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CO2 setups

At 03:48 AM 2/2/99 -0500, Guang Yan Wang asked:
>I'm going to set up a co2 unit with compressed cylinder, I have a question
>of the regulator. Why the regulator could not control the bubbling of the
>co2? Why the needle valve is needed? Does the regulator just release the co2

The regulator serves to reduce the pressure from about 800 psi in the tank
to a more manageable number.  If you have an Eheim diffusor (or other high
pressure appliance) then the regulator can supply the needed pressure (say
15 psi) directly and stablely.  This is how a "high pressure" system works.
 If your appliance is designed for low pressure (like a canister fileter
intake or a bell container or one of the bio-ball devices or ... then you
have a major problem.  The regulator will not function stablely at the .2
to 1.3 psi required by these devices.  You must add a second low-pressure
regulator to drop the 15 psi of the first stage to a few tenths of a psi
needed by your appliance.   This is a very difficult and experimental
setup.  Many try to use a needle valve in place of the low pressure
regulator.  The problem is that most needle valves are not designed to the
nano-flows that we use or the high pressure drops we need.  The regulator
releases CO2 as needed to maintain the output side pressure.
For more details, see the page in my sig.

Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com