Jestersix

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

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
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

LOL, I better check the CO2 levels in my house, particularly the space around my own head!

V
 

Darkxerox

Public Relations
BOD
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

Yeah mine is from 1909 and even with the leaks it still got pretty high! I def need to do the same. You can use a putty to fill in the sides of the hole around the tubing too like what I used to do with the incubators in the lab for the power cables.
 

JVU

President
BOD
I run my skimmer air intake into my garage from my house through a gang plate I used for lots of reefing tubes/wires. Short run of about 7 ft or so, upsized the tubing. I don’t have internal combustion cars or other toxic emissions in my garage so it’s essentially the same ppm CO2 as outside (tested). But my CO2 level in my house generally doesn’t get high anyway, stays in the 440-600 ppm range, mostly in 400s. I didn’t notice a difference in pH overall, but it did dampen low pH effects of sometimes having a bunch of people in my house (when the CO2 does rise significantly). So I left it running to the garage.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Yeah mine is from 1909 and even with the leaks it still got pretty high! I def need to do the same. You can use a putty to fill in the sides of the hole around the tubing too like what I used to do with the incubators in the lab for the power cables.
At first I was worried about drilling a hole in the stucco before I recalled the internet cable that the internet guy just willy nilly drilled into the wall.

V
 

Arvin R

Treasurer
BOD
I marked the CO2 meter as done and ready to be passed on, but tomorrow I will test levels in my garage (no cars go into it) and outdoors (I live at the end of a culdasac and have nice fresh clean air. I assume my garage will be the same as outdoors as I have my frag tank in my garage and pH is 8.3/8.4 during peak with no skimmer. In my living room it topped at around 750 ppm. With a CO2 scrubber pH went from 7.9/8.0 up to 8.3 and stays there for peak hours on my 225g tank. I'm expecting to have to change media every 2 weeks.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
I marked the CO2 meter as done and ready to be passed on, but tomorrow I will test levels in my garage (no cars go into it) and outdoors (I live at the end of a culdasac and have nice fresh clean air. I assume my garage will be the same as outdoors as I have my frag tank in my garage and pH is 8.3/8.4 during peak with no skimmer. In my living room it topped at around 750 ppm. With a CO2 scrubber pH went from 7.9/8.0 up to 8.3 and stays there for peak hours on my 225g tank. I'm expecting to have to change media every 2 weeks.
How much media do you have to change, and what would be the cost?
Honestly, even if it were cheap, I would forget or get sick of doing that, even if it's every 2 weeks.
 

Arvin R

Treasurer
BOD
How much media do you have to change, and what would be the cost?
Honestly, even if it were cheap, I would forget or get sick of doing that, even if it's every 2 weeks.
A single cartridge holds 1lb of media. A 5gal jug of soda lime is 37lbs of media for $132 and should last 1yr and 4 months. With rough calculations it's about $3.57 every 2 weeks for 1 CO2 scrubber. The media does change color from white to purple once it's spent but pretty quickly goes back to white again so I just monitor pH and change it out once it shows a 0.2pH drop from what normal peak pH usually is. (I.e. for me it's constantly 8.3+ during peak light hours so once I see that only at 8.1 I'll change the media out)

Edit: 4:02AM. CO2 in my bedroom is 1200ppm and my 25g Lagoon tank pH is 8.1 with CO2 scrubber.
 
Last edited:

grizfyrfyter

Supporting Member
A single cartridge holds 1lb of media. A 5gal jug of soda lime is 37lbs of media for $132 and should last 1yr and 4 months. With rough calculations it's about $3.57 every 2 weeks for 1 CO2 scrubber. The media does change color from white to purple once it's spent but pretty quickly goes back to white again so I just monitor pH and change it out once it shows a 0.2pH drop from what normal peak pH usually is. (I.e. for me it's constantly 8.3+ during peak light hours so once I see that only at 8.1 I'll change the media out)

Edit: 4:02AM. CO2 in my bedroom is 1200ppm and my 25g Lagoon tank pH is 8.1 with CO2 scrubber.
My 5gal jug lasted 6 months. Granted, I had about 200g of volume, 3 people in a small house and pets.
 

Arvin R

Treasurer
BOD
My 5gal jug lasted 6 months. Granted, I had about 200g of volume, 3 people in a small house and pets.
We're you replacing more often than every 2 weeks? And we're you using the BRS CO2 scrubber? I just started running a scrubber on my 225gal so I'll have to see how long before the media needs replacing for that tank.
 

Thales

Past President
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
Hey V! What is your pH now and have you yet tested co2 in the house? I wouldn't do anything without those numbers.
That said, I have found an air pump outside to be much more effective than just a passive airline. And you can bubble just into the sump rather than the skimmer - most gas exchange happens at the breaking of surface tension, not from diffusion around bubbles. :D
 

PizzaOven

Supporting Member
For what it's worth:
I've been consistently getting 10-14 days out of my scrubber media. I run a BRS scrubber on a Reefer 250 (54g). I'm using the BRS media but plan to switch to the 5g jorgensen jug when I run out. As @Arvin R pointed out, it's a tad under $4 per refill.

The way I look at it:
Costs me $8 and 10 minutes in maintenance per month to boost my pH (approx. 0.2 units). Is it worth it? Time will tell. I've only been running it for a couple of months, so not enough time to even make a qualitative judgement.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Seems to me that everything BRS makes is basically just an RO filter cannister filled with various things and just labelled "XXX Reactor", LOL!

Still, they are my favorite store due to their BRS TV youtube channel.


