How do I install an ionization system?
See the Installation Instructions & Maintenance Owner’s Manual for complete details on installation.
The numbers won’t go up, or they do go up and then drop back down right away?
The numbers should always be able to go up or down. In order to enter the set mode the buttons on the G2 Control Panel must be held for 3 seconds. It will then enter set mode until no additional adjustments are made to ionization setting. If the numbers will not raise or lower, and you are holding the button down for 3 seconds, then replace the control panel (item #95017). If the numbers will raise, but go back down again, make sure there is sufficient flow going across the probe. Check the probe for excessive scale build-up or debris. Scale build-up can be caused by insufficient water flow. The scale build-up will decrease the amount of ions being released into the water affecting the ability to raise or lower the panel. Check the probe for build-up and brush or scrape the bars. If you notice this happening frequently, try moving the probe to a location with higher water flow. Water chemistry will also play a role in this. Make sure your alkalinity is at 100-250 ppm. Adding a small amount of salt can help raise the conductivity in the water allowing the control panel to raise higher, BUT this will also “super-charge” the probe causing it to exhaust quicker. The conductivity can be easily raised by adding Aquascape's Pond Salt per the dosing recommendations on the bottle.
Can I use an IonGen with a U.V. sterilizer?
Ionization replaces the need for operating an ultraviolet sterilizer, but the two systems can be operated simultaneously, if desired.
Is the Control Panel weather proof?
Yes, the control panel is weatherproof, but protection from outside elements, such as mounting it above the ground and protecting from intense sunlight will help prolong its life.
Will the ionizer affect any other metal items in the pond? Aluminum, brass or stainless steel hardware?
No, ionization will not have effect on other metal items in the pond.
Does activated carbon affect the metal ions?
Yes, activated carbon will remove the ions from the water.
Does ionization have an effect on water treatments (beneficial bacteria, salt, medications, etc.)?
Field and lab testing at copper levels of 0.25 mg/L (ppm) has shown no significant impact on the beneficial bacteria levels in the pond. Using ionization does not replace the need to add beneficial bacteria. It is still recommended to add beneficial bacteria to the water feature on a routine basis to ensure best possible water quality.
Is there any danger to humans if they drink water filtered with an ionization system?
Ionization operated to the parameters described in the user’s manual is safe. The minerals used are recognized as essential minerals to the body. Concentration of the metal ions in water features using ionization is 5 times less than the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water.
Can treated water be discharged into the environment (either yard or public sewer)?
Water supplied by Public Water Systems is regulated under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current enforceable copper drinking concentration level for public water supplies is 1.3 mg/L (ppm), and a discharge limit of 2 mg/L (ppm). Therefore, a water discharge with copper content between 0-2 mg/L (ppm) is safe to discharge into the environment. Please keep in mind that these are federal guidelines. State or local guidelines may be different.
Does water temp influence performance?
No, water temperature does not influence the performance of the ions; however water temperature is correlated to the amount of algae growth in the pond requiring more ions during these times of year.
Does flow rate across the probe influence performance?
The probe should be located in an area where there is sufficient water flow to ensure proper distribution of ions throughout the water feature. If it is plumbed in-line there will be more than enough flow. See the Installation Instructions & Maintenance Owner’s Manual for complete details on installation. Refer to the questions below for information on troubleshooting issues with adjusting the Control Panels ionization levels and indicator lights.
Will the IonGen clear the sludge from the bottom of my pond?
No, products such as Aquascape Beneficial Bacteria or Sludge & Filter Cleaner for Ponds are ideal at reducing the build-up of sludge and organic sediment.
How long until I see results?
It is recommended to thoroughly clean the pond of as much debris as possible before starting the ionization system. This will maximize the ion’s effectiveness and speed to achieve noticeable results. The more debris and dirtier the water feature the longer it will take. Most noticeable results will be achieved after conducting a thorough cleanout. Use products such as EcoBlast granular algaecide to control the algae levels while the ion levels in the pond are slowly increasing. In general you should allow at least allow 2-3 weeks before expecting to see results. Larger water features will take longer for the ions to reach a level where they are effective. Make sure the probe is not clogged with debris or there is scale build-up suffocating the probe. Multiple ionization systems can be put on larger units to achieve quicker results. It is important to make sure your alkalinity parameters are within the proper levels. A good range of alkalinity level is between 80-120 mg/L (ppm). A maximum suggested range is between 50 – 250 mg/L (ppm).
My probe has exhausted in only a few months?
This may be a result of several things. The first is the Control Panel being run on constantly run on high levels. Only raise the Control Panel when needed and lower it when not needed. The will preserve the life of the probe and make sure you don’t overdose the copper. The second reason is the conductivity of the water. Water with higher conductivity will exhaust the probe faster. For example, adding salt to the pond will super charge the probe and cause it to exhaust faster. If you notice you probe exhausting quickly you can operate the ionization system at a lower rate. Possibly conduct a water change if salt was used in order to reduce conductivity.
How often does the probe have to be replaced?
From 1 to 3 years based on the size of the pond and the conditions of the pond. This range is also based on only raising the Control Panel when conditions require it and lowering back down when conditions improve. Operating the IonGen on high levels can degrade the probe in as little as 3-6 months.
What is the maximum rate of metal ions that the ionization system can create per day?
The system can produce a maximum rate between 1500 – 2000 metal ions per day. The larger the water feature the longer it will take the ions to rise to sufficient levels. Multiple ionization systems can be put on larger units to achieve quicker results.
My fish are acting funny when the ionization system is operating?
