advise on whether to get or not to get a ph controller - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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so i have my co2 setup all pressurized. i will be using a milwaukee regulator, needle valve, bubble counter, and solenoid. i got it off ebay for a grand total of 80 bucks shipped. anyhow my question is do you guys recommend the use of a milwaukee ph controller or do you think i can get by without one. ill be getting plants graciously donated by members of this forum thanks to you guys =). any and all advice would be appreciated thanks again,
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 12:52 PM
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I don't use a controller or a solenoid. I just let the CO2 run 24/7. Many other people do the same.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 01:31 PM
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You can certainly get by without one. The intial setup and adjustment is a bit frustrating, but once you determine a good bubble rate to keep a good pH range throughout the day, you won't need to touch it again. I even killed a few fish through twiddling with the needle valve too much, but if you take it slow and make small changes, you won't have any such problems.
Once settled, my CO2 is now 26ppm in the morning and 16ppm in the evening after the lights go out. I initially had it up too high and the fish would gasp for air at the surface but I'm happy with the balance now and don't see a reason to add a pH controller any time soon.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys. Whats a good bubble per minute to start out with? Also, do you think 2.75 watts per gallon is good enough for my tank or should i try for 3.5 watts. Thanks for the info.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 02:51 PM
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Start low. I started too high, at the generally recommended 2 bubbles per second and had a pretty major pH drop. Start at 1 bubble every 1-2 seconds. Right now, mine is actually at 1 bubble every 2-3 seconds. Better to start low and creep your way up than have a major pH swing and then correct it back and forth.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 07:17 PM
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If you don't get a PH controller, a PH monitor would be very helpful.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2003, 04:16 AM
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I wouldn't get a monitor as a controller is just a few more dollars and it acts as a monitor.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2003, 02:06 PM
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I ran my co2 without a controller for years. There was lots of twiddling, checking PH and hardness and making adjustments. I got a controller about 2 months ago and man it really simplifies things. Just set it and let it do it's thing. The real bennie comes in at night when the ph naturally drops. The controller senses this and won't dose. Just calibrate it every so often. Really really easy

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2003, 03:37 AM
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I have the Milwaukee controller and I love it. I check the ph once a month to verify the that the controller is in calibration. Once you get one, I guarantee you'll never look back !
The other benefit is ph readings at a glance. Calibrating the unit is about as hard as doing a nitrate test. Takes about 5 minutes tops.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 06:30 AM
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I know this is an old thread , thought I'd add to this one rather than start a new one of the same subject. I was just wondering how often folks here have been calibrating their PH probes. Do you stick with the recommended once a month or can you get a way with going longer? Does the calibration solution serve as a cleaning agent also, have you had to do much cleaning of your probes? and lastly, do you have to buy a new pouch of 7.0 calibraton solution every month or can you re-use it? I'm getting ready to set mine up and wanted to see what items I'll need to have on hand. I've read that you only need the 7.0 solution and nothing else so I guess thats all I'll need for now.
Thanks folks
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