An Easy Way to Increase Your Tank's pH with a CO2 Scrubber

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by CJO, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Carlos Danger

    Carlos Danger Active Member

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    Did BRS ever decide to start carrying the 5 gallon option? I too currently get the Jarvovet 5 gallon jug from medvet. But for $87 dollars I can't beat that. I'd much rather support BRS and get the SpheraSorb from them. I'm pretty sure SpheraSorb ships in big vat containers to certain high demand wholesalers. I know that BRS does its best to sell at the lowest price it can considering the margins available. Its hard to be a middle guy re-seller of this stuff and make much of a profit margin.

    If one does the math it wouldn't make much sense for BRS to offer a 5 gallon bucket of sodalime when they currently sell it for $50 for a 1/4 of the amount that I currently get for $87. They'd simply be making less money and giving away more product for less. I think the chances of that happening are slim to none unfortunately.:(
     

  2. jepuskar

    jepuskar New Member

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    I am selling my 2 jumbo reactors, with dual solenoids and large container of scrubber material if anyone is interested. Chicago area preferred.

    J
     
  3. Reef of Fillory

    Reef of Fillory Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I paid $2.55/lb of scrubber media including shipping @ medvet where BRS's cheapest price is $5.55/lb. I also would rather support BRS but the price difference is substantial
     
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  4. junkycosmos

    junkycosmos Member

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    How long does the lime last? I’ve seen 1-2 weeks mentioned before but what are you seeing ?
     
  5. MounteeFrag

    MounteeFrag Well-Known Member

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    3lbs last me 5 weeks @ 8.95 i think it's worth it.
     
  6. junkycosmos

    junkycosmos Member

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    Thank you
     
  7. Torben

    Torben Member

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    This is what happened to my tank when I used used rebreather dive scrubber and a water filter cartridge housing.
    More than worth the effort!!!

    71148E67-B547-4AAF-80F3-724C262286D4.png
     
    drawman likes this.
  8. ffighter17

    ffighter17 Member

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  9. Frop

    Frop Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    My guess is this would cause the media to last longer?? Not sure just thinking only air you use comes in contact with the scrubber then.
     
  10. Frop

    Frop Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have a 800sq ft house and a $165 window fan. I just recently updated my Seneye so I don’t have data on how it effected the pH but here is the result from opening a window and turning the fan on CO2 levels. Keep in mind this meter is in a bedroom which is smaller than the front room/dining area. My parents have a whole house fan and that thing has some crazy power in comparison to this. But theirs was also way more expensive.

    Only issue about the fan is the same issue people have with keeping the windows closed... need to run it when the weather is nice.


    24F206B0-0629-4FD8-A5F8-03851ED24687.png

    D7967ABA-48BC-4478-9FDB-4E1272A2AA81.png 130A26B1-1381-464F-9A4B-FFE66EA7E9D4.png

    Also note from the graph in 10-12 hours the CO2 was back over 1000ppm.
     
  11. JDtimk

    JDtimk Member

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    I know it's not always an option for everyone, but due to the cost of the scrubber media, I chose to run a large air pump from outside my house into my venturi air inlet on my skimmer. I saw on average .2 pH increase which is enough to keep me out of the 7.8 low end range. Was running 7.78 to 8.0, now 7.98 to 8.1. if you are worried about air pollutants being drawn into the pump, you can put a cheap activated carbon filter on the intake side of the pump for extra insurance.
     
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  12. Steve Tung

    Steve Tung Member

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    my reactor the one i bought from BRSTV couldnt fit the protein skimmer(Tunze 9004) cause the line was too big but this DYI method is amazing sir! Thanks
     
  13. S.G.

    S.G. Member

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    I am trying to find a solution to low pH in the tank in my wife's kindergarten classroom due to high levels of CO2 in the air. It is a 210 gallon tank with a 90 gallon sump. There are 17 kids and 2 adults in a relatively small classroom with no open windows 8 hours a day 5 days a week, so you can imagine how much CO2 builds up. Over a typical school day, the pH starts at around 8 (because it didn't completely recover from the day before) and goes down to something like 7.5-7.65. I am very interested in a CO2 scrubber, especially after reading this post. The only problem is that the tank has only natural filtration and no skimmer.
    So I thought of an idea but I have no idea if it would work. My idea is to use a simple aquarium aerator (like the type that people usually use in small freshwater tanks but stronger) connected to a CO2 scrubber and have that go into the sump. Does anyone think that might work? If yes, any recommendations what strength aerator would be necessary?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  14. JDtimk

    JDtimk Member

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    What are you stocking in the tank? Is it a FOWLR tank or do you have corals? I think you would be spending a ton of money on CO2 scrubber media to scrub enough CO2 to maintain a higher pH than you are experiencing now. I would say in this case unless you are willing to spend a lot of money each month to keep the pH in an average range that is best for corals, I would stock the tank with inhabitants that don't mind the lower pH as much.
    If you aren't running a large algae scrubber or algae refugium already, you may consider that as an option and from the sounds of it you would want to actually run it in the daytime while the classroom is full of people, instead of the normal cycle of running it opposite the display lights.
     
