Going back to the gas can, C02 questions - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 11:56 PM
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Yes a pH controller turns your CO2 solenoid on and off. For instance, with mine my low point is set at pH 5.50. So when the pH drops to 5.50 it turns the CO2 off. When pH rises back to 5.60 it turns CO2 back on. So my pH drifts between those two levels during the CO2 injection period.

You will hear lots of pros and cons of CO2 controllers. Personally I wouldn't be without one. Makes it easy to make accurate small adjustments and less worry about CO2 in general. Dialing in CO2 by counting bubbles or adjusting flow rates is tricky business, and takes a lot of effort to fine tune. If I want to drop pH by an additional 0.05 to see what happens, I just adjust the setting. Couldn't be easier.

And not insignificant is that it acts as a fail safe to protect the fish.

I do not run CO2 overnight, as plants are not using it then. Most folks run their CO2 this way, as plants are only using it during the lighting period.

I run the air stones (strong air pump!) only for a few hours each night. When lights go off I like to degas tank quickly and create lots of O2 for the comfort of the Rainbows. It also creates a lot of flow which moves fish waste/detritus across the substrate to the rear of the tank.

I really don't know if it helps the plants or not, but have always been of the mind that good O2 levels can only be a good thing.

Thanks @Greggz

So how do you adjust your CO2 bubble count into your reactor for when the CO2 is on..? I would imagine since you have the pH controller running it you want it open quite a bit?
Also, I thought you said that your pH controller was on a timer and not running at night, or did I misread that part?

Was also gong to add in an airstone, I have a 3 or 4" circular stone I was going to put in the back of the tank in the corner, do you think this would do the trick or do I need to run multiple stones or one that runs along the tank?

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post #32 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:17 AM
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Thanks @Greggz

So how do you adjust your CO2 bubble count into your reactor for when the CO2 is on..? I would imagine since you have the pH controller running it you want it open quite a bit?
Also, I thought you said that your pH controller was on a timer and not running at night, or did I misread that part?

Was also gong to add in an airstone, I have a 3 or 4" circular stone I was going to put in the back of the tank in the corner, do you think this would do the trick or do I need to run multiple stones or one that runs along the tank?
I use a Dwyer Flow meter, and set the flow higher than it needs to be. Drives down pH quickly when CO2 comes on. And no, pH controller is not on at night. Comes on 1.5 hours before lights, and goes off 1 hour before lights go off.

For air, I run a strong pump and two 8" long air stones. They are along the back glass. It creates a lot of flow that rolls down front across and across substrate and helps keep it clean.


@Blue Ridge Reef sorry for the hijack!
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post #33 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:21 AM
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I use a Dwyer Flow meter, and set the flow higher than it needs to be. Drives down pH quickly when CO2 comes on. And no, pH controller is not on at night. Comes on 1.5 hours before lights, and goes off 1 hour before lights go off.

For air, I run a strong pump and two 8" long air stones. They are along the back glass. It creates a lot of flow that rolls down front across and across substrate and helps keep it clean.


@Blue Ridge Reef sorry for the hijack!
If you don't mind asking, why do you shut your pH controller off at night? Is it just so there is no chance that you will get CO2 injection at night?

Also, on your airstones, I assume they are at the bottom of the tank at the back wall, not the top, correct?

Thanks, and yes thank you Blue Ridge!
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post #34 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:28 AM
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If you don't mind asking, why do you shut your pH controller off at night? Is it just so there is no chance that you will get CO2 injection at night?

Also, on your airstones, I assume they are at the bottom of the tank at the back wall, not the top, correct?

Thanks, and yes thank you Blue Ridge!
Yes and yes. Controller off at night so no CO2 injection, and I don't really need to monitor pH over night, and airstones at bottom of back wall...creates a good flow pattern.
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post #35 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:32 AM
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Yes and yes. Controller off at night so no CO2 injection, and I don't really need to monitor pH over night, and airstones at bottom of back wall...creates a good flow pattern.
Perfect, thank you for all the great information!
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post #36 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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A few minor headaches going on with my setup. Gas ran last night, air pump turned on as it was set, then turned off this AM, but this morning I'm not getting CO2 to the reactor. Smart plug is showing on, pH is a full point higher than it is set for, but no gas coming out. Pressure is good. I've triple checked that plugs are configured correctly. Might run it straight to the wall outlet and hopefully see where I'm going wrong as I move each component back to the smart strip.
Edit: figured it out -I think. Solenoid plug is tricky. It works when wiggled just so. This isn't ideal, but it ran that way without a controller consistently. Hopefully this was a one time issue. Otherwise may be putting a new plug on this.
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.

Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 02-09-2020 at 05:25 PM. Reason: reason
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post #37 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 08:27 PM
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I would fix the plug. If it did it once it will do it again.
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post #38 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, irritating setting something all up and right when you sit back to admire your handiwork realizing you've got to fix a component. But better to do it this week than realize it's stopped working completely 6 months from now.
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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