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This being my first go with a CaRx, I was hoping to compare my experiences with some of yours. 

For about two months I've been pretty regularly dialing down the Ph range on my reactor.  It's sitting at a range of 6.66 to 6.71 this morning.  Every  other day or so I seem to need to fiddle: I tend to adjust either .01 or .02, up or down as needed.  The overall trend is down.  I can't seem to get the fine tuning I need with just 0.01 precision on the Ph setting. So it swings over a few days more than I would like, say .4 dkH or so.  Sometimes that much in a day.

Does it seem normal that as my frag tank matures I need to watch alk consumption so closely and that it keeps going down like this?  I feel it's probably normal but could this be a problem with my Ph range or bubble rate?

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It seems like you're keeping your effluent constant and reducing the pH to increase the amount of output from the reactor. IME the effluent rate naturally slows as the line develops deposits or becomes dirty. If you're running a pretty slow effluent then it'll clog up faster than a higher rate effluent. It's easier for me to keep a constant bubble rate and adjust the effluent line to match output, similar to how you would make adjustments to your dosing unit. I make sure the effluent is flowing every day, but only test my Alk once a week and adjust the effluent based on the uptake. For me, a deviation of +-5ppm is an acceptable test result. 

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What's your setup again Jim? Equipment? How are you controlling it? Sounds like pH limits on Apex programming?

 

Here's my thoughts until you respond back.

 

Setup your reactor with no pH limit shutoff and with a stable effluent rate. I try to go with a flow that equates to the first steady stream you can achieve going from just drops. Allow pH to stabilize naturally without the Apex shutting on/off the solenoid. There will be some deviation up and down but eventually, uninterrupted, it'll find a stable point. Then, using that stable point, match it to your tank uptake. If 6.50 isn't keeping up, do as you did before and tune it down to 6.45, etc, until you get it matching your tank's uptake.

 

Once you get to that point, then set the Apex to limit CO2 for the pH going too low. Have it turn back on if too high. The goal is neither limit should ever be hit so your solenoid should never really have to turn on/off. Let the CO2 flow uninterrupted as long as its hitting its desirable mark. I've been able to run my CaRX this way for month's at a time without readjusting.

 

You are absolutely correct, you will need to adjust occasionally for increased growth and uptake but not as often as you've been having to. Once everything is happy, they tend to all grow at the same rate so once you matched your "happy tank" growth rate, should keep up for a long while.

 

Is your effluent slowing down in any way dramatically? Like weekly you have to push it back up again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a dual stage reactor (matheson stainless).  I use the Apex to control a solenoid based on Ph.  I think this is a pretty standard setup.  I'm pretty sure my effluent is rock solid.  I use a technique I borrowed from Adam at Battlecorals.  He uses a mercedes benz fuel filter on the effluent line between the reactor and the flow valve.  I should measure it again though, it's been a while.

I'll have to think about your technique a little Ty, I'm not sure I'm 100% understanding it at this point

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I have a dual stage reactor (matheson stainless).  I use the Apex to control a solenoid based on Ph.  I think this is a pretty standard setup.  I'm pretty sure my effluent is rock solid.  I use a technique I borrowed from Adam at Battlecorals.  He uses a mercedes benz fuel filter on the effluent line between the reactor and the flow valve.  I should measure it again though, it's been a while.

I'll have to think about your technique a little Ty, I'm not sure I'm 100% understanding it at this point

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If CaRktr > 6.61 Then ON 
If CaRktr < 6.58 Then OFF 
If pH < 7.89 Then OFF 
Defer 005:00 Then ON 

flow is pretty slow.  media is arm coarse & neomag. target ph that works for me is 6.60.  defer line limits the solenoid to not burn it out so fast

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i want to see some variable speed pumps, with apex flow control keep things even MORE rock solid. metamorphic rock solid. 
And you gave me crap about Dad jokes... Slinging geology humor at us... Pshhhh...
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I have a dual stage reactor (matheson stainless).  I use the Apex to control a solenoid based on Ph.  I think this is a pretty standard setup.  I'm pretty sure my effluent is rock solid.  I use a technique I borrowed from Adam at Battlecorals.  He uses a mercedes benz fuel filter on the effluent line between the reactor and the flow valve.  I should measure it again though, it's been a while.
I'll have to think about your technique a little Ty, I'm not sure I'm 100% understanding it at this point
Sorry, I'm too wordy at times.

Set your pH with no solenoid control (CO2 always on) to maintain it at a specific level. Once that is stable, introduce the solenoid only as an emergency limiter... Not as a source of control.
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26 minutes ago, FarmerTy said:
46 minutes ago, victoly said:
i want to see some variable speed pumps, with apex flow control keep things even MORE rock solid. metamorphic rock solid. 

