Reef nutrition

For people directing outdoor air to your skimmer ... did you drill a hole in your house?

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Hi guys, so I've been reading up about raising pH by providing air with less CO2 in it to the tank. One option is a CO2 scrubber, another option is running a line to get fresh outside air. The simplest solution is of course to open windows, but when it's cold outside (and at night) this is not always an option.

For folks who ran an airline outside .. did you drill a hole in the wall of your house to do it? Or did you find another way (running it under a garage door if your tank is in a garage, running it down into the crawlspace, etc, etc.

I'm not even sure I'll do it or if it's worth it, but I'm looking at options. My tank is against an outdoor wall, so I could drill through the stucco and the drywall then install something that doesn't look like a hose poking through the wall. (Like an electrical cover or something for the outside, and clean it up with a cover like a central vaccum outlet or something on the inside.)

Thoughts?

V
 

fishy408

Supporting Member
Hi guys, so I've been reading up about raising pH by providing air with less CO2 in it to the tank. One option is a CO2 scrubber, another option is running a line to get fresh outside air. The simplest solution is of course to open windows, but when it's cold outside (and at night) this is not always an option.

For folks who ran an airline outside .. did you drill a hole in the wall of your house to do it? Or did you find another way (running it under a garage door if your tank is in a garage, running it down into the crawlspace, etc, etc.

I'm not even sure I'll do it or if it's worth it, but I'm looking at options. My tank is against an outdoor wall, so I could drill through the stucco and the drywall then install something that doesn't look like a hose poking through the wall. (Like an electrical cover or something for the outside, and clean it up with a cover like a central vaccum outlet or something on the inside.)

Thoughts?

V
Not every house or environment is the same. I have tried this, and ran a temporary line from my tank, through the garage, and through a vent to the outside. The change in PH was negligible, so I decided not to do it. If the temporary line showed good results, then I may have investigated further. Also keep in mind where the lines exits and what pollutants/pesticides can be coming in. My 2 cents.
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
Not every house or environment is the same. I have tried this, and ran a temporary line from my tank, through the garage, and through a vent to the outside. The change in PH was negligible, so I decided not to do it. If the temporary line showed good results, then I may have investigated further. Also keep in mind where the lines exits and what pollutants/pesticides can be coming in. My 2 cents.

Sounds like a pretty far run. Was the diameter of the tube large enough to allow for good air flow?
 

fishy408

Supporting Member
Sounds like a pretty far run. Was the diameter of the tube large enough to allow for good air flow?

Unfortunately looking through posts, I didn't seem like I documented what I researched and tested out. What I do remember is the tubing was less than 25 ft, and I am guessing it was 1/4", and I do remember a suction test on the tube which I believed to be good air flow at the time. Out of memory the increase was approximately .5, but not really sure at this point. Maybe I can dig up some notes.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Not every house or environment is the same. I have tried this, and ran a temporary line from my tank, through the garage, and through a vent to the outside. The change in PH was negligible, so I decided not to do it. If the temporary line showed good results, then I may have investigated further. Also keep in mind where the lines exits and what pollutants/pesticides can be coming in. My 2 cents.
I'll run a test first before drilling holes, once my pH probe comes and I can hook up my pH meter. I can attach a hose to the skimmer input and just stick the end of it into a nearby open window, though of course having the window open would affect the air in the room. Maybe just tape up some cardboard over the open window gap where the hose is for the test.

Currently my pH test kits are too useless (is this orange? is this reddish? Is it orangish red? Let's try another test kit ... is this green? Is this greenish blue? Is this blue?)

V
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
.05?
.5 would be big!
Yeah, pH is a logarithmic scale so a pH of 8 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 7.

A 0.5 increase is a 5 time increase in (whatever, 5 times less hydrogen ions? I forget my chemistry)


Also, most people chase 8.2->8.4 pH and usually bump a ceiling of around 8.0 ... so .5 is prbobably all you need.

However, I get that he's just going from memory.

V
 

richiev

Supporting Member
Sounds like a pretty far run. Was the diameter of the tube large enough to allow for good air flow?
Would the run matter in results for Ph though? I would think a long run could possibly impact airflow, but you'd see that in a lowered amount of air intake and you'd have to tune the skimmer to pull more air to offset. In the end I'd expect you'd get the same amount pulled in. Either way it'd seem you'd have the air coming from outside, and worst case just less of it (pre-adjustments).
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
Would the run matter in results for Ph though? I would think a long run could possibly impact airflow, but you'd see that in a lowered amount of air intake and you'd have to tune the skimmer to pull more air to offset. In the end I'd expect you'd get the same amount pulled in. Either way it'd seem you'd have the air coming from outside, and worst case just less of it (pre-adjustments).

That’s probably an accurate statement. As long as you cranked the pump up if air was restricted at all.
 

rygh

BOD
BOD
Seems like a waste of time.

The difference between CO2 inside and outside is likely a tiny percentage.
( If not, you have bigger problems than the tank.)
You also have a ton of gas exchange from the surface of your tank.
(Likely more than the skimmer)
So the equilibrium point will be pretty much the same either way.

If you want a real difference, put a CO2 scrubber on the skimmer.
In doing that, the difference between CO2% in tank vs CO2% in bubbles is very large.
That high difference causes much higher diffusion gas exchange.
And you will quite quickly see a PH difference.
 

rygh

BOD
BOD
If you are really interested in a CO2 scrubber, PM me, and let me know. I should have some parts around.
I tried it.
It made a noticeable difference in PH.
It made no difference in corals.
So I stopped bothering.
 

