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Re: [APD] Probing Question

Controllers are not necessary at all. Using a pH controller
will save some CO2 compared to running 24/7 although,
because with just a controller you are still maintaining
CO2 levels at night, the savings might not be as big as one
might first expect. Forthe savings to offset the cost of a
controller and solenoid, you'll need to get rather
inexpensive solenoid and controller. With this set-up, the
pH will remain relatively constant, depending on the trip
settings on the controller. With a Milwaukee, the trip for
on is 0.2 units higher than the trip for off, sothe pH will
vary by about 0.2 units and the swings will occur as often
as the controller needs to cycle, which will depend on your
set-up, amount of plants, lights, turbulence, etc. but will
probably be severall times per day.

Alternatively, you can use a solenoid and have it tripped
with the timer on the tank lights so that CO2 is injected
only when the lights are on and the plants will be
photosynthesizing heavily. Since the CO2 level will decline
during the lights-off period, it will take a litttle while
for the level to get back up to the target level after the
lights come on. So, if you run your lights 12 hrs./day,
then using a solenoid on the light timer won't save you
half on you CO2 but it will still be enough savings to
offset the cost of an inexpensive solenoid --
customaquatic.com has dedcent ones for only $28. Using this
set-up the pH will climb during lights out and decline
during lights-ons, but probably no more than about 0.2
units over the course of a 24 hr. period. Others have
reported such results.

Alternatively, you can just run the CO2 24/7 at a constant
rate. this is the simplest set-up and the pH will vary by
about 0.2 units from the early morning peak (when the
lights have been in the dark the longest, to the late day
low when the plants have been using the most CO2. 

All theree methods work fine and the fish and plants don't
seem to mind the very mild swings in pH.

good luck, good fun,
Scott H.

--- Terry Barber <terbarb at alltel_net> wrote:

> Are most of you using CO2 addition with pH control - or
> just counting
> bubbles?   I am adding compressed gas system this month
> and wonder if I
> should "waste" the money on a pH controller..... and
> which pH controllers do
> you  recommend?
> Thanks
> Terry Barber
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> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
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Christel Kasselmann, 
author of the best current authoritative text on aquatic plants 
will be a featured speaker at 
The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies 30th Annual Convention.
March 18-20, 2005 at the Marriott Hotel, Farmington, CT
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