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pH controller?

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Brian20, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    Im thinking to buy a pH Controller

    what is the bad and the good to have one? I want pH in 6.0-6.5 but my water pH is like 7.6 but I know that CO2 downs pH. this is a good method to have better grow in plants?

    Brian
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2 controllers are more of a salt water thing. Consistent pH through CO2 isn't that important; most of us with CO2 have large fluctuations every day and it doesn't stress fish. KH is most of the issue.

    Now on top of that, you're adjusting pH without mind to CO2 levels; if your KH spikes for some reason, driving your pH up, your controller is going to stick its self on and gas your fish. On the opposite end, your pH drops out, you go below non-limiting CO2 for a while, and your plant growth limits in return and BBA starts to creep around.

    At best the alarms control things, and you're left dealing with them. Personally I prefer letting out a consistent level of CO2 in a day, with the largest variable (besides the ones I introduce) being evaporation.

    I noticed on your other thread that you're wanting to use acid buffers. Is this for the plants? Most will do fine in 7.6pH, and the maximum corresponding KH. At worst use 50% RO if hardness seems to be a problem.

    Worry more about altering your hardness for fish; I bought ADA AS for its pH/KH reducing properties as much for the amazonian species I keep as I do for the plants.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    My main focus are plants, fish are secondary for my, my plants are more expensive and I like them growing and in top health and colors. I saw that Tom Barr say that the best for the plants is mantain all in balance. CO2, nutrients, I dont know about light, if all are in balance the plants grows better.
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Brian,

    Generally I think Philosophos and Tom Barr are correct it is usually not a good idea to try to maintain water conditions by chemical means.

    Is this about the Tonias?

    Biollante
     
  5. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    trying it by pH controller is in fact quemical?

    It is about toninas and eriocaulons, what are the downside about pH controller?, a saw a lot of people use it.
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Magic

    Hi Brian,

    I may have confused your two threads.

    In general without removing the KH, the KH is going to remain.

    As the answer in your other thread regarding Seachem Acid Buffer, you have been given excellent advice... Don't!

    I am not sure what pH controller you are talking about.

    Adding CO2 reduces pH, but does nothing to reduce the KH.:(

    Others apparently have mastered growing Tonias and other soft water plants in high KH conditions, I have not. I raise mine in deionized (DI) water, that I reconstitute.

    I have found no magic potion.:(

    Biollante
     
  7. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    I just can make or buy a desioniser filter and not buy a RO filter and that works equal?
     
  8. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Both water will be closely the same

    I second the negative opinion on PH meters. Mine is laying around. It is more a disaster than a support. You'll be always fluctuating between too much and too low CO2. If you focus on CO2, KH and GH, your plants will shine
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Brian,

    Are you talking about PH controllers used to shut on/off the c02 solenoid regulator and thus 'regulate' c02 levels?

    If so, IME and that of others, it is NOT needed.

    Many folks simply use a timer to have the c02 on or off. Have it come on 60-90 minutes PRIOR to your lights coming on and have the c02 go off about 30 minutes PRIOR to the lights going off. No need for c02 at night.

    A PH controller reacts to ANY change in PH, not just those caused by c02. Thus the controller may turn on or off when NOT desired and thus cause c02 issues. This was pointed out in a previous reply by Philosophos but perhaps you missed it :)

    I used to use one but since switched to a timer method and it is much easier. I have a PH METER but no longer even look at it, but it is a nice quick glance sort of trouble shooting mechanism......

    The biggest issue is getting to a c02 injection rate (bubble rate/count) that provides sufficient and stable c02 levels for your lighting levels. This may take several weeks of adjustment and fiddling around.

    Keep an eye on the fish and look for signs of distress/stress as you incrsease the c02. If you see signs of stress, gasping, color loss, etc, then back off the amount. Increase a bit every 2-3 days and observe the tank. Don;t just crank up the rate and take off.

    When you see nice new growth and no NEW algae you are getting somewhere.

    Hope this helps.

    Can you please provide some details on your light setup?
     
  10. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    ok, all of you convinced me of not buy it, well I will spend the money in a DI filter so I can take the kH out and control pH with the CO2 by myself.

    Gerryd im using 6 T-12 tubes. 2 GE plant & aquarium (reddish color), 2 GE 9325K for aquarium (blue color), 1 5500k widespectrum (yellow white, like sun), 1 6500K daylight (white frost color).

    my tank is 29G, I will try to take a pic.
     
  11. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    What prefilter are good to use for a DI resin I will make my own filter.

    im thinking in a carbon and sediment prefilter
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Brian,

    I would suggest removing at least half of your bulbs if not 4. 6 x T12 tubes is way overkill IMO/IME. Even at 15 watts each(???) that is still over 3 wpg. T12 light is plenty sufficient to grow plants and I use 60 watts of T12 light on my 45gal non c02 tank. This still gets slow/good growth that is very nice.

    That is a LOT OF LIGHT for such a small tank and will cause issues down the road.

    Light is what drives plant growth and thus nutrient demand. You will really have to crank the nutrients (no issues) and really focus on c02 to meet the demand. Plus you will be trimming like crazy.

    You can always add more light to see how it affects the tank and to increase growth should you wish, but I would go with only 2 or 3 bulbs max for right now.

    As you add light or the plant mass increase, so must c02 and other nutrients be increased.

    Try and use them so they still provide a good spread over the tank so all sections of the tank get good light!

    We do not need as much light as we think to grow plants well. Adequate c02 and nutrients along with ADEQUATE light (not overdosing on light) and good current/flow should allow good growth of just about any plant.

    Just a thought.
     
  13. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    Yeah is kinda overkill but I have other setups in the past and im trying to make a dutch aquascape, well not so dutch maybe "Brian aquascape:D " so I will have a big mass of plants. I know algae and all that problems, well I making frequents w/c and dosing, still algae grow but still not bloom or anything, The filter is cycled, the base substrate is cycled too. I will have a good plant amount soon, well really I can have the tank heavy planted because I have a lot of plants in the shop but im focusing in have only rare plants (in my country) in this 29G tank. It will be swords-dutch scape, mainly a lot of Echinodorus plants (actually I have 8 species in tank medium Echinodorus). Echinodorus for foreground, and it will be diferent foreground stages, first HC cuba, then Echinodorus micro, in other spots echinodorus tenellus and Echinodorus Cuadricostatus (still I cant diferentitate well the two species or its maybe the same specie?). Then It will have many spots with echinodorus species maybe one plant of one specie if the echinodorus grows a lot. Other spots I want to have toninas stems and in foreground i want some erio, maybe mixed with HC.

    Currently the E. Red flame grows fast, I'd say that grow like 1 big leave per 2 days. I will have soon, E. Indian red and E.kleiner bar. Yeah the tank will appear like a salad bar but I like the red-green-yellow that Im creating, it looking so rare.

    Brian
     

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