Estimating CO2 levels - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Small leak found, in a probably trouble spot.
This is a Milwaukee MA957 regulator. The very small leak I found was where the cap screws down on the bubble counter. I often need to remove this to add more water and the interface is simply brass on the plastic rim of the clear part. HArd to tighten properly anyway because I don't want to strip the threads so it's likely I wasn't doing it enough. Smeared a small amount of Teflon pipe dope on the threads and now seems sound. Also turned the desired pH up to 7.5.

Pro tip: "Bubble Fun" kids' bubble soap would appear to have a shelf life, even if it's sealed and been sitting on the shelf for a couple years. After not finding any leaks again, I decided I needed to blow some bubbles myself and it was completely dead. No bubbles. Who'd a known?
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post #32 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 01:09 AM
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@Greggz @burr740 @Quagulator How do you guys accurately measure PH to the 0.1? I'm still kind of new at dialing in my CO2 levels. Tried test tube/drops and a $15 probe on amazon and they both did not give great results.

Last edited by Squids; 04-19-2020 at 02:24 AM. Reason: Typos
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post #33 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 01:13 AM
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@Greggz @burr740 @Quagulator How you you guys accurately measure PH to the 0.1? I'm still kind of new at dialing in my CO2 levels. Tried test tube/drops and a $15 probe on amazon and they both did not give great results.
pH meters, pH controllers and pH probes / pens.

Usually I like to recommend ones that come with calibration fluid, and can be calibrated by the user.
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post #34 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 02:13 AM
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@Greggz @burr740 @Quagulator How do you guys accurately measure PH to the 0.1? I'm still kind of new at dialing in my CO2 levels. Tried test tube/drops and a $15 probe on amazon and they both did not give great results.
I use 20$ digital pens from amazon or e bay. You'll need calibration solution too as Quag mentioned. I buy the dry packs you mix with water but they sell liquids too. And some pens come with it. Follow the pen's directions for calibrating and also cleaning and storage.

These cheapo meters tend to last a year or two depending on how much you use it and how well you take care of it. You can tell when they start to go bad when they dont hold a calibration very long.

American marine makes higher quality ones for about 100$. The probe is replaceable, and you have to calibrate and take care of it same as any other
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Last edited by burr740; 04-19-2020 at 02:26 AM. Reason: .
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post #35 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 02:26 AM
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Small leak found, in a probably trouble spot.
This is a Milwaukee MA957 regulator. The very small leak I found was where the cap screws down on the bubble counter. I often need to remove this to add more water and the interface is simply brass on the plastic rim of the clear part. HArd to tighten properly anyway because I don't want to strip the threads so it's likely I wasn't doing it enough. Smeared a small amount of Teflon pipe dope on the threads and now seems sound. Also turned the desired pH up to 7.5.
That is a definite trouble spot esp on a big tank where the water runs out fast and you have to refill it a lot. I use to have the same problem. Nowadays I run inline bubble counters on everything and just let the regulator's bubble counter stay empty. That way you never have to mess with it. Some I have inside the tank and some are outside. You can just hold it down in a bowl of water anytime you want to see if its leaking.

And they hold more water than what is typically on a regulator.

https://www.amazon.com/Fluval-88g-CO.../dp/B004GCPM6K

Adding: If you see a recommendation to use mineral oil instead of water because it lasts longer, two things: Running a high bubble rate makes it foam up and go into the line. It doesnt really work running high bps, which you probably are. And second thing if you have a jbl style brass bubble counter, which you probably do, using oil can screw those kinds up.
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Last edited by burr740; 04-19-2020 at 02:49 AM. Reason: .
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post #36 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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That is a definite trouble spot esp on a big tank where the water runs out fast and you have to refill it a lot. I use to have the same problem. Nowadays I run inline bubble counters on everything and just let the regulator's bubble counter stay empty. That way you never have to mess with it. Some I have inside the tank and some are outside. You can just hold it down in a bowl of water anytime you want to see if its leaking.

And they hold more water than what is typically on a regulator.

https://www.amazon.com/Fluval-88g-CO.../dp/B004GCPM6K

Adding: If you see a recommendation to use mineral oil instead of water because it lasts longer, two things: Running a high bubble rate makes it foam up and go into the line. It doesnt really work running high bps, which you probably are. And second thing if you have a jbl style brass bubble counter, which you probably do, using oil can screw those kinds up.

Yep, I've been questioning the need for it and have let it run dry with no issues. I can see the flow from the diffuser and have the solenoid of the pH meter to control it. But the bubble rate is an added monitoring tool.
And to your second point: RO, or distilled water only. I'm using the CO2Art Bazooka diffuser and they expressly forbid anything else (in addition to requiring 40psi to run properly). Nice piece of kit that is. Very fine fizz, and good people to work with.
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post #37 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 12:18 PM
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@Greggz @burr740 @Quagulator How do you guys accurately measure PH to the 0.1? I'm still kind of new at dialing in my CO2 levels. Tried test tube/drops and a $15 probe on amazon and they both did not give great results.
Personally I prefer a pH monitor where the probe stays in the water (Milwaukee, American Pinpoint), so that you can monitor the pH with a quick glance at any time.

And with the probe always in the water, you don't have to worry about proper storage when not in use. If you don't store the cheap pH pen properly, you could be replacing them often.

The probes also just last a lot longer in general and don't drift as much. My American Pinpoint probe is over three years old and is drifts very little if at all. It's rarely off by more than 0.05 when I calibrate it monthly.

Cost is a bit more up front, but IMO is worth it over the long run.
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Last edited by Greggz; 04-19-2020 at 03:30 PM. Reason: typo
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post #38 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 02:23 PM
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If I only had one or two tanks I'd definitely use a monitor (not a controller). But with several tanks it kinda defeats the purpose since I'd still need a way to check the rest of them, or put one on every tank which to me isnt worth the expense or the maintenance of keeping 7 or 8 probes in order. Easier to just have one for all.
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post #39 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 03:36 PM
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If I only had one or two tanks I'd definitely use a monitor (not a controller). But with several tanks it kinda defeats the purpose since I'd still need a way to check the rest of them, or put one on every tank which to me isnt worth the expense or the maintenance of keeping 7 or 8 probes in order. Easier to just have one for all.
Yeah I was thinking about that as I was typing that response out, and should have added it.

For multiple tanks, monitors/controllers would be cost prohibitive.

I wonder if it would be worth it to come up with a little holding device so that you could keep a pH pen in a tank full time? Not so much for keeping it on and constant monitoring, but keeping it wet at all times.

My guess would be they would last longer and not drift as much??
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post #40 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 07:50 PM
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I don't know if this would help, but this is the probe holder I use for my Apex probes. It holds mine tight without even using the gate piece.

https://www.marinedepot.com/innovati...t-customcradle
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