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Old 11-14-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
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pH controller

Hello,

I have ordered a pH controller (Milwaukee SMS-122). My question is: Do you leave the CO2 on for the controller 24 hrs/day, or do you "disable" it at night (shut off solenoid)? Currently I have my CO2 regulator (w/solenoid) on the same timer as my lights, so that it shuts off at night and does not raise CO2 levels. Would it not be possible for the pH controller to run CO2 at night if the pH got too high? Also, I currently run 1.5 - 2 bubbles/sec. and it works fine. Should I increase the bubble rate once the pH controller is part of the system (so that pH can be regulated faster if necessary)? If so, what rate should I set it at?

BTW: 125 gal., 192 W 6700K, wet/dry, pressurized CO2.

As always, your advice is much appreciated.

Tom
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:07 PM   #2
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I would leave it run at night. It shouldn't run that much, because the plants are not consuming the CO2. This will allow the CO2 to be at the max when the lights come on.
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:57 PM   #3
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rkilling1, that's what I thought. But what if the pH increased at night? Could the infusion of CO2 not be harmful?
What about the bubble rate when using a pH controller?
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #4
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A PH Controller allows you to automate your CO2 system by allowing you to maintain the CO2 levels in your tank at a set level. There is no need to turn it off at night. Many of us inject CO2 24/7 with no ill affects (common with non automated setups and DIY), so your PH Controller maintaining the CO2 levels overnight won't cause any problems as long as it is set properly and functioning correctly.
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfish
rkilling1, that's what I thought. But what if the pH increased at night? Could the infusion of CO2 not be harmful?
What about the bubble rate when using a pH controller?
why would the pH go up at night vs the day? as long as you are not buffering your water, the only thing that should effect your pH is carbonic acid. ie adding CO2. (Well, a heavy fish load will also lower your pH from converting NH3 to NO2 and then to NO3, but we will not get into that! it is not enough to be concerned with.)

as far as the bubble rate, some members have played with that and their pH controllers and found it to be better to have a higher BPS(not to high), but I do not have the anwser to that question. This was someone who was trying to maintain a constant BPS rather then an on/off type of BPS(ie the solenoid closing and opening with the target pH), but found it easier to maintain the tanks CO2 concentration with the on/off and high BPS.

HTH
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:51 AM   #6
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With a controller, run the CO2 24/7/365. As for bubble rate, between 1 and 2 bubbles per second should be sufficient, and not overdo it. It will get you to the level you need and the controller will handle the rest.

One other thing to remember, with running CO2 at night, it's good to have some type of surface aggitation at night. Reason being, plants at night will stop taking in CO2, and start taking in O2. So you will end up with normal injected CO2 levels, and lower O2 levels. The surface aggitation won't hurt the CO2 levels much, but will keep the O2 levels at safe levels for the fish, as well as the plants.
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:06 AM   #7
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I leave mine on 24/7 (same controller).. If I stay up all night I'll hear it click one 4-5 times a night.. (I also have a skimmer to remove surface film, so good aeration).

The reason you don't have to turn it off is simple, the PH will stay relatively constant (the milwaukee holds it to .2PH). So the PH will never crash overnight, but it also makes sure the PH doesn't rise too high.

Leave it on, the point of the controller is a "set it and forget it" mentality.

I have my bubble rate set to about 10BPS, but I have a good reactor set up and it dissolves it this fast. (faster leveling of the PH). So I never have a "Co2 Pocket" in the reactor.
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