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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
At the new BPS my drop checker has turned a dark green much quicker today. I will be keeping an eye on it. Hopefully by the end of the day today I will be at around a pH of 6.4.
 

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Hi Ron,

Not sure if this helps, but in my 120g, I ended up just taking my drop checker out of the tank (I ended up always being in the yellow). Ideally, you should start with ~1 point pH drop during the day. My tank runs at about 1.2 pH drop. When I get to between 1.3-1.4 I start to see signs of fish stress, so 1.2 seems ideal for my tank. Your mileage may vary. I also have dKH of about 3 deg.

My bps is uncountable. It's maybe 10 bps or more? who knows? I just let my bubble counter dry up and only use the pH drop as a gauge for CO2 now.

In the image below you can see my pH trends over several days. The pH rises to about 7.0 in the CO2 off period and immediately starts to drop when the CO2 is turned on each day. I turn the CO2 on 2 hours before lights turn on (1 hour would probably be plenty.) When the lights turn on, my pH is about 6.0 and then it drops to about 5.8 during the lighting period. I turn the CO2 off 1 hour before lights off and the pH immediately starts to rise.



-Clayton
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Clayton,

Thanks that is VERY helpful. I might invest in the pH controller for my Apex after all!
One question: How long is your lighting period?
 

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Clayton,

Thanks that is VERY helpful. I might invest in the pH controller for my Apex after all!
One question: How long is your lighting period?
I have 4 48" T5HO bulbs. My total lighting period is 8 hours, but my lighting period with all 4 bulbs on is 5 hours. I turn the rear two on at 2pm and the front two on at 3:30pm. The rear two turn off at 8:30pm and the front two turn off at 10pm. I might change this a bit, but this is what I'm running now.

Also, understand that I'm only monitoring pH. I'm not using it to control the CO2 directly. I get slight pH drift through the week and a bit of a pH shift right after weekly water changes. If I use pH to control CO2, this will affect how much CO2 I'm injecting. I care more about a consistent CO2 level, so I merely monitor pH to make sure I'm getting the same pH drop day-to-day. (Pretty much set and forget once I got it dialed in with my needle valve.) To illustrate this, you can see my pH shift after a water change if you look in the graph when my pH goes to nearly 9.0. The pH during the water change goes this high becuase my pH probe is near where the inlet water is for the water change. After the water change, you can see my pH curve shifts slightly lower (look at the max pH point). If I controlled the CO2 solenoid with the pH meter, this would result with less CO2 being injected than the day before which is not what I want.

-Clayton
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Interesting, I like your method to monitor pH without controlling CO2 to ensure an even injection of CO2 each day. That said, you are running 8 hour photo period. I am using the season table on the apex. It is giving me about 10 hours of light (2x 65W Power Compact). I am moving to an LED fixture today. Hopefully I wont have too long of a photo period.

Thanks again,
Ron
 

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Interesting, I like your method to monitor pH without controlling CO2 to ensure an even injection of CO2 each day. That said, you are running 8 hour photo period. I am using the season table on the apex. It is giving me about 10 hours of light (2x 65W Power Compact). I am moving to an LED fixture today. Hopefully I wont have too long of a photo period.

Thanks again,
Ron

If you wanted to use a shorter photoperiod, you could still use the seasonal table, but do something like this:

If Sun 060/-060 Then ON

This would turn lights on 60 minutes after sunrise and turn them off 60 minutes before sunset as defined in the table.

-Clayton


 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Yeah that is what I am doing for my CO2. Might be worth it.
That said, just tested my pH. After CO2 being on for 7 hours, my pH is at 6.4.
Before CO2 comes on my pH is 6.8. Clearly I need to up the CO2 a tad more.
I have no problem increasing slowly, less stress on the fish.

Thanks again for the input!
 

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Yeah that is what I am doing for my CO2. Might be worth it.
That said, just tested my pH. After CO2 being on for 7 hours, my pH is at 6.4.
Before CO2 comes on my pH is 6.8. Clearly I need to up the CO2 a tad more.
I have no problem increasing slowly, less stress on the fish.

Thanks again for the input!
Yeah, go slow. And don't freak out when you go past when your drop checker is bright yellow (that's why I eventually just took mine out.) When you get the max CO2 that you can possiby get into tank without stressing fish, then you can see what photoperiod works best for you. Are you dosing EI? If so, with max CO2, you should use light as your limiting factor for plant growth and algae.

-Clayton
 

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Definately up the co2. I hardly ever measure ph but when I did, I was close to a 1.2-1.4 point drop. Your dc should be a solid green at startup than your 5hr pic. It's hard to tell but I can still see a blue tinge in that pic. My dc is usually a light green at startup and almost yellow at the end. I use a 5dkh(sold as 4 but was 5 when I tested) so I actually have more co2 than the same colors using 4dkh. Green using 5dkh is around 45ppm and yellow is 60ppm+ so I have quite a bit of co2 going into my tank. I do have lots of surface agitation though to compensate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Right now I am changing as few variables at a time.
I have the apex automatically dosing my ferts M, W, and F.

I am doing a nice water change weekly. Not 50 % though.
 
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