Optimal co2 levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Optimal co2 levels

I was wondering once lights come on the co2 level should already be at 30ppm?

I have read in other posts that people usually start their co2 around 1-2 hrs before lights come on. Is this enough time to get the tank to 30ppm?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2007, 04:10 AM
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i cant really control my co2 as i have diy, its on all the time. my drop checker with a 4dkh test reagent is always green morning and night with maybe alittle less green at the end of the photo period so this tells me my co2 concentration is somewhere around 30ppm, which is optimal.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 01:09 PM
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Plants will do better with CO2 available right away, especially in high light and high nutrient tanks where good CO2 is more important to help avoid algae issues.

1-2hrs enough? I'd say so for most circumstances.

The 4dKH CO2 drop checker is a worthwhile investment if you don't already have one and wish to achieve a reliable 30ppm CO2.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 02:22 PM
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CO2: 25-30 ppm
NO3: 5-10 ppm
PO4: 0,4 -1 ppm
K: 20 -30 ppm
Fe: 0,2 -0,5 ppm
KH: 3-4
GH: 7-8
PH: 7,5 -7,7
Temperature : 24-25 C

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 04:46 PM
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If you have higher light, then it's more critical.
1 hour ought to do for most, I typically add 30-45 minutes before the lights come on.

It depends on the flow rate through the CO2, the method of CO2 delivery etc.
Also, "optimal" is assumed to mean providing the fastest/higher total biomass versus another concentration. Many do not desire more growth, thus using less light allows more wiggle room and CO2 control as well as less growth(and less algae growth)

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 08:52 PM
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hey tom.. i have a ~50 gall i just setup, and im seeing BBA just starting on the spray bars @ KH 4 and pH ~6.3 in a high light tank (~6wpg).

i have lots of flow and the plants show no signs of BBA.. is there anything else that you have attributed to the appearance of BBA, other than low co2?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 11:47 PM
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Past tank history is a huge one, things such as simple care, pruning, trimming, removing algae that's there to begin with, having realistic expectations about what it takes to get rid of it, eg, not expecting it to go away all on it's own merely by changing CO2.............

Good stable CO2 prevents new growth.
It actually is less critical what the level of CO2 is, example a non CO2 tank obviously has very low CO2, 2-0 ppm.

Still, many with non CO2 planted tanks get it here and there if they do not follow protocol, a few do no matter what. Still, most do not if they set the tank up correctly from the start.

Adult estabished algae and new spore germination are two very different things, however, if you can stop new germination, then you can beat any algae issue.

I've never had issues with BBA unless something with the CO2 was long term and problematic in every case.

That's 20 years and well over 200 tank "years" of experiences.
I spent 2-3 years, as did several SFBAAPS back in the 1990's dealing with this issue.

There is some residual bounce back sometimes with some tanks, they get reinfested somewhat but milder even though the CO2 appears to be good, but picking, pruning, cleaning and taking good care of things for 2-4 weeks longer gets the tank back on track and it does not ever come back less you louse up the CO2.

Expecting immediate responses from care, good CO2, any so called "cure" etc is not realistic, the reality is that it does take some time and effort to get things back to a good clean algae free tank, it does take some time before the algae appears in the first after the initial cause has occurred, often times, before you bothered to look for the issue, then you measure things and everything seems fine leaving you to scratch your head.

Do not believe everything you think, question it.
Make sure.

GW is not induced immediately, nor is BBA.
But inducing it on purpose is a lot more informational that just trying to get rid of it. Then you have the control and know what can cause it.

Add CO2 only the latter 1/2 of the day and see, or add some one day, then not the next for several days.

CO2 diffusers, changes in plant biomass, quite a few things can and do reduce flow, or can cause BBA issues.

Still, this is not new news, CO2 has long been implicated for BBA, not only in the USA, but also in Singapore and in Germany(at least as far back as 1997).

I no longer even need to measure the CO2 if I see certain algae.
I add a tad more and the algae goes away and I remove the older growth aggressively.

It's the same old thing 1001 times, nothing new.
Many run into issues with it, but are not able to fully get rid of it. They think otherwise, but with persistence and good CO2(assuming you are doing well with the other things, such dosing, water changes, cleaning your tank etc), it should go away.

If there really was some other "trick", I should have had it and had issues since. I have not and any time it's appeared, there was some CO2 issue(not enough in the beginning of the day, or differences between days, forgot to change the DIY brew, disc got mucky, clogged, 2-3X more plant biomass than I started off with, bad CO2 measurements, not watching plant responses.

Always something.

I do not claim that I know every mistake someone else might make however, only what is known to induce BBA.

Still, this topic is definitely about CO2 ppms, which for optimality(what does this mean?) is different for a given range for a given range of light intensity............since light does without any question, drive CO2 demand and uptake quite dramatically over the light range levels we typically keep.

So there is no one answer.
A non COI2 tank will have 0-2ppm, a CO2 enriched tasnk with 1.5w/gal, might only need 15ppm to be non limiting for that light level for CO2.
A tank with 4-5w/gal might require up to 30ppm.

Different plants have different ranges as well.
Diffierent tank plant biomass, flow routines, tending/stable plant biomass prunings, all play roles.

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