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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Ph Controllers question

One of the main problems with my aquariums is that the water in my area is very hard, and has a very high Ph naturally

Generally the hardest thing about the hobby for me has been keeping Ph right because alot of the fish and biotopes I like require very soft water with a low Ph (amazon basin ect.)

Do Ph controllers just moniter your Ph levels, or do they keep them steady?

Specifically Id be looking at the Milwaulkee controller sold at glass-gardens.

Im in the process of setting up an RO system to deal with the hardness problem, if nothing else, it'll increase my water quality.

Tips and suggestions appreciated!
Thanks for any help , Jay
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 11:51 PM
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Just curious, what is your pH normally?

A lot of supposedly soft water fish do just fine with a higher pH, they are just not likely to breed etc.

Sometimes adjusting your pH with chemicals can be more trouble than its worth. The good thing about pH controllers is that they will keep your pH stable at whatever level you set them for. Basically a probe will constantly monitor your pH and when it rises a little, the controller will open the solenoid valve on your CO2 causing the pH to go down to your preset level. Are you currently using pressurized CO2?

-Jeremiah
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 11:55 PM
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Generically speaking, a pH controller monitors the pH level and has some form of controlled outlet to use in conjunction with a solenoid valve on a CO2 regulator. It will turn the valve on when the monitored pH level rises above the set point and shuts it off when the level comes back down.

There are also monitors without controllers to continuously monitor pH levels, as well as multifunction units although most of those are geared more towards marine use.

My personal experience with controlled CO2 and hard water (4KH and 7.8-9pH out of the tap) has been interesting. Stabilized pH is good of course, but after playing with RO water blending, straight RO with additives etc, I now just stay with what comes out of the tap and plant accordingly with fairly decent results.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 11:57 PM
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Hard water is not a problem. Fish adapt and live just fine, I have very hard water (GH = 25 KH = 22) so I can attest to that. Some of my LSFs in downtown Minneapolis have very softwater on the other hand b/c thiers is coming from the Mississippi. The fish did just fine making the transition. But as crshadow mentioned, its hard to breed them.

Some store bought fishes are breed anyway, so they never even came from thier 'ideal' wild habitat.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, GH KH in the 20s with a PH of 9 out of the tap.

No, I do not currently have c02 injection but I am looking into it for this reason, and for the obvious one (plants growth)

I do understand most anything can live in this without much trouble, but at a cost.

my oscar for instance, a very hardy fish, but his natural habitat would be soft water with a moderatly low Ph. He does fine really, but his colors are very dull, and his growth is very slow for an oscar. The only thing I can attribute this too is the water parameters, seeing as he has an excellent diet with color enhancing foods, stable foods, ect. I was hoping with RO water and a stabilized lower Ph.


Now that I understand how the Ph controller works in planted/freshwater environment, how would one work in a saltwater environment , were there is no C02 injection?

Keep the convo goin!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 12:36 AM
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In a marine enviroment at least in my limited experience, same thing, CO2 injection, only into a calcium reactor in which CO2 aids in this disolving of the calcium source)


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 02:14 AM
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I would look at other possible sources for the lack of coloration and the slow growth. Oscars are bread and butter fish that have been commercially bred for awhile now, and I doubt that the one you have is a wild caught specimen (especially if you purchased it as a juvenile).

As for CO2 in the saltwater aquarium, it really isn't used that often, unless you're dealing with a reef tank that has a constant demand for calcium. Even then, there are alternative means of supplying the calcium. It would be used in the manner that GG described - hooked into a reactor, where the water solution has a very low pH and dissolves the calcium carbonate that's in the cylinder.

In a saltwater tank, you're not gonna be using the pH controller as you would in a freshwater planted tank (you're not gonna try to lower the pH, since you want it quite alkaline, plus the buffering capacity is so much higher). It would be used for measurements instead of being used in conjunction with a CO2 setup to drop the pH.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Yes , I understand the Calcium Reator / Ph controller concept.


I wonder if the lack of coloration and slow growth is due to imbreeding.. the last oscar about 3 years ago was very vibrant and grew very fast, he lived in the exact same environment this new one is in.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2004, 11:51 PM
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That's doubtful. Oscars lay so many eggs that I don't see a reason why a breeder would be doing this (you would see other deformities as well in the batch other than stunted growth).

Eric


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2004, 12:03 AM
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Well, all fish aren't created equal. You may have just ended up with the runt of the litter, so to speak. Nothing physically wrong with it, just not the most genetically blessed

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2004, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, it seems that would be so, bharada.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2004, 01:22 AM
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So if I were you I would just live with the hardwater. Fish and plants really do fine in it, and I bet all your fish are coming from your petsmarts/LSF which also have hardwater too. If you want to breed a RO unit would be of help.
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