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Confusing ORP. 10/24/12
I subsequently decided to purchase a ozone reactor from Avast, since then my ORP has dropped to around 260mv. I recalibrated my probe, took the ozonizer back to the manufacturer for a test and it came back ok. My reactor needs to sit at 2scfh pressure, which it does. I then decided to add my old Haliea O3 reactor (maximum 80mg/hour) and my ozone has climbed steadily.
Could excess ozone be affecting the readings of my probe while I am running the more powerful ozone machine?
<Not as far as I know... I would bench test both reactors separately and your probe... on a water-only small system... that has circulation... To see if both reactors are generating meaningful O3, and your probe registering same. Bob Fenner>
Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Confusing ORP. 10/24/12
Thanks so much for the advice!
<Glad to state what I would do given the same circumstances. BobF>
Ozone Smell (Leak Maybe?) – 06/01/12
ORP Controller 'New
Probe Won't Calibrate -- 01/13/11
Ozonizer/Air Dryer Questions --
RedOx/ORP gone wild... 1/26/09 Good afternoon Bob, <Hello Nick> It has been a while since our last conversation but my nitrates are starting to go down (bad test my old test was reading 20ppm but my new test read 80ppm) once I figured out where they were coming from. My RO/DI filter wasn't exactly giving me pure water (20 ppm nitrates) so my water changes were only making the problem worse. I have now changed my RO/DI setup a bit and added 2 more stages of DI material now reading 0ppm. I also built a coil-Denitrator that is reducing the nitrates 60ppm->30ppm out, but I don't want to slow the flow to much in fear of hydrogen sulfide. Anyways back to the reason I am writing you I have been using ozone with my skimmer for several months now, I am also using a controller currently set to 350mv. But for the last couple of weeks my ORP controller is measuring 418 @ night and between 395-408 when the lights are on. <Mmm, actually... these values are okay> I am trying to lower it with no luck. I use to run my skimmer 24/7 so I put it on a timer to only run for about 12 hours a day that didn't work. Next I tried controlling my skimmer with the ORP controller only turning it on when it dropped to 350 but now it only kicks in when I feed my tank so there goes all the coral food I just put in. Is there anything you can recommend to lower my ORP? Add more fish? Feed more often? Below is my current setup and routine. <I would not fret and leave all as is, on> Setup 220 Gallon w/ 375lbs LR 3" sand bed, 40G sump w/ 2 sock filters and Seachem de-nitrate, 20G gravity refugium w/ Saw blade and Chaeto crushed coral and sand, Coil-Denitrator, Calcium Reactor w/ ARM media and ph set to 6.5-6.8 by Pinpoint controller, Venturi style Skimmer 6" chamber 30" tall and a 200mg/hr ozone generator controlled by a Milwaukee controller. Additives 2.5ml vodka - daily 2 drops Lugol's Solution - daily 1.5 cups of Live Phytoplankton (home culture) - every other day Seachem - Reef Advantage Calcium, Reef Builder, Reef Advantage Strontium and Reef Advantage Magnesium - when needed. PH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0ppm Nitrites - 0ppm Nitrates - 60ppm Phosphate - 0ppm Calcium - 420-450 ppm Alk - 4 mEq/L Mg - 1350-1400 Iodine/Iodide - .003 Thanks Nick <All else looks good/okay to tolerable... Again, t'were it me/mine, I'd leave all is at the low 400 mv reading. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Ozone ! Is device working up to snuff? -12/11/08 Hey guys. Just a quick question concerning my Aquazone plus 100. I've done my research on these, I understand how it works and how it benefits my reef. I am all of a sudden questioning whether or not the unit is even working. I've been running it a couple months now. At first my 90 gallon reef had a reading of 290mv, from there I started my unit at 11mg/h, set to cut out at 300 mv. <Mmm... I'd set it a bit higher... like 350-380 even...> From there I have SLOWLY increased to 18mv/h and set my controller to 370. <Oh!> This has been very gradual. Now I find my reading will drop to about 363 and my unit keeps running and running, usually my reading will quickly rise as the ozone is turned on. <Mmm... are you using a dryer with this unit?> Running in total about 15 minutes give or take. Now all of a sudden it will run on for along time without doing much to the ORP monitor. <Mmm... might need cleaning...> The number will even drop values as its running. No chance of water getting in there that's not a concern. And I do run an air dryer. <Geez, I should read ahead> Is there any chance my unit is just done? <Mmm, possibly... but these little CD (corona discharge) units are usually pretty solid...> Person I bought it from said she bought it brand new and ran it about a year. I've been running it 2 months. My water is beautiful, my corals which consist of all kinds of SPS, LPS, Clams, softies seem to love it, and my fish/inverts have all been taking this really really well. I guess what I'm trying to say is, is it common to have the thing run for hours before it reaches its desired value. <Yes... if it's a bit underpowered... the actual function is affected not simply by gallons, but how the O3 is contacted, the biomass in the system, its metabolism, foods...> And I do test my probe. <These really have to be kept up on... cleaned carefully, frequently (weekly or so)> Thank you ! Jason K <Well Jason... there are assays for Ozone itself (rather than the indirect measure through RedOx potential....). If the reading is staying about 300 mV I would not be concerned myself. Bob Fenner>
