Raising Reef Tank pH! Double Coral Growth! But Not If You Make These CO2 Scrubber Mistakes!

A low pH in your tank can inhibit calcification and slow the growth of your corals. So not only do you want your pH to remain as stable as possible you also want to keep it as close to 8.3 you reasonably can. A CO2 scrubber is a very new method of scrubbing out that extra CO2 from your aquarium water which is classically the #1 reason pH levels will suffer. Being a new method, we have a learned alot in the last few years about using CO2 scrubbers. If your thinking about building a scrubber or using one on your tank now, avoid these mistakes and you will be steps ahead of the game without having to learn the hard way!

CO2 Scrubber

  1. Not knowing what CO2 media does - It removes CO2 and helps raise pH for more coral growth!
  2. Not know what the CO2 media is - It's Kalkwasser (Calcium Hydroxide) pellets.
  3. Trying to recharge the CO2 media - Your oven is not hot enough, it needs to reach around 2000° F.
  4. Neptune Systems not making a 3/8" solenoid - If enough of us ask for it, they will build it!
  5. Not using a pH controller with a solenoid valve - By opening and closing a solenoid valve with a pH controller, you can maintain a tight pH window via the scrubber.
  6. Overlooking websites like McMaster-Carr - These industrial supply websites carry the solenoids and valves you need to control the scrubber.
  7. Not considering your tank's natural pH trends - Run the scrubber only when your tank needs the pH boost.
  8. Not accounting for different protein skimmers - More air draw by the skimmer will result in faster media exhaustion.
  9. Not considering the recirculating CO2 Scrubber - Recirculating the air from your skimmer lid will reduce media exhaustion and save you money!
  10. Not considering the risks of recirculating - If your skimmer overflows and fills the CO2 scrubber with skimmate, that can result in toxins in your tank if left unchecked.
  11. No one makes a recirculating skimmer with an integrated CO2 scrubber - If enough of us demand it, they will make it!
  12. Under sizing your CO2 scrubber - The smaller the scrubber, the more often you will change out the media.
  13. Do not overlook the value of a CO2 Scrubber - Proper and stable pH is really, really important and it is worth the expense.
  14. Shooting for 8.3 when 8.2 will suffice - Don't sacrifice media for minuscule pH increases.
  15. Running media too dry - Moisture in the scrubber chamber optimizes CO2 removal but don't submerge it.
  16. Getting the media too wet - Moisture is good but getting the media wet will render the media ineffective.
  17. Missing the media color change - The color change of the media only lasts for so long, don't ignore it or else it changes back to white.
  18. Overlooking two canisters instead of one - You can use two canisters to hold more media which means less maintenance.
  19. Using too small diameter tubing - A small diameter tubing will choke your skimmer and cause problems; match your skimmer's native airline size.
  20. Missing that a DC water pump might be the best way to tune it - A DC skimmer pump can control how much air is drawn into the skimmer through your CO2 scrubber.

CO2 Scrubbers

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