Darkxerox

Public Relations
BOD
Seems like a waste of time.

The difference between CO2 inside and outside is likely a tiny percentage.
( If not, you have bigger problems than the tank.)
You also have a ton of gas exchange from the surface of your tank.
(Likely more than the skimmer)
So the equilibrium point will be pretty much the same either way.

If you want a real difference, put a CO2 scrubber on the skimmer.
In doing that, the difference between CO2% in tank vs CO2% in bubbles is very large.
That high difference causes much higher diffusion gas exchange.
And you will quite quickly see a PH difference.
You can use the club's CO2 meter to confirm @Vincerama2

I tested mine after sleeping in my room and I was at 700-900 ppm with the doors closed (I run a humidifier at night so I like having the doors closed) and 550 ppm with them open. The airplane I took the day after was 1500ppm at altitude and during taxi. So this may help if you're running into a high room level.
 

Matt_Wandell

Supporting Member
Honorary Supporting Member
Seems like a waste of time.

The difference between CO2 inside and outside is likely a tiny percentage.
( If not, you have bigger problems than the tank.)
You also have a ton of gas exchange from the surface of your tank.
(Likely more than the skimmer)
So the equilibrium point will be pretty much the same either way.

If you want a real difference, put a CO2 scrubber on the skimmer.
In doing that, the difference between CO2% in tank vs CO2% in bubbles is very large.
That high difference causes much higher diffusion gas exchange.
And you will quite quickly see a PH difference.
There can be a massive difference in pCO2 between indoors and outdoors particularly in modern homes. It would be fairly normal for pCO2 indoors to be 1600 ppm or about 4x higher than outdoor air. Highly dependent on number of people and how well sealed up your home is.
 

grizfyrfyter

Supporting Member
Seems like a waste of time.

The difference between CO2 inside and outside is likely a tiny percentage.
( If not, you have bigger problems than the tank.)
You also have a ton of gas exchange from the surface of your tank.
(Likely more than the skimmer)
So the equilibrium point will be pretty much the same either way.

If you want a real difference, put a CO2 scrubber on the skimmer.
In doing that, the difference between CO2% in tank vs CO2% in bubbles is very large.
That high difference causes much higher diffusion gas exchange.
And you will quite quickly see a PH difference.
There is a big difference between outside and inside levels of CO2, depending on how well sealed the house is.

You get much more gas exchange from a Skimmer than surface agitation. The surface area of exposure isn't even close.

A CO2 scrubber is great but the absorbtion material isn't rechargeable and it's not cheap. I bought in bulk for much cheaper and it's was still a few hundred $ a year. The performance of the material also drops off quickly. Less than a week before it drops below 50%.
 

grizfyrfyter

Supporting Member
I drilled a hole in my house to get fresh air. I actually had more issues with my tank this way. I live in a crappy area and had to deal with idling dirty vehicles nearby and lots of dust. I also had to keep an eagle eye out for the pest control guy and shut the Skimmer down for a couple days when he came.

I went with a CO2 scrubber but it was expensive.

I'm moving my 100g tank to my office at the airport. I won't be running the air line outside due to concern for the pollution from the aircraft (AvGas and jet a) taking off all day long.
 

rygh

BOD
BOD
There can be a massive difference in pCO2 between indoors and outdoors particularly in modern homes. It would be fairly normal for pCO2 indoors to be 1600 ppm or about 4x higher than outdoor air. Highly dependent on number of people and how well sealed up your home is.
Wow, had no idea it really went that high.

From random searching :
Earth average seems to be around 400.
Stuffiness and odor complaints: 600-1000 ppm.
ASHRAE and OSHA requirements: 1000 ppm.
Drowsiness: 1000-2500 ppm in general.
Irritability: 2500 ppm or more.
Death: 84,000 ppm
 

rygh

BOD
BOD
You get much more gas exchange from a Skimmer than surface agitation. The surface area of exposure isn't even close.
I have heard both ways stated as fact. I just can't find that study. Frustrating.
I just don't know.

On one side, all those tiny bubbles have huge surface area.
But, the true turnover from main tank through skimmer is rather poor, especially compared with surface and a powerhead.
Plus some stuff about saturated boundary layers. (I simply don't remember the details.)
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
There can be a massive difference in pCO2 between indoors and outdoors particularly in modern homes. It would be fairly normal for pCO2 indoors to be 1600 ppm or about 4x higher than outdoor air. Highly dependent on number of people and how well sealed up your home is.
LOL, my house was built in 1938 and leaks like a sieve!

I'll test my pH when my new probe arrives to see if it even is a problem at all.

A line to the outside, once the work is done, seems like a freebie if it works. CO2 Scrubber is an ongoing cost.

I'll put myself in line for the CO2 detector.

V
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
I drilled a hole in my house to get fresh air. I actually had more issues with my tank this way. I live in a crappy area and had to deal with idling dirty vehicles nearby and lots of dust. I also had to keep an eagle eye out for the pest control guy and shut the Skimmer down for a couple days when he came.

I went with a CO2 scrubber but it was expensive.

I'm moving my 100g tank to my office at the airport. I won't be running the air line outside due to concern for the pollution from the aircraft (AvGas and jet a) taking off all day long.
I live on a hill in San Mateo and the street has cars drive by, but it's very low volume.
I'd be worried if the cold air (well., it's cold today) would actually cool down the tank and make the heater run for longer.

V
 
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