Use an air drive skimmer? Have low ph? I have a solution.

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Townes_Van_Camp

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I have been battling, or planning the battle against low ph for some time. I stumbled on a solution the other day and another r2r user is interested in the idea and suggested that I post what I am in the process of doing, that others in my scenario may benefit from it.

The answer is always the same, “Run your skimmers Venturi line outside”. Anyone who uses a Mame, reef glass, or clone (diy or commercial) knows you can’t just run your air line out the window. There is no air line on the intake of an air pump.

My Solution? Install an airline.
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I used fittings and hose from work. You won’t have to use industrial grade food safe fittings and tubing, none of this will be in your tank.

Air tight food container with gasket sealed lid
Half inch ID tubing
Aquarium airline
Gun safe desiccant pack, rechargeable(x2)
Velcro
In-line QD coupling
In-line QD bulkhead
Pneumatic muffler
clear RTV (silicone I or II would be a better choice)

With the pump inside the container, and everything sealed with silicone, the line can be run out of the window. This will draw only fresh outdoor air to feed your skimmer with.

I have been putting off installing this because my IM 14 is nowhere near a window. While I have half of the water out during weds water change I plan on moving the tank across the room and parking it beside a window.

I have been tracking my ph and it’s low, really low; 7.6 -7.9. It’s really the only spec I’m not happy with. But, I’m not going to chase it with chemical buffers or vinegar. I guess I would call this a holistic approach.

Will update after I move everything and have a week of PH data to share.

PS, if anybody here knows where to find 60 year old countertop laminates (other than WilsonArt) let me know.

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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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So you make an intake. I made this for my ozone system.
Get pump at Petco
Drill hole
screw in fitting
cover original hole with duct tape
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That’s what I did. But with a desiccant to keep out moisture, a muffler to keep out bugs, and a sealed container to keep out inside air because that pump of yours doesn’t keep out inside air. Mine will pull 100% from outdoors not 60/40. But yea it’s the same idea.
 

WVNed

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Mine breathes through a large air dryer ahead of the pump. Bugs would go there.

I think you will find that small desiccant will be saturated in one day during the summer. My large one has to be regenerated about once a week and mine only runs while the ozone is intermittently on.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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Mine breathes through a large air dryer ahead of the pump. Bugs would go there.

I think you will find that small desiccant will be saturated in one day during the summer. My large one has to be regenerated about once a week and mine only runs while the ozone is intermittently on.
Those packs last about 2 weeks in my gun safe. I know it’s In the house versus outside in coastal Florida. But if I have to pull it out and recharge it every few days I won’t be upset.
Regardless, when your PH is 7.9 on a good day, you are gonna try anything you can. That includes over engineering a pump canister. Im hoping to pick up .1 or so on ph from using this canister and hopefully a switch to reef crystals can net me another .05-.1 increase.

If I do need more dessicant, I can always do it with a larger canister.
 

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I needed a pump with an inlet for the ozone generator and the first one I made was like yours. Then I made the one above.

The ozone generator needs dry air or it makes nitric acid. Why do you think you need it for a skimmer?
The biggest danger is if the air cools enough as the air travels inside to condense water in the line and it runs down to the box.
 
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I needed a pump with an inlet for the ozone generator and the first one I made was like yours. Then I made the one above.

The ozone generator needs dry air or it makes nitric acid. Why do you think you need it for a skimmer?
The biggest danger is if the air cools enough as the air travels inside to condense water in the line and it runs down to the box.
I have an air drive skimmer. It does not have a Venturi that pulls air with a vacuum. I am using a air pump to force air through a lime wood air stone to make micro bubbles. So my skimmer pulls sir from wherever the air pump is located, inside a brick house with mom dad, college kid and 200 lbs of dogs all breathing all day. That’s a lot of CO2.

I also can’t just put the air pump outside it rains every single day here. So in order to make this air drive skimmer force fresh air into the skimmer body it is in an airtight enclosure with the intake to the enclosure outside the window. Problem solved, tank breathes only fresh air through a skimmer that doesn’t suck air but instead pushes it into the skimmer body.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

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Updating this: I haven’t moved the tank yet but ran the intake tube under the door of the room it is in, into an adjoining hallway, directly under an AC vent. My air handler is outside in my shop attached to the house. It however pulls fresh air from outside vs recirculating inside air.

I am about 5 days away from finishing the stand that will allow me to relocate the tank near a window.

however, with the intake tube in the hallway, my ph is already higher than before. I am now getting 7.9 - 8.2. Enough that I may need to switch to soda ash instead of sodium bicarbonate after the tank move.
 
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