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Re: DIY CO2 bubble rate control and reactor

Adam Shaw gave some good advice about Co2 injection.  I
offere a few additional coments:

> If you are looking for gas fittings, metering valves,
> needle valves and
> all sorts of bits and pieces (possibly even a relief
> valve like what you
> mention) you could try the swagelok website -
> www.swagelok.com . I use
> their brass S-series precision metering valve (was about
> $95AUD, or
> about $45US) and it works a charm. I can get the flow
> right down to one
> bubble every 5 seconds or even lower than that (however
> it's not
> recommended since that's almost approaching 'shut off'
> point, and the
> needle can be damaged).

Also look at the Clippard, sold at many places like
Aquabotanic.com -- cost about half what the swagelok does,
works as well for aquarist purposes.  I've used both, and
although the Swagelok is more expensively built than the
Clippard, either one functions as well as the other for
aquatic gardening.

> Another supplier you may want
> to try is
> monolith marine monsters - www.marine-monsters.com. They
> also stock a
> variety of needle / metering valves at reasonable prices
> aimed
> specifically for the aquarist.

Of course the valves wer not manufactured with aquariums in
mind, but M3 sells them with aquariums in mind ;-)
> If you're handy with diy and pipe fittings, and have some
> patience, a
> reactor is not difficult to build. I built my reactor for
> less than
> $50AUD ($25 or so US$). 

You can proably do it for about $10 if you're willing to
use some PVC pipe and end caps -- especially if you can get
a scrap pipe of pvc pipe from Home Depot or a local
plumber, etc.  Glue/epoxy in some threaded-to-barbed
fittings for the water connections and drill and undersized
hole for the CO2 line.  Why not use pvc -- no one's going
to see the external reactor anyhow -- and why use an
internal when you can use an external for no more cost?

A good source for fittings of all kinds is McMaster-Carr at

Scott H.

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