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Reefaddiction

CO2 scrubber use in a 14g biocube to fix low pH

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Reefaddiction

So I wanted to start a thread about using a CO2 scrubber in a nano tank. I know there are a few threads out there on CO2 scrubbing to help with pH, but most don’t really cover if it’s financially feasible based on how much soda lime or CO2 scrubbing media they are having to use. 

    I literally set up my DIY CO2 scrubber last night 10/25/17 at 10pm. This morning I measured my pH at 6am before going to work and sure enough my pH was 8.0-8.1. My pH at that time usually runs 7.7-7.8. I couldn’t believe how well and fast this actually worked. As I said I just started this, but I’m planning on keeping a log to see what the pH averages, and more importantly how long the media lasts and whether it’s worth it financially. It’s a small tank, so I’m hopeful the media will last awhile and prove to be a reasonable method of increasing pH in a nano tank! If people are interested I’ll keep posting the progress!

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Thrassian Atoll

Mines doing well on my 25 Lagoon.  I am using the BRS one though.  If I did a diy one, I would just use lime water.  Are you running it to a skimmer?

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Reefaddiction
2 minutes ago, TILTON said:

Mines doing well on my 25 Lagoon.  I am using the BRS one though.  If I did a diy one, I would just use lime water.  Are you running it to a skimmer?

So I’ll take a picture later of my DIY set up. I have the coralife biocube skimmer and I switched out the stock air pump with a tetra whisper 20 (the protein skimmer works 100x better with the upgraded pump) and the DIY scrubber (Gatorade bottle)  is hooked up in line to the air pump before going to the skimmer.  I’m using soda lime pellets for now, but I will have to read about using lime water  to see how you do it, how much it costs and if it’s just as effective. But I am pleasantly shocked at the results this far!

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Thrassian Atoll

I am using the BRS media.  Kind of pricey but it lasts quite a while.

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Boggers

It will vary depending on many things. I tried BRS media and it lasted about a month for me. Too pricey but worked great. I have a bunch of animals and running a line to the outside to connect to my skimmer seems like a better option for me.

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Reefaddiction
6 minutes ago, Boggers said:

It will vary depending on many things. I tried BRS media and it lasted about a month for me. Too pricey but worked great. I have a bunch of animals and running a line to the outside to connect to my skimmer seems like a better option for me.

I’m renting so the line outside the house is t an option. But man I was blown away by how well this works, really fascinating. Can’t wait to crunch the numbers and get a good estimate of the true cost. Hopefully it’s affordable.

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Boggers
4 minutes ago, Reefaddiction said:

I’m renting so the line outside the house is t an option. But man I was blown away by how well this works, really fascinating. Can’t wait to crunch the numbers and get a good estimate of the true cost. Hopefully it’s affordable.

If you can handle keeping a window cracked the CO2 in an apartment can dissipate fairly well. Add the scrubber and it will make a big difference.

Case in point- opening my windows for a day can raise my PH 0.3

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Reefaddiction
17 hours ago, Boggers said:

If you can handle keeping a window cracked the CO2 in an apartment can dissipate fairly well. Add the scrubber and it will make a big difference.

Case in point- opening my windows for a day can raise my PH 0.3

Totally agree, cracking  windows helps tremendously, but 10 months out of the year in Florida it’s just not possible because of heat and humidity. It’s cooling off and I’m opening the windows more, hoping it may also help my soda lime last longer. But great point!

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Reefaddiction

So just a quick update. Yesterday evenings (10/26) pH was 8.2-8.3. Super pumped about that! My pH normally reached that value after a water change and then stabilized to 7.8-7.9. before the scrubber. This mornings pH solid at 8.0-8.1 @ 6am. 

   So the scrubber definitely works, and I can say the skimmer is still working without issues. The real question now is how long does the media last, how cheap can you get the media to determine overall monthly cost, and most importantly is it truly making a difference in the health of the tank and coral growth.

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Reefaddiction

Just another quick update... pH is holding steady. This morning it was 8.1 and yesterday afternoon it was 8.2-8.3. Looks like the scrubber is doing a nice job of maintaining the pH around 8.1-8.3, with the lowest pH around 8.0. 

   Soda lime is partially turning purple, but most of the media still looks white. I know the color will revert back to white even after it has been exhausted, so I am testing my pH daily to see when the pH itself actually begins to decline back to my usual 7.8 range. Once I find this out, I’ll do a little number crunching to see how long the media will last and what the maintenance cost would be. 

    As a side note, I do feel that the corals are happier... growth seems better but I could just be imagining that.. lol you start seeing things after watching your tank for awhile... but either way I’m happy with the CO2 scrubber, and it’s definitely improved stability at least.

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Reefaddiction

So I’m kind of baffled... the CO2 scrubber was running well, my media lasted about 10 days before having to change out my Gatorade bottle. pH was steady as previously posted. Did a water change, and changed my media and now the pH won’t raise to the 8.1-8.3 level that it was at before when I started the CO2 scrubber. The soda lime was stored in an airtight bag, is still white so I dont think it’s that. I’ve noticed the alkalinity is a little lower, it was 11 when I started the  CO2 scrubber and now it’s 9 and the pH is only getting up to 8.0 max and dipping to 7.8 in the morning. Is it the alkalinity drop that is causing the CO2 scrubber to fail or is there something else I am missing? Appreciate any responses or suggestions.

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