JBL CO2/PH computer

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by Hoskins, 20 Nov 2008.

  1. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

    Messages:
    28
    Looks like I am getting one of these for Christmas to add to my JBL CO2 system.

    Has anyone any experience with these?

    I am also a reefer and use a Calcium reactor with a PH controller.

    Therefore I have similar experience with marines but the CO2/PH computer looks to be much more comprehensive.
     
  2. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    you will be hard pressed to find anyone in planted that will recommend a ph controller for using with CO2!!! It makes the CO2 unstable due to switching on/off so we don't use them. There are one or two people that do but if you take that one or two as a percentage of all the members that is about the best recommendation of wether to use one!!

    It is just like going from unstable DIY to then spending money on stable pressurised and then spending more money to make the stable pressurised unstable again. May as well just use DIY ;(

    AC
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    10,301
    Location:
    London
    You will be better off with a drop checker and selonoid valve ;)
     
  4. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    I'd have to agree and it's a fraction of the cost.

    Andy Mac's tank at TGM is run on a PH controller so maybe they will chime in with their experiences....
     
  5. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

    Messages:
    28
    Strangely enough that is where I saw it in use.

    I appreciate that you can get excellent results with the most basic of kit but where my time at home can be irratic I have found that automation with my reef was the way to go and I am expecting to mirror this with my planted tank. The chemistry is obviously very different but stability I expect to be the key.

    I am a bit puzzled with the comment of instability with the CO2 being switched on and off but if the PH is kept constant surely so will the CO2 level.

    I am probably wrong and no where near as much experience with FW as I have with SW but always learning.

    I have only recently met the guys at TGM but the information that I have picked up from them so far has turned my tank from just about surviving to flourishing and they dont give you the 'hard sell' effect either.
     
  6. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    To be honest, pH controls are just not necessary. Whether they work or not, you simply don't need one. Spend the money on something that is necessary, like better lighting.

    Sam
     
  8. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    You want stable CO2 levels in the tank while plants are photosynthesising and that means pumping in a stable bubble rate of CO2 just before and during the light is on at least. A pH controller uses fluctuating CO2 levels to manipulate the pH levels to keep that stable. pH in the planted tank is pretty inconsequential. Keep the TDS stable and the CO2 level stable, add enough ferts and everything will be fine - hopefully...
     
  9. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

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    28
    Aleady sorted the lighting and filtration as I realise how important it is in my reef.
     
  10. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

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    28

    Actually thanks very much but you dont know what I already have etc. I am glad to say that reefers have more respect and take the time to find out. And what if TGM 'chime in' as you so nicely put it. Maybe in future I will not bother with this forum if that is the sort of response someone gets.
     
  11. Goodygumdrops

    Goodygumdrops Member

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    278
    Location:
    Falkirk,Scotland
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess he was trying to say share their experiences! Not sure what you took the word "chime" to be!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  13. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

    Messages:
    28
    What I was refering to was that you are all to quick to make recommendations without finding out the facts. I already have a solenoid valve and a timer and for that matter MH lighting that someone else suggested I should upgrade. I dont have any problems with my tank, algae or otherwise. I just need to incorporate a system that will stop the tank from overdosing when I am away, which is my greatest worry and has been experienced by some others.

    Before diagnosing listen to the symptoms!
     
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I don't really understand your response either Hoskins. Dan was simply suggesting that a pH controller is unecessary so save your money. If you already have one then to be honest the only use I would put it to is as a safety cut off set at a very low pH in case something went wrong with the CO2 or tank. And it's an expensive bit of kit for a pretty much unneeded safeguard.

    Most people who ask these kind of questions haven't bought anything yet so it seems safe to start with that. If you already have those items then you're ahead of the game and that's great.
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hoskins,
    The only way we could possibly know what you already have is if you tell us, otherwise we are forced to guess. Is it a certainty that all reefers have more respect? If one were to assess based on your response I'm certain the conclusion would be just the opposite. Members have taken the time to help you by responding to your request for information. Several experienced members have clearly advised you that a pH controller is an unnecessary expense so that if you had not already purchased the unit (which you vaguely alluded to in your original post) then the idea was that you could save money. That sounds pretty helpful as well as respectful.

    It was also clearly pointed out to you why a pH controller was unnecessary. The science and technology of the controller does not lend itself to CO2 stability and it should be clear by now that the pH/KH/CO2 relationship on which the controller is based does not function correctly in a planted tank therefore the controller will vary the injection rate which means CO2 concentration level variance. It may not have been explained to you that there are certain algae which bloom in response to the CO2 instability of which the controller is susceptible. These members have vast experience regarding this issue and they have dealt with the painful reality of algal blooms due to poor CO2. They sought to spare you the expense and pain by offering their advice and yet you seem to be of the opinion that because you have reefers experience and because TGM have a controller, the advice given to you here is somehow invalidated.

