Co2 scrubber?

Rickdareefa

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I'm one of those without the luxury of being able to run my skimmer line outside to raise ph. Just wondering if anyone's had a positive experience running a co2 scrubber? I've heard it can be a lil pricey as the media depletes quickly. Is anyone currently using this method?
 

scuba steve

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I starting running it on a couple of my tanks after tiring off consistent low pH, saw immediate results.
 

Eric_n_Ga

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I use a entire bag in a sports bottle filter , last me a couple months , but that's a nano skimmer . I am going to have to upgrade soon with the bigger tank.
 

jcook54

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What's your pH at? Mine has always been on the low side and I've never really worried about it. Odd because now that I think about it, it would be really easy to run the line outside.
 

myaquariumpro

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My co2 scrubber helps me with ph. Every 5-6 days I have to add a cup of water to it for media to work. I’ve been running it for almost two month now. Definitely works well for ph boost. Gives me about .1 boost daily. From 8 to 8.1

Recently I have switched to kalk reactor so I won’t be getting any more media for co2 reactor but without kalk reactor I would recommend it
 

RonS

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I posted a similar thread on this recently. I am using CDX in a BRS (single chamber) reactor, pulling air through my skimmer. I’d say it raises my pH by about 0.2 - 0.3. This is a 50g DT with about 25g in the sump.

if you have any suggestions... I am not wanting to run my skimmer 24x7, but I want the scrubber to be on all the time. Any thoughts on connecting the scrubber to an air pump with an air stone or similar?
 

anit77

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Scrubbers are pretty effective. You can extend the lift of the media by running the air line in a closed loop from the skimmer lid.

This is the one of the best places to buy in bulk.
 

lshin037

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Its been working great for me. Im at 8.2 at night and 8.3 at the peak. I use a BRS reactor and fill the cartridge to the top and that lasts me 10 days. Being that the tank is in the bottom floor of a 3-story townhouse, theres more CO2 in that room. I have noticed that when the air handler is not running (and there's been quite a bit of that happening lately since the weather has been fluctuating so much) my PH will go down to 8.15-8.25. The house is energystar certified which supposedly means airtight. I read up a bit on that certification and what I've learned is that since they make the house so airtight, they install an air exchanger to draw in outside air to minimize CO2 buildup. So my PH drop makes sense.

BTW...as mentioned above, it gets pricey. I bought the 5-gallon bucket for $100 and I dont see it lasting a year. There are tanks in this club with PH in the high 7's, low 8's and they are thriving so I plan on not ordering more once my current stock is done.
 

RonS

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I forgot to mention... I don’t have any way to measure actual airflow through my media, but my DC skimmer pump is pulling about 400 gph, so whatever that translates to in lph of air...

This is how much media I’ve used up in about a month. Seems to be much less than others.

I’m going to buy an Alita air pump and diffuser to pull through the media since I’m only going to be running my skimmer a few hours per day. I am an unapologetic “number chaser” and just want to have a “proper” pH for once : )
 

snowmansnow

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Some folks may not agree with what I'm about to say, but it did work on my 100g system. I was having PH issues too. Once I added my BK skimmer that issue went away. Anything that aids in gas exchange, even breaking the surface a little more with powerheads, will help.
 

lshin037

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Some folks may not agree with what I'm about to say, but it did work on my 100g system. I was having PH issues too. Once I added my BK skimmer that issue went away. Anything that aids in gas exchange, even breaking the surface a little more with powerheads, will help.
You're not alone. There are others reporting it did not work for them. If you're PH went up with just an addition of a skimmer, then you are one of the lucky ones that dont have a lot of CO2 in the room.
 

anit77

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Some folks may not agree with what I'm about to say, but it did work on my 100g system. I was having PH issues too. Once I added my BK skimmer that issue went away. Anything that aids in gas exchange, even breaking the surface a little more with powerheads, will help.
Some systems and/or homes just have a hard time with low pH due to elevated co2. It could also be due to running a calcium reactor or the system being entirely in a basement. For me it was all of the above. My MTC skimmer injects quite a bit of air with very small bubbles and has over 3 feet of contact time which partially recirculates. Without a co2 scrubber my system would hang in the 7.8's and sometimes dip into the high 7.7's
In my new house I'm installing an over sized HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) in the basement. I'm hoping that will help a great deal over what I was seeing in the old house. I have a co2 meter and when no one was in the basement the co2 would be in the 400-600 range. With just me in the basement I'd get readings of 800-1000 after a couple hours. If there we're multiple people down there I'd see spikes over 1500.

Its been working great for me. Im at 8.2 at night and 8.3 at the peak. I use a BRS reactor and fill the cartridge to the top and that lasts me 10 days. Being that the tank is in the bottom floor of a 3-story townhouse, theres more CO2 in that room. I have noticed that when the air handler is not running (and there's been quite a bit of that happening lately since the weather has been fluctuating so much) my PH will go down to 8.15-8.25. The house is energystar certified which supposedly means airtight. I read up a bit on that certification and what I've learned is that since they make the house so airtight, they install an air exchanger to draw in outside air to minimize CO2 buildup. So my PH drop makes sense.

