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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Gen-X CO2 regulator by pacific coast imports. It has a solenoid and a needle from MRC http://www.myreefcreations.com/caaccessories.htm at the bottom of the page. Currently the regulator is putting out an output pressure of 25. That is just a touch higher than I want. There isn't any big knobs for the output pressure. On The bottom of the setup there is a round spot with a slot in it for a screw driver. I think that is the output pressure controller. I turned it about a 1/4" of an inch both ways and nothing really changed. I didn't want to turn it too far if that wasn't what I thought it was. Anyone one how to change the output pressure?
 

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The Muddy Mod
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Sometimes if you lower the pressure, you'll have to discharge quite a bit of gas before you'll see the pressure drop. If I lower my output pressure, I have to crank up the bubble count for a few seconds to actually see the new pressure.
 

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My Kitty Cleans My Glass!
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Here is a picture of mine. The valve on the tank controls the pressure in the left gauge and the black valve in the center is the regulator knob for the gauge on the right and the silver knob on the right is the needle valve that controls the output. I think that your knob for the output side (from the picture in link) is off to the left of the regulator.

The pressure on the output side has to be 15 or higher for me as my check valve will not open unless there is more than 15psi. Thats the case for the metal checkvalves, the plastic ones are around 8-10 from what I hear. I keep my pressure from 16 to 20 and can maintain a good bubble count. If the temp in the room changes alot, then the bubble count changes as well, very sensitive. I think, that having the lower pressure in the output side makes it easier to dial in the needle valve. I have a harder time getting that right if my pressure is to high.

Oh yeah, dont make changes to any of the setting unless you can check it every 45 to 1 hour. it takes time for these things to regulate themselfs after a change, be patient and keep watching. I made a change to the needle valve once and left for the day and wasted a ton of CO2 and saturated my Reactor pretty bad, cause I did not realize that change right away. It changed over time.

Hope this helps.
Mike

 

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I have a Gen-X CO2 regulator by pacific coast imports. It has a solenoid and a needle from MRC http://www.myreefcreations.com/caaccessories.htm at the bottom of the page. Currently the regulator is putting out an output pressure of 25. That is just a touch higher than I want. There isn't any big knobs for the output pressure. On The bottom of the setup there is a round spot with a slot in it for a screw driver. I think that is the output pressure controller. I turned it about a 1/4" of an inch both ways and nothing really changed. I didn't want to turn it too far if that wasn't what I thought it was. Anyone one how to change the output pressure?
A picture of your actual regulator pleare... evidently there are several revisions of this regulator available.

Good advice from both Butch and Mike re: the changes on the dials and pressure settings.
 

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btw, on the presets, I believe turning clockwise on the preset screw increases the operating presesure, but the needle on the operating pressure dial will only move if going up in operating pressure: you'll need to vent the pressure (open the solenoid by plugging the solenoid lead into regular 110 volts at the wall) to see a downward move on the operating (regulated) pressure dial after dialing down the pressure on the preset screw.


HTH, btw, have you measured your alk in the effluent and the tank yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was going to do that tonght. I am going to measure alk in the tank too. If the PSI is 25 should i just leave it or lower it a little?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My calcium levels are 400. Alk 10.8. The effluent alk is 23 (high??) and the PH between chamber one and two is 6.85. It fluctuated today between 6.89 and 6.85. Basically during the day it was a little higher since tank PH was a little higher. The drip rate seems to be at a rate of just over 1 per second. What adjustments should I make?
 

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this is good, leave the reactor running like this and look for n upward trend to tke you to a0 -12 dKH for your alk, just watch for a spike on the lk. OR you cn push you alk up with some bicarb and wtch it from tht point (Ca++ = 400-425 and ak at dKH - 10-12 will be fairly close to balance if S=35 PPT (SG= 1.025-ISH at 80F) and your conse3rvative elements are in close proportionality such that MG++ = 1300 PPM or so.

ep testing efluent, tnk for alk and watch tank pH at 8am and 8 PM remember, trends, not so much the actual numbers are what you're watching now, so make charts of your values.

