[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: CO2 controller....

>Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:00:38 -0800
>From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com>
>At 03:48 PM 3/27/01 -0500, you wrote:
>>My plans
>>include a Pinpoint PH Controller/Monitor to control my PH via CO2
>I really don't understand what all this is about.   There are huge pH
>swings in natural ponds, and yet the fish and plants do fine.   What is it
>we are trying to achieve here?

I would like to challenge your statement concerning pH in natural ponds and
the state of fish and plants in them.

I assume by natural ponds you are referring to bodies of water with more
than 100 gallons of water in them. What is your lower limit for a natural
pond under consideration? 1,000 gallons? 10,000 gallons?  1,000,000 gallons?
I hope we're not talking about the footprint ponds bettas supposedly live

Could you quantify the "huge pH swings" you are referring to? Would this be
a change from 8.0 to 7.6? 8.3 to 7.0? 8.3 to 4.5? I'm curious to know what
could cause a "huge" pH swing in a large body of water. A spring rainstorm?
A 1000-year storm yielding 3" of rain per hour? A semi-trailer tank truck
loaded with CO2 crashing into the pond and exploding?

Could you also quantify over what period of time this huge pH swing occurs?
30 minutes? Overnight? A month? A year?

And I assume that by "fish and plants do fine" you don't mean a Lake Erie
kind of thing where the fish go belly-up. Could you cite some references
where a natural pond frequently went through huge pH changes in short
periods of time and the fish and plants were in excellent health? It would
be useful for this discussion if the reference pond also had something on
the order of 1" of fish per 10 gallons of volume, just to keep things in

By equating our aquariums to natural ponds, you seem to be implying that the
pH in natural ponds goes through wild gyrations on a daily basis.  More to
the point, you are implying that big changes in CO2 concentration occur in
natural ponds, causing the huge pH swings, and fish and plants are not
affected. You may even be implying that huge pH swings are required for
proper fish and plant health and we need to get more elaborate pH
controllers capable of both lowering *and* raising pH to mimic these swings.

Dave, you were the one that had a massive fish kill due to an uncontrolled
release of CO2 in a tank with a tightly sealed top. Wasn't that what started
your massive misinformation campaign on "end of CO2 tank dump"?  If a huge
pH swing (or a huge increase in CO2) is so harmless, why did your fish die?

Back to your question. What are we, the pH controller advocates, trying to
achieve? We're trying to achieve some measure of stability and a margin of
safety. Simple as that.

What's your problem?

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 08:09:01 -0600
From: John Caddy <jtcaddy at unique-software_com>
>I strongly agree with Dave's question. Similarly, many river fish routinely
>experience large temperature swings with no ill effect.

Again, could we quantify that? How much of a swing? Over what time period?
How often?  No ill effects? Are you implying that large temperature swings
are actually good for fish? Maybe the high tech folks should use a combined
heater/chiller system so that we can mimic the large temperature swings? <g>

Apparently, you don't advocate the use of heaters in aquariums.

>I think that what people are trying to achieve is complete control of their
>living systems. This is neither possible
>nor desireable. Living systems are open systems and cannot be predicted.
>The techno-dream of control is just that,
>a dream, and from my perspective, a nightmare.

Nice tirade but I missed your point. You would suggest that someone set up a
tank with gravel, water, plants and fish and just sit back and enjoy it?
Tough break if all the water evaporates? Too bad if they starve to death?

Or is "complete control" the key phrase? You are OK with *some* control
(controlling the fish to water ratio, controlling the initial setup,
controlling the lights, controlling the food, controlling the water level,
controlling water circulation, controlling the biological waste products and
water clarity with filtration, controlling the species allowed, controlling
where plants are planted) but you are *not* OK with pH control?  I'm
struggling to understand your viewpoint.

>The desire for complete mastery over nature is an old and foolish desire.

Yes, "complete mastery" is difficult. But we sure have gained some control
over nature, what with species going extinct and global warming and the
ozone hole and other nasties.

>In the hobby,

And you are somehow equating our aquariums with nature? ROTFL!

>the more close we get to
>such control, the more we turn over to our gadgets, the less engaged we
become with the life within our tanks.
>Watch your plants, watch your fish, notice and note what's going on in your
tanks. The concept of a controlled,
>maintenance-free aquarium is a sad thing.

I've seen some uncontrolled, apparently free-of-maintenance aquariums in
fish stores and they certainly are a sad thing. My tanks are pretty well
controlled but far from maintenance free - those darn plants just keep
growing all over the place. But you seem to advocate uncontrolled, high
maintenance aquariums. What does one of those look like? I'm having trouble
grokking the whole idea.

>Hey, if you want a pinpoint controller, buy one by all means. I'm just
suggesting that there's a very American,
>quite seductive slippery slope here.

Ummm, sorry, the pH control schtick is a German thing. See "The Optimum
Aquarium" by Kipper and Horst.

George Booth in Ft. Collins, CO (booth at frii dot com)
The web site for Aquatic Gardeners by Aquatic Gardeners