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Scott Rogahn 26-11-2004 02:39 PM

Looking for a better needle valve for CO2
 
I am looking for a better needle valve. I am presently using a cheap home
depot valve that just doesn't work. You can go from no bubbles to blowing
the reactor of the side of the tank in about a ¼ turn even at pressures less
than 5PSI. I presently use this by closing the valve all the way and
adjusting the pressure to get the desired flow rate. This doesn't work very
well the flow rate fluctuates considerably, from almost dead stop to way too
fast. It is a new regulator due to the old one developing a leak an
emptying my bottle, but I had the same problem with the old regulator. The
new regulator can be seen here



http://www.beveragefactory.com/draft...-premium.shtml



Look at the one titled Commercial Grade Double Gauge Regulator It may not be
the best regulator out there, but it is at least as good as the one it
replaced. (It was from a beer taper I bought used twenty years ago)



Present setup is a 5pound bottle with a meant for beverage dispensing. The
reactor is from the Hagen CO2 natural plant system seen here. All used in a
20 gallon tank.



http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...81&N=2004+2021



I don't have problem buying a $50 valve if it works. If I have the same
problem I will be very unhappy.



I am considering the Dwyer RMA-151-SSV valve/flow meter shown here. Based
on its published flow rates, and the fact that it is meant for gas, unlike
the home depot which is designed for water



https://www.dwyer-inst.com/htdocs/FL...MPrice.CFM#CRA



Other options would include the omega FL-3607G shown here



http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=FL3600_FL3800



I am open to a needle valve with out a gage. But I can't find published
data that indicates they would work to meter very slow flow rates of a gas.



Once I can reliably control the flow of CO2 I may run the gas into the
intake of the Ehiem filter. But I don't want to end up with the same amount
of noise the filter makes when it sucks air for the surface extractor.



What ever I do I need a well-controlled bubble count



Any advice is appreciated



Thanks



Scott



Jürgen Beisser 26-11-2004 04:30 PM


"Scott Rogahn" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
...
I am looking for a better needle valve. I am presently using a cheap home
depot valve that just doesn't work. You can go from no bubbles to blowing
the reactor of the side of the tank in about a ¼ turn even at pressures
less than 5PSI. I presently use this by closing the valve all the way and
adjusting the pressure to get the desired flow rate. This doesn't work
very well the flow rate fluctuates considerably, from almost dead stop to
way too fast. It is a new regulator due to the old one developing a leak
an emptying my bottle, but I had the same problem with the old regulator.
The new regulator can be seen here
....


Scott,

I don't know whether Dennerle (Germany) sells equipment to the area where
you live. They have introduced a pretty good one which you can adjust easily
because of the reduction gear. Look at the bottom of their page:
http://www.dennerle.de/ENGLISCH/E_CO...EUframeset.htm
I have the predecessor of this type and I am very satisfied with it.

Regards
Juergen



Jürgen Beisser 26-11-2004 04:33 PM


"Jürgen Beisser" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
...

"Scott Rogahn" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
...
I am looking for a better needle valve. I am presently using a cheap home
depot valve that just doesn't work. You can go from no bubbles to blowing
the reactor of the side of the tank in about a ¼ turn even at pressures
less than 5PSI. I presently use this by closing the valve all the way and
adjusting the pressure to get the desired flow rate. This doesn't work
very well the flow rate fluctuates considerably, from almost dead stop to
way too fast. It is a new regulator due to the old one developing a leak
an emptying my bottle, but I had the same problem with the old regulator.
The new regulator can be seen here
....


Scott,

I don't know whether Dennerle (Germany) sells equipment to the area where
you live. They have introduced a pretty good one which you can adjust
easily because of the reduction gear. Look at the bottom of their page:
http://www.dennerle.de/ENGLISCH/E_CO...EUframeset.htm
I have the predecessor of this type and I am very satisfied with it.

Regards
Juergen


Scott,

just found out that you have to click on "Classic Line" from the page
mentioned above to get to the page with the new regulator.

Regards
Juergen


Michi Henning 26-11-2004 09:46 PM

"Scott Rogahn" wrote in message
...
I am looking for a better needle valve. I am presently using a cheap home
depot valve that just doesn't work. You can go from no bubbles to blowing
the reactor of the side of the tank in about a ¼ turn even at pressures less
than 5PSI.


