Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi again, Folks.
Hope you are all doing well.

Well, I have been setting up my new 90 gallon tank over the last couple of weeks. It has been a huge amount of work, but I am finally almost ready to place that big plant order
Most of my difficulties in setting up the tank have focused on the pressurized CO2. I have a Milwaukee regulator setup and a Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller. The first problem I encountered was that I was getting very high pH readings for my tap water and, later, the tank (8.4-8.5 for tap, 8.8-8.9 in the tank). I was thinking that there was some sort of buffer tainting my Eco-Complete (I wrote about this in another thread). Robert said he thought it was an inaccurate reading, and now I agree with him. My test kit was saying that the pH of the tap and tank water were closer to neutral (7-7.5). This is what I would have thought. So, I may be getting bad readings on my pH controller. It may be because I had some 4.01 buffer solution around and used it, along with the 7.01 that came with the unit, to calibrate the meter. This left pH values above neutral totally uncalibrated. I started to run the CO2 and my pH dropped over time to the 6.8 that I wanted it set at. (BTW, I am adding baking soda to get my kH up to 5). Once my pH meter hit 6.8, I tested the water again and my test kit confirmed the 6.8 reading. So, my pH controller seems to be working in the acid range, but not in the basic range. Anyone ever hear of this?

I have been watching the CO2 setup work for the past couple of days and it seems to working fairly well with some quirks. For one thing, when the solenoid kicks the CO2 off and then it comes back on later when the pH rises again, the bubble rate seems to be much slower and I have to open the needle valve some more. Do I have something set incorrectly?

Finally, I am not at all sure how this stuff is supposed to work, but, even with an inline reactor (from glass-gardens.com) on my Eheim 2028, I get a ton of bubbles going down in the Eheim, and seemingly getting trapped in the canister. The Eheim makes little bubble noises all the time, and seems to be accumulating gas in the top of the canister. When I shake the canister, huge bubbles come out. I can repeat this every few hours. Is this sort of thing normal? Am I always going to have little bubbles coming out of the outflow of the filter?

I am so new at this stuff, that I just don't know what is normal and what I should be concerned about. Any help is appreciated.

Have a good week!

TB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi again, Folks.
Hope you are all doing well.

Well, I have been setting up my new 90 gallon tank over the last couple of weeks. It has been a huge amount of work, but I am finally almost ready to place that big plant order
Most of my difficulties in setting up the tank have focused on the pressurized CO2. I have a Milwaukee regulator setup and a Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller. The first problem I encountered was that I was getting very high pH readings for my tap water and, later, the tank (8.4-8.5 for tap, 8.8-8.9 in the tank). I was thinking that there was some sort of buffer tainting my Eco-Complete (I wrote about this in another thread). Robert said he thought it was an inaccurate reading, and now I agree with him. My test kit was saying that the pH of the tap and tank water were closer to neutral (7-7.5). This is what I would have thought. So, I may be getting bad readings on my pH controller. It may be because I had some 4.01 buffer solution around and used it, along with the 7.01 that came with the unit, to calibrate the meter. This left pH values above neutral totally uncalibrated. I started to run the CO2 and my pH dropped over time to the 6.8 that I wanted it set at. (BTW, I am adding baking soda to get my kH up to 5). Once my pH meter hit 6.8, I tested the water again and my test kit confirmed the 6.8 reading. So, my pH controller seems to be working in the acid range, but not in the basic range. Anyone ever hear of this?

I have been watching the CO2 setup work for the past couple of days and it seems to working fairly well with some quirks. For one thing, when the solenoid kicks the CO2 off and then it comes back on later when the pH rises again, the bubble rate seems to be much slower and I have to open the needle valve some more. Do I have something set incorrectly?

Finally, I am not at all sure how this stuff is supposed to work, but, even with an inline reactor (from glass-gardens.com) on my Eheim 2028, I get a ton of bubbles going down in the Eheim, and seemingly getting trapped in the canister. The Eheim makes little bubble noises all the time, and seems to be accumulating gas in the top of the canister. When I shake the canister, huge bubbles come out. I can repeat this every few hours. Is this sort of thing normal? Am I always going to have little bubbles coming out of the outflow of the filter?

I am so new at this stuff, that I just don't know what is normal and what I should be concerned about. Any help is appreciated.

Have a good week!

TB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
TB.
In regards to the reactor, you might think about putting it on the outflow of the Eheim instead of the intake. The problem you can run into is that the air/CO2 builds up at the top of the canister and i have heard if the motor runs dry it can burn out. With the reactor on the outflow the worst thing that would happen is you get some CO2 bubbles floating through the tank. So i would make an effort to reduce the bubble thing...besides it can make a lot of noise.

As per your bubble rate...you sure you have enough pressure to the solenoid? maybe open things a touch. Bubble rate should stay somewhat constant inbetween on/off cycles

If you really think the pH is off in the basic area...i would recalibrate and maybe see if you can find a 9.0 solution to test (I am not sure of the upper range limit on your Milwaukee unit so the normal 10 may be out of range)

Josh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good advice, Doc. I actually put the reactor on the output last night and I think things are improved in that category. At least the filter will be working better.

You are probably right about the solenoid, I am just having trouble with the balance between the big knob and the needle valve.

As for the pH controller, I do have some pH 10.01 buffer solution I borrowed from a lab, but I am not sure where to use it with my setup. The directions only address neutral (7.01) and acid (4.01) buffer solutions.

Thanks again,

TB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
TB,
I would not use the 10 to calibrate...just see what the controller shows the pH to be. If it is off you might try recalibrating again with the 7 and 4...these two set the slope.
But like i said check the instructions on your milwaukee for the accuracy range of pH...i think mine does not claim to be able to read 10.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
I continue wrestling a little bit withe the needle value on my Milwaukee regulator. Many suggest bumping the lower pressure reading up to 30+ to help with the adjustment. I did that recently and I *thought* the needle value had stopped drifting, but just checking the other day, the rate had slowed down again. I'm thinking of upping the lower pressure up to 40 and trying again.

If you have the SMS controller, you can certainly have the bubble rate set fairly high, and it should just make the controller kick off faster. Without a contoller (at the moment?), mine needs to be a bit more precise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good thought, BSS.
The only difficulty I see with that theory is that there comes a point where you are no longer getting much of the CO2 into solution. You are just venting it into the air above the water surface. I am trying to reach a happy medium between a rate so slow that the controller stays on all the time and a rate so fast that more CO2 is given off than can be absorbed. Just from my gut feeling, this level for my tank is around 2ish bubbles per second. That is what I am shooting for, but I still can't seem to get this rate to stay constant. I sent my first reg. back, and am now using a second one and I am having the same problem. It is a bit frustrating. Perhaps a very small leak somewhere having to do with the tank valve/threads? If so, I haven't been able to find it. Thanks again for everybody's responses. Have a good week,

TB
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top