Red Sea Ozonizers 8/31/07 Hello everyone, just an experience I'd like to share with you. Last year, I bought a Red Sea Aquazone Plus ozonizer (new), a $300.00+ item. I have been in the hobby for 40+ years. A month after the one year warranty expired, it died. I called RS, expecting at least some accommodation. No dice. OK, I wouldn't do business that way, but I know it happens. So next I ask where to ship it so they can repair it. Now the surprise: Red Sea has no repair facilities. Your solution is to just buy a new one. I have since come to find out that this particular item is typically very short lived - apparently very sensitive to humidity, no matter how assiduously you change the air drier. <Steve, I have contacted Pinky at Red Sea, below is his response. I seems they are willing to give you a price break on replacing this. James (Salty Dog)> FYI. Steve. Good morning. The unit can last a very long time but if it doesn't, it depends on a lot of things like if he used an air dryer and baked the beads as soon as they needed where he had the unit mounted if he did the maintenance on it every 6 months. I can go on and on. It's like a car it depends on a lot of things why one car last longer then another one and bought at the same time. The reason we don't have a repair shop is we don't get that many units to repair to have a shop open. We can work with the customers on selling them another at a better price if the unit does fail at a year 1/2 with no more warranty Again it just depends on how the unit was taking care of. It's not our place to replace products that people don't take care of. I am not saying this customer was one that didn't take care of it just saying it has a lot to do with how, where and why things were done or not done with the unit. I hope I have explained and answered your question. Thank you and have a good day. Pinky
Re: Red Sea Ozonizers 9/1/07 Hello James, and thank you for your help. I just want to make it clear that this unit was treated with the utmost care, because I'd already heard it was not tolerant of humidity. In fact, a friend had two units replaced, under warranty; the third is now 13 months old. And in response to my postings elsewhere, I heard from numerous people with the same problem. Pinky gave me the same explanation, and I offered to let them inspect my unit, which was located away from the display and today looks the same as the day I got it, but Red Sea wasn't interested. I was fanatical about changing the dryer beads, even had an extra dryer so I could rotate them; a very few times, the beads changed color overnight, and it was on one of these days the thing quit; if that's abuse, I'm guilty. My feeling, though, is that this is a problem product and Red Sea knows it. <I would do a poll on this on our chat forum and see what input you get from others. Go here: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ <James (Salty Dog.> Steve An ongoing disc... High RedOx, pH in a Service Co. tank 11/26/07 Bob, <Scott> Here's quick stats (or at least as quick as they get): 8'x8'x30" 1200g tank 16x16 center overflow 5600gph Tunzes w/multicontroller for oscillating flow x8 8000 gph closed loop 1200 gph return pump x4 125g sump 75 gallon deep sand bed refugium x2 UV Sterilizer Ozonizer x2 (not running) Korallin calcium reactor (not running) AquaC custom EV skimmer w/Iwaki x2 SpectraPure 90gpd RO unit Auto top off Aquacontroller III Pro - Temp Probe - ORP Probe - pH Probe 400w HQI PFO Halides x8 160w 6' VHO Actinics x16 PolyFilters Purigen 50g water changes w/IO salt weekly SG - 1.024 Ca - 420 Alk - 3.0 meq/L <A bit low...> Mg - 1200 Temp - ranges from 79.0 - 83.2 ORP - ranges from 475 - 500 <Mmm... a bit high...> pH - ranges from 8.75 - 8.95 <...High... From?> No ammonia, nitrites or nitrates detectable The tank is about 2 and half months since we finished cycling (/we last saw nitrates). I have spoken with you previously about the high ORP. You suggested that we likely had a faulty probe. Due to some (*cough*) user error, this probe demanded replacement regardless of it's potentially faulty readings. The new probe however is telling us the exact same thing. So my question is what would that imply? <Mmm, that there is an abundant source or reduction-oxidation potential driving the level to the upper side... Of the gear, situation you list, the UV is likely the principal contributor here... this and a dearth/lack of reducing organisms, activity...> Our probes are in the overflow - is there something about that environment that could affect our readings? <Mmm, yes> Also, there isn't that much in the tank right now. There's a few fish, a handful of corals, and a handful of other assorted invertebrates. <Ahh... with their addition, you'll very likely see a reduction... make that a lowering in ORP> The things that live, thrive. There are a handful of things that just don't however and I was hoping for an opinion on why. Just as a prequel - we did have a few days where the lights got taken off auto and ran for three days straight and the temp got up to 86.7. We've lost every Acropora we've ever put in there, about 6 large aquacultured specimens all together now. We lost a Blue Linckia, several Sea Hares, a medium sized aquacultured Abalone, and a few other assorted critters. Our encrusting Montiporas don't seem to be doing that great, even the ones that were put in after the big heat spike. <Mmm, try turning off the UV> The temperature issue is being dealt with. The tank is central in an orthodontists office, and so all of the equipment is underneath the stand and generates lots of heat. As long as the cabinets are left open the temperature stays below 82.0, usually between 80 and 81. But being that it's an office it's hard to control that, and occasionally the doors do get closed which is when the temperature rises up to 83.2. Is this small difference enough to slowly take out the SPS corals? <Not IMO/E> There is also this encrusting algae, that I suppose I should know what it is, but I don't. It's just small brown spots that grow pretty exclusively on the acrylic, like coralline's ugly little brother. The spots are very, very tough to get off, and I feel like I'm destroying the acrylic in my attempts to do so. <Yikes... careful here> We filled the tank up with tap, and now use exclusively RO. <Good change> As we continue to do water changes (50g/week) will these spots recede? <Should in time> I've never experienced this type of algae in my store, but it's pretty bad in several of the other tanks that I maintain - and none of those tanks use RO for their top off. The only other thing these tanks have in common that I don't, is their more expensive higher quality lighting. In another tank in the same office (250g w/good water quality), we have a Thalassoma wrasse who is doing rather poorly. One day when I came him and was looking rather "prunish". The skin on his face and head was all kind of rippled, like he had dried up in the sun. He has since refused food (to my knowledge) and has lost a ton of weight. <Genetic problem/s likely... not amenable> I was concerned he wasn't eating the food from the auto-feeder, and wasn't getting enough frozen food (2x/week) to sustain him but the decline seemed to happen rather quickly and doesn't explain the wrinkles. I have been adding live SW feeder shrimp to sustain him in case he's refusing all non-live food but I'm worried that the problem is not so superficial. Really - all this story to say - have you have seen anything like this before and if so what was the cause/solution? <Cause/s unknown... solution likewise... to my experience, all such animals perish> Thanks for your input, Scott <Do try amending the alkalinity (simple bicarb., carb. addition), turn off the UV... see where this situates the RedOx and pH. Bob Fenner>
