I have a chance to purchase a Milwaukee ph controller (MC122) but am having second thoughts. Won't a drop checker used correctly work just as well if not better? Or am I missing something?:icon_roll
A drop checker used correctly will tell you the aprox CO2 content of the water. A controller used correctly can hold that value (set point) as a maintained level within the range of your needle valve and regulator flow rates. Demand / usage + or - matters not. The controller turns the solenoid on and off controlling the injection.
I'm a thrifty guy. I prefer not to spend money on unnessary things. That being said, I highly recommend the use of a pH controller.
I've used the Milwaukee's for years, and they are great. So much more control over your CO2. Prior to owning/using one, I had a few bad experiences of gassing my fish. Haven't had a problem since I started using pH controllers.Can you have a great tank, with dialed in CO2, without a controller? Sure, but it's a lot easier with one. I've written many a love affair posts about pH controllers in the past.
Finally, I've used Milwaukee's for years and they've been great, but that being said I bought a Pinpoint for my 120g....that thing is amazing.
Note: I bought all mine used, and got a good deal on all of them. (Think I've never paid more than $50 for the Milwaukees, and got the Pinpoint for $65). However, after using them for years, if one of them died and I had to buy a new one, I'd be willing to pay full price because they are that luxurious.
I am currently using a drop checker with 4KH sulution and indicatior. It is now a nice green color. When I now measure the ph of the tank water it shows that it has a ph of 7. Does this seem possible? If so, what should I set the limits of the controller to?
I have only had one tank were I felt a ph controller would have been necessary. I had really bad flow/circulation/surface agitation on my tank so my CO2 would "ramp" up between water changes. It cause two issues, first, algae because of inconstant co2. Second, if I went to long without a water change, my fish would get stressed. Outside of that, I have never had a tank where I would have needed one.
On the flip side, there have been more than a few of my own errors where I either killed my fish, or almost killed my fish. Some of it was the learning curve of CO2, sometimes it was doing a minor tweak, thinking I would be home all day, or for a few days, and ending up having to take a trip out of town. A ph controller would have saved me. CO2 can have a steep learning curve to being with and once you think you have it under control, if you are headstrong like me, you get to learn a few more times. That small turn of a needle valve can be the cruelest thing you have ever done. I would pick up one for cheap even now that I really haven't had a fish related issue in 3-4 years.