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Re: [APD] Re: CO2 Questions

You don't need a pH controller to make use of a solenoid.
With a pH controller and a solenoid, you measure the KH of
the water and set the controller on the solenoid to achieve
a pH that will result in the desired CO2 level -- you can
get the CO2 and pH values from the CO2/KH/pH table:

Check out this excellent website for info:


Another way to use a solenoid is to have the solenoid
plugged into the same timer that your lights are hooked
onto. Then you don't put in CO2 at night when the plants
aren't using it.

And lastly, a solenoid is not necessary. You can jsut run
the CO2 24/7. If you do, then you will run it at a slower
rate since the CO2 will build up a bit over the night and
then depress over the course of the lights-on period as the
plants use it up. But the pH swing resulting from this will
only be about 0.2 units.

A bubble counter isn't necessary. Using the CO2/KH/pH table
is a much more reliable way to determine CO2 levels.
However, once you have things established and stable, then
you can count the bubble rate and the bubble counter can be
a convenient way of checking every now and then on the CO2
-- if the flow rate is unchanged, the CO2 level is probably
about the same.  But using the a KH and pH test and the
table is better.

You can skip the solenoid and bubble counter and do just
fine. Depends on tastes, proclivities, and interests.

Regulator, needlevalve, CO2 tank, tubing, are essential to
using compressed CO2, plus an internal or external reactor,
a diffuser, a power head, or canister filter to feed the
CO2 into the water.

You can make a good one for jsut a few bucks like this:


These combo units with all the fixin's (regulator, valve,
solenoid, bubblecounter) sell for about what a good
regulator used to cost, so they are definitely worth
considering if you want to use compressed CO2.

Generally, one can find the compressed CO2 methods to be
much less maintenance and much more stable than the
fermentation bottle method. It's the up front cost that
makes it a big jump -- but the long term cost, given the
price of sugar & protein powder, makes the compressed gas
the way to go, hands down.

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.

--- David Wren-Hardin <amygdala17 at yahoo_com> wrote:

> --- "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com> wrote:
> > Also, there are two all-in-one CO2 units on the
> > market, the
> > JBJ model and one from Milwaukee, e.g.,
> > 
> >
> > 
> > They are available from other vendors so be sure to
> > shop
> > around, e.g.,
> > 
> >
> > 
> These look cool. What else would I need with one of
> these? I see the Milwaukee one at least mentions a
> solenoid, would I need somesort of pH meter to run to
> that, or could I run without it to start? How does the
> bubble counter work? Would I count my bubbles there,
> even though the diffuser is (presumably) downstream of
> it?
> I've been using the good old 2-liter fermentation
> method, but have gotten sloppy at times, forgetting
> until the plants have to start banging on the glass
> asking for more CO2.

--- Christel Kassellman is returning to America! ---
The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies will feature Christel, author of _Aquarium Plants_, among its speakers at its 30th Annual Convention. It's the longest running consecutive general tropical fish convention in the country and one of the most fun to attend. 

March 18-20, 2005
Marriott Hotel, Farmington, CT
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