Do you have auto top off? and do you do regular water changes?


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have an auto top off that goes through a Nilsen Reactor. It is still hooked up and running. My RK2 is hooked to my computer so the PH is logged. My trends are the same as they were before the Reactor went online. On my salifert Alk test kit is says Natural Sea Water has a dKH of 8. You are saying 10-12 is better because it is more in balance correct? My calcium was 400. I added just a touch of turbo calcium to boost it a closer to 425. You want me to keep testing the tank for alk and calcium. You said test the effluent out of the reactor what should I be looking for there other than spikes?
 

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I have an auto top off that goes through a Nilsen Reactor. It is still hooked up and running. My RK2 is hooked to my computer so the PH is logged. My trends are the same as they were before the Reactor went online. On my salifert Alk test kit is says Natural Sea Water has a dKH of 8. You are saying 10-12 is better because it is more in balance correct? My calcium was 400. I added just a touch of turbo calcium to boost it a closer to 425. You want me to keep testing the tank for alk and calcium. You said test the effluent out of the reactor what should I be looking for there other than spikes?
Disconnect the nielssen reactor, it will totally throw off the adjustment of your Ca reactor (CO2 and aragonite). With the nielssen running in addition to the CO2-based reactor, you have two sources of ca and alk, and we only want one for now that is controlled by one controller unit. With two running, there is no legit feedback loop in place, so that changes in running the reactor are not reflected in what is going into the tank. You cannot adjust and tune the CO2-aragonite reactor while you're dumping kalkwasser into the tank on an independent controller.

Once the CO2-based reactor has been the only supplement running for solid week, we can begin to adjust based on your tank's response to the reactor effluent: if your trend in the alk is downwrd, then we'll need to adjust, based on things like system pH, your alkalinity , the alk of the effluent, etc., but it is too soon to see trends due to the CO2/aragonite reactor yet. Ideally, you'll adjust your calcium and alk with supplements to be in balance at Ca++= 400-425PPM and alk at 10-12 dKH, then see how the trend goes with the reactor running as it is set up. If we see a general downward trend, and you have good alkalinity in your effluent, and it is running wide open, then we'll need to adjust based on things that will drive up the concentration of alkalinity in the effluent. If the tank shows a general trend upward that is not too sharp, then we'll reduce the effluent flow rate initially, if the increase is sharp, then decrease the effluent flow and cut the bubble rate for the CO2. If your alk concentration in the effluent is low, and/or we see a downward trend in your tank's alk, then we will need to increase the alkalinity in the effluent upward and possibly increase effluent rates.


Much to consider, but this is why you'tre keeping records. Just curious, how did your probe respond to the borax test as it is calibrated now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got two brand new probes so they calibrated right away. I was going to buy only one but when I tried to calibrate my old one it didn't respond quickly. I just thought better to get two new one. Both calibrated well.
 

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I got two brand new probes so they calibrated right away. I was going to buy only one but when I tried to calibrate my old one it didn't respond quickly. I just thought better to get two new one. Both calibrated well.
That is probably a smart thing to do, but what did your (new) probe read (for the controller) when you did the borax text? If you haven't done this yet, it would be smart to test it now with the borax solution to confirm the ability of your probe to read correctly, new or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used the calibration solution. The pinpoint 7.0 and 10.0. After it was calibrated I dipped them into each solution and it read correctly. After I calibrated them I had both of them in my sump because I wasn't ready to put it into the calcium reactor yet. They were both reading the same thing.
 

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I used the calibration solution. The pinpoint 7.0 and 10.0. After it was calibrated I dipped them into each solution and it read correctly. After I calibrated them I had both of them in my sump because I wasn't ready to put it into the calcium reactor yet. They were both reading the same thing.
I'm really not too concerned aout the calibration process here, what I want to see is how well the probe functions under real world conditions... That is the function of the borax test, to make sure that the probe is functioning correctly after calibration.