Ozone problems ... Toxic Water "Disease", Synthetic Salt Mix Use, Ozone Use... - 04/25/06 Hi, <Greg> I have a small undersized ozone generator on my reef system of 300 gallons (30mg/hr max). Here's the link to the generator... http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/7945/cid/1966 <Good company> I should also mention that the age and wear/tear of the generator is unknown. It was given to me by a aquaculture research facility. The room they took it out of was very humid and my gut feeling was that this generator has some build up inside. <Can be tested... just running some air through, into a water sample should raise the pH discernibly...> I do not run an air dryer. The ozone goes into my skimmer and the outflow pour into carbon. The ORP reading peaks at about 350. <Might be working...> After about 2 weeks of running ozone my LPSs corals start to die. <... not from ozone> The flesh begins pulling off the skeleton. My Tri color Acropora starts to bleach out. My mushrooms start to shrivel up. Feather dusters pop there tops and begin dying. Fish start showing signs of ill health (black blotches, ick) My red sea O3 residual test kit reads "safe". This can't be caused by a sudden light increase because It effects feather dusters in the shadows as well as fish. Carbon is fresh and plentiful (about 8 oz). <Thirty milligrams per hour going into a skimmer, or even directly into the tank is not at all likely to create troubles> After 1 week of stopping ozone, things slowly begin to improve in health. Acro stops bleaching, LPS stop reseeding, etc. 1 month of no ozone things stabilized so I started it back up again and experienced problems all over again which confirmed it was ozone related. The feather dusters actually died and most of my fish are now sick. <Bizarre... and frightening... I can't think of what a small corona-discharge unit like this might be doing to produce such negative effect> My best guest at this point is by-products from the ozone. Possibly caused by the ozone generator itself or maybe some weird chemical reactions with my salt (here's my salt... http://www.aquariumsupplystore.com/Productspages/marine_enterprises_int.htm Interesting break down of salt mixes including mine... http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2005/11/aafeature1 <Interesting speculation> Thank you for your consideration, Greg <Thank you for sharing this. Am archiving under Toxic Water "Disease", Synthetic Salt Mix Use, Ozone Use... and sending, sharing with Mike del Prete, Ron Shimek. Bob Fenner> Ozone/Skimmate Reduction - 05/02/06 Hey guys (and gals, I remembered this time!) <<Yea!>> I recently started running ozone through my Deltec MCE 600 skimmer, and I'm using it to keep RedOx around 350mV (the difference it's made to the tank is huge, it's great). The problem is that my MCE 600 is now hardly producing any skimmate at all, it produces a little for the first hour or so after cleaning the cup but after that there's nothing. <<Hmm...>> I'm also putting a bit much ozone through the skimmer for its design limit, I reckon about 40-50mg/h. <<Doesn't seem excessive to me>> This has led me to think about getting a bigger skimmer. <<Is an option>> My tank is roughly 180 US gallons and contains the following: 260 lbs of live rock 1 Powder blue tang 1 Naso tang (they get along quite well, feed from the same clip etc..) 1 Klein's Butterflyfish 1 Bicolour angel 2 Maroon clowns 1 False percula clown 1 Bicolour blenny 1 convict worm goby Will upgrading to a bigger skimmer help the issue? <<Possibly, yes...or "retuning" your current skimmer (if you haven't tried already)>> I'm used to seeing lots of skimmate and it worries me when I see none! <<A reduction is not uncommon, but you should still be collecting skimmate>> I've made sure the air intakes to the skimmer aren't restricted in any way. <<An air dryer will cause a restriction...or using tubing smaller in diameter than what was supplied with the skimmer pump>> My RedOx was LOW before I added the ozone, around 170mV. All other levels are immeasurable, besides nitrate which has been dropping since the addition of ozone (was ~20ppm). <<Excellent...burning up the nitrogenous waste>> The skimmers I'm considering (I have limited height under my tank) are the Deltec APF 600 that apparently uses 600 litres of air an hour, and the Tunze DOC 9020, which uses 1300 litres of air an hour, which, in your opinion, would be best suited to my tank? <<Both manufacturers enjoy excellent reputations. The Deltec is probably the closest "fit" between the two>> I only keep soft corals at the moment, but want to start keeping hard corals too. <<Don't discount the need for a skimmer with "soft" corals...most release very noxious elements in to the water>> Oh, and the ozone seems to build up in my room and causes the odd headache, will running the air from the skimmer through activated carbon help that? <<Mmm, surprising the small amount you say you're using would cause this...but yes, carbon will help with residual ozone...you can also place it in the path of the water exiting the skimmer.>> Thanks again, Ross <<Quite welcome, EricR>>
