CO2 in nature - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 in nature

I was just out mowing the lawn and I got to thinking...when it comes to plants that require high CO2 to thrive, how do they do it in nature? My first guess would have been a lot of surface gas exchange in fast moving water but I've read on here if you have too much water movement you can actually lose CO2.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:10 PM
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Re: CO2 in nature

Interesting thought. At first thought I would assume that the high co2 plants come from slower moving waters or more shallow waters. I'm sure some others with actual knowledge will chime in.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:24 PM
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The equilibrium concentration of CO2 in a "typical" freshwater aquarium (75 deg. F, ph:7) is generally around 1.5 parts per million. No matter how much you agitate water (in normal atmospheric CO2 concentration of approx. 300 ppm), its CO2 concentration will not exceed this. That's why CO2 injection works so well. It's basically 990,000 ppm.

A dense bunch of actively growing plants can consume most of the CO2 in an aquarium fairly quickly. This is because (unless you add CO2) they are limited by how quickly more CO2 can transfer through the surface of the water.

Plants in nature do not require as high of a concentration of CO2, because they are drawing it from a much larger (practically infinite) "reservoir", and the surface to volume ratio of most natural bodies of water is much, much higher than an aquarium.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofearengineer View Post
The equilibrium concentration of CO2 in a "typical" freshwater aquarium (75 deg. F, ph:7) is generally around 1.5 parts per million. No matter how much you agitate water (in normal atmospheric CO2 concentration of approx. 300 ppm), its CO2 concentration will not exceed this. That's why CO2 injection works so well. It's basically 990,000 ppm.

A dense bunch of actively growing plants can consume most of the CO2 in an aquarium fairly quickly. This is because (unless you add CO2) they are limited by how quickly more CO2 can transfer through the surface of the water.

Plants in nature do not require as high of a concentration of CO2, because they are drawing it from a much larger (practically infinite) "reservoir", and the surface to volume ratio of most natural bodies of water is much, much higher than an aquarium.
Additionally most waterways have large amounts of aerobic decomposition generating co2.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:56 AM
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Re: CO2 in nature

Makes sense. Same with ferts

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 03:59 AM
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There was a topic like this not too long ago. There is co2 in water, but most of the demanding plants that must have co2 to grow are found in nature where they are exposed to the atmosphere; like the sides of rivers where the water level is going to change and the plant will be submersed 3/4 the day and then exposed to the atmosphere. If i remember correctly.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:59 PM
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The surface area in nature is much larger than on your tank, hence more gas exchange.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 04:04 PM
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Search Pupu springs, Bonita Springs, most any spring in Florida, Texas(san Marcos). There are literally thousands of spring fed systems that have high CO2 from ground water which is high in CO2.

Plants still grow in lower CO2 ppm's, just slower.
And with much more competition for CO2 between and among species.
We add CO2 to remove the competition and to increase the rates of growth.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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