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More FAQs about Dryer Use and Ozonizers

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Ozonizer/Air Dryer Questions -- 02/09/10
<<Ciao Bella! (with my best Italian accent)'¦sorry couldn't resist [grin]>>
Hope you all are having a good day (evening)!
<<Not so bad thus far, thanks>>
Hoping you can help me with this set up.
<<Will try>>
I researched your site for Ozonizer setup but still have a few questions.
My set up is: Luft pump then 3' of standard air tubing
<<Mmm, you need to use 'ozone resistant' tubing. Aside from it rapidly deteriorating and cracking/leaking, the standard vinyl airline tubing reacts greatly with the ozone and depletes/reduces the output. There are several 'ozone resistant' materials to be found, but I find silicone tubing to work very well and at reasonable expense>>
going into a Taam 1200gm air dryer then a 3' section of airline tubing going to the Ozonizer then it comes out with 1/4" tubing section maybe 5' long that goes to a T fitting so that it connects to my LifeReef protein skimmer.
<<T-fitting'¦ Why? And again all tubing used needs to be 'ozone resistant'>>
I tested the air flow at the T connector but nothing was coming out. I bypassed the Taam air dryer & now there is air flow (Luft pump is on highest setting).
Do you think there is too much media in the Taam air dryer,
<<Not likely the Luft pump should be able to handle this easily do check if for a cracked diaphragm>>
or perhaps just too much tubing
<<Maybe always best to reduce this to the shortest 'run' possible>>
or I have something set up wrong?
<<Don't know but is another possibility. Any 'check-valves' on this line?>>
I also have a Milwaukee SMS510 controller that the Ozonizer is hooked up to.
<<Ah! This is the same one I use>>
My ORP was 220, after about 20 minutes then it suddenly dropped to 170 (the one minute I wasn't watching it!) then over maybe 10 minutes went steadily up to 212. I have the Ozonizer turned to its highest setting & have the ORP controller set at 400.
<<Okay I would give all a couple days to settle down/stabilize at this point>>
My nitrates are at 10, ammonia 0, nitrites 0. I am having some trouble keeping pH & ALK in the proper place but am thinking this ORP reading of 212 would explain that.
<<Maybe so, but did you check the probe? Don't just assume a new probe is 'accurate,' they should always be checked with a calibration fluid before, and periodically during, use>>
Calcium is always at 450 with no help from additives & magnesium stays about 1200.
<<The Calcium level may be linked to your Alkalinity issue. Have you read the 'marble analogy?' See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm I would also boost the magnesium a bit for some wiggle-room if nothing else figure about 3x your Calcium reading>>
I am running the Ozonizer now without the air dryer since the low ORP rather shocked me,
<<Do check/validate the probe>>
not sure how long it takes to mess up an Ozonizer without the air dryer
<<Depends on the unit'¦ Using/not using an air-dryer is more of an efficacy issue, though cheaper units may well be malaffected in the long term re. I found removing and drying the Silica beads to be such a hassle that I run my unit without, but I have an 'Ozotech' unit that is actually designed to be run either way (the electrodes can be removed for periodic cleaning)>>
so I hope you all can tell me what's wrong?
<<Hard to say what may be blocking the dryer. Try blowing through it with your mouth and give it a good looking over, perhaps one of the Silica beads has fragmented and is blocking a connector>>
Thanks a bunch!
<<Be chatting! Eric Russell>>