Sharing a Perspective - re Ozone, skimmer op. 05/04/06 Hi Eric, <<Hello Andy>> I read your reply to Ross, about ozone use, on 2nd May. I had a similar sized tank, was running ozone and upgraded from the Deltec MCE600 to the APF600, and feel I may be able to add to the good advice you offered Ross. <<Ahh, excellent!>> I hope you don't mind. <<Not at all...will post for all to see/share...and hope you don't mind in kind if I throw in a comment where I get the urge...>> The use of Ozone is highly beneficial, but often delivered at too high a rate. When ozone is first introduced to a tank it may take a few days or weeks to break down the waste products that have accumulated in the tank environment. <<Mmm, in their entirety maybe (though new "waste" is being generated all the time), but ozone is highly reactive/its effect is immediate...as I'm sure you are aware>> However, once that initial spring clean is complete the rate of ozone should be reduced - especially if the owner has a strong maintenance schedule (water changes, not over stocked, not over-feeding, etc, etc). The lack of skimmate (and nitrate) is an indicator that the ozone is being over-applied (organics being burned up long before they can get to the skimmer cup). I would recommend reducing the ozone rate to 10mg/h, allowing the water to get a slight yellow colour once again (best to assess this at water change time); at each water change assess the tank water colour - if yellow: increase the ozone rate by 5mg/h, if blue: (associated with a tank aerated with ozone) you have reached a nice compromise between getting the benefits of the ozone, while minimizing the unwanted effects (smell and risk of overdose). <<With most units available to hobbyists here in the states, overdose is of small concern on all but the smallest of tanks>> I suspect Ross may only need to deliver ozone at half the current rate. <<Is a possibility...though I don't consider 40-50 mg/h to be "excessive" on a 180 gallon tank...>> In terms of the MCE600 to APF600 upgrade, it is an improvement but only a small one. I got perhaps a 20% increase in skimmate from one to the other. For me, the major benefits included a much bigger collect cup, and hiding away the skimmer with a sump (the hang-on MCE couldn't fit in the gap above the sump, but the APF just sat outside the sump cupboard). From a chemistry perspective, the amount of ozone being generated by these units cannot accumulate in an average home room. <<Agreed...and my point/surprise at Ross's comment re>> Ozone is so reactive that it will always quickly (seconds) find something to react with, preventing build-up. The smell is actually a by-product of the ozone reaction with various materials. Reducing the amount of ozone to the minimum necessary to achieve the desire results will minimize the smell - but not remove it completely. The headaches Ross is suffering could be the irritation of the ozone by-product (not in itself harmful, just unpleasant). I tried to reduce this smell by placing carbon on the air vents of the skimmer, but found it stopped removing the smell after a few days due to humidity saturating the carbon surface. <<Indeed, many folks don't realize how quickly carbon can/will become "saturated" with impurities...can be from minutes to days depending on quality...the same holding true for the carbon used for our water/tank filtration>> I never could find a satisfactory way to add carbon to these skimmers. <<A few manufacturers have tried to incorporate "chambers" for such...but most, including these so called "top of the line" skimmers (Deltec, Euro Reef, etc.) don't bother. But I haven't really found a need for it either...in my experience>> There are a few skimmers on the market with large carbon cups that sit on top of the skimmer cup - these may reduce the smell for longer, but many are not top rated skimmers. <<Mmm...guess I should be reading ahead <grin> >> One solution would be continuing to use the MCE600 as his primary skimmer (it has a fabulous performance for its size), and install a new skimmer, with a built-in carbon cup, as a dedicated ozone delivery device. Best of both worlds, and I suspect the carbon cup skimmer may be cheaper than the APF600. <<The ones I've seen are!>> That said, even with a large carbon cup, my own experience says, the carbon surface will become saturated from the humidity, and the ozone by-product smell will return. <<I wouldn't think the moisture alone in the air (humidity) would have a "saturation" effect on the carbon, else placing it in our tanks would render it useless immediately...but I do agree the impurities in the air exiting the skimmer would have a very rapid effect>> There is no substitute for minimizing ozone delivery to the minimum necessary to achieve your results. I hope this helps. I wrestled with the same issues for months, tried everything my LFS and I could think of, and ultimately couldn't find a perfect answer. <<Is there such a thing? <G> >> Eventually I was seduced by the "natural side" (rather than the dark side) replacing pretty much all the technology (except the skimmer) with a natural system (refugium the same size as the display, deep sand bed, micro algae, lots of live rock and Tunze stream circulation on the display) - the result was a level of filtration, stability and simplicity that technology (ozone included) could not provide. <<Am much in agreement with this/your approach and use something very similar myself...but still I believe most any system can benefit from the application of ozone>> It is ironic that I wasted thousands of pounds on technology, before coming to realize that nature already provides the best available solution (and for half the ultimate cost)! All the best, Andy <<Andy, thank you for sharing. Kind regards, Eric Russell>> Change in Skimmate from Ozone Use - 04/28/06 Hi guys! <<and gals!>> Hope all is well! <<Yes, thank you>> I emailed a while back when I was moving from a 50 gal tank to a 180, glad to say it all went far better than expected (besides my Powder Blue stressing himself out and getting a tiny amount of white spot... I was expecting that and it cleared up by itself, close on to a year I've had him now). <<Mmm, difficult specie to keep long term...I wish you continued good luck>> Anyhow, enough of my ramblings and to the point! I recently added a Sanders 100 ozonizer. <<Good product>> At the moment it's putting around 25mg/h of ozone into my skimmer (Deltec MCE600 - which seems to be handling the large tank quite well, although I'm considering an upgrade if I get more stock in the future). <<Indeed>> I run the overflow of the skimmer into a gallon glass container, otherwise I'm emptying it twice a day (or I was, until I added the ozone). Therein lies the question... since adding the ozone I was expecting a small decrease in the concentration of skimmate (slightly less dark) but in the same quantities. I hardly get any skimmate during the day now, but overnight I seem to get a lot, though nowhere near as much as I used to. The only other change to the tank has been the addition of four assorted soft corals over a period of a couple of months. <<Should not have an affect on what you are seeing here>> My skimmer's clean and running as well as it ever has, is this simply down to some of the organics the skimmer