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RE: [APD] Can one just give up?

You could use a solenoid to open when the pH get down to a
specific level. Have the Solenoid teed off the CO2 line
that goes into the tank. When the solenoid opens, the CO2
bleeds out through the solenoid instead of going into the
tank. You won't be using any less CO2, but if, without the
solenoid, it's dumping more than is desired, you won't be
wasting any *more* -- and you won't be hurting the fish.

Actually, an SPDT solenoid (one common port and two others, energizing the solenoid switches gas flow from one port to the other rather than a strictly on-off action) would be perfect for this. Something like having the energized-active port sending CO2 into the tank and de-energized-active port sending CO2 venting to the air. This type of solenoid shows up at mail-order surplus places frequently for about $5-15. The hose barbs aren't always the size you'd like, but nylon adapters are cheap at the hardware store :-)

Might be easier to try making the CO2 diffuser less efficient first though... There are lots of ways to do this -- the idea is to reduce the area of the gas-water interface (making larger bubbles or fewer bubbles), and/or decreasing the contact time of the bubbles with the water (placing the diffuser closer to the surface, NOT using anything to keep the CO2 in the tank, etc.). Seems strange to be advising on ways to REDUCE CO2 diffuser efficiency, but if you want less CO2 in your tank from a DIY setup it's probably the easiest way to do it.


Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator

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