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Old 02-14-2008, 05:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Is your meter DC or AC?
All DC, an old Myron L. No inverters inside either.

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My tap water is between 180 -230 ppm on my tds meter. My RO water is normally around 10 and the final output from the DI is 0.
The factors I've seen most used is from 0.5 to 0.7 ppm per uS/cm. If a meter is to be used at higher range conductivities I've seen factors closer to unity or above. I am guessing your TDS is using the former, unless you have really nasty tap water. That would make your conductivity roughly 400 uS/cm, give or take.

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Please define "decanting' for us. I'm not sure if you are referring to a PWC (partial water change)
Exactly. Perhaps a poor choice since technically decanting is allowing solids to settle from a liquid and then pulling the clarified fluid from the top. However, in industry it is commonly used to mean the deliberate discarding of solution and making up with cleaner material in order to reduce contamination levels.

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Two weeks is a very long time to go without maintenance. What will you do for top off water for the evaporation during that period. What about feeding?

I was referring to 'major' maintenance. When we travel we have sitters come and tend the existing menagerie. I would have to find a person that would be able to do SW basics; replacing evaporative losses, feeding, etc. Maybe a quick spot check of a parameter or two. But doing a PWC, I would not be comfortable with anyone but an experienced SW person doing that. The whole concept of a sump/refugium is becoming more and more appealing as I think about it. I have the room, the whole bottom shelf of the stand in fact.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #22
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What are your nitrate and phosphate levels in your tap water, by the way? You're going to need those test kits anyway, so might as well buy them now and test your tap water so you know for sure what you have.

Also... cmore beat me to it about the stainless steel mesh. It WILL get hot, even with compact flourescents. And if the mesh size is big enough... well... what cmore said!
Haven't gotten to ordering the test kits yet, I need to find a good Cu add-on, just for an initial spot test if anything. At 380 conductivity I would hope NO3 wouldn't be much more than 1 ppm. I have no idea what to expect with phosphates.

As for the mesh, I was thinking of something like a 1 cm square mesh, thin wire. How hot could that get? Ehhh, maybe I can raise and sell cross-hatched Clown fish.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:14 PM   #23
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Did you read the articles I linked. One of them stated that tds meters need to use AC not DC and gave the specific reasons for it. A handheld tds meter is under $30.

As in industry, you generally will not have a succesful outcome in this hobby by guessing or hoping. You need to get some quality test kits and test your water parameters.

Before I left for a month in India last year I set up a 45 gallon BRUTE trashcan to hold my top off (RODI) water and a JBJ ATO1 auto top off hooked to a MaxiJet 1200 to handle my evaporation. I created small packages of flake food for 1x/week feedings and taught a friend how to feed frozen cubes 1x /week. She stopped in every 2-3 days to feed the tank and check on things. Worked great for 2Ĺ weeks, but the problem I had was not her doing.

I can't wait see the new species of clown <g>.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:59 PM   #24
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Did you read the articles I linked. One of them stated that tds meters need to use AC not DC and gave the specific reasons for it.
Yes, I saw it and chose not to respond to it as this is not the place for arguing such things. Let me just say that a DC system will indeed measure quite accurately. The effects described are small compared to the overall environment. The 'article' also had some science inaccuracies that I chose to not debate.

My meter, when I get some std. solution to calibrate it, will give as good a reading as any other not found in an expensive building.


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As in industry, you generally will not have a succesful outcome in this hobby by guessing or hoping. You need to get some quality test kits and test your water parameters.
Absolutely.

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...JBJ ATO1 auto top off hooked to a MaxiJet 1200 to handle my evaporation...
The engineer in me so desperately wants to automate the water processes but ya gotta walk before ya run. One thing at a time. I do have a PLC in the basement running the house, I've pulled low voltage cable everywhere, I have the I/O. Easy boy...

Edited to add:

Ohh - refractometers. Anyone use the ones with the pH electrodes in them? Are they worth a hoot? Is the reference electrode serviceable (able to put in filling solution)? Do they have a calibration routine?

Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #25
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I'm not sure on the refractometer and the pH, but my TDS meter has a pH electrode on it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:41 PM   #26
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I'll take your word on the tds meter vs. your ec meter. It just all goes back to the point of using RODI water vs. your current filter system. If you don't have problems down the road then you have saved a few dollars.

You probably want to look at sites AutoTopoff.com or Aquahub Homepage for DIY auto top-off systems and parts.

Almost everyone uses a handheld refractometer. I have not seen one with a pH meter. As Scott said, I have seen hand held tds meters with a pH probe built in.

Here's a site to get some 442 NaCl calibration solution
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:00 PM   #27
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I'm not sure on the refractometer and the pH, but my TDS meter has a pH electrode on it.
No, I'm a bonehead. They are of course separate, I have no idea why I was thinking it was incorporated, doesn't make any sense when you even think a little bit about it.

Salinity Refractometer + digital pH Meter Aquarium ATC - eBay (item 250216426469 end time Feb-22-08 01:58:52 PST)

Get a throwaway pH meter with it. I doubt the electrodes are serviceable.

Odd, I've been around refractometers most my adult life and I've never used one except in school as a kid.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:57 AM   #28
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No, I'm a bonehead. They are of course separate, I have no idea why I was thinking it was incorporated, doesn't make any sense when you even think a little bit about it.
I don't know... makes sense to me. Seems like lots of folks would want to measure salinity and pH at the same time.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #29
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A StarTrek like tricorder capable of scanning the water and giving you all parameters would be nice

I see that Hanna makes a pH/EC/TDS handheld meter. Pinpoint now has pH, ORP, conductivity, Calcium, Salinity and temp monitors. It would nice to get all in a single unit with the different probes attached.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:06 PM   #30
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A StarTrek like tricorder capable of scanning the water and giving you all parameters would be nice

I see that Hanna makes a pH/EC/TDS handheld meter. Pinpoint now has pH, ORP, conductivity, Calcium, Salinity and temp monitors. It would nice to get all in a single unit with the different probes attached.
LOL, oh if I had time and some xtra pesos, I'd love to make contraptions.

First off, Kurt, what I was referring was I was thinking the refractometer had pH electrodes in the tip and you just dunked the whole thing for a reading. I don't know why I was thinking that but...

I'd run the tank from my house logic controller. I'd have dual ultrasonic level sensors adding from a dual daytank system (DI or premixed SW). Inline ion specific electrodes would measure NH3, NO2, pH (record and alarm), NO3 (record, alarm and add DI). An inline refractometer would also record, alarm, and add either DI or SW as required. Inline conductivity would be there to record and alarm. Flow sensors would alarm any pump problems. Lighting would be on an analog output driving a rectifier, so timing and ramp up/down could be achieved. Temperature control is rather simple, just monitor and alarm is all needed to track an immersed system that works on its own.


If one has time and money over-engineering is a real hoot!
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