would normally remove being oxidized? <<Is due to this (in part at least), yes. Another contributor may be the addition of the ozonizer is restricting air flow to the skimmer pump...perhaps larger diameter tubing will help...or a larger skimmer>> I wasn't expecting such a difference with such a small amount of ozone. <<The ozone itself would likely have less "obvious" affect on a skimmer with a larger reaction chamber, but I wouldn't be concerned. Just try to readjust the skimmer for optimum skimmate>> Thanks again guys, Ross Cranford <<Happy to help, Eric Russell>> P.S. I have a pair of maroon clownfish, the female has taken to a bubble anemone that I added just a day ago and she won't let the male near it, is that normal? <<Yes, will likely "ease up" in a while>> P.P.S. Is Bob's book published in the UK? I'm after a copy but can't seem to find it! <<Mmm, would think so...Bob? You can also order it from Amazon.com. EricR>> <Think it can be had via Amazon UK, yes. RMF>
Ozone use, filtering output water through carbon Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I am using a large Euro-Reef skimmer in my sump. I'm getting ready to install an ozonizer, but can't see any simple way to filter the outflow through carbon. <Simple enough, just add a T to the top of the outflow, so that it is arranged with one part straight down, one part straight up, and the last part sticking out the side. To the side piece connect an elbow. Under the elbow, Jimmy-rig some sort of basket to hold carbon. In this way, excess air/bubbles are able to vent out the top of the T while the water is redirected to the carbon. The only hard part maybe finding pipe fittings to match the Euro-Reef plumbing.> So I'm going to purchase an oxygen/ozone reactor and plumb the reactor in line with my magnum canister filter using the carbon basket. Is it necessary to do this. <It is safest to use the carbon after ozone, if that is what you are asking.> Seems to me that the ozone would be more effective running through the big 12 inch diameter skimmer. <I would first double check that the Euro-Reef is ozone safe. Their webpage is here http://www.euro-reef.com/> Then again, the ozone reactor is will be used with 4-6 PSI so perhaps I'm wrong. The magnum canister pump will be circulating the water (350 gph) nothing compared to the flow of the skimmer with its two pumps. The ozonizer I purchased is a Aquazone 200 with RedOx control. Must/should the ozonized water be filtered through carbon? <Yes, for safety sake.> Also, I am having an outbreak of ick or velvet. <Two very different looking diseases with somewhat different treatments. Cryptocaryon looks like grains of salt attached to the body of the fish. Amyloodinium looks like a film on the body, not as easily seen and kills much faster than Cryptocaryon. Please reference www.WetWebMedia.com for additional information.> I'm slowly raising the temp to 85 and dropping salinity also. <Only moderately effective against Ich/Cryptocaryon, this will do nothing against Velvet/Amyloodinium.> Contemplating using ruby reefs reef safe medication. <I found the Ich medication from them to be almost useless. My complete coverage of treatment options will be coming out in our new online magazine, "Conscientious Aquarist", in the second issue.> Tank is 450 gal reef, lots of stuff in it. No way to strip it, catch, put everything. Any experience with these reef safe medications? <Nothing that will make you happy to hear.> I foolishly fed the tank some live brine shrimp and this seems to have started the problem. <I would look for another root cause. There is extremely little likelihood that this was the problem.> Any suggestions? <Are you a religious man? Have you led a good life? Perhaps you will get lucky. Let us assume/hope that this is Cryptocaryon. I would start with the lowered salinity and increased temperature, but you are stuck with the inverts not to go too low. With corals, I would not feel comfortable going lower than 1.020. I would get that ozonizer running, ASAP. There are other alternatives; daily 50 gallon water changes, find a medicated food or make your own food with Metronidazole, add some cleaner shrimp, and use garlic.> Thank you, Paul <Good luck! -Steven Pro>
Protein skimmer and ozone Hi, Merry Christmas. <and the same to you my friend> Just a short question. When I started to inject ozone into my Tunze skimmer. I found that the foam was weakening and in half-hour or so, it didn't accumulate in the cup. Is this normal? Regards, TFChow <patience good sir. Any disruption will cause a delay in skimmate production... 12-18 hours is no surprise. Even without the ozone, often just your hand in the tank disruption the proteins at the water surface is enough to delay skimmate. All in good time. Tunzes once tuned correctly are generally very good skimmers. Best regards, Anthony>
Free radicals (not a plea to release terrorists) Bob, <Andrew> I am hoping your knowledge of chemistry can reassure me somewhat about ozone application. Some facts and figures. <okay> 350l reef tank, 6 months old. Biological filtration provided by 55kg of Fiji live rock combined with 30x per hr water movement. No detectable ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Eheim canister containing floss (changed weekly to avoid biological build-up), <Good idea> chemical media (RowaPhos and carbon), with the return going through a UV. Deltec MCE600 skimmer combined with 35mg/hr of ozone. Extracts a large amount of yuck each week, leaving the water absolutely crystal clear and slightly blue. Deltec calcium generator, with drip rate accurately controlled by peristaltic pump. Calcium 420, dKH 11.2. Combination of metal halide and actinic lighting. All corals, fish and inverts settled and growing nicely. <Sounds good thus far> The use of ozone leaves a strong distinct odour in the room. It is not a smell of burning electricity (i.e., I don't believe it is ozone), rather it is similar to the skimmate. <Not ozone> The room is not that well vented, so odours can and do accumulate. My understanding is that ozone will react with an oxygen molecule to give a free radical oxygen molecule (which is cancer causing with long term exposure). <Mmm, not so much reactions with oxygen... more a "falling apart" of the ozone/O3... with the monatomic oxygen becoming/being a free radical... in turn going on (quickly in general) to react with...