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RE Regulators etc
Fellow tinkerer Lyndle wrote:
"We clearly agree that the NO-1 is really not suitable for most
aquarium use. However it really isn't "cheap". It is actually a nice,
inexpensive, needle valve designed and manufactured for industrial
control applications that use MUCH higher flow rates than our one or
two bubbles per second. "
My comment was made comparing to the Swagelok, which is a beautifully
designed and constructed valve, whatever it might be used for--it has
milled metal parts made with close tolerances that glide like a well
oil machine whereas the Nupro is molded plastic with apparently poor
tolerances and construction. I have disassembled both and the
differences were stark. But so are the differences in price. Swagelok
has two valves, with different levels of control--the M and the S
series. I think that those who have tried them find that they work
very well for CO2 planted tank purposes. But I think that they are
more often found in industrial or laboratory settings where precision
is more imporant than cost.
BUT if you have found something workable for a lower cost than the
Swageloks, that's great. Keep us posted on those you try.
Your experience with the Eheim diffuser is the same as mine and others
that I have heard from. The size of the bubbles and the rate of flow
is greatly affected by the cleanliness of the diffusion material. To
keep things working I had to remove and clean the Eheim too often for
my liking. My Python reactors, I just wipe off the algae for aesthetic
reasons now and then--no soaking and rinsing and their effectiveness
remains constant even if I let them get a bit gunky.
Regarding end-of-tank-dump, where, when the pressure on the high side
gets too low to hold the regulator diaphragm in place, the diaphragm
allows all the gas to pass quickly to the low side (i.e., it dumps a
lot of gas quickly): This shouldn't be a problem if the regulator has
a safety blow off. If the pressure gets too high on the low side, as
with an end-of-tank-dump, the dumped gas goes out the safety and not
into the aquarium. Anyhow that's how mine have worked. A safety
blow-off is an important feature every regulator used inside a house
ought to have.
Note: Harbor Freight has no more of the $30 CO2 regulators I mentioned
in prior posts. But it still has the Coyner brand steel CO2 tanks (12
tanks that hold regulation 5 pounds CO2 for $69 and "20 pound" tanks
that hold regulation 10 pounds of CO2 for $139). These are tested to
over 3,000 psi and stamped per DOT 3AA2015. They are good quality
tanks with CGA320 fittings. That's the best deal I know of on tanks.
Now, who's selling good regulators for under $40?
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