Insufficient CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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OK! In my 55 gallon tank I have a 3:1 flourite substrate, and I have 2.75 wpg ( but am going to have ~ 4wpg after I overdrive my 40 watt strip). My dKH is 14 (measured today) and my pH is 8.2 (measured today). So by 3.6*14*10^-1.2, I have 3 ppm of CO2.

Obviously, this isn't enough. I have a powerhead/gravel tube/filter floss CO2 reactor. There is nearly NO surface agitation in my tank. My filter is a Emperor 400, could the biowheels be causing the CO2 loss? Bubbles do escape from my reactor, but not too many. I am hoping to get a pressurize system for Christmas, or I am buying one with my saved up money, but for now, what should I do?

-Tim
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 03:52 AM
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You hit the nail right on the head!!! The bio-wheels could very definately be the source of your CO2 problem. I too had the exact same problem. After I took them out my CO2 rose by about 7 ppm.

First test your water. Then take them out. Wait 24-48 hours and test all of your parameters again at the same time of day.

I bet you will be pleasantly surprised!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds great! I'll take the wheels out and hopefully something good will happen, I'll let everyone know! I think if my pH gets around 7.5-7.7 it should be fine.

-Tim
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 02:02 PM
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Tim...
It seems your KH is wicked high... 3 - 6 degrees is ideal level...if you soften that number you would get into a better range and bring that PH down. My water was hard like that also but after a few water changes with deionized water ( which contains no GH/KH ) all was fine... this process took a few weeks and only needs to be done after large water changes after that . Water softeners ( pillows etc. ) normally only effect the GH Values not the KH . KH I have found only adjusts with water changes.
What kind of fish are you keeping with that hard water and PH... Is this a cichlid tank ?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it is a cichlid tank...but they are angelfish. They came from angels plus though (click here), which has similiar water conditions to mine. I have been surprised at how well the angels are actually doing! I guess that is what happens when my tap is part well water!

Yes, I do plan on getting an african cichlid tank sometime, and take advantage of my water conditions!

-Tim
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention something.... I am only going to remove one biowheel at a time just to make sure I don't remove to much of the bacteria at once. I know plants use ammonia, but I'm just doing this to be safe.

Also, I'll look into the DI water. I'm thinking I'll just mix DI (or RO) with my tap water and gradually bring the KH and pH down. My dGH is realy high too, around 10-11 last time I checked. Almost nothing affects the water, peat changes it... for an hour before it bounces back. Black water extract does absolutly nothing. Right now cost is a big issue and I think I will be getting a pressurized CO2 system before I start buying RO/DI water.

I'm curious, I live in MN and if I stored snow in a barrel and heated it once it melted, could I use that for aquarium water? Snow is easier to collect than rain, I would just have to make sure it is clean snow. Is this possible?

-Tim
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 06:19 PM
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I gotta give you an "A" for creativity. I see a couple of problems with the snow idea though.
1) It takes about a foot of snow to make an inch of rain water. You would need a pretty big pile of snow. But still not impossible. With the amount of snow you get out there, it just might be a viable solution in the winter time. this brings me to my second point.
2)Keeping the snow fresh and ready for when you need it could pose a small problem. Do you store it as cold snow, or do you melt the snow and store it as water. which brings up another but not impossible problem. How do you melt the this big pile of snow and keep it melted if its below freezing outside. It might refreeze as ice. I suppose you could make a pile of snow outside and keep it covered so it doesn't get dirty and shovel it into something in a heated area as you need it.
Collecting rain water is actually pretty easy. If you have gutters on the house , put a barrel under one of the downspouts and just let it accumulate in there. Then pump it out as you need it. If its winter time you could put some of those heating cables on the roof in a zig-zag pattern and into the gutter and down the the inside of the downspout and perhaps another heating cable into the barrel to keep the water liquid. You can put the barrel in the sun on the south side of the house and paint the barrel flat black so it absorbs the suns rays and keeps the water warm. The heating cable would serve a dual purpose as a means to prevent ice damns on the roof in the winter time.
Where there's a will there's a way. Is it worth it? you'll have to decide that. If your water is that hard, it might be worth it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Day 1 after removing biowheels. pH down to 7.8-8.0, but that is still not much CO2. Lets see, 3.6*14*10^(-0.8). Hey, that is 7 ppm, but if I have a pH of 8, then it is only 5 ppm. In another 24 hours we will see!

-Tim
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 08:59 PM
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Excellent info on Water Hardness and its effects...
Krib
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