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[APD] solenoids/needle valves/controllers

Message: 10
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 12:50:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com>
Subject: Re: [APD] Solenoids & Needle Valves
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>

I would recommend a needle valve for any compressed gas
set-up where you don't want the flow to exceed a certain
for whatever reason, such as, killing all your fish.

A solenoid is optional. You can run without one and you'll
use up CO2 more quickly than if you had a solenoid
connected to the lights timer. If you can find inexpensive
but reliable solenoids, the savings in CO2 can offset the
cost of the solenoid over time. With a solenoid on a timer
but no controller, you rely on relatively stable pressure
and the needle valve to maintain your CO2 levels ()which,
of course will dip at night when the solenoid is off, but
be relatviely stable oduring lights-on. With no solenoid,
you rely on the neeedle valve setting and the pH goes up a
bit at night and declines during the day.

A controller is the most expensive and least useful, though
some of us will use them on a tank or two if for no other
reason than to see what happens ;-) .

With any of these methods, the pH swing needn't be more
than about 0.2 units, which is an insiginificant amount for
most aquaria. It doesn't hurt the fish or plants forthe CO2
to run 24-7; it doesn't hurt for the CO2 to turn off at
night; it doesn't hurt for the CO2 to go off an on several
times as the controller trip points are it.

So it's really a question of your own convenience and up
front versus long costs.

have plants, have fun,

Yea, what Scott said!

I have a 30 gallon tank with compressed gas/solenoid/no controller. I have
the solenoid and the lights hooked up to the same timer. Gas is a leisurely
1 bubble every 2 seconds or so. Plant growth is good and no algae problems.

I have a 120 gallon planted tank with compressed gas/solenoid/controller.
Bubble rate is a brisk 2 bubbles per second. You can be a bit more agressive
with the bubble rate if you know it will turn off if the pH spikes downward.
As in the 30, plant growth is good and no algae problems.

I like being able to just look at the display and see what the pH is. If I
didn't use a controller I would have a pH monitor on the tank anyways. The
SMS 122 gives you the ability to control the CO2 at a price actually less
than other brands of monitor. + or - .2 units of pH is fine for me in a
plant tank. If you need or want the + or - .01 level of accuracy in the
American Marine Pinpoint Controller, then spending twice to almost three as
much for the American Marine Unit is fine. I don't need that level of
accuracy in a planted aquarium.


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