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flc 01-02-2013 02:43 PM

Effect of Cutting DIY CO2 off temporarily
There will be some 2-3 week spans this year where I won't be able to maintain the DIY generation system I'm using and C02 production will probably dwindle down to negligible levels.

Plants involved:
Narrow Leaf Ludwigia
Cryptocoryne parva
Java Moss
Dwarf Sagittaria

Should I expect a huge plant dieback when the CO2 level drops? Would lowering temps and cutting off the light (slowing metabolic rates) help reduce the amount of melting? Is this just one of those things I'm going to have to see what happens? :icon_bigg

Other stuff that may be important:
I have no idea how much Carbon Dioxide is going into the tank, since I'm not using a drop checker or bubble counter. There is a noticeable fizz coming out of the sintered glass Fluval diffuser and swirling around the tank thanks to a nano powerhead- plants are happy, fish are happy, snails are happy. If it works, I don't stress out too much on specifics. Due to the rocks and other substrate I have in the tank buffering the Carbonic acid/Carbonate, I'm not too worried about pH swings, but I am worried about a big phosphate or amino acid pulse in the water if the plants all croak at once.

It's currently serving as a quarantine tank for some Otocinclus, which I can move out if there's going to be a big dieback while I'm away.

astrosag 01-04-2013 01:47 PM

Although its best to keep an eye on CO2 levels using a drop checker, your fauna's behavior should be a reliable indicator. Lethargy is a sign that CO2 levels are high but may not be critically so. Fish gasping for air at the surface is a good indication that your CO2 levels are critically high and permanent damage and/or death is imminent.

With the plants involved in your expected CO2 cutoff, I highly doubt that you will experience any sort of a die-off. Most of these plants flourish in low-tech setups. Maintaining CO2 levels has more to do with keeping an equilibrium to maintain growth in demanding plants whilst keeping algae in check.

Thus, cutting back on your dosing (probably likely for the same reason(s) that force you to anticipate the CO2 cuttoff) and lighting will help avoid an algae invasion.

Fortunately, the fact that you have DIY and the plants that you have, your tank has probably already demonstrated stability despite the fluctuating CO2 levels. This would not cut it in a tank with more demanding plants that require a stronger fert regime.

You should be fine :D

flc 01-04-2013 08:32 PM

Thanks for the response.

Just to be safe and reduce the workload on my surrogate, the catfish will probably get moved. I'll post what happened with the flora when I get back.

I pretty much abide by keeping the fauna happy, keeping the tank stable, and monitoring behavior to make sure the animals are doing well. It's my Bayesian opinion that inaccurate testing followed by overreaction is much worse than no testing at all.

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