I had the same problem.

I'd recommend the Swagelok B-4MG fine metering valve.
You can find it on-line at www.swagelok.com.
The full catalog with all the specs for their needle valves is
at http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/we.../MS-01-142.pdf.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com


[email protected] 27-11-2004 03:33 AM

scott

I'm using Clippard valves on all my tanks now and have found them to
be satisfactory. Models MNV-4K or MNV-3K should work for you. Their
flow to turn ratio are almost identical at the bottom end that you
will be working at. If you do order the valves don't forget to order
the 1/8" barb adapters to fit into the 10/32 threads.
Do a google search and you should be able to come up with a supplier
near you.

PS


Michi Henning 27-11-2004 08:44 PM

wrote in message
.. .

I'm using Clippard valves on all my tanks now and have found them to
be satisfactory. Models MNV-4K or MNV-3K should work for you. Their
flow to turn ratio are almost identical at the bottom end that you
will be working at.


I tried the MNV-4K. While it works, it doesn't give fine control. Mine goes
from 1 bubble per second to something like 30 bubbles per second over
a tiny fraction (maybe 2 degrees) of a turn. The Swagelok valve is much
better than that.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com


[email protected] 27-11-2004 10:12 PM

On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 20:44:06 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

wrote in message
. ..

I'm using Clippard valves on all my tanks now and have found them to
be satisfactory. Models MNV-4K or MNV-3K should work for you. Their
flow to turn ratio are almost identical at the bottom end that you
will be working at.


I tried the MNV-4K. While it works, it doesn't give fine control. Mine goes
from 1 bubble per second to something like 30 bubbles per second over
a tiny fraction (maybe 2 degrees) of a turn. The Swagelok valve is much
better than that.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com



Michi what was the pressure on the valve?
I'm using 8 psi and its working well for me.
The Swagelok valves are a better quality but they have a price tag
that goes along with that.

take care

PS

Michi Henning 27-11-2004 10:20 PM

wrote in message
.. .

I tried the MNV-4K. While it works, it doesn't give fine control. Mine goes
from 1 bubble per second to something like 30 bubbles per second over
a tiny fraction (maybe 2 degrees) of a turn. The Swagelok valve is much
better than that.


Michi what was the pressure on the valve?
I'm using 8 psi and its working well for me.
The Swagelok valves are a better quality but they have a price tag
that goes along with that.


I don't know the pressure -- I'm using the regulator from an Eheim CO2
system, which has only a single pressure gauge that measure the pressure
in the tank. There is no gauge that shows the pressure after the regulator.

BTW, I've had bad experiences with the Eheim CO2 system, and I wouldn't
recommend it. Almost everything about that system is rubbish, and I ended
up having to replace all of it, except for the regulator.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com


[email protected] 28-11-2004 12:40 AM



I don't know the pressure -- I'm using the regulator from an Eheim CO2
system, which has only a single pressure gauge that measure the pressure
in the tank. There is no gauge that shows the pressure after the regulator.

BTW, I've had bad experiences with the Eheim CO2 system, and I wouldn't
recommend it. Almost everything about that system is rubbish, and I ended
up having to replace all of it, except for the regulator.

(snip)


You really should get a regulator (they are quite inexpensive).
That way you can have infinite control over your CO2 output.
I use a 75 lb bottle connected to a 4 port (each port has a valve)
header at the regulator. From there I feed a 1/4" line which branches
off into seperate valves at each tank. My bubble rate for most tanks
(70 gal. average) is 1/sec. Plants and algae are doing great :)

take care

PS

Michi Henning 28-11-2004 09:01 PM

wrote in message
.. .

You really should get a regulator (they are quite inexpensive).
That way you can have infinite control over your CO2 output.
I use a 75 lb bottle connected to a 4 port (each port has a valve)
header at the regulator. From there I feed a 1/4" line which branches
off into seperate valves at each tank. My bubble rate for most tanks
(70 gal. average) is 1/sec. Plants and algae are doing great :)


Well, I don't really need very fine control. I'm putting the CO2 into an
external Reactor 1000 by Aqua Medic (see
http://www.aquaristikshop.com/e_arti...actor_1000.htm).
That one is so efficient at dissolving CO2 that it doesn't matter whether
you run 5 or 50 bubbles per second. A pH meter connected to a controller
and solenoid takes care of switching the CO2 off when the pH drops low
enough, so I don't have to worry about poisoning my fish.