Before you spend a lot of time chasing the numbers, take some time to test the probe's function using sodium metaborate, even though you've already calibrated the meter.


Calibration is good, but it is always a good idea to do a separate test with the sodium metaborate (borax) to see if your meter is testing well during normal continuous usage. I read a lot of posts where folks say that they have calibrated their pH meters and followed the directions exactly, followed all the temp bath suggestions, corrected for every possible error, yet they consistently see pH values that are skewed either high or low in their aquaria based on even the new calibration. When questioned on their procedure, almost every person I have spoken with had used standards that had either expired, or been in their LFS’s shops long enough to have expired. I read with interest Craig Bingman’s posts about a similar problem with (name deleted)brand of pH calibration solution where the pH 10 standard was off by almost a full pH unit. Craig had purchased a few packets of this particular brand, used a lab bench pH electrode, calibrated with fresh research-quality pH standards and tested these calibration fluids. After much board discussion, Craig proposed that folks use a freshly prepared buffering solution of sodium metaborate that will always come to the same value under home conditions. This lead to the publishing of his article in Aquarium Frontiers on the use of 20 Mule Team Borax to prepare a home standard solution. I would suggest that you use this procedure to make sure that your pH probe and meter are in actuality measuring what they are supposed to. I have issues with the Hanna brand of pH probe, but that is a separate issue.

Essentially, the process of testing your probe's ability/accuracy involves making a standard solution of borax in RO/DI water and testing the resulting solution. This solution differs from NIST standard solutions in that NIST solution standards rely on a combined solution using controlled measured amounts of an acid and its conjugate base. Usually you would need to mix precise quantities of two different compounds to make a pH standard solution in a precisely measured volume. These will have a set shelf life, and will deteriorate more rapidly if exposed to less than ideal conditions. Rather than try and make these lab standards (you could, if you had the precision lab ware and balances needed to measure end volume and the acid and conjugate base weights), we can use the properties of sodium metaborate in water to form these equimolar acid/conjugate bases for us (Boric acid and hydrated borate ions). This is one of the advantages of using borax as a standard. <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: bbcode_quote -->Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">pH of Sodium Metaborate Standard Solution at Various Temperatures
(3.80 grams Na2BO7 10H2O/liter)

Degrees Celsius . . . Degrees Fahrenheit . . . . . . pH
0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.464
5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.395
10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.332
15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.276
16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.266
17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.256
18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.245
19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.235
20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.225
21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.216
22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.207
23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.198
24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.192
25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.180
26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.172
27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.167
28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.155
29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.147
30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.139
35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.081
40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.068




Characteristics of Sodium Metaborate pH Standard solution

Characteristic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Value
Composition(gm Na2B4O7 10H2O/1000 ml) . . . . . . 3.80
molality (m) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.01
Molarity (M). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.009971
pH at 25 degrees Celsius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.180
change in pH after dilution
to half original concentrationin water .. . . . . . . . +0.01
Temperature coef.
dpH/dt,unit degrees Celsius-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . -0.0082


data taken from C.Bingman Aquarium Frontiers article </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<!-- END TEMPLATE: bbcode_quote -->These tables give the properties of differing temperatures on the pH of borax (sodium metaborate) in purified water and the resulting pH, as well as the characteristics that allow us to demonstrate the relatively small change that varying the concentration of the solution has on pH when compared to the standard solution. To make the textbook standard, you dissolve 3.8 grams of borax per liter water using a lab balance and a volumetric flask. Fortunately 1/2 level teaspoon of solid borax weighs just about two grams, AND the pH of borax solutions is only weakly dependent on the concentration of borax in the solution (SEE CHART), SOOOOOooooo, we don’t need to be tremendously precise in our measurement of the borax to still produce a relatively accurate pH standard. We can make a useful product here without the use of a lab balance.

