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RE Dual stage regulators and CO 2 Setups
Lyndle made some very good supplementary comments to my supplementary
I have a few more. After all, how can we be beating a dead horse when
so many (new people) keep asking the same questions?
The basic advantage of a dual stage regulator versus a single stage
regulator is that the dual stage regulator will maintain more even
pressure on the low side (aquarium side) as the high pressure side (CO2
tank side) lowers. I.e., as the CO2 tank nears empty, the same rate of
CO2 release into your aquarium is maintained, at least for a while
longer than with a single stage regulator). This will provide maybe an
extra week or two of bubbling depending on which regulators are being
compared. If you do the math on the cost of CO2, dual stage regulators
are not an economical choice--but then planted aquaria, like sail
boating, woodworking, and flying, is not an economical hobby-- BUT it
depends on how you value your time.
I have tried to use ARO valves and found their sensitivity
inadequate--others have told me the same--yet others report success
with them. They are cheap plastic valves--I threw mine away. But
note, as Lyndle pointed out, if your regulator can be set to a stable
low setting, no needle valve may be needed at all. If the expense for
a good needle valve is a serious deterrent, on top of all the other
money you have spent for CO2 equipment, then try not using one at all.
With a relatively high pressure device like an Eheim CO2 diffuser,
you're likely to NOT need one.
Victor Regulator are the BMW (or Cadillac or the Eheim or whatever
paradigm of excellence you prefer) of regulators and they cost a whole
lot more than other things that will work. The same holds true for
BMW, Cadillacs, Eheims, etc.
I have heard several people with more experience than me report that
the rubbery-flubbery silicon tubing (the so-called ozone resistant
stuff) breaks down from CO2 faster than regular airline tubing. Does
anyone have any data on CO2 effects on tubing or its supposed diffusion
through the walls of tubing? People have used ordinary airline tubing
for years without any apparent accelerated breakdown of the plastic.
Perhaps there is a BMW, Caddilac,or Eheim of tubing. . . ;-)
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