> Is there any chance that the room is accumulating free-radical oxygen molecules? <No... the amount of ozone produced by hobbyist reactors is small... and the "life" of the reaction series resultant similarly limited> Do you agree with my assessment that the odour is likely to be a harmless bi-product of the ozone rather than ozone itself? <Yes, well put> Any ideas how I can reduce the odour? My LFS tells me "in the days when ozone was used extensively carbon air filters where used for this purpose" - but I don't know how I could apply a carbon air filter to the skimmer. <You can remove most all the smell and its cause by regular (weekly or even more frequent) placement of activated carbon in the filter flow path... yes, even though the ozone is introduced in the skimmer. Otherwise, I'd look into a "room air cleaner" (there are a few technologies to consider here...) and opening the window a bit when weather permits> On another subject, all parameters on my tank look good, healthy and stable. One exception is my slightly low pH which starts at 7.90 early morning and finishes at 8.25 by the end of the day (as determined by a good quality electrical meter). <Not to be overly concerned here> I know vigorous aeration would raise this, but I don't believe it would look right in the reef setting. My LFS has recommended a Kalk stirrer, timed to come on overnight. No doubt this would work, but I am reluctant due to unnecessary(?) (a) cost, (b) complexity of set-up / maintenance overhead, (c) risks of getting the dose wrong and causing damage to the reef environment. I believe I read a WWM comment saying 7.90 as a low point is not really a problem given that many ocean reefs can be lower than this. Would you recommend I leave my set-up as it is, add a Kalk stirrer, or tackle this is some other way completely? <You are wise to be cautious here... and consider your possibilities. The diurnal fluctuation in pH is not a worry... could be best "adjusted" by the use of a continuous or reverse daylight photoperiod refugium/sump... with photosynthesis during the main/display systems "lights off" period being offset> Finally, My reef contains a variety of reasonably peaceful fish - yellow tang, regal tang, royal Gramma, orchid Dottyback, couple of common clowns, cardinal, six-line wrasse. I would like to add a Pomacentrus alleni, as I think it is the most beautiful damsel. My research says it is semi-aggressive, one of the more peaceful damsels, but a damsel all the same. A couple of months ago I had to re-home a blue damsel as he was a naughty chap, seriously disturbing the harmony of the tank (although I had made the mistake of adding him before many of the others - I know, I know, but I've learned a lot since then!!). I understand that each fish is an individual, therefore there are no guarantees in this game, but do you believe the Alleni is likely to reasonably behave himself in my tank? <I do think your chances are good with adding an Allen's Damsel... more than 80-90%)> Thank you very much for your advice. I frequently lose an hour or two reading from you site. The rumour mill suggests Father Christmas may even be bringing me a copy of your book this year! Andrew Senior <Ahh, hope/trust you enjoy same. Cheers, Bob Fenner> - Cleaning Ozonizer Electrode - How often should I clean my ORP probe? Is there anything else I can use to clean it with besides what the manufacture sells (Red Sea)?? <Hmm... not sure what it is exactly that Red Sea sells... would imagine just a rinse in distilled water once a month would do.> Thanks, Rob <Cheers, J -- >
Finding and Ozonizer that lasts 8/2/04 Hi Crew, some collective help, please. I have a 180 fish-only which relies in part on a good skimmer and ozone. I have been through THREE of the Aqua-Zone Plus models in 18months, two replaced under warranty, I'm waiting to hear on the last. I am told by Red Sea they don't like humid environments, like around aquariums ...?!!! <this is a big peeve of mine too <G>> Does anybody make a comparable unit that can survive in such an environment and doesn't need its air "pre-treated"? Thanks a bunch, Steve. <there are two problems here that need addressed, Steve. The first is that most (all as I can see) hobby grade Ozonizers on the market are very poorly made IMO. Very (!) poorly made. That any aquarium instruments made are not tolerant of humidity is ridiculous and simply staggering to me. There is good news though. While the aquarium hobby seems to have an endless stream of consumers that will buy inferior equipment and keep some merchants in business without forcing them to improve or get out... the Aquaculture industry does not tolerate this. Profit margins with fish farmers are leaner (price per pound for food fishes vs. ornamental fishes... no comparison). They are also much harder on their equipment in working hatcheries and as such demand industrial grade gear. Savvy aquarists as you are now :) learn to seek cheaper and better made gear from aquaculture suppliers. You can do general searches online for folks that supply such equipment, but I recall a few brands like Ozotech that crossover and are sold by a aquarium hobby merchants like CustomAquatic.com. DO look for Ozotech... I have used them for years and find them to be an affordable and durable brand. The second problem you/we encounter is the style of generator - some require dry air (corona discharge models), while the better ones IMO do not (electronic generated). Do seek the latter. kindly, Anthony>
pH and ORP questions 2/11/05 Great site! ...and again, thanks for all the help and advice. <Glad to!> My 300g tank has been running for about 7 months, and I'm running into I'm sure some normal issues. I've got 5 species of soft corals (total of 15 corals), and they seem to be acting OK. Sometimes they will curl up (Lobophyton) or balloon up (colt), but I think they are going through normal respiration cycles. The next day, or even several hours later, they are back to normal. Maybe I'm wrong. I've got 4 yellow tangs, 2 clowns, 5 damsels, and a Dottyback. The fish act completely normal. <Sounds normal.> The challenge is keeping pH and ORP up. I recently got a Milwaukee pH/ORP controller, and have frequently calibrated it to make sure readings are accurate. pH stays between 7.8 at night and 8.1 during the day. Way low, so I have been dosing Kalkwasser several times each day (2 qt RO water with 2 tsp Kalk dissolved for several hours). pH rises maybe one point with each dosage, but not much. <This is a common problem. Have you taken a sample of your tank water outdoors, aerated it well and then re-tested pH? If it rises significantly, you have CO2 accumulating in your tank. This is common, especially in newer "tighter" houses that get less fresh air moving through.