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How best to use a pH controller for pressurized CO2

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by ShadowMac, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be happy to talk about CO2 distribution in your journal thread. I'd like to keep this thread on the topic of pH controllers. Thanks
     

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  2. yudagas

    yudagas Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ah yeah...my bad i think i miss translate it or might be miss understand the journal tittle

    Sent from my EG98 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. MarcelM

    MarcelM Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Now since the subject stray voltage affecting certain ph meters and controllers has come up in this topic. I might add another side note about those alleged titanium ground penns which are for sale in many LFS for around a $ 20 or so. Because you'll most likely and up at a advertisement from these things when searching the subject. And get attempted to buy one.. Well don't... I read forums where people advocate them with the idea these are safer, a must have and solve several problems since the tank now is grounded and it lead this stray voltage away from the tank.

    But actually the contrary is true and i have no idea why these things are sold other then by clever salesmen telling you a fairytale to urn money. Lets just connect some dots to get to the ground of these things.. ;)

    We all probably have some stray voltage in our tanks due to induction current excited by the pumps motor or other electrical devices working with same principle with a coiled wires (and a magnet) Pumps, transformations, light tube ballast AC/DC power supplies etc.. This current probably is measurable in every tank with a multi meter.. Give it a go, take a multi meter switch it measuring DC millivolts, put one connector in the tank and ground the other to the ground pin from the main power socket or any other grounded object like a near heating pipe.. For example if I do this I measure a fluctuation from 0.08 t0 0.5 volts constantly going up and down in my tank. If you measure anything higher, you most likely have a defective leaking electrical device somewhere in the water which is about to be replaced. Find the culprit with systematically switching things of and measure again. I've red topics where people stated to have measured 36 volts in their tanks.

    If you are a little bit educated about how electrical power works then we know that current can only flow through an object if it is grounded. As long as there is no ground there is no current. Do not try this at home ;) but in principle if you wear some thick rubber boots and stand on a thick rubber mat and all is dry to the bone you can touch anything with electrical power without getting an electrical shock. Only the moment you touch anything else which makes ground you get electrocuted. But if current can't flow there is nothing going to happen.

    So back to the stray voltage in our tanks, the same thing, as long as the tank is not grounded this voltage can go nowhere and does absolutely nothing. The moment you ground the tank with a ground penn this current starts flowing and not only the water is grounded but everything living in it as well. So you're also grounding your fish and plants. And if you touch anything with a slightly electrical current and make ground you fell a little annoying tingle. So with grounding the tank the fish will actually feel the same annoying tingle as long as the tank is grounded. In the long run this can have a very negative effect on the fish, besides it stresses them constantly it probably very healthy too having a constant alien current running through you cells.

    Now back to the single probed permanent PH meters, connecting some dots i obviously suspect these are affected by this stray voltage because they are in fact volt meters and the ones where the single probe become the ground penn, after all they are electrically conductive and connected to the power grid and the stray current flows thought the pH meter to the ground and there for give a false reading.

    Now back again to those titanium ground penns sold at the LFS, they state to be a safe guard to protect you from getting electrocuted when there are defective devises in your tank water. And if a device is defective the fuse will blow.. Well this is not necessary true, as said before I red topics where people stated to have measured 36 volts in their tanks.. This can be caused by a cracked pump housing which is in the water leaking current, since this leakage is just minor and the given resistance of the left over insulation and resistance of the water itself makes it only leak 36 volts, this by far id not enough to blow a fuse.. And if the tank is grounded it's just registered as another power consuming device instead and increase your power bill. And your fish are constantly electrocuted with 36 volts running through the water and through their body. And if you stick a finger in the tank and ground yourself you'll still get an electro shock.

    Now what should you do?? In the first place never ever ground your fish tank.. Read the F manual of electrical devices designed to put in the tank. They all say "Take off the power before you stick a hand in your in the water" :) That's what you have to do, pull the plug of anything running on AC 220 volts before thinking of sticking a finger in the water... Buy a multi meter and regularly check for stray voltage or even defective leaking electrical aperture. As long as your tank isn't grounded your fish are safe and not affected, after all glass is a very good insulator. ;) As long as you pull plugs or first check you are safe to..

    If you have a PH penn giving erratic false readings, it indicates stray voltage and use a multi meter to find out how many stray voltage their is in the tank.. If it is very little which probably is normal and not a problem find the device which causes it and place the meter as far away from it as possible. If the voltage is considerably high, find the device and replace it.

    (y)
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Marcel

    Thank you for posting all that information.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  5. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Good read and very enlightening - add PH controller to my list of things to get (y)
     
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  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Zeus

    Another additional cost, keeping up to date is not cheap.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    They have their benefits and their drawbacks. I sometimes use it...I sometimes don't. In the long run I get tired of the added maintenance needed to keep things calibrated as well as tracking the water parameters effecting the readings.

    Without one, you inject the same amount of CO2 every day regardless of other values. With one, your injection amounts may vary over time...saves on CO2, but can also lead to challenges.

    Overall, I don't view it as a necessary piece of equipment. In all actuality it overcomplicates the process.
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    I will keep saying it how did we ever manage many years ago without all these high tech gadgets?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  9. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    So easy add on take off item (y)

    ShadowMac whats the black box in the bottom of your cerges reactor in Pic below
    [​IMG]
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a small pump wired through the top of the lid. You have to cut the cord and use a fitting to seal it and then reattach the cord. It creates a lot of counter current within the reactor. Reactors rely on strong counter current and mixing. I don't think it is necessary though. I have one without it and it works well. What is most important is a sufficiently strong pump driving the whole thing. You also want to be careful that the pump isn't over powered and drives out larger bubbles. You can prevent this by using some coarse filter foam around the bottom of the outlet tube within the chamber, but this requires some regular maintenance to keep it from being gunked up.
     
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  11. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    So fitting a deflector to the intake of the filter housing top would increase turbulence which may help!
    Also fitting a smaller tube to the outlet within the filter housing would also help decrease the water flow in the outer chamber of the filter housing ( increased cross sectional area) slower current so larger bubbles would be pushed out less easy too. I noticed on the filter Housing I have that the point of most resistance is within the filter housing top part ( your black part) so a smaller inner pipe would make little difference up to a point OFC.

    Was thinking about having a CO2 diffuser for the CO2 intake but read that the small bubbles get push though easier (n)
     
  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I considered this at one point, too.

    Some way of mechanically breaking up the bubbles and adding more turbulence improves efficiency as long as you do not inhibit the flow through too much.

    Another point of consideration for reactors is that the volume of water moving through it and the amount of turbulence all has a limit on the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a given time. If your injection rate exceeds this you get a build up of gas and a build up decreases efficiency.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016

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