  15. randyBRS

    randyBRS BRStv Host :-) R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    I really like the points that @JDtimk makes here. If you have a fish only system or even a tank that has mostly softies, perhaps it may not be cost effective to chase higher pH with CO2 media as it can get pretty expensive to replace. Looking at our use of it on the BRS160, where we attempted to raise pH from the 7.9 to 8.4 range, I noticed that the media went rather quickly and was changing a large canister about once ever two weeks on average. For your situation I'd be afraid that the media would exhaust much more quickly.

    A solid refugium is a really good option to increase pH. This would simply require a one time purchase of a solid light fixture (my money would be on the Kessil H380) and a starter mass of chaetomorpha that's at least the size of a soccer ball. As @JDtimk states, throw this on the same lighting schedule as the tank and you will likely see some positive effect on low pH.

    Outside of that, an aerator is a more cost effective approach. A couple things to think about here would be; using a standard air pump that only draws ambient air around it won't be of much help as it is just going to recycle the same CO2 laden air in the classroom. Ideally, you'd want to find a pump that can either draw air from an outside source (think running a line outside the classroom, through the pump, and into the aerator bar in the sump) or getting a pump strong enough that can sit outside the classroom and pump air towards the tank. My concern here is that pumps with that much pressure capability will probably come at a cost $$, which is why many reefers opt for a skimmer and run an airline out of the window, which serves a dual purpose of removing dissolved organics from the tank and draws-in fresh O2.
     
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018 Partner Member 2019

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    All this talk of CO2 scrubbing and different approaches got me thinking recently. I'm currently working on separate projects that involve CO2 sensors so I figured I would take a look at how effective these different approaches are on a pure CO2 reduction basis.

    I just finished printing some enclosures for testing, ordered a @BRS Jumbo Scrubber ( I have a DIY scrubber but for testing wanted to use a setup that is common to hobbyist), and plenty of media to perform each test.

    The scenarios I want to test are the following, and will be done on a 7 day basis.
    1. Standard media with no humidification.
    2. Standard media with RO water in the bottom of the canister.
    3. Standard media with Inlet Line pulling recirculated humidified air from the skimmer cup.
    4. Standard media with Inlet Line pulling air from reference 400ppm (ambient outdoor CO2 levels) gas.
    Prior to each test, each sensor will be re-calibrated to 400ppm reference gas.
    Sensor data will be polled every five minutes on 5 second intervals for 12 readings every 5 minutes.
    I'll be using the Amphenol Telaire T6713 CO2 sensor modules for the Intake Side and Outlet Side.
    Data and sensor status can be viewed on the touchscreen, and sensor calibration, setup, and maintenance can be done over bluetooth.
    Data will be stored on a local SD card for exporting into excel after each test.

    IMG_1637.JPG

    I'll start testing around the 1st of November. I have a bit of firmware left to write, and have the joy of having my tonsils yanked in a week, so want to wait until I'm off the happy drugs.
     
  17. randyBRS

    randyBRS BRStv Host :-) R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    This is an awesome test!! Looks like you beat @Ryanbrs to running something along the same lines. Please be sure to keep us updated with your results! :)
     
  18. DivingTheWorld

    DivingTheWorld Member

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    Anyone have thoughts as far as where the intake tube pulls air from? Some people have it go outside, which for me seems like if you can get an airline outside there is no need for a scubber. I've also read that people have the intake pulling from the skimmer cup, so the scubber is essentially recirculating the skimmer air out, then back in. This is stated to cause the media to last longer. Thoughts?
     
  19. randyBRS

    randyBRS BRStv Host :-) R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    I've ran a line outside on multiple occasions with some noticeable effect on pH, however I did have buildup inside the tube that needed the occasional cleaning. This "recirculating" idea is coming up more and more lately and was something that we had talked about exploring in a future BRStv Investigates episode. (Between you and me, Ryan is very interested in this one so I wouldn't be surprised if we see it prioritized higher than many others in our running list!) ;)

    Conceptually, the recirc approach should save on media, but it will be definitely be worth testing against other approaches!
     
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018 Partner Member 2019

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    As long as the skimmer cup isn't sealed, I think the re-circulated air from the skimmer cup should give the best performance, in theory.

    Also I could see a benefit of using a scrubber with fresh air as typical atmospheric CO2 levels are ~400ppm. Any reduction in intake Co2 should result in lower Co2 levels on the outlet side, while also allowing the media to last longer.

    These are the types of scenarios I want to test against, to get an accurate idea on the outlet CO2 levels. I'll log PH from APEX , but thats not really the overall point since PH can be affected by other factors that are independent of the scrubber. For example our office CO2 levels can vary from 600ppm to 1100 ppm on a weekly basis depending on local weather conditions, amount of people in that week, and oddly enough train season.

    Will also be interesting to see if CO2 reduction is linear independent of incoming CO2, or whether higher CO2 levels result in less scrubbing, and if there is a maximum percentage reduction that is possible.

    So many things to test.
     
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