> Alkalinity is 16 dKH. I use Kent Marine buffer, which does raise pH, too, but I don't want to get buffer too high just to raise pH...therefore have been trying Kalkwasser. <Wowzah! Definitely discontinue any buffer additions, and check your calcium. You may have to add just calcium for a while until calcium and alkalinity are back in balance.> ORP is around 180 (day) - 190(night). Also way low. I just re-measured ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and all are 0. I've been doing 18g water changes weekly, and have been doing it twice a week for the last several. Yesterday, I did a 54g water change. Today, the ORP meter says 183. I'm using tap water because it is quite hard here in Phoenix. The ORP meter shows raw tap water at around 220. My RO water is about the same. I've been using Oceanic salt, but switched to Tropic Marin a few weeks ago. I'm thinking of switching to Instant Ocean to save on cost. I do have some brownish algae on the gravel (not thick and fluffy, but just growing on the gravel). If I stir it up, the next day the algae is there again. I also have quite a number of little white tubular sponges growing in the shadowy places in the tank. I'm assuming all of this is from high nutrients/diatoms in the water, and would probably go away if I can keep pH up. <The brown "algae" on the gravel is probably diatoms. Higher pH will probably discourage their growth, but they only require tiny amounts of silica, so trying to control them by limiting silica is probably futile.> I have an ETSS protein skimmer. I have to clean out the cup at least every other day because of the dark brown grunge that is collected. I assume that it is operating effectively. It's water is drawn from a surface overflow to ensure surface water is what is skimmed. A month ago, I introduced 7 ounces of carbon into the overflow that the skimmer effluent flows over, as well as the rest of the overflow water. I changed the carbon last week. <Sounds good. With so much production from your skimmer, I wonder about your feeding regime. Does a lot of food go uneaten?> I've got 300lb of live rock, and a 4 inch aragonite gravel bed (not oolitic sand unfortunately, but the next grade up). There are 4 MAK4 pumps connected to a 1.5" "Anthony manifold" (you've got to trademark that :) ) that goes around the perimeter of the surface. I estimate water circulation around 4000-5000 gph. <Also sounds good. I will pass along your trademark suggestion to Anthony, though he is far too generous with his intellectual capital to even consider it.> The only thing I haven't tried is ozone. Please advise on how to keep pH and ORP up. Regards, Jerry <Ozone has it's place, but you must also address the underlying issue. Perform the pH experiment described above. If the pH rises more than .2 units, try slightly opening a window in the room where your tank is and see how the pH and ORP react after a day or two. Also watch the ORP as alkalinity falls, as this may be affecting the result as well. Best Regards. AdamC.>
Protein Skimmers And Ozone - 07/25/05 Bob, <<Eric R. here...>> What is the proper tuning of a protein skimmer that has ozone injected since the waste appears much clearer. <<"Tuning" is no different than without ozone. You still want a thick dark skimmate, unless you're skimming "thin" for a reason (e.g.- fighting nuisance algae). I noticed the same as you when I first added ozone...skimmate became lighter in color...and less of it. I discovered this was due to less air being processed by the venturi on the pump to which the ozonizer was connected...in other words...the ozone didn't lessen my skimmate, the skimmer just wasn't performing as well as before. By not using an air dryer and ensuring tubing diameter was maximized, I was able to keep the air restriction of the venturi to a minimum and restore the performance of the skimmer. Removing/not using a dryer may not be the best option depending on the size and type (hot corona vs. cold corona, UV, etc.) ozone generator you are employing. In this case you can try adding a tee-fitting to the pump venturi to allow more air to be drawn in.>> Regards, John
Ozonizer 7/29/05 Hi! Hope all of you are well! I have set up an ozonizer (the one I could afford).... Red Sea brand. Hooked it up as this: An air pump that hooks up to a dryer. Air in, air out. Air out of dryer goes to ozonizer and then from ozonizer to venturi port of skimmer. However, my skimmer is going nuts! I am now just collecting at best, tinted water. What to do? <Mmm, try adjusting the inflow of air, ozone... you may not actually need the air pump at all... but just a check valve twixt the skimmer and ozonizer (lest power go out, to prevent capillation...> (It is a Turboflotor). My set-up has been explained to you all so many times that I wish I could just cut and paste some saved version of it in! All parameters looked good. Salt 1.025, nitrite and ammonia 0, nitrate 10ppm, KH about 12 and Ca 300ppm. PH runs about 8.1 to 8.4. (night/day). Even have an oxygen test that said 7mg. I change and clean things once a week with 20 gallons being exchanged. I wish I could only do a 10 gallon water change, that salt gets expensive! <Try the mail-order, etailers... buy in bulk... the "two hundred gallon buckets"...> (I have a 90 gallon). The worst part of this is that I set up the probe and did a reading right away and it was 128! <Not atypically low...