ph not improving despite all your efforts? This read my help you in your hunt for a better ph

Jonify

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
613
Reaction score
1,273
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Washington, DC
2000ppm is crazy high! Did you notice a difference in day to day health dropping it down?
I didn't really notice it, because we had lived in that environment for a while. I do feel like I sleep better now, though. :)
 
AquaCave Logo Banner

Red_Beard

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
703
Reaction score
904
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Utah
That's how I am leaning for sure, unless I can find a HVAC tech who wants to work adhoc on a weekend.

The issue I am afraid of doing it myself is definitely the DIY aspect. Many of the units state preferred install is tied into the HVAC system which brings potential for static pressure issues.

If I DIY, I'd probably just create its own loop. Put an extra return in the "great room" above the tank, maybe tie one in from the master bath for humidity reduction then add a few supply vents. Would have to pick up an anemometer and learn to use it. If it saves me $4k though...

Do you remember the model you installed?
It was the honeywell trueFRESH line. These ones dont use dampers for balance, they use the motor speed controllers.
 
OP
david campbell

david campbell

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
875
Reaction score
426
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Well my fresh air supply plan to pull in outside air is kind of simple in theory. Lol
1. cut a 4" hole in my floor that is inside my return. Then install a dryer vent in said hole.
Screenshot_20220123-154811_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20220123-154841_Gallery.jpg


That will lead me into my crawl space. Then install an elbow into a fresh air dampener. still debating on what dampener style I should go with, any recommendations.?

I am kinda lucky, my old exterior dry vent not being used, is a direct shot to my return.
20220121_093947.jpg

Boom I'm done. Fresh air supply.... no impact on my ductwork.. that made me nervous. Does any see a problem with this plan..? I am considering reducing the new air supply line from 4" to say 2". It may look kinda odd. A 2" PVC pipe kinda laying inside my old dryer vent. I'm sure I will get questions from Friends.
 
Last edited:

Red_Beard

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
703
Reaction score
904
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Utah
Other than that the louvers on the dryer vent are designed to flap open for exhaust and sucking return would just pull them closed more, you will have to be careful where you put the inlet. You will want to make sure you have proper clearance from any vents or gas meters or anything that could suck unwanted/harmful things into your home, should work. This is kind of like the hvac in commercial buildings, they all have an "economizer" that helps meet the 20% fresh air code(i think its 20%, i havent done hvac commercially in over a decade), that requires 20% of air moved through the system be fresh.
 
OP
david campbell

david campbell

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
875
Reaction score
426
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Other than that the louvers on the dryer vent are designed to flap open for exhaust and sucking return would just pull them closed more------
the louvers will be on top inside the return. but will be removed

You will want to make sure you have proper clearance from any vents or gas meters or anything that could suck unwanted/harmful things into your home----
my inlet is fixed on the side of my house.it's old and has no louvers so I my just swap these out to aid in unwanted air from where every. around it.


This is kind of like the hvac in commercial buildings, they all have an "economizer" that helps meet the 20% fresh air code(i think its 20%, i havent done hvac commercially in over a decade), that requires 20% of air moved through the system be fresh.----
AGREED That what my other hvac guys said.....

i do have a question though about your second statement on unwanted things. Which option would work better.

1. not running the new duck to an exterior wall just let it pull in air from my 3' crawl space. Add an elbow (orange) then a reducer( cyan). So no damper. That would protect my home from harmful things like round up.

2. not running the new duck to an exterior wall just let it pull in air from my 3' crawl space. then just add a reducer( cyan). So no damper or elbow (orange). That would protect my home from harmful things like round-up.

either way, the bottom of my fresh air inlet will be no longer than my floor joist is high.

Screenshot_20220124-095655_Gallery.jpg
 
Last edited:
AS

Red_Beard

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
703
Reaction score
904
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Utah
Other than that the louvers on the dryer vent are designed to flap open for exhaust and sucking return would just pull them closed more------
the louvers will be on top inside the return. but will be removed

You will want to make sure you have proper clearance from any vents or gas meters or anything that could suck unwanted/harmful things into your home----
my inlet is fixed on the side of my house.it's old and has no louvers so I my just swap these out to aid in unwanted air from where every. around it.


This is kind of like the hvac in commercial buildings, they all have an "economizer" that helps meet the 20% fresh air code(i think its 20%, i havent done hvac commercially in over a decade), that requires 20% of air moved through the system be fresh.----
AGREED That what my other hvac guys said.....

i do have a question though about your second statement on unwanted things. Which option would work better.