And you gave me crap about Dad jokes... Slinging geology humor at us... Pshhhh...

that's not.... gneiss. 

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1 hour ago, FarmerTy said:

Sorry, I'm too wordy at times.

Set your pH with no solenoid control (CO2 always on) to maintain it at a specific level. Once that is stable, introduce the solenoid only as an emergency limiter... Not as a source of control.

Ah, I see.  I get what you are doing now.   So that would be a very low constant bubble rate essentially?   What I am seeing now is my solenoid stays on about 13 minutes before switching off for about ten minutes.  Seems like I might be about halfway to what you are suggesting, and I would slow down the bubble rate to match consumption basically?  What happens when consumption increases?  Do you increase your bubble rate?

 

2 hours ago, Isaac said:

If CaRktr > 6.61 Then ON 
If CaRktr < 6.58 Then OFF 
If pH < 7.89 Then OFF 
Defer 005:00 Then ON 

flow is pretty slow.  media is arm coarse & neomag. target ph that works for me is 6.60.  defer line limits the solenoid to not burn it out so fast

Seems similar to mine.  My spread is 0.05 instead of 0.03 and I do not have the defer statement.  Do you think having the tighter range helps smooth out  fluctuations in Alk ?

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11 minutes ago, jolt said:

Ah, I see.  I get what you are doing now.   So that would be a very low constant bubble rate essentially?   What I am seeing now is my solenoid stays on about 13 minutes before switching off for about ten minutes.  Seems like I might be about halfway to what you are suggesting, and I would slow down the bubble rate to match consumption basically?  What happens when consumption increases?  Do you increase your bubble rate?

 

Seems similar to mine.  My spread is 0.05 instead of 0.03 and I do not have the defer statement.  Do you think having the tighter range helps smooth out  fluctuations in Alk ?

I originally tried that, but with a tighter range and a defer, you end up w/ a .5-.8 range.  this way i KNOW there is a max of one "on" every 5 mins.  seems trivial, but having that thing go on/off instantly can really burnup that solenoid fast.

image.png

 

i wish i could show you a zommed in version w/ more detail.. but i have to tune it everytime i get a new tank... so annoying.

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Ah, I see.  I get what you are doing now.   So that would be a very low constant bubble rate essentially?   What I am seeing now is my solenoid stays on about 13 minutes before switching off for about ten minutes.  Seems like I might be about halfway to what you are suggesting, and I would slow down the bubble rate to match consumption basically?  What happens when consumption increases?  Do you increase your bubble rate?


Yes, a lower constant bubble rate that never trips your solenoid with too low/high of a pH value. I'd show you my solenoid graph but it hasn't clicked on or off in a very long time so it's be a pretty boring graphic.

Yes, slow down your bubble rate, let it hit your target pH without any solenoid manipulation. Adjust to match your consumption rate in your tank, which again, do it without solenoid interaction. Once it matches, set your limits via Apex just in case but in the perfect scenario, it will never engage/disengage the solenoid unless something is wrong.

As consumption increases within the tank due to higher uptake or the decrease in media over time, you can increase your bubble rate to match.

Super easy and little maintenance. Plus, you'll run a system not dependent on a mechanical solenoid that will fail over time.
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problem i had w/ that approach ty... the effluent flow is so low, it starts clogging.  i have to find a balance between not burning out the solenoid and not getting clogs.

That's why my drip is always just slightly more than single drops when it first becomes a cohesive stream. Doesn't clog on me.

 

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Just now, FarmerTy said:
32 minutes ago, Isaac said:
problem i had w/ that approach ty... the effluent flow is so low, it starts clogging.  i have to find a balance between not burning out the solenoid and not getting clogs.

That's why my drip is always just slightly more than single drops. Doesn't clog on me.

what medium are you using? maybe its not as slushy as a.r.m.

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I found this video and I pretty much use this method. Rock steady and super easy to control. The mechanical switch gets a workout but that's what it is for. Going on 2 years now and no issues.




Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/11/2018 at 2:16 PM, JasReef said:

I found this video and I pretty much use this method. Rock steady and super easy to control. The mechanical switch gets a workout but that's what it is for. Going on 2 years now and no issues.

 

 


Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
 

 

Reviving this. It was a long video, but it did help me wrap my head around fine tuning this. 

 

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Cool, thank you for the video link.    That one stirred up some controversy on R2R if I recall correctly.

My new question is: how do I tell when my C02 tank is getting low?  Will the high side pressure gauge start to drop, or will things just stop working?  Or???

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Im setting up my reactor this week. haahhaha trying to remember what I did to set it up 6 years ago. The first gauge is the pressure in the tank (gas volume) and the second gauge is for keeping the pressure constant to feed the bubbles. If my brain serves me well. Lot of sun today.

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