> I have read it's not good if it's under 200. Here I had beefed up circulation, built my own sump, added good algae to a chamber, etc. and the fish can't breathe! Or I have too many organics! Maybe I should have left that Tidepool with BioWheel and balls, etc. Maybe that was better! (My nitrate was zero). O do advise! Thanks....... <You are learning... thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> No (apparent) results from our MORE-ZON 30 ozone generator Dear Bob, We are the Florida Ft. George Island people who wrote to you the other day totally frustrated with our hair algae episode. ONE of the things we're trying is an ozone generator. We purchased a "More-Zon 30" and hooked it up to the Venturi on our Sealife 150 protein skimmer hoping to instantly watch a frothing production of skimmate. <Yes, typical> What happened was that indeed the water in the column looked more foamy but would only rise a mere inch above the swirling water mix in the contact chamber. The water in the chamber looks pure- no discoloration. <Hmm, can you adjust the water column in the skimmer's contact chamber... You want to remove the "frothy" part, whether it is a dark/er color or no> I have tried for 70 hours to produce skimmate using my new ozone generator and have yet collected anything. The water swirls and bubbles only to midway in the contact chamber and never even rises to the collection cup. Previous to the installation, our protein skimmer put out at least 1 Tablespoon of coffee-colored skimmate per day. The odor released into room is pungent smelling. What are we doing wrong? <Likely absolutely nothing... the O3, ozone is "burning" the darker material you used to collect "up"... Does this make sense to you? Sort of like burning a cigarette in an oxygen tent (of course, don't do this...)...> Thanks for any help you can offer us. We are going to lick this hair algae thing one way or another, if I have to stick my head in the tank and graze on those rocks myself!!! Patti, Thanks, Scott and Patti <I know you will my friends... Do adjust the intake and/or discharge valves/water coming in/going out of the skimmer, elevating water height in the contact chamber, to remove some of the "dry" "white" foam... and try to be patient... in a few days to weeks you will see definite differences in your system. Bob Fenner>
Re: ozonizer/ph Hello Mr. Fenner e-mailed you yesterday about a ozonizer I recently purchased. It was the one made for a spa that puts out 250mg/hr. I have a couple of questions. One is the rubber hose on the Rio pump connected to my CPR protein skimmer prone to corrode due to the ozonizer? <Likely... see your dealer re ozone resistant tubing> My second question is I have no controller or RedOx monitor if I was to run the ozonizer for 4 hrs and the ph did not rise do you think it would be safe to run it 24/7? <Hmm, I would continue your experiments for now... like eight hours a day, then twelve... and monitor at least pH... once your organics that can be, are oxidized, you may well experience a "jump" in pH... and more> How would I go about testing how long to keep it on? Thanks again Ryan H <Chat with you soon my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ozonizer Hello Mr. Fenner, I have a couple of questions regarding a ozonizer I purchased recently. My LFS sold me a Clearwater ozone system s-1200.It puts out 250mg/hr. I have a 55 gallon reef tank with a fox face, two cleaner gobies,1 mandarin, about a hundred anthelia polyps, fifty green polyps, seven mushrooms, seven sea mats, and a large zinnia's for filtration I have a thirty five gallon sump wet dry system with two chambers that I have carbon and poly filters. When I got the ozonizer home to my surprise It was for a spa! <Hmm, yes, manufacturers do make "cross-over" sizes for both functions... 250mg is quite a bit for ninety gallons (your sump and tank)> Which really threw me for a loop. I'm not sure if this was a wise decision? I hooked it up last night through my CPR in sump protein skimmer. This morning I found my o'ring broke and the collection cup fell in. So I put my spare on and when I got home it had broke also! Do you think this was a rare mishap? <These are flimsy o-rings for sure... but the ozonizer probably is at play here... corroding the o-ring before it's time> I'm pretty sure it was. I know you are a fan of the ozonizer so I'm giving it a try...Well before I stop chatting I just wanted to let you know your books are great. Your website without a doubt is the best around. Talk to you soon. Your friend in New Orleans...Ryan H <Outstanding! Thank you for making my day. Do keep your eye on the pH of your system should the ozonizer prove to be too much... if you can "dial it down", I would... to about the 100 mg/h range... otherwise, do monitor RedOx (reduction oxidation potential) if you can, or at least pH... and turn the unit down, or if need be, off, should the pH exceed about 8.4. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ozonizer Mr. Fenner, Thank you for the quick advice as always. Quick question what would you use to support the collection cup if the ozonizer is at play Thanks again Ryan H. <What we have done with our CPR hang ons is to build up a "lip" of silicone rubber (the 100% type... designated for aquariums or no... just not with mildewcides in it...) and let set up for a day or so... then squeeze the collection cup in through this permanent seal. The fine folks at CPR have looked into this issue as well... Bob Fenner>
Ozone & U.V. I told you I had a two part question but couldn't think of a great way to formulate it. I've read your book and perused WetWebMedia looking for an answer to a specific question about ozone. I want to start using it in small amounts in my Top Fathom TF300 skimmers. If any residual ozone is passed through a U.V. sterilizer will it be destroyed or converted back to standard oxygen? <You can do experiment/s to ascertain this yourself... mainly it will pass through and be added to by the UV's action> We are talking about the small amount generated by the tiny "Coral life" brand Ozonizers set to low. No output level was stated in the destructions but I have noticed a major performance boost in the skimmers the few times I've used it. My concern is ozone getting into the main tanks and rotting the rubber O rings on my bulkheads? Ozone is an after thought so I never checked to ensure these gaskets were U.V. resistant. <Ah, not a problem. Very little ozone involved, almost none that gets as far as the tank itself. Bob Fenner>
Strange bubbles (Ozonizer) Very strange. I hooked up an
ozonizer into my skimmer. ORP point is set at 300 coming out of the
skimmer into the sump. Anyhow, I've noticed that some strange
bubbles have formed at the top of some rocks. These bubbles are kind of
shiny and about 2-3mm in size. Look kind of like mercury drops on top
of the rocks. Not very many of them, just on top of one or two of the
rocks. is this caused by the ozonizer working, and what is it ?
<Likely either simply "cleaner" water or clearer water.
Yes, because of the ozonizer... and slime molds, algae, etc. producing
more oxygen, it getting trapped twixt them and the rock substrate> I
can shake them loose with a feeding stick, but they come back the next
day. . .. Very strange, as it just doesn't look like a natural
water bubble. . . Thanks Jim