1. not running the new duck to an exterior wall just let it pull in air from my 3' crawl space. Add an elbow (orange) then a reducer( cyan). So no damper. That would protect my home from harmful things like round up.

2. not running the new duck to an exterior wall just let it pull in air from my 3' crawl space. then just add a reducer( cyan). So no damper or elbow (orange). That would protect my home from harmful things like round-up.

either way, the bottom of my fresh air inlet will be no longer than my floor joist is high.

Screenshot_20220124-095655_Gallery.jpg
I have always been leery of putting intakes in crawl spaces, but, where I am located radon gas is a concern. The other thing to mention, is that the crawl space is lower than surrounding areas, so any molecules that are heavier than air can accumulate there, co2, co, h2s, etc. Probably not as big a deal as I make it sound, but that has always been one of my worries. The biggest of the harmful things from outside where you were originally thinking would be from another exhausting source at your house, like a natural gas hot water heater or furnace. But it sounds like you have proper clearance to those. Do you live in an agricultural area where they would be using round up a lot? if you are in a residential area, the main round up concern would be whoever is applying it at your house. The other suggestion, if it is possible, would be to put the intake up higher.
 
OP
david campbell

david campbell

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
875
Reaction score
426
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I live in the country. 8 houses on a 1 mile strecth of road but not to farming. I use round up myself. Thanks for the advice. I will research crawl space air quality before either move forward.
 

WayneBz

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
330
Reaction score
177
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Clarksville, TN
For me the worst part was drilling the 2 six inch holes through the side of the concrete wall from the basement out. Had to buy a hole saw and rent a drill Because my Dewalt drill which is the largest one they make was not big enough to spend the 15 pound bit

72D2004B-00B9-4B0D-AAA1-B6AA7B99B36D.jpeg
Did this work for you? This is what I plan on doing
 

Streetcred

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
151
Reaction score
178
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Ok. Have you tried everything you have found on improving PH? Scrubbers, outside air into your skimmer, bigger refugium, and so on. First I want to say those do work. But a lot of times they do not. If you are one of those hobbyists that have gone down this road trying to figure out why your ph is not higher. Then this info about my experience may aid you.

I will start with this. DO YOUR RESEARCH. One needs to understand ph and what causes lower or higher levels. There is a lot of excellent articles here in this forum that will aid you. And remember this is not an “ it will work” BECAUSE not all tanks are created equal. So enough with the disclaimers. Hahahahaha let's get to my story. OHHH feel free to correct anything I may have gotten wrong in this write-up so that I can revise it. I’m typing from the hip here. If you are not interested in my journey then feel free to jump to the end.

I have a 185TG 3.5year old mixed reef that has had a ph level of 7.8-7.9 for a good long while. Some say that’s fine, and they are correct. The ph ranges that are acceptable in this hobby are 7.8-8.3 I believe. A lot of good-looking tanks with what I (IMO) call low ph. But for me; well I was fascinated by trying to create a natural seawater environment which is a ph range of 8.2-8.3. You see I am a number chaser, plain and simple and proud of it; one learns a lot by deep diving into things a.k.a number chasing.

Several months ago I decided to chase the dragon (numbers) I mean why is my ph so low? I wanted to know why. So after several threads and hours of research. I took the following actions. I’m not going to explain each action below, your research will explain them in better detail than me

  • I performed the outside and inside aeration test on my tank water. The result was I have a CO2 problem. However: Both tests produced a higher ph. WHATTTTT!!!! both tests? So inside air was low in CO2? INTERESTING!!!!! SO I
  • Installed a DIY co2 scrubber. I like making things first. It's an engineer thing.
  • Installed said scrubber in a recirculating and non-recirculating manner. This DIY project was a failure it was too big.
  • Bought a used reactor from a hobbyist and installed it in a recirculating and non-recirculating manner.
  • Installed a whisper air pump using inside air to the scrubber to force more inside air into my tank.
  • install outside air to my skimmer. Again, no help.
  • I installed air stones to my sump, no help. my orp however bumped up really well.
  • I added wavemakers to the sump and redirected my DT wavemakers to improve surface agitation.
  • I added plants to the room.
  • I ran a small fan above my dt blowing across the water.
  • I ran a large fan from the hallway into my fish room.
  • Installed a ceiling fan in the fish room.
  • I opened doors and windows for hours on end when I could with the fans.
I ran these setups independently and in a mixed combo fashion for several days at a time and watched my ph. I saw a little improvement maybe a .05 jump in ph. no great Improvement. Bummer. I was really scratching my head. So many success stories using these methods. As of today, I still have my items 6, 8, 10 above running on my setup…….

