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Re: CO2 Questions

> From: Chuck Gadd <cgadd at cfxc_com>
> Subject: Re: CO2 question
> Can anyone recommend a good deal?  It's probably the only gadget I don't
> have for my big tank, and I REALLY want one.  Just to look cool if for no
> other reason!

I'd keep my eyes open on rec.aquaria.marketplace.  They don't turn up very
often, but you can get some good deals.  Recently someone was selling an
Octupus 3000 with some x-10 modules and other hardware for $300.  Not
needed, but lots of gee-whiz factor.  The Pinpoint ones are about $100, and
work well for what we need.  Also keep an eye on Ebay.

> From: Julie <jde at uoguelph_ca>
> Subject: Re: CO2 question
> Max, with respect to the pH controller, they exist, but my experience with
> industrial chemistry tells me that they have to be checked regularly.  I
> had one online once (not in an aquarium), and I had a lot of trouble with
> contamination, but the system was nasty, with feeds lines of wildly
> varying pHs 1-14, at the electrode we were aiming at a pH of 6.5. We
> checked it three times a day, every day and it had to be serviced on a
> weekly/monthly basis.

Your description makes me wonder what you were using this setup in.  PH
probes don't really like to work in stuff that is really nasty, or high in
fine particulate matter.  My pH probe is lucky to get checked once a month,
and the probe is probably 2 years old now.  Last time I checked it, it had
been 3 months, and it was off about .08, which isn't significant to me.  I'd
be concerned about any tak that had to be that finely balanced.

> The electrodes can become contaminated and don't last forever.

Good point.  I've usually heard people reccomend changing elcetrodes yearly.
I haven't simply because mine is still accurate enough when I calibrate it.

> Combination type electrodes are the least expensive, of the ones that I
> have priced, at less than $100.Can or cheaper.

George Booth uses the Silver series from Pet Warehouse, and they cost about
$40.  He could tell you more about them.  Mine is a Pinpoint electrode
(something like $60, I think), and has lasted well, as I described above.
We're using these things in environments that are incredibly mild compared
to what they are designed to handle, so they last better than in an
industrial setting.  I'm also guessing that we need far less accuracy and

> From: busko at stsci_edu (Ivo Busko)
> Subject: Re: CO2 question
> By "full point" you mean a decimal point ? Such as in 6.8 -> 6.9 ?

Nope, I mean "full point" as in from 6.5 to 7.5.  It was a 60 gallon with
260 watts of light and had every square inch in the tank planted, much of
which was with fast growing plants.  It totally overwhelmed my system's
ability to provide CO2 supplementation without serious pH drops at night.
It didn't seem to harm the fish much, but did little for my stress level.  I
opted not to use an airstone because then I would have had 2 shorter swings,
as opposed to one long one, which I figured was at least equally hard on the

Justin Collins
Bellingham, WA