Ph-controller – how to keep an eye on your ph-value in your aquarium

Ph-controllers help you to keep the ph-value in your aquarium in the optimal range for plants and fish.

Read in this article everything you need to know about the ph-controller for your aquarium!

In aquariums where there is an increased healthy plant growth and/or optimal water values for delicate fish species like for example. Discus etc. sometimes it is advisable to use a CO2 system to lower the ph-value.

In general it is of course possible to adjust the CO2 system manually and keep it permanently on one setting. However, if you want to avoid strong ph-value fluctuations in order not to stress the fish or to provide optimal conditions for the plants, you often want a automated regulation of the CO2 supply.

And this is where the ph-controllers come into play!

ph-controller for permanent ph-value measurement in the aquarium

pH controller

Find all the info about ph-controller in this article! 🙂 these 4 candidates

Like the ph-controller or. The ph-value of the aquarium water is related to the CO2-fertilization, I would like to explain to you shortly.

ph-controller permanently measures the ph-value of your aquarium water with the help of a ph-electrode. Depending on the setting of the ph value on the ph controller, opens or. Does this now close the solenoid valve (also called night cutoff) on the CO2 system and supplies additional CO2 to the aquarium or. Stop feeding.

If the ph-value increases now e.g. Above the neutral mark of 7, the solenoid valve on the CO2 system opens and CO2 is added to the aquarium. And this until your desired value of for example. 6.5 is reached again in the aquarium water.

Always in the optimal ph-range with the ph-controller

Ph-values of around 6.5 are optimal for most plants and tropical fish. This range below the neutral mark is called the acid range.

high pH values of 7 to 8.5 are mainly used in marine aquariums or in african perch aquariums (malawi or tanganyika). Here, of course, no CO2 should be used at all to depress the ph value!

not very demanding fish can tolerate a quite wide ph-range – values from 6 to 8 are no problem (of course after an acclimation period).

garnelentv has just published a video on the subject of ph-value in the aquarium – but see for yourself:

YouTube video

For the classification of the ph-values I have created a small diagram. For further illustration: a lemon is extremely acidic – everyone knows that – where should this be classified??

A small classification, where the optimal ph-value for your needs lies.

Of course, the lemon is to be classified in the acidic range. Extremely acidic: the ph value of a lemon is 2.4!

But how is the fertilization with carbon dioxide (CO2) related to the pH value??

Very simple: CO2 is needed by all plants to grow. Therefore the plants consume the free CO2 in the water, which is created by the respiration of the fish and bacteria.

As soon as the free CO2 in the water is used up by the plants – and this happens quite quickly from a fairly small number of plants – then the so-called biognenous decalcification occurs. During biogenic decalcification, the water plants dissolve the hydrogen carbonates contained in the water (salts, such as. lime etc.) the vital carbon out of it.

Due to this biochemical reaction the ph-value in the aquarium rises quite fast, so that this process should be prevented by additional fertilization with a CO2 system.

Because: the less carbon the plants draw from the dissolved salts in the water through biogenic decalcification, the better the ph-value is prevented from increasing.

The mentioned biogenic decalcification can be recognized by white, partly somewhat harder leaf edges. In addition, just there also like to sit brush algae.

The biogenic decalcification is not very dramatic, you might think. However, as soon as the majority of lime in the water is used up by the biogenic decalcification, the danger of an acid crash increases. The pH value is normally buffered by the carbonate hardness value (value of dissolved salts and lime) in the aquarium.

If the calcium in the aquarium water is no longer present, because it has been used up, it can happen that the pH value drops sharply and your aquarium inhabitants can be harmed or even killed. Dying.

Here the ph-value then breaks out extremely in a short time.

But now enough with the disdainful chemical theory! I would now like to briefly discuss the function of the ph controller already mentioned above:

Ph controllers and how they work

I have already mentioned the mode of operation and function above: you set your desired pH value for the aquarium water on the controller and this regulates your value down with the help of the connected CO2 system.

Before first use, the ph electrode, which is often but not always included in the delivery, must be calibrated. For this purpose, the manufacturers have special calibration liquids on offer. Dennerle has for example a favorable calibration station in the offer:

  • Safe, convenient
  • High quality
  • Saving calibration solution, very ecological

as soon as the electrode is calibrated, you can already mount it in the aquarium. Please note that the electrode should not be placed directly next to the CO2 diffuser or the filter inlet, which may be splashing heavily. Find a neutral place, like e.g. In the corner of the filter suction basket.

Are ph controllers useful in the aquarium?

Whether the ph-controller necessary or useful is, of course, you have to decide for yourself. But especially for sensitive fish and a top plant aquarium, ph controllers really come in handy to accurately set and control the ph value.

A nice technical device that gives you a certain peace of mind when it comes to setting the CO2 and pH values in the aquarium. In addition, it is recommended to use a CO2 duration test for initial testing.

Purchase recommendation ph-controller

I have now given you three ph-controller put together, which I would personally buy. In addition I still write briefly, why I would buy this one.

The sorting is not evaluating!

  • Permanent measurement of the pH value
  • Automatically controls the CO2 addition
  • Maximum safety

Currently heavily reduced! the ph controller from dennerle comes with everything: electrode, solenoid valve, calibration station. The seemingly simple operation, the acoustic signals when the values are too high, as well as the automatic reminder to calibrate the electrode regularly, make this controller seem quite advanced and sophisticated. The replacement electrode (price ca. 65 €)* , which regularly costs approx. Once a year must be replaced, is sold separately.

This is usually for around 300 € to have, but currently this is greatly reduced in price and you get it for a similar price WITH ELECTRODE, like the now following JBL-controller.

  • Automatically controls ph value and CO₂ supply with colored.
  • Removable wall-mounting support rail. measurement by.
  • direct operator guidance, for ph-value/temperature sensors
  • set + actual ph-value detection, automatic.
  • Scope of delivery: 1 x JBL proflora ph-control touch, measuring and.

The JBL measurement and control computer from JBL comes with a special mounting rail for installation in the cabinet. Otherwise one must note here, equal a JBL-ph-electrode* (price approx. 70), but according to JBL this is to ensure that the customer always gets a freshly made JBL electrode and not one that has been in the store for years! This makes sense, I think.

  • Microprocessor controlled ph controller
  • With optional functions of night shutdown of the.
  • To connect commercially available ph electrodes, the.
  • The activity of a connected solenoid valve is measured with.
  • When switching to programming mode, the slot of the.

The ph-control eco box from hobby comes at a great price. This also has a reminder function for electrode calibration. at this low price of 60 € you can’t expect to get a ph-electrode, so don’t forget to order one too* ! What you get here for just under 60 € delivered, I can not judge, only something skeptical I would be.

You can find ph-controllers available on amazon in the following list:

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