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CO2 use and efficiency

At 03:48 AM 5/6/99 -0400, Mike G asks:
>I found an article written by Ed Fernandez ....  he says that "on
>top of the carbon dioxide system a typical aquarist will have to also
>purchase a 5 lb. bottle of CO2 monthly, as well as a suitable water pump to
>circulate water through the unit."  He goes on to say that "a common
>complaint is that most of these reactors waste CO2.  

Well, almost everything he says above is wrong, so I would discount the
rest of what he says.   Specifically:

1.  If you are going thru 5# a month you should  have a 20# bottle, they
cost almost the same to refill.

2.  I use less than one pound per month in my 50 gallon with waste.

3.  I do not have a water pump to circulate water thru "the unit", by which
I assume he is referring to a conventional reactor.  I do use a ugf, but I
use an Eheim diffusor to pass the CO2 to the water.  See my web page below
for details.

4.  I don't complain about wasted CO2, nor have I ever heard anyone who has
measured the waste complain.  My system dissolves about 90%.  If I could
avoid waste entirely, my CO2 cost would plummet from the current $.40 per
month to only $.36 per month.   You may have figured out by now that I
prefer to spend my time working out how to keep air in my tires and avoid
that expensive $.25 pump fee instead of optimizing my CO2 use to save four
cents per month.

Once you have seen the Eheim in action, you will appreciate just what a
fine job they have done.  The bad news is that the sintered glass disk
costs almost as much as a whole new unit, so don't plan on getting a spare
disk, get a spare unit.

Feel free to post any additional questions.

Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com