Why do I have CO2 IN MY WATER? So back to the research I went to, but this time I wanted to know about CO2. What I learned was that I need to either remove it from the tank or use the CO2 in the water. This is where I discovered kalkwasser……. EASY!!!!! This is not the savior of this document.

Kalkwasser is a high ph base substance that a lot of people dose to their tanks. One of its many benefits is to use CO2 that is in your water. So in my mind; if I can’t remove CO2, I'm going to use it up. SO

Started dosing kalkwasser… MANNNNNNN you really need to research this

I have seen an improvement with this stuff. And I am still doseing it and dialing it in, to the proper levels. what’s the proper level you ask? That is tank-dependent and not an easy answer.

At this point in time (about 2 months’ worth of work) I stepped back and accepted the small bump in ph as a win. I went from a 7.8 -7.9 to a 7.9 -8.0? I mean I got burned out chasing this ph dragon.

Fast forward to three days ago. I was ready again to start chasing the dragon. Knowing about what did not work, pushed to me take a deeper dive into CO2.. Co2 comes from three main places.

  • Co2 from running a ca reactor. I do not have one.
  • Coral respiration. I can do nothing about that. Its nature.
  • Air quality in the home. That I can control.
I Latched on to number three. This I can improve. So I took a good long look at my fish room and how the air flows in and out of it.

My fish room is a converted laundry room. it's 8 x 8 ft with an ac vent, it’s in the center of my home, so there are no windows, air circulation is poor since it is humid in there and it's hot. Not sweaty hot but not cool like the living room. I mean I can tell a temp change just by stepping into the room from the hallway. This pointed me to wonder how to get more airflow in here since all the fans I used prior never made a difference.

I had an idea back in the beginning of this journey which led me to briefly visit HVAC forums. but quickly got overwhelmed with the idea of improving air quality by pulling fresh air into my home somehow and just dropped the idea. This idea was to install a fan of some kind above my tank to blow/pull outside air onto the top of my DT.

I have had great help from people when I brought this idea back up and some not so helpful people. It’s amazing to me why some believe an idea is overkill and will remind it of that. No it's not. But others are and did support it with good advice. Nevertheless, I moved forward. With the help of supporters, we concluded that instead of installing a fan to blow outside air into my fish room I should pull air out of my fish room, thus pulling in air to said room. We came to this conclusion based on possible negative impacts to my HVAC unit positive & negative pressures and so on etc.

So yesterday I installed a large 150 cfm bathroom exhaust fan in my 124 sq ft area (wait) 124 sq feet? But you said it was a 8 x 8’ fish room? Well, you must walk thru my fish room to get to the new laundry room, these were the terms my wife made me agree to. “You want a fish room I want a larger pantry,” she said. Anyway, both rooms are not vented and stuffy. She loves her new pantry.

This fan has been running for almost 24 hours, BUT after a few hours of running the room was much cooler and less humid by1000%. So much we feel the difference. It feels like a normal room should. That was a wonderful surprise I mean; why did my stand-up fans not have the same effect, that this exhaust fan has had? I’m curious.

My max ph over the past 7 days has been 8.07 (apex) and that is recorded at approx. 6 pm. Today I hit 8.1 at noon and it's been running for less than 24 hrs. never the less; I am liking what I am seeing here as it pertains to my ph and I may not need to pull outside air into my home. So, there you have it. I installed an exhaust fan in my fish room and my ph is showing a much better boost than all other methods I tried.

So, in closing, I want to thank everyone who provided great advice on this vent project. There are too many to name. so, if you’re having a ph. problem and you too, have tried almost everything, look to your air quality/airflow. You may just find a solution. I am still curious about 3 things, however.

  • Why did my stand-up fans not help? The exhaust fan pulls air into my room from the house just like the fans did. this is odd.
  • Why did exhausting the air from the fish room improve my ph?
  • Is this an improvement in air quality or airflow in my fish room?
Oooh ! David, us old guys in the hobby have been doing this for a long time. Effects of humidity are reasonably well known or rather were. Pumping air in that cannot go anywhere is inferior to sucking air out and naturally drawing in 'fresh' air.
 