Make sure the alkalinity is above 100 mg/L (ppm). Follow the instruction manual on how to raise the alkalinity to levels that are safe for fish. Too much salt, if added to the pond will also make the water more conductive potentially causing the fish to react to the low voltage of electricity in the probe. Conduct a water change to if salt was used in order to reduce the conductivity.
What happens if the level of copper is allowed to rise above 0.25 mg/L (ppm)?
High copper levels can be toxic to fish. Check with the test kit. Un-plug the control panel from the electrical supply if the copper level is over 0.25 mg/L (ppm). The control panel can be turned back on once the copper level drops below 0.25 mg/L (ppm). Lower the ionizing dosing level to maintain a copper level of 0.25 mg/L (ppm) or less. Water changes can also be conducted to reduce the copper to the proper level.
Is ionization safe for use with fish and plants?
We have successfully used ionization on water features containing plants and fish dating back to 2005. It is important to only raise the ionization level when needed and reduce it when not needed. This helps make sure that the copper levels do not become too elevated. As with any filtration device it is important to monitor and maintain the performance of the system to make sure it is working properly and the ion levels are maintained below .25 ppm.
I’ve been testing my copper levels, but don’t see any indication of copper on the test strips?
It is normal to not have any copper registering on the test strips as the copper is being utilized within the system at a rapid pace. If the quantity of algae is low then the ionization level can be lowered to prolong the life of the probe. If algae levels begin to increase then the ionization level can be raised again. It is always good practice to routinely monitor the copper levels in the pond. This is especially true of small ponds that have lower volumes of water, as the copper levels can rise quickly if left unchecked.
Why is it recommended to not operate the ionization system if the alkalinity is above 250?
This is due to the relationship of Alkalinity and copper. Copper ions become inactive when the alkalinity is above 250. A good range of Alkalinity level is between 100 - 180 mg/L (ppm) and within that range any level of copper works very well. Alkalinity levels in water features with high evaporation rates can be elevated and continue to elevate as the minerals are left behind and additional minerals are added within the new water used to top-off the water feature. Too high of alkalinity may be a reason why you don’t see results with ionization or had good results, but then notice it decline later in the season. One easy way to reduce alkalinity if it gets too high is to conduct a partial water change.
Why is it recommended to not operate the ionization system if the alkalinity is below 100?
This is due to the relationship of Alkalinity and copper. Copper ions can be more toxic to fish if the alkalinity is below 50. A good range of alkalinity level is between 100-180 mg/L (ppm). A maximum suggested range is between 100 – 250 mg/L (ppm). One easy way to raise low alkalinity is to use ordinary baking soda. Adding ¼ cup (0.15 lbs) per 1,000 gallons will typically raise the alkalinity by 10 mg/L (ppm). Raising the alkalinity should not be done all at once, but over a period of days.
What are the optimum water chemistry parameters for the ionization in water features?
The optimum water chemistry parameters are: Copper: 0.25 mg/L (ppm) or less; Total Alkalinity: 100 - 250 mg/L (ppm); and PH: 7.2 - 7.8 (ideal but can vary). The farther away your water parameters are from these optimum levels, the less effective ionization will be at treating the water. It should also be noted that Copper levels above 0.25 mg/L (ppm) may be toxic to fish.
How large of a water feature can the IonGen be used on?
One IonGen is rated to treat up to 25,000 gallons. The larger the pond the longer it will take to achieve noticeable results. In some cases multiple IonGen units may be needed on large ponds to achieve results. Once the desired results are achieved one IonGen can often be used to maintain it.
How is ionization different than traditional copper sulfate treatments used to control algae?
Ionization uses a safe low-voltage method to harness the natural molecular properties of copper. Because soluble copper ions lack two electrons, they are “eager” to bond with other suitable atoms that can supply the missing electrons. When copper ions encounter organic matter they firmly attach themselves and disrupt the pathogens’ cell walls, killing the organisms. The control unit for the ionization system provides a low quantity, precise dosing of copper ions. Calculating and adding the proper level of copper sulfate is less accurate allowing a greater chance of overdosing, which may be toxic to the fish. Copper sulfate once it disassociates in water will fall and remain on the bottom of your pond.
How does the ionization control unit monitor and maintain the proper level of copper?
The probe gives an electronic feedback to the control box to ensure proper dosing of ions are being produced. The ionization output changes depending on the electrical conductivity of the water. Keep in mind that a safe level to maintain copper in a water feature is less than 0.25 mg/L (ppm). Monitor on a regular basis to make sure the copper ppm are below 0.25 mg/L (ppm). Raise or lower the ionizing dosing level based on the registered copper level in the water feature. Refer to the instruction manual and the questions below for information on troubleshooting issues with adjusting the Control Panels ionization levels and indicator lights.
My IonGen G2 Flow Chamber is leaking. What can I do to fix it?
Aquascape had a production problem the first half of 2012 with the PVC Slip fittings, Probe Cap, and O-rings. These problems have been solved by changing the plastic material used to injection mold these parts, as well as permanently adhering the O-rings in place so they are not forgotten or fall off during installation. Please contact Aquascape directly, or your original place of purchase, to get replacement parts.
The G2 probe and Flow Chamber is designed for up to 2-inch plumbing. Can I use the probe with larger or smaller diameter plumbing?
No, the G2 system is designed for 1”, 1.25”, 1.5” barbed insert and 2” PVC slip plumbing. The Flow Chamber can be attached to larger diameter pipes using TEEs or manifolds and plumbed parallel to the larger plumbing line.
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