CO2 setup correctly?
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Old 07-02-2004, 05:46 AM   #1
FiberCon
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CO2 setup correctly?


Here's what I got: I recently purchased and setup a pressurized CO2 system that included a pH monitor / controller ("The Works" setup from glass-gardens.com.) Every thing is setup fine, no leaking, etc. I have a DIY acrylic power reactor setup that does a good job.

Now my possible issue; the CO2 hardly ever runs. It might turn on for a minute or two every couple of hours. I have the needle valve set to flow at about 2 bps when the controller allows the CO2 to flow. I'm using a canister filter with very little surface agitation of the water.

I have it set to a pH of 6.8 and my kH is at 5, which should give me a CO2 ppm of 24 which is good. My city tap water is a pH of 7.4. I know that phosphate based buffers can throw this calculation off, but I don't use any such buffers and my tap water has 0 phosphates. My phosphate levels are high right now (which has caused a BBA outbreak) but I'm getting that under control.

My plants seem to be doing fine, but no pearling or any such. Is this typical?
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
GraemeK
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Well Im no expert on this but dont these PH monitors need calibrating?
Id test my PH etc using a decent test kit first?

See if the values tie up.

Assuming they do Id have to think about it?

What if you turn off the PH Monitor and just run the CO2 continually for your lighting period and see what affect that has?

I have my PH at 7 and my CO2 reading last time I checked was 23ppm

My CO2 runs all day for 10 hours.

G
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Old 07-02-2004, 12:46 PM   #3
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You do have to calibrate the monitor with the solution that came with it. I assume you did that. So the next question is what do you have for lighting?
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Old 07-02-2004, 06:00 PM   #4
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The controller is calibrated and matches up to what my pH test kits read for the tank. No concern there that the controller is working properly.

Lighting is 140w, which gives me like 2.8wpg. I'm planning on bumping that up to at least 160w at least when I can afford it.

Only ferts I'm using at this point are Iron and Potassium due to a brush algae outbreak that started before I got the CO2 setup.

The tank is planted to a medium density and the plants are growing.

This morning I moved the water outlet from my canister up in the water column to aggitate the water some more, and almost immediatly the pH went up .1 and the CO2 came on and stayed on. I'm guessing that this is due to the aggitation of the water releasing some of the CO2 thus driving the pH up a bit.
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:33 PM   #5
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If you pH doesn't move far past your setpoint on the controller, it won't turn on.

Keep an eye on the readout and see if it isn't moving. Like you said, when you aggitated the water, the pH shifted and the solenoid opened up so I guess that means your system is pretty efficient.

Ron
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:58 AM   #6
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I think your setup is working fine now. My water has a natural kh of 1 out of the tap so I have to add baking soda to raise my kH...hence my pH rises to about 7.6 or so if there is no CO2. I have my controller set at 6.8 and it will stay on until the pH is at 6.8...then you can hear the solenoid click the co2 gas off. Once it goes up to 6.9 it will click on...this goes on for most of the day with 1-2 hour intervals between pumping co2 and the solenoid cutting off. Now that I added another canister filter and removed my AC HOB the pH doesn't fluctuate much at all.
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:33 AM   #7
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Cool. Thanks for the responses all. I was pretty sure that things were running ok, but I just wanted to bounce it off others here to see how mine compared.

Thanks!
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