But, you are right -- it's much nicer to have a regulator that allows
adjustment
of the working pressure and, if you don't have the CO2 supply on a pH meter
and controller, it's pretty much essential in order to get consistent and low
bubble rates.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com


[email protected] 29-11-2004 07:05 AM

"I'd recommend the Swagelok B-4MG fine metering valve.
You can find it on-line at www.swagelok.com.
The full catalog with all the specs for their needle valves is
at http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/we.../MS-01-142.pdf.

Cheers,

Michi."

Paul on the Clippard side.......

I think you have a nice valve in both cases and you get a nice item
for your $.
One's the economy Clippard, runs about 11$, the other is the old Nu
Pro Swagelok which is very nice over the long run if you are willing
to pay more for them(38$). I find the Clippards are fine, but the
Swagelok's are nice and worth the cost difference. Depends on the
funds:-)
But they both do a good job.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Bob Alston 29-11-2004 04:18 PM

wrote:
"I'd recommend the Swagelok B-4MG fine metering valve.
You can find it on-line at
www.swagelok.com.
The full catalog with all the specs for their needle valves is
at http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/we.../MS-01-142.pdf.

Cheers,

Michi."

Paul on the Clippard side.......

I think you have a nice valve in both cases and you get a nice item
for your $.
One's the economy Clippard, runs about 11$, the other is the old Nu
Pro Swagelok which is very nice over the long run if you are willing
to pay more for them(38$). I find the Clippards are fine, but the
Swagelok's are nice and worth the cost difference. Depends on the
funds:-)
But they both do a good job.

Regards,
Tom Barr

For all kinds of info on needle valves and other equipment for
pressurized co2, see my web site:

http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/...Pressure%20CO2

Bob Alston

Drew_Y 29-12-2004 09:38 PM

I have been through this problem as well. I have gone through
"precision needle valves" and other junk.

The best solution of commercial equipment for planted tanks in the US
is the Eheim regulator with diffuser. I use it in combination with a pH
controller that is almost unnecessary with the stability of this unit.
I use a Dennerle Check valve for safety too. drsfostersmith carries
this unit with a us co2 tank adapter.

I have used dwyer needle valve, super precision needle valve, but the
eheim step down is very stable. I also use one on a calcium reactor
with excellent results


Bob Alston 29-12-2004 10:38 PM

Drew_Y wrote:
I have been through this problem as well. I have gone through
"precision needle valves" and other junk.

The best solution of commercial equipment for planted tanks in the US
is the Eheim regulator with diffuser. I use it in combination with a pH
controller that is almost unnecessary with the stability of this unit.
I use a Dennerle Check valve for safety too. drsfostersmith carries
this unit with a us co2 tank adapter.

I have used dwyer needle valve, super precision needle valve, but the
eheim step down is very stable. I also use one on a calcium reactor
with excellent results

Take a look at my web site for info on various metering and needle
valves. I have never heard of the "dwyer" needle valve. Can you
provide more information?

http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/...mendations.htm

Bob

Michi Henning 29-12-2004 10:53 PM

"Drew_Y" wrote in message
oups.com...

The best solution of commercial equipment for planted tanks in the US
is the Eheim regulator with diffuser. I use it in combination with a pH
controller that is almost unnecessary with the stability of this unit.


That's interesting. I orginally started out with an Eheim CO2 system
(regulator, diffusor, solenoid, and pH probe/controller). I was
very disappointed with the system and ended up replacing all of it,
except for the regulator. I would never buy this system again.

Here is a list of things that I think are wrong with it:

- The regulator has only one gauge that shows bottle pressure, and there
is no second gauge for the working pressure. The second gauge isn't
essential but, considering that the Eheim system is no cheaper than
CO2 systems from other manufacturers, I don't see why it couldn't
provide matching features.

