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re: CO2 question

My 125 gallon tank has CO2 injection. I use a regulator w solenoid 
controlled by an American Marine pH controller. My experience with American 
Marine products has been good. I also use this manufacturer's pH monitors on 
my discus and african cichlid tank. I am an admitted gadget freak. I would 
not want to leave my CO2 on a continuous bubble as my pH drops when the 
light timer goes off. If I did not have the controller I would probably have 
the solenoid go on and off with the VHO lights I use. Another post addressed 
the accuracy of the probe. I have found that my meters/controller need to be 
calibrated about once every two months, although the manufacturer recommends 
every month. There are individual packets of calibration solution available 
for <$1.00 each. I calibrate all 3 of my meters with 2 packets. I usually 
see a .2 drift in my pH readings if I let it go any longer (6.8 vs 6.6, for 
example). Another point to keep in mind is to keep the probe tips cleaned. 
The tech department of Hanna Instruments advised to use vinegar or lemon 
juice to clean the probe tip prior to calibration (very acidic). I use a 
small soft bristled artist's brush to clean the probe tip. I have really 
enjoyed using the controller. Wether it is necessary is up for debate. I 
still use a bubble counter and visually check the CO2 flow every couple of 
days. I inject the CO2 into an Eheim 2217 canister filter. Works great. 
American Marine pH controllers are about $189 mail order. Monitors are about 
$79-$89 mail order. Milwaukee Instruments has a new line of 
monitors/controllers out that are less expensive than American Marine. I am 
setting up a new planted tank and am getting on of their pH controllers for 
Xmas. I think it was $129. Hopefully it will work well. There are also hand 
held pH meters in the $50 price range, but in my experience they need very 
frequent calibration to remain accurate. It is nice to just be able to look 
at an LCD readout and see your tank's pH. However, I always keep a chemical 
pH test kit handy to check against the meters in case I doubt its accuracy. 
Hope this helps.
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