Use a pint of water (473ml) and add a half teaspoon (1/2 level tsp.) of 20 Mule Team Borax to make a resultant pH standard solution with 2 gm of sodium metaborate per 473 ml or 4.3 grams of sodium metborate/litre. Mix well. Although using this method to make the standard will only result in an accuracy of about plus or minus 10% of the lab standard sodium metaborate pH calibration solution, there is such a weak dependence of pH on concentration of the solute buffer here that it is close enough for our purposes. To use this solution to check your probe, bring a freshly made batch of borax solution to aquarium temp and immerse the probe into the solution, allowing 5 minutes for final probe measurement. The meter should show a value of 9.19 + 0.02 pH units. If your value with the meter is not within range, cleaning and recalibration of the probe are indicated (I am not worried about that with your probe, we just need to make sure that there is not an issue with the probe, like suppose the probe shipping solution dried out and the probe lost a high percentage of its KCL solution from inside the probe: it might calibrate, but still have issues). If after cleaning and recalibrating the probe with known fresh good standards your meter/probe still cannot pass this test, then it is time to either have the meter tested against a known good meter probe combination, and failing this comparison, then replacing either the probe or the entire pH meter setup. Unfortunately Hanna pH meters at hobbyist levels are notorious for drift from calibration in as little as 2 weeks of continuous use. I trust you have a Pinpoint probe...

Chronically high or low pH values in marine aquaria are more often measurement issues than anything else, although they can occur as a result of inappropriate use of buffering additives, especially high pKa products like sodium carbonate (present in varying amounts in many reef buffer builders) or when using inappropriately-adjusted CO2/aragonite reactors . Use the borax to check your meter's ability to measure the correct value, and proceed from that point. If the meter is spot on, we can avoid wasting a lot of time further down the road, this is just a check to make sure we will be easuring appropriat levels and getting good values, an that there is NOT an issue with the controller's probe. Let us know when you've tested the meter with the borax. I saw 20 Mule Team Borax at Target in the cleaning supplies for about $3.00, its in a green box now.



HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just bought the Borax so I will make up a solution and test the Probes. My PSI output is around 25 PSI. Should I dial that down a little? I figured if I need to dial this down I should do this now since it will screw up my settings later if I change it. I just tested and my alk is 11.8 and calc. 430. Didn't check the effluent alk yet.
 

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...My PSI output is around 25 PSI. Should I dial that down a little? I figured if I need to dial this down I should do this now since it will screw up my settings later if I change it. I just tested and my alk is 11.8 and calc. 430. Didn't check the effluent alk yet.
If this is a stable number for the tank, I'd not change a thing! Watch your alkalinity values om th tankwater for a few weeks and see where the trend seems to be going. If your values start creeping up, of course, think about turning the effluent rate down a bit. If it goes up rapidly, we'll have some other suggestions, If it appears to be trending down, we'll cut the effluent rate up. If it looks to rapidly be dropping, then we'll have yet nother group of recommendations.

We're at that "wait and see" point already, good for you!.

I don't think it's a big deal whether you are running at 20 or 25 psig, the only real advantage is that the release of CO2 gas is more rapid into the reactor when the solenoid opens. This CAN be a disadvantage in that it will cycle the solenoid more rapidly, leading a bit more wear-and-tear on the device, as well as leading to higher operating pressures for the reactor, which might causer a marginal seal to leak that might not have problems when operting at a lower presure... ...but if you want to change it, now would be the time, However, as I said before, I wouldn't change a thing and just let it run for a few weeks to see if you have any sysemic issues.


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just got home from a weekend out and the alk is still at 11.8. I have the pinpoint PH controller. I set the center line at 6.75 and set the range at 6.80. I went saw the PH at 6.67 and the solenoid was open. I touched the probe connection and the solenoid shut. The PH didn't really change when I touched it though. Is that normal for the PH to be a touch below what you set? It didn't ever seem to get lower than the 6.67?
 

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This sounds good to me, what is your current set of redings?
 
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