hey tom! amazing tank as usual!
i noticed that you don't have a co2 indicator in the photos. how are you measuring your co2 levels?
also i came across your old post and loved what you said but have a question about it.
"I've changed Nothing really, just that SOB overflow screwed my CO2 to Hades. Ferts/light/sediment, all the same, but a massive difference in the end result. The CPR prefilter was 10X better choice for the tank.
Just a minor issue with CO2 makes all the difference.
I nag all the time about this, but when you can carefully measure the light and adjust it to within 1-2 umol and the ferts/sediment are the same, tap water and care all, the same, you really end up with only one variable.
And if you target that before you add fish/shrimp etc and use the plants as a good indicator....then you have the turkey cooked good."
so how does one begin to even target the right balance of light? and then co2?
can i ask how many hours your lights are on daily?
You mean a drop checker? I do not use them, hate them.
I've got a few different methods to measure CO2, mostly pH and KH and then some other test to see if there's any non carbonate KH in the tap water.
Then apply the pH/KH chart. Then I've made some known CO2 solutions in a sealed flask. This way I can check to confirm my methods.
No one else seems to bother doing that step. A couple have suggested it using paint ball 12 gram CO2 cartridges, but can you see someone trying to add all that gas into solution into a flask that's sealed without loss?
Know weight of gas etc, but really really hard to dose and dissolve into the water without loss. I think they said it just to BS me, I tried it and it was PITA and would break the glass flask etc.
I use the carts for re inflating bike tires, so I have plenty.
I used dry Ice, frozen CO2 gas.
I'm quick between sealing it into a known solution(KH reference DI water mix) and the tank water (KH measured). Since we have a known volume of water and known weight and one case a known KH made entirely from carbonates and DI water, we have the mg/l or ppms.
If the pH/KH match up, then we know the KH is all carbonate and we can use the chart.
If not, we can make adjustments to account for the pH difference.