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Ph Controller Issue

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by imatrout, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    I have heard that RO/DI water can play havoc with Ph Controllers. I recently switched over to RO/DI water. My Milwaukee SMS 122 (WHICH IS BRAND NEW compliments of a great support warranty at Milwaukee), is having diplaying a waivering Ph that causes the alarm and relay trip back an forth every second to two seconds. Has anybody ever heard of this and if so, what was the issue?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jonathan11

    jonathan11 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    Check the KH. Need at least 3, I'm told, to maintain stability in the tanks pH. Otherwise, it may go haywire. :gw :D
    Walter
     
  3. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    Thanks Jonathan. The KH is 4.0, is that high enough?
     
  4. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    Have you recalibrated the probe? Mine did the same thing until I recalibrated it.
     
  5. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    You might also have an electronic problem related to your ballasts. Check to see if the problem persists when the lights are out. If so, move onto an internal issue, but if only occurs with the lights then you need to shield the probe and its wire.

    Dan
     
  6. pigwiggle

    pigwiggle Junior Poster

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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    I second Dan’s comment. I noticed with my sms122 I would get a significant jump/drift triggering the solenoid when electricals adjacent to the probe line would turn on and off.

    I’ve since ditched the probe in favor of constant CO2 during the day and O2 at night. My fish tolerate higher CO2 levels during the days if I run an air pump during the off hours. And, of course, there is less stuff to fuss with.
     
  7. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    I'm thinking the same thing, just get rid of the controller. The benefit of the controller (I thought) was as a safety net. I could crank the CO2 to raise the saturation quickly and rely on the controller to cut it off at the (safe) set point. If I abandon the controller, what's the best way to maximize the CO2 levels while keeping a safe level? I currently only supply CO2 in the photo period and turn it off at night. The tank is a 150 gallon with 8 adult discus, 4 young rams, 6 small coreys and 2 rainbowfish. This seems like a low fish load to me and discus typically are from low oxygenated water. The KH is 4 and I inget CO2 to a Ph of 6.7 (via the controller). What would be a safe BPS into my AM 1000 reactor to achieve a PH of 6.7?

    Thanks to all!

    Mike
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    I'd think the pH is fine.

    My friend has 13 Discus in his 90 gallon and no controller and never has any algae or fish issues.

    You can run an air stone at night if you want.
    I don't and have never needed to do so even with high bioloads.

    What you do at night is your business, you do not need CO2 at night certainly for any good reason really, when the lights are on, crank the CO2.

    Some argue that they cannot ppull down their CO2 enough in time when they turn the lights on, well, then you have an underpowered CO2 system and are trying to compensate for that by having toi buld back up all night long to get a good CO2 ppm level.


    Why does this stink?

    Because what occurs when the lights are on?

    The plants remove the CO2 quickly.

    Then the CO2 is not replaced rapidly and you get algae.
    When you measure the CO2 later, the ppms are back up.

    That's not the method's issue, that's your fault for having a wimply underpowered CO2 method for delievry and mixing.

    99% of the issues we have are our own fault.
    We assume that a dinky little DIY system + ladder will supply enough CO2 for a big tank, or that the low flow from the reactor is enough to mix well in a large tank etc.........

    Good current/good flow through from the CO2 method helps a great deal.
    You can run lots of current through a reactor, or blast the CO2 mist around the tank all over.

    These are good current and very direct methods.

    If you have really big tanks, you see these issues much more. Therefore adding a reactor or diffusers every few feet helps.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    Set it to a good bubble rate (4 or 5 per second, I would think). Watch your fish. If the fish are still comfortable, bump up the rate a little bit. Keep going till they show signs of discomfort then back off a little. This should be a good spot.
     
  10. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Ph Controller Issue


    I agree with all of this. I have an AM 1000 in the tank (150 gal) and it does a great job. This tank has been COMPLETELY algae free for 6 months. I mean NOT A SPECK of any type of algae. My issue is just a fear of killing the fish with the CO2 without a controller. I also have a 20 long that was doing great until the surface skimmer clogged and a scum built on the surface in a matter of hours while I was away. Result; everything dead. I don't want this to happen on the big tank that houses my discus. Other than this issue, the tank is mature, super well balanced and clean. Removing the controller seems like removing a safety net.

    I might try to add an ADA lily pipe return that will both skim the surface AND supply some oxygenization at night. The cheap surface skimmer I have often fouls and causes a surface scum. If the CO2 continues to crank without the aid of a controller and cannot effeciently de-gas due to the scum then you have a disaster.
     
  11. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Ph Controller Issue

    I run CO2 24/7. At night to keep the ph steady and during the day for the plants. With a w/d fliter in a 180 I will use 20 lbs of gas every two months. Fish never look stressed and am just starting Tom's fertilizer regime for minor algae problems. I keep the kh at 4 and the ph at 6.65. When I started this set up I had to keep the probe in the sump and away from the lighting system or I could not use the Neptune to control the solenoid.

    Dan
     
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