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CO2 Controllers

Frank Reiter wrote:

> Looking at some locally available setups, I see that controllers cost 
> about as much as everything else put together.   How hard is it to get 
> good results without a controller?  What issues should I be thinking 
> about as I decide whether to get a controller?  (Two actually, for two >

Not hard at all in my experience.  I use a regulator and a needle valve and
run my CO2 unit 24 hours a day.  By keeping dKH in the 3-5 range, I can
reduce the overnight pH swing to .2 or so.  During the day when the plants
are taking up CO2, the pH is about 7.0.  At night the pH will slowly drop
to 6.9 and on to around 6.8 which has not been a problem for my plants or
fish (going on 3 years now).  

Others (inlcuding Amano's organization) have reported pH swings of .4 (at
lower dKH) without ill effects.  CO2 is cheap and the slight increase in
overnight usage is more than offset by the extra expense of a controller.
For my money, I would buy two regulators and needle valves for the price of
one setup with a controller!

Good luck, Steve Dixon