    Please allow me to clarify a few things.
    This rational is called a "mind set" as there is nothing automatic about a planted tank with the possible exception of algal blooms. A basic kit is actually can be a more reliable kit. A solenoid that simply turns ON and then OFF is much more accurate and stable than a controller which has been discussed ad nauseum. This is not to say that one cannot be successful using a controller, just that it's unnecessary and more costly than our proven basic alternatives.

    It should be clear by now that stable pH in a planted tank does not necessarily equate to stable CO2.

    Correct!

    TGM is one of our popular and valued sponsors and if you chose to ignore the advice on this forum because it does not appeal to you, and to converse only with them, well, then that is certainly your prerogative. If you wish to contribute to this forum however it would be appreciated if you could demonstrate a bit of reefers respect to our other members.

    Cheers,
     
  16. Dusko

    Dusko Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Denmark
    I work for a Zoo Shop in Sweden and encounter ignorance all the time :) (no hard feelings)
    I have had and still look after SW tanks and I can tell you one thing;
    The only thing I can find similar to the FW Plant tank is the lights and the circulation. But when it comes to other things like NO3, PO4, CO2, pH, etc... they are two different worlds.

    SW's holy trinity is KH/pH, Calcium, Magnesium (if flow is good)
    in FW Planted is CO2, NO3, PO4 (if flow is good)

    Most of my freshwater customers which report some sort of a problem state that their tank is totally OK and in fine balance :?
    Of course I ask them how can they know that and 99% answer with;
    "I tested for pH and it is normal" :lol: :rolleyes: What is with this pH obsession ??? (this doesn't apply to u Hoskins)

    It is hard to kill the myth which was carved into so many fish books and sites for the last few decades when it comes to freshwater tanks. pH is very important when it comes to breeding certain freshwater fish but in planted tanks NO.

    I encourage Hoskins to use the pH controller and test for him self. He got some good info from UKAPS as guide lines to be able to recognise the problems if any occur.

    Regards, Dusko
     
  17. Hoskins

    Hoskins Member

    Messages:
    28
    Thankyou for your input Dusko and your diplomatic way of putting things.

    Please dont think that I disagree with the advice provided. It is the way in which it is provided.

    Nowhere did I suggest that I had a problem, although I agree that nothing is perfect but I dont want to fix what isn't broke.

    Even if the computer turns out to be an expensive safety device, that is fine.

    I simply asked if anyone had any experience of this device. If not I will let you know how I get on.

    The worse that can happen is that I go back to my existing methods (solenoid on a timer) which obviously works and use this to stop a disaster situtaion while I am away.

    I like what I see at TGM and follow their lead. It obviously works on Andy Mac's tank but if it does not work out for me that is also fine, I can put it down to experience.

    It is the same in the reef world, there are some devices that you cannot live without but until someone puts them in from of you, you are unaware of the alternatives. As an example when it comes to measuring SG beginners are provided with a hydrometer but later on they discover the refractometer which IMO is much more acurate and easier to use. Other than a refractometer being slightly more expensive I cannot work out why anyone would consider a hydrometer.
     
  18. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Please do! :) Out of necessity and/or expense most people dont use pH controls. If you find yourself with money to spend and decided to get one, I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on them. At least when future people ask then I can pass on your experiences.

    Sam
     
  19. hi,

    interesting thread.

    i actually have a jbl co2/ph controller thingy, and i have never read alot of the stuff about the issues with them until this thread.

    http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... controller

    - was a very interesting read.

    my experience with it was i initially blindly followed the setting instructions for 30ppm co2 and it wasnt enough, due to the very high levels of phosphates in my water messing up the chart. bought a drop checker, with some kh4, to go with it and just dropped the setting on the controller to about approx one point below tap water ph (7.2 to 6.3).

    I still get a little bba though, but i have many other issues id like to fix in my tank before i could point directly at the co2 fluctuations (my flow rate is rubbish, tank is heavily stocked, lights are a little too low). my co2 comes on a couple of hours after lights come on usually, then goes off about 30 minutes after lights out, maybe a few short breaks during the day.

    I suppose the supply would vary more if i had the supply set quicker or slower. I try not to waste co2. PH goes down to about 6.15 at night and up to 6.3 at the end of the day on the probes readout. drop checker always shows nicely green.

    after reading the article linked i might consider dropping my set PH another 0.1 to achive the a more lime green test result and see if it helps my little bit of bba.

    saying that when i sort the rest of the tank issues to a level that i rule them out i will deffo come back here and post my final thoughts on ph controllers.

    best regards,

    john
     
  20. p.s The range the CO2 comes on when it hits the targetted ph, then stays on until the ph has dropped another 0.5 of a point, so by setting your bubble rate correctly you can just maintain a constant flow most of the time.
     

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