Raising pH in a marine aquarium has always been a big problem, now we can use Aquatic Exclusive’s CO2 Scrubber together with AE ScrubX.
This article is also available in: Italiano
One of the biggest problems we have in a marine aquarium, and one that has few solutions, is having a very low pH value. Too low. Having it low in the long run could be a problem for coral growth and the well-being of our fish, partly because low pH excessively stimulates algal growth.
We can partially remedy this problem by keeping the KH high, and keeping it constant. Chemically, in fact, KH acts as a buffer for pH, sustaining it when it decreases. This is not a real solution, however, because carbonates in the aquarium are not infinite, and so at some point the KH will drop and no longer work so well. Another solution would be to create a refugium with a reverse photoperiod, but we would need a lot of space to do this for it to be effective, so it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Do we have other arrows to our bow? For the past few years it has been seen that a CO2 reactor, a CO2 Scrubber can help us so much. Let’s see how, and let’s look at Aquatic Exclusive‘s proposal.
Our video of CO2 Scrubber from Aquatic Exclusive
Relationship between CO2 and pH
But let’s start with the simple things. How could we check if we had a pH problem in the aquarium due to too much CO2 in the house? In a totally empirical way I would suggest that we measure the pH in the aquarium normally, with the windows closed. Then we should open the windows for an indoor day and measure the pH again at the same time as the previous day. If it has risen, it means that we have too much CO2 in the house that spills into the aquarium, lowering the pH.
If this measurement seems too complicated or somewhat impractical, I could not blame you. But in any case we can see how to employ the CO2 scrubber in the aquarium, because so much CO2, unfortunately, we have at home.
How a CO2 Scrubber works
The CO2 Scrubber is nothing more than a cylinder, filled with a particular type of resin, connected to our skimmer. Basically, from that moment, the skimmer will no longer use the air that is inside the cabinet to create the bubbles. Air that would otherwise have a higher CO2 content that would be stripped into the water. Basically, that CO2 would be “amalgamated” in an extremely efficient way, with the aquarium water, resulting in lowering the pH.
Instead, air entering the skimmer will be drawn from the CO2 Scrubber‘s air intakes and passed inside the resins that are responsible for removing CO2 from the air. These resins, in this case the AE ScrubX, are color-changing. They are born white to turn fuchsia once they are saturated with CO2.
How is Aquatic Exclusive’s CO2 Scrubber SR500 constructed?
AE’s CO2 reactor is very simple, but dare I say very well made and practical. Let’s start with the technical features.
|Free internal volume||500 ml|
|Suitable for aquariums up to||400 liters|
The cylinder uses a red gasket to ensure a seal, as you can see in the following photo. And as I said in the video to me, colored gaskets always capture me.
Underneath the lid, on the other hand, you can see the 6 holes that provide air inlet, a flow that can be partialized by a handy locking screw. Used mainly to tune the reactor, and make less noise.
On the base of the reactor, you can see the groove that channels the incoming air, which after passing through the resins, in this case the AE ScrubX, must exit through the small duct that ends on the cap and where the tube that is to be connected to the skimmer is to be engaged.
For attachment to the glass (outside) sump, where there is no other support, there is a small L with a screw to tighten the socket. It screws through a pair of screws to the top circular plate. If you don’t need it, just avoid mounting it.
AE ScrubX resins to absorb CO2
The resins that Aquatic Exclusive offers are its own AE ScrubX, which cost $35 per liter of resins. That is, they are enough for two refills of the SR-500 Scrubber under test.
Keeping the pH high in the aquarium has always been a pipe dream. Very difficult to do in practice. For the past few years, the possibility of using CO2 Scrubbers, such as the SR-500 that is the subject of this test, has made it possible to sustain pH with little effort. Of course, technically, we don’t raise the pH with this object, but we prevent it from lowering due to the CO2 in the air in our homes. What is amazing is that the SR-500 costs only $59, and with the $35 AE ScrubX resins that guarantee two refills, it can be done in a very simple way.
Extremely useful in aquarium;
Ridiculous cost and simply monstrous value for money;
Aquatic Exclusive CO2 Scrubber SR-500 – summary table
Disclaimer: Thanks to Aquatic Exclusive for giving us CO2 Scrubber SR-500 and the AE ScrubX resins for this review.