- There is no way to adjust working pressure. The working pressure
is fixed by the regulator and the only other adjustment to control CO2
flow is via the needle valve.

- The needle valve is attached directly to the bottom of the regulator.
The valve does not have a handle; instead, there is a small screw
that you have to turn with a small screwdriver to adjust the needle
valve. This is quite awkward because the screw isn't even visible
(the needle valve is mounted at the bottom of the regulator with
the screw head pointing downwards and recessed), and if you
keep your CO2 bottle below the tank in a cupboard (as many
people do), you end up on your knees blindly fumbling around
with the screwdriver to try and find the screw slot.

- The needle valve doesn't have sufficiently fine control. Minute
adjustments on the valve result in large variations of CO2 flow,
making it difficult to set the correct flow rate.

- The needle valve has a tendency to lose its setting. Having set
the flow rate, I repeatedly found that, by the next morning, the
flow had either stopped completely, or increased to the point
where most of the CO2 was lost because the bubbles got
too large and simply burst at the water surface. I got quite
sick of the game of getting up each morning and having to
re-adjust the flow rate, only to find that, by the time I came
home in the evening, the setting had been lost yet again.

- The tubing is attached to the needle valve with a simple barb and,
from there, runs to the solenoid. When the solenoid is closed,
pressure builds up inside the tubing, and there is a tendency for
CO2 to leak between the tubing and the barb. There is no clamp
or similar to secure the hose to the barb. Other manufactures
provide more secure ways to attach the tubing, such as a screw
clamp or a proper push-in hose connector.

- The CO2 diffusor doesn't work all that well. Even when mounted
at the bottom of a 24" tall tank, so the bubbles get a long path to
the surface, quite a bit of the CO2 ends up being lost at the surface.

- The diffusor disk gradually clogs up with algae and debris and has
to be cleaned regularly, which is quite an arduous process. There
are many other diffusor designs that are maintenance free and work
better.

- The solenoid is housed in a separate box with some electronics, and
the box has two small plastic barbs to which the tubing is attached.
The barbs are quite brittle and, after a few months, one of the barbs
developed a small crack, so I had a permanent leak at that point.
The barbs are part of the solenoid valve, so if a barb breaks, you have
to replace the solenoid valve.

I opened up the box and removed the solenoid, and went to Eheim
to get a replacement. Eheim refused to sell the solenoid separately
and insisted that I had to replace the entire control box (including
electronics) at a cost of $155.00. And all that because a plastic
piece worth less than 5c had failed! And the barbs could have
been made of brass in the first place, in which case the entire
problem would never have arisen.

I ended up replacing the solenoid with an industrial-grade one, with
proper hose connections. Unfortunately, the Eheim control electronics
are designed for a 12V solenoid (not a 110/230V one, as is more
common), and can only deliver around 200mA of current, so I ended
up having to add a relay to switch the replacement solenoid.

- The pH control unit allows you to calibrate the probe for the pH 7.0
neutral point, but it does not permit setting of the slope (with a pH 4.0
or pH 9.0 calibration solution). As the pH probe ages, it's slope changes,
but there is no way to compensate for that with the Eheim controller.
After less than a year, the reading on the controller was out by as much
as 0.3 degrees. I contacted Eheim about this and was told that
adjustment for the slope "is not necessary". (Interestingly, the Eheim system
ships with both 7.0 and 9.0 calibration fluids, but the controller has no
mechanism to actually make use of the 9.0 fluid.) Of course, a deviation
of 0.3 degrees is completely unacceptable. (At a KH of 5, that corresponds
to the difference between 12ppm of CO2 and 24ppm.)

- The pH control unit is digital. When power fails, it loses both its
calibration
and the target pH setting (reverting back to a target setting
of 7.0 without any calibration). This is useless -- every time I change a
light bulb or lose power (not uncommon during summer in a subtropical
climate with lots of storms), I have to go and recalibrate the probe and
reset the target value. pH controllers from other manufacturers do not
have this problem and retain both calibration and target setting after
power fails.

So, overall, I think there are too many problems with this system to
recommend it. You can get higher quality and more reliable components
from other manufacturers, and at a lower price to boot.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com



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