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Report: Canister CO2 in Australia

I posted a few weeks ago asking about how to do compressed CO2 injection
here in Australia.  I received a couple of very good responses via private
mail, which helped considerably.  Thankyou both very much.  I will relate my
experiences of the last few weeks in setting up CO2 on my new 360 litre

There are at least two suppliers of CO2 in Australia.  BOC gases, and
Liquide Air are the ones that I'm aware of.  I bought my CO2 cylinder and
regulator from BOC.  It's intended use is for welding, and it's gas code
081.  The smallest cylinder they would give me is a size "D", which holds
6kg of gas, and is 680mm high, by about 150mm diameter.  In short, it's

BOC are difficult to deal with.  You need to apply for an account with them,
and then they won't sell you a cylinder.  Instead they hire you a cylinder
at approximately AUS$80 per year (I haven't got this bill yet).  The cost of
filling and initial supply and delivery was AUS$46.

I bought a regulator from BOC as well.  Their cheapest CO2 regulator is a
fixed 200KPA unit, with one guage (showing cylinder pressure).  It's called
a BOC6000 CO2 Preset 200KPA on the invoice, part number 105218.  It cost
AUS$71, including delivery.

BOCs phone number is 131262, from anywhere in Australia.

I bought a nedle valve and fittings from New South Wales Valve and Fitting,
phone 02 95850444.  They had the Nupro/Swagelok S series "metering valve" in
stock, at AUS$112.  I chose a B-SS2 valve, which fits on 1/8" pipe, as 1/8"
is a reasonable match for my airline tubing.  I also needed an adapter to go
from Male 1/4"BSP thread (actually about 14mm diameter) to the 1/8" pipe, so
I could attach the needle valve to my regulator.  I'm still waiting on that,
at present with quite a collection of adapters courtesy of one of the
engineers at work (we use 1/4" mainly).

Finally I made an reactor out of a pair of gravel vacs.  I took the plastic
reducing bit from one and put it on the open end of the other, after filling
with half a dozen bio balls.  I drilled a hole in one end cap to fit a piece
of plastic tube, to which I attached my airline (with a check valve in
series just in case).  The reactor is positioned such that water flows
downwards through it, and CO2 bubbles up through the water.

I plan to fit this reactor on the outlet of my canister filter, but am still
looking for reducing T fittings so that I can insert it as a bypass in the
outlet pipe.  This is because the fittings for the gravel vac take approx
10mm hose, whereas the filter outlet uses approx 20mm hose.  However, I've
tested it by holding it under the water in my smaller tank, with the water
supplied by a small powerhead, and it works a treat.

It's been a fairly expensive exercise to date.  All up it has cost me
perhaps AUS$280.  I probably could have bought a cheaper needle valve, but
figured the Nupro one would definately work.  I doubt I'll need to refill my
CO2 cylinder for a _very_ long time.  Once it's set up I plan on buying a
solenoid valve (approx $80) and a pH electrode (approx $120) and closing the
loop, after of course building a controller ($negligible, as I have most of
the parts to hand).

For now I have to take apart my half completed stand, and fit longer legs,
as I'd only allowed 660mm height for gas cylinders.

I'll post lots of pictures on my web page once it's done.

Thanks heaps,

Suzy (who is innundated with baby mollies at present)

Suzy Jackson    http://www.suzyj.net    suzyj at suzyj_net