BTW...as mentioned above, it gets pricey. I bought the 5-gallon bucket for $100 and I dont see it lasting a year. There are tanks in this club with PH in the high 7's, low 8's and they are thriving so I plan on not ordering more once my current stock is done.
I forgot to mention... I don’t have any way to measure actual airflow through my media, but my DC skimmer pump is pulling about 400 gph, so whatever that translates to in lph of air...

This is how much media I’ve used up in about a month. Seems to be much less than others.

I’m going to buy an Alita air pump and diffuser to pull through the media since I’m only going to be running my skimmer a few hours per day. I am an unapologetic “number chaser” and just want to have a “proper” pH for once : )
When I say closed loop, it's running the scrubber intake from the lid of the skimmer or skimmate locker and then running the output of the scrubber to the intake of the skimmer. I know most skimmers people have aren't a Lifereef or similar closed lid units. The vast majority have a skimmer with multiple holes in the lid. If you run the inlet hose to one one those holes and tape off most or all the others your now running it closed loop. Without a skimmate locker you have to be a bit more careful with the skimmer overflowing.
Running it this way has two main benefits. You're only removing co2 from the system water and not the air from the environment. You're also supplying the scrubber with very moist humid air which helps the media from drying out. Both of these greatly extend the life of the media. I would need to change it out every 14 to 18 days, if it weren't for the CARX I have no doubt it would last a month.
 

lshin037

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Some systems and/or homes just have a hard time with low pH due to elevated co2. It could also be due to running a calcium reactor or the system being entirely in a basement. For me it was all of the above. My MTC skimmer injects quite a bit of air with very small bubbles and has over 3 feet of contact time which partially recirculates. Without a co2 scrubber my system would hang in the 7.8's and sometimes dip into the high 7.7's
In my new house I'm installing an over sized HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) in the basement. I'm hoping that will help a great deal over what I was seeing in the old house. I have a co2 meter and when no one was in the basement the co2 would be in the 400-600 range. With just me in the basement I'd get readings of 800-1000 after a couple hours. If there we're multiple people down there I'd see spikes over 1500.



When I say closed loop, it's running the scrubber intake from the lid of the skimmer or skimmate locker and then running the output of the scrubber to the intake of the skimmer. I know most skimmers people have aren't a Lifereef or similar closed lid units. The vast majority have a skimmer with multiple holes in the lid. If you run the inlet hose to one one those holes and tape off most or all the others your now running it closed loop. Without a skimmate locker you have to be a bit more careful with the skimmer overflowing.
Running it this way has two main benefits. You're only removing co2 from the system water and not the air from the environment. You're also supplying the scrubber with very moist humid air which helps the media from drying out. Both of these greatly extend the life of the media. I would need to change it out every 14 to 18 days, if it weren't for the CARX I have no doubt it would last a month.
My setup is closed loop (intake from skimmer lid) and it lasts 10 days. It lasted longer (2-3 weeks) when I was dosing sodium hydroxide.
 

RonS

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I forgot to mention... I don’t have any way to measure actual airflow through my media, but my DC skimmer pump is pulling about 400 gph, so whatever that translates to in lph of air...

This is how much media I’ve used up in about a month. Seems to be much less than others.

I’m going to buy an Alita air pump and diffuser to pull through the media since I’m only going to be running my skimmer a few hours per day. I am an unapologetic “number chaser” and just want to have a “proper” pH for once : )
Here’s the photo I was referencing earlier. Dumb!

I’m not using much, but my system isn’t big. I am definitely seeing an improvement over a skimmer alone.

I definitely need to try the “closed loop” method - makes SO much sense!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

856A2464-8C75-4551-A7E5-AA720CE8B9D8.jpeg
 

kelly3341

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Not worth it.

You burn through media too fast with little effect to your system. Chasing PH is like chasing the dragon.
 

lmm1967

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Not worth it.

You burn through media too fast with little effect to your system. Chasing PH is like chasing the dragon.
While I agree with this in some instances - I also have seen where an increase in PH certainly seems to aid coral growth & health.

I don't think going through $$ and time to go from 7.9 to 8.0 is worth chasing. Going from 7.7 to 8.2 for that same $$ & time is worth chasing.
 

RonS

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Not worth it.

You burn through media too fast with little effect to your system. Chasing PH is like chasing the dragon.
I'll have to respectfully disagree : )

We spend many tens of thousands of dollars in our lifetimes heating/cooling/humidifying/dehumidifying our homes, often only to get a few degrees/points of added comfort. Given the stability and relative consistency of pH (and other parameters) in reef waters, I have to believe that our animals are simply more comfortable at the proper pH, and that's not to mention long-term health, growth, overall chemistry, etc.

If it costs me $10/month to believe that my fish and inverts are living in the closest thing possible to their natural environment, then I'm going to do it!

It's already cruel enough to take them out an ocean and confine them to a tiny glass cage, so I feel it is an obligation to make them as comfortable as possible.

Besides, it satisfies the "mad scientist" in me : )


EDIT: all of this assumes that the futzing also leads to a stable environment - I do believe it's better to be at 7.9 consistently rather than bouncing between 8.0 - 8.4 all day, just to chase numbers!!

--Ron
 
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