Re: Ozonizer/Air Dryer Questions (and now nuisance algae too) -- 02/19/10
Hey Eric,
<<Hey Bella!>>
I thought I would wait to see how the ozonizer did before asking you a few more questions.
I have an Ozotech 150 ozonizer,
<<Ahh an excellent make>>
I still can't get air thru the Taam dryer even though I shortened the lines,
<<Hmm a 'reversed' check-valve maybe?>>
and I can blow air through it so it's not blocked,
the Luft pump is new and the diaphragm seems fine.
<<Must say I find it very odd that this pressure-rated air pump can't 'get through' the bead dryer>>
So for now I'll just clean the ozonizer.
<<Follow the manufacturer's instructions re and this will be fine. I have been doing some reading/research of late and it seems that the use of an air dryer, at least at a non-commercial level, may only be of 'nominal' benefit at best. This is based on some tests performed by Randy Holmes-Farley utilizing a single make/model of ozone generator so while interesting/thought provoking, is hardly conclusive. Still, cleaning the Ozotech every 1-3 months beats removing/drying silica beads a couple times a week>>
My ORP has settled down, staying right around 350 unless I add water etc.
<<Very good'¦ You could increase this somewhat by utilizing an ozone reactor as opposed to the skimmer (I've become convinced that a reactor is a much more efficient means of utilizing ozone in aquaria)'¦but this reading is fine>>
I should have told you I did calibrate the ORP meter before using it.
Also I do have ozone safe tubing; I just didn't make that clear.
<<Excellent thank you for the clarification>>
I am still adjusting my magnesium to get it to the correct level and have started adding baking soda to get the Alk up to par (Was in the low end of normal).
Question time: sorry for the length of it.
<<No worries>>
Tank is 95g high, 250W MH light with Phoenix Hex Arc bulb (2 months old), 125 lbs live sand, 175 lbs live rock, (tank is about 3 yrs old) 2 Vortech mp 10, 1 Maxi-Jet updated to 1200 gph, 1 Hydor 3, LifeReef protein skimmer w/500gph pump. 1 Firefish, 2 clown gobies, 1 maroon clown, 1 6-line wrasse, 1 Arabian wrasse, lots of Asterina starfish, snails, hermit crabs. Some SPS frags and LPS frags and a Maxima clam. My problem is algae,
<<Mmm oh so common>>
I have never gotten rid of diatom algae since I first set up the tank but through this website I have gotten it to where it just needs the glass cleaned a few times a week,
<<Ah hardly a 'problem' then>>
but right around Thanksgiving I started to get the green stuff.
<<Not talking about green-bean casserole I take>>
I couldn't place why till right around Christmas when I discovered that my R/O membrane needed replacing (letting 2ppm get past it) although it was only 3 months old.
<<Mmm'¦ It's not unusual for an RO membrane to 'allow' a small TDS reading. Most any membrane will have a less-than-100% rejection rate (and is why many reef hobbyists employ DI (deionization) in conjunction with RO)'¦with many of the 'better' ones rating at 98% rejection. And even this value can be hard to measure/quantify for the casual hobbyist. A good rule-of-thumb in my opinion is'¦ If the membrane is providing a minimum ten-fold rejection based on the TDS reading of the untreated source water, then it does not need replacement. In other words, if the TDS of your source water is 200ppm and the effluent from your RO unit reads 20ppm or less then all is fine re the membrane. In actuality I find the quality TFC membranes offered today will usually read less than this unless you live in an area like Bob where they are pumping 'liquid rock,' which can greatly shorten the useful life of the membrane (Do consider installing and utilizing a 'flush-unit' to increase the life of any membrane)>>
Got a silica test kit and tested the tank water and silica was at zero so I just continued with the weekly 15g water changes. Nitrates were and still are at 10,
<<Be sure to validate this test kit>>
ammonia 0, nitrites 0, phosphate 0, silica 0. I thought adding the ozonizer and improving the ORP would help,
<<Is of benefit>>
but no evidence of that yet, in fact the hair algae is growing,
<<But is not a panacea>>
and about 2 weeks ago I noticed some short green stiff algae starting in a few places and yesterday I noticed some of the red slime starting. I just don't get it.
<<Do you employ carbon to filter the skimmer effluent? I have dismissed its use in the past with most all these hobby-grade generators as unnecessary. Partly due to ozone having a very short half-life of a few seconds when applied to seawater, which means little to none should ever 'escape' the skimmer and sump to return to the display, and partly due to the low output of the hobby-grade generators. But I'm starting to think otherwise re the necessity to filter the effluent with carbon as there's more to it than just any residual O3 present'¦ The oxidizing effect that provides the benefits we want from utilizing ozone, also generates undesirable byproducts in seawater such as Bromate, Hypobromous Acid, etc'¦. Ozone is also quite effective apparently at converting Ammonia to Nitrate, which might explain your reading above re. All in all based on observations of my own system and further reading/research, I suggest you pass the effluent from your skimmer over carbon when employing ozone>>
There is so much flow in this tank now that I have to turn off the pumps in order for the fish to have some chance of getting the food. I feed several brands of pelleted food, and only give maybe 1/8 tsp. one time a day.
<<Mmm, I suggest a least a 'couple' small feedings a day. Starving/depriving your fishes is not the solution to algae issues in my humble opinion>>
Total water flow is 5220 gph + whatever from the skimmer return. Which exceeds the 20x flow that this website says you need (1900 gph for a 95g tank right??).
<<Indeed... Though 'need' is relative to the system and its inhabitants>>
There is so much flow that the algae is actually flowing sideways. I thought about adding a tang but this seems too small a tank for one, and it doesn't really address what's going wrong anyway.
<<Bingo need to determine the fuel source for the algae. But be aware it is not always possible or even practical to eliminate this (the other living organisms in your system require some measure of nitrogenous compounds for survival, and even to thrive). Many times the answer lies in creating/optimizing conditions for the algae to be 'outcompeted as in employing a lighted 'vegetable' refugium>>
I cannot add a refugium because the cabinet opening was only made big enough for a canister filter (which WWM said to take off)
<<I would employ the canister as a 'chemical' filter utilizing cut-up Poly-Filter. This quality media absorbs a wide range of organic and inorganic compounds and changes color to tell you when it has been exhausted>>
and the only other way to install one would involve cutting thru a wall and taking out floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets.
<<This is indeed unfortunate 'a refugium would certainly be of benefit>>
My husband would really freak then.
<<Don't want to freak out hubby'¦>>
Seems like the harder I try the worse things get. Any suggestion?
<<Add a DI canister to your RO filtration, utilize carbon to filter the ozone treated skimmer effluent, and employ the canister filter with the Poly-Filter medium. Fighting nuisance algae is often a battle with many fronts>>
<<Happy to share Eric Russell>>

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