyond my time/interests/brainpower/etc. Here it is for those


In a nutshell, the Cv numbers are relative, I think.

Since most folks who use the Nupro are apparently quite satisfied with
control resolution, the Parker HR-1 is possibly a bit more resolution
is needed. For people who find that they only use the lower range of the
Nupro (1 turn or less), the extra resolution of the HR valves might be

Another nice feature is the shut-off capability. Unlike the Nupro S
the Parker HR valves are *designed* to be shut off. Factor in the cost
of a
ball valve and the extra expense is a bit easier to swallow.

The only downside was that the Parker came with 1/8" connectors because
that's all the dealer had. Adapting this my Cornelius regulator (aka
keg guage") was problematic; 1/4" connectors would have been a lot less
hassle to hook up.

As soon as I've had more time to play with the Parker HR-1 I will post
experiences, but so far it appears to be a very nice valve. Right now
running about 20 psi into it and I open it up about 3 turns to achieve 1

BTW, I think I saw 3 or 4 more on the shelf of this dealer, so if anyone
else is interested, email me off list and I'll send dealer info. The
who helped me said they've been collecting dust for 4 or 5 years, so
just want to move them out. I think Parker redesigned the valve, because
their current picture on the web site differs slightly from the valve I

I also learned that it doesn't hurt to poke around locally first before
buying mail order. I was about to order the Nupro from an out-of-town
when I stumbled onto the Parker deal. There may be other high resolution
metering valves out there made by other manufacturers besides Swagelok
Parker. If you happen upon a dealer of other brands of metering valves,
the dealer to cross-reference thiers to a Nupro S and see what they come
with. You never know what you may discover.

Good luck!

Dan Dixon

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 18:59:57 -0500
From: "Ken Guin" <kenguin at homemail_com>
Subject: CO2 and Needle Valves

Several list members have recently asked about CO2 Bottles and Needle
Valves, so I thought I would regurgitate some information I have put on
APD in the past.  I bought my setups about a year ago and have been very
happy with them.

I ordered the B-SS4 Nupro Needle Valve ("S" Series) from Dibert Valve
Fitting Company, Inc, P.O. Box 37280, Richmond, VA 23234-7280.
(540)366-0555. If you call them, ask for Joann and mention my name. She
be able to check my invoice and tell you what else you need. The cost
the needle valve was $55.00

Dibert Valve is the local distributor for Swagelok valves. The B-SS4
accommodates regular air tubing. If you are using something other than
regular air tubing (1/4"OD, 3/16" ID), you will have to get different
inserts than what I got. I ordered the B-405-3 inserts which fit air
like a glove. The inserts are about 50 cents apiece. I have been using
with the Nupra Valve for a year now and I have had no problems.

You can get a twin gauge regulator and a used (but certified) tank from
Rapids, 101 Second Avenue, SW, PO Box 396, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
800-472-7431 http://www.4rapid1.com . I got the used ten pound cylinder
(G110) for $65 and a regulator (Norgren - RP957) for $52.50 from Rapids.

$55.00 Valve
$65.00  Tank
$52.50 Regulator
172.50 Total

I hope this is helpful.

Ken Guin
Arlington, VA


Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!