V
 

grizfyrfyter

Supporting Member
We're you replacing more often than every 2 weeks? And we're you using the BRS CO2 scrubber? I just started running a scrubber on my 225gal so I'll have to see how long before the media needs replacing for that tank.
I converted some pre-filter canisters into a CO2 scrubber. Dual chamber and I would swap out one chamber (and rotate position) based on ph levels, usually 7-10 days. This flattened out the ph spike I would get after fresh material.

I had WAY too many fish in the system and a calcium reactor so ph was a non stop problem.
 

Matt_Wandell

Supporting Member
Honorary Supporting Member
Dissolved oxygen is almost always super high in a typical reef aquarium regardless of skimmer/no skimmer. Everyone should test this themselves if given the chance. I have a Milwaukee DO meter I don’t use any more that I’d be happy to donate to BAR. You can sorta use DO as a proxy for how much gas exchange you’re getting, unless you want to buy a TDG meter ($$$).

I guess my point here is that the question about whether a skimmer or surface agitation exchanges more gas is kinda moot; what’s more important IMO is making sure the air around that water/air exchange is “fresh”, as in low in CO2. It’s cool you guys have a CO2 meter.

You can also confirm whether your gas exchange is good by testing the pH of your tank, removing some water into a beaker and bubble air into it like crazy, and continue to test pH in that beaker (do it in the same room at the same temp). If the pH stays the same, you’re good. Just a bit more involved process.
 

PizzaOven

Supporting Member
Dissolved oxygen is almost always super high in a typical reef aquarium regardless of skimmer/no skimmer. Everyone should test this themselves if given the chance. I have a Milwaukee DO meter I don’t use any more that I’d be happy to donate to BAR. You can sorta use DO as a proxy for how much gas exchange you’re getting, unless you want to buy a TDG meter ($$$).

I guess my point here is that the question about whether a skimmer or surface agitation exchanges more gas is kinda moot; what’s more important IMO is making sure the air around that water/air exchange is “fresh”, as in low in CO2. It’s cool you guys have a CO2 meter.

You can also confirm whether your gas exchange is good by testing the pH of your tank, removing some water into a beaker and bubble air into it like crazy, and continue to test pH in that beaker (do it in the same room at the same temp). If the pH stays the same, you’re good. Just a bit more involved process.

@Matt_Wandell, I recently posted a thread about pH/DO and coral calcification rates (link). The authors of this study found that in addition to pH, DO plays a major role in calcification (measured in lab grown A. Millepora). While raising pH increased calcification rates under normoxia conditions, they found that under hyperoxia conditions, coral calcification can actually be inhibited... It made me really want to go out and buy a DO meter... I sort of wonder if DO explains why some people see success with raising pH and others claim it makes little difference.

Curious if you have any thoughts/experience in how DO impacts coral growth...
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
@Matt_Wandell, I recently posted a thread about pH/DO and coral calcification rates (link). The authors of this study found that in addition to pH, DO plays a major role in calcification (measured in lab grown A. Millepora). While raising pH increased calcification rates under normoxia conditions, they found that under hyperoxia conditions, coral calcification can actually be inhibited... It made me really want to go out and buy a DO meter... I sort of wonder if DO explains why some people see success with raising pH and others claim it makes little difference.

Curious if you have any thoughts/experience in how DO impacts coral growth...
With respect to some people having different Dissolver oxygen levels, I wonder if having fish in the aquarium makes a difference as obviously fish will consume the oxygen. So would people who say that raised ph doesn’t do anything for them maybe have no fish to to lower the do?

Do fish “exhale” co2? Would it even matter if the hobbiest is measuring actual pH and it’s high regardless of fish breath?
 

PizzaOven

Supporting Member
With respect to some people having different Dissolver oxygen levels, I wonder if having fish in the aquarium makes a difference as obviously fish will consume the oxygen. So would people who say that raised ph doesn’t do anything for them maybe have no fish to to lower the do?

Do fish “exhale” co2? Would it even matter if the hobbiest is measuring actual pH and it’s high regardless of fish breath?
This is exactly the kind of thing I'm wondering about. I suspect photosynthesis is the primary producer of DO in our aquariums, and fish do consume some DO. Perhaps a fish-heavy system lightly stocked with corals and other photosynthetic organisms will have more 'normal' DO levels yielding a better result from raising pH...
 

Darkxerox

Public Relations
BOD
I wouldn't expect DO to ever exceed 100% (and by 100% that's 100% of air saturation or 21% oxygen of the total gases at sea level) except in extreme situations where you have a massive amount of photosynthesis. We're sparging in room air which will equilibrate with the tank pretty quickly in a skimmer based system. Even if you remove excess CO2 from animals exchanging via their gills in the tank though heavy off gassing, you won't drop below atmospheric ~0.25-3 mmHg (your blood is around 35-45 mmHg in comparison) unless you scrub CO2. So you'd either have to pipe in pure oxygen to reach hyperoxic conditions (which wouldn't affect pH as much as reducing CO2 due to the buffering capacity of the bicarbonate). Correct me if I'm wrong here of course!

The paper is claiming that higher pH is more important for light calcification while 100% DO is more important than pH for dark calcification. My guess is that during the day the zooxanthelle are creating excess oxygen inside the coral tissue, whereas at night, there's more oxygen in the water than coral tissue as internal photosynthesis stops, leaving them more sensitive to hypoxic conditions.

In short, keep the system well aerated, reduce ambient CO2, and keeping temperature lower may help as well because lower temperature water has higher solubility for gases.
 
Top