Click to join now!

Aquaman11

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
21
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Not sure why running outside air to your skimmer would not work. I found that when I ran an outside line to my skimmer it took several days to see an improvement in pH, and several weeks to reach optimal levels. Not entirely sure why the improvement was gradual. Before running the line I was at 7.8 at night, 8.1 day. Now my pH is 8.2 night, 8.4 day. I did have to oversize the diameter of the line. The longer the run, the larger diameter needed .
 

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,343
Reaction score
2,708
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Here is a picture of my PH before the ERV at this time I’m running CO2 media which is controlled by my Apex to turn on at 8.25 off at 8.3 as you can see it never drops under 8.25 when it does the CO2 scrubber turns on and prevents it from going any lower than 8.25.

Then the second picture is after installing the ERV notice the low never gets to 8.25 so CO2 media is not being used anymore at all and then noticed the highs are all above 8.4 consistently

CO2 media started to get way too expensive at about $60-$80 a month And still could not keep as high or as consistent of a pH

24FA2AD9-670C-45EE-91FC-88094C26A551.png 472C34C4-8D08-4F92-803A-150AE0399067.png
 

drblank1

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
147
Reaction score
66
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Cincinnati
I feel your pain. My reef system is in the basement with only 1 window. Cincinnati see temps in the upper 90's in the summer and down near 0 in the winter. We have very little opportunity to open windows throughout the year. My pH would average around 7.7 in the day and 7.9 overnight. Both my wife and I work from home and our offices are in the basement. Realized it was higher CO2 levels in the basement while my wife and I were working. When I turned off my skimmer, pH would shoot up to 8.1. I knew that was my problem. Added a CO2 scrubber with an air control valve programmed to open and closed based on the pH value, now I fluctuate between 8.28 and 8.32. I can get it within .01 but that opens and closes the value too much.
1643304727876.png
 

sivob

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
To those looking into adding an ERV, I recommend you read this which explains the difference between an ERV and an HRV.


ERVs will only capture/exchange energy (heating/cooling) while HRVs will capture/exchange energy and humidity. Depending on your climate, one may be more beneficial over the other.
 

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,343
Reaction score
2,708
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
To those looking into adding an ERV, I recommend you read this which explains the difference between an ERV and an HRV.


ERVs will only capture/exchange energy (heating/cooling) while HRVs will capture/exchange energy and humidity. Depending on your climate, one may be more beneficial over the other.
Just so you know you’re giving wrong information it is the Exact opposite of what you said the ERV is what does both the HRV only does one This is why most eRVs are twice as much as an HRV
 

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,343
Reaction score
2,708
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
To those looking into adding an ERV, I recommend you read this which explains the difference between an ERV and an HRV.


ERVs will only capture/exchange energy (heating/cooling) while HRVs will capture/exchange energy and humidity. Depending on your climate, one may be more beneficial over the other.
I took this picture from the info you posted please change what you said before you confuse people here trying to learn the proper info
199A0F03-1A54-4F43-AE1A-F9F7BE825E89.png
 

sivob

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Just so you know you’re giving wrong information it is the Exact opposite of what you said the ERV is what does both the HRV only does one This is why most eRVs are twice as much as an HRV
Yep. I suck. Trying to do more than one task at a time. Thank you for catching my mistake.
 

Dennis Cartier

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
1,613
Reaction score
2,018
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brampton, Ontario
I've always heard warm climate ERV, cold climate HRV as a rule of thumb
That is what I understood as well ... but, I have an HRV and the company I have always used, now recommends an ERV for my location, which is in a cold climate. I can see why. I struggle to keep enough humidity in the house in the winter using the HRV. My solid wood furniture does not appreciate the low humidity levels, followed by high humidity summers.

I am planning to swap my HRV for an ERV and will move the HRV into my fishroom. Overkill I know, but I will already have it, so I might as well use it. This will allow me to separately ventilate the fishroom.

Dennis
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

How often do you buy coral from other hobbyists?

  • Very Often

    Votes: 106 22.8%
  • Occasionally

    Votes: 162 34.8%
  • Very Rare

    Votes: 85 18.3%
  • Never

    Votes: 97 20.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.2%
Reef Brite the professionals choice
Top