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Re: CO2 regulators

Shawn Prescott wrote:

"CO2 as used in our hobby, is a gas, and if one speaks to any knowledgeable
engineer, ( comments posted notwithstanding) they will tell you, that a two
stage regulator is of no value for the use of CO2. The two stage regulation
helps to even out the flow of a gas, but in our hobby, the "Gas" is a liquid
as most of you are aware, so buying the more expensive 2 stage type
regulators is a waste of money."

As someone who is considering replacing a very high quality single stage
regulator with an even better quality (and of course, more expensive) two
stage regulator, I'd be very interested in you reasons for saying this. I'm
not an engineer, but if you know one who can explain things in language I
can understand, I'd be interested to know why "a two stage regulator is of
no value for the use of CO2".

CO2 might be a liquid in the cylinder but it is CO2 gas which goes through
the regulator. I understand the physics of the situation - that due to the
presence of the liquid CO2, the pressure of the gas above it in the cylinder
will remain very close to maximun (approx. 900 psig) until the liquid phase
has been nearly exhausted, but why does that render a regulator capable of
maintaining a stable output pressure regardless of the declining input
pressure as "useless"? I could buy "not cost effective", or "not really
required", but "useless"????

"Two gauge regulators is another matter. The first gauge will tell you the
presure remaining in the CO2 cyl, & thus advise one, when time is getting
near for a refill. As this time approaches the it will become increasingly
necessary to manipulate your regulator and needle valve, which in a full to
25% full cylinder should hardly ever ne required. The second gauge will
inform one of the output pressure. We in Aquarium Landscapes, typically use
on a single 75 gal. tank an output pressure of 2-3 psi."

I do know the difference between a two stage regulator and a two guage
regulator. But what if a person wanted to avoid even the "fiddling" you
mention? Is a two stage regulator even "useless" in that case? As for output
pressure, you say that you typically use 2-3 psi. Is this with a sintered
glass diffusor or with a reactor? What type of needle valve do you use to
adjust your gas flow?

Have you ever experienced a situation where water from the aquarium has been
sucked into the CO2 line (and thus needing a Check Valve)?


James Purchase