CO2 issues. Again. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 issues. Again.

Good afternoon everyone, it's me again. Only my CO2 is working just fine this time.

The problem is with the balance of CO2 in my tank. My drop checker says that I've got "sufficient" CO2, but when I woke up this morning and flipped the lights on I think I just killed the majority of my cory cats. They're lifeless and believe it or not, but I can tell that they're cyanotic.

Obviously my ignorance is causing my fish to suffer, so I've been brainstorming a bit and ultimately decided that "sufficient" for plants isn't sufficient for fish.

So, turn off the CO2 at night, lower the BPS, and... That's about all I can really think of. I'm not sure if there is any point to this thread, but does anyone have any tips on finding a balance? Or if there is something I'm overlooking.

This is really something I shouldn't have hurled money at and expected it to work, I failed my homework. >.<

Trained in EMS, I can save a person from death and/or injury. I cannot, however, save a man from his own stupidity.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 06:47 PM
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ur drop checker is a little toy that offer's a guestimate that ur co2 is working around where u think it should be.. healthy growing plants determine whether its sufficient or not

Read oup on Biological oxygen demand.. if there is leftover food, detritus, poop, etc i nthe tank waiting to be broken down. this reduces the amount of oxygen fish get to use by bacteria who are using it.
having good surface agiation to promote good oxgen levels, clean gravel and filters, as well as routine water changes to help reduce organic load.. plus trmming old leaves all play a major factor in keeping oxygen levels high so fish are not stressed from c02

my drop checker reads yellow. most wouldsay my fish are dead. yet they are not. i have happy healthy (well except for my recent ammonia burn) plants. no visible algae ( its always present)
but i practice good husbandry of all my tanks so that this will not happen. and it has happened before.

now you can better understand cause and effect. you can practive neccessary techniques to keep your tank looking its best, WHILE having happy healthy fish.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 06:58 PM
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Sorry about your losses.

I assume that you are using a calibrated (and verified) 4 dkH reference solution in your drop checker.

Unfortunately, one of the caveats of using a drop checker is that it is only a rough estimate at best. It will help you get the CO2 into a ballpark concentration, but that is it. The best indicator is to watch your fish.

In your case, you could try using a 3 dkH reference solution; this will turn green at a lower CO2 concentration. Using this, you can get a ballpark CO2 concentration, and then if you want to increase, you can do so slowly (i.e. a little, once per day), while monitoring your fish.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 07:27 PM
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CO2 issues. Again.

Best way is to dial it up slowly. I do it in my day off so I can check the fish every few hours to see if they are fine with the co2. Then I keep that level for the week and go up a little next week until I feel the plants are doing fine. Turning co2 off at night helps as well because I'm pretty sure when the lights are on the plants are able to use more co2 so there is less in the water and the plants oxygenate the water

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