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Old 10-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
DIRK419
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CO2 Question


Hi guys this is my first post here but I would like to thank everyone for all the help I have had just by reading previous posts and Journals.

I have a 55 Gal Setup running DIY CO2 until I can get into a pressurized setup. I have been using a drop checker and have basically run in the green range. The problem I have been having is that my fish all were gasping for air yesterday morning 8AM with the drop checker running green. (lost a neon and two glowlight tetras) I increased the surface agitation with my spray bar and came home at 8PM to most of my fish acting normal. CO2 was still running and lights were on for my 8hr photoperiod like normal.

Last night around midnight I noticed all of my fish gasping for air yet again so I turned off (took cap of bottle) for my CO2 and inserted a bubble wand to increase oxygen levels.

This morning the fish were acting fine but I noticed my drop checker solution was still green and has not changed... Shouldnt it have been blue at this point or gotten somewhat yellow when my fish were gasping? Im sorry if im making a noob mistake here but it seems odd nothing is changing. Also the drop checker has been in for about a week and I am using the 4dKH solution provided with the kit. All other water params are correct as well the tank has been running planted with CO2 for two weeks with no issues. Except for algea which has been dying off recently.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #2
tattooedfool83
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I wish i ad an answer as i have the same thing going on with my drop checker, i used the 4dkh solution plus the ph regent. Im wondering if maybe to many drops of ph regent might be a cause or that the drop checker is to low in the water. All things ive thought about, i have no fish in the tank to gauge how much is to much. But mine is always green no matter what. so i might pull it out, add more solution and one less drop of ph regent.

What drop checker are you using?
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
DIRK419
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Im using the UP Aqua drop checker. It has the white bottom on its that is easier to read. I believe Ebay linking is not allowed but you can find it on there rather easily
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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Man, to gas fish with DIY co2 on a 55gallon. That's pretty impressive. How are you diffusing your co2 into the water? I bet there are many that wish they could get that kind of co2 efficiency on DIY.

OR

Did you stop agitating the surface with your spray bar? Either that or you still don't have enough surface agitation and your co2 continuously increases without a chance of gas off. Usually people who run co2 24 hours don't get your kind of efficiency and/or they have methods of degassing the co2 at night. The plants don't use the co2 at night, they actually consume a bit of oxygen, which may exacerbate your situation with fish.

Here's a thread that talks about keeping co2 stable but the bit about surface ripple to degas co2 may apply to you:

http://www.prirodni-akvarium.cz/en/i...hp?id=en_co2ph

and this one talks about the importance of aeration (introduced by surface ripple) to maintain healthy o2 for the fish

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/c...ed-tank.26559/

Also, try verifying your drop checker's 4d Kh solution with a kh test and try alternate co2 measurement methods. None are truly accurate but together, they give a better idea. In addition, drop checkers are slow to respond, so you can have too much or two little and it didn't register yet.

http://www.theaquatools.com/co2-calculations

The calculators are based on the ph/kh/co2 charts and here's more information on them:
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...2-KH-PH-Charts
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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Thank you ipkiss, I will go through all of that information and work on it tonight when I am out of work. For right now I am running no CO2 with a bubble wand going to keep fish happy.

I thought the same thing with the DIY being too much for a 55 GAL I am using a ISTA diffuser from there 45 Gram CO2 Kit. Didnt realize that little canister would only last two days at 2 bubbles/sec so I just hooked the DIY bottle into that diffuser. Temporary fix I know.

Now that you bring up the surface agitation the fist night I had issues I forgot to point the spray bar up that night I usually point it down during the day to move the CO2 bubbles around the tank more and point it back up at night. But yet I still had the issue last night with the spray bar pointed up...
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:55 PM   #6
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What probably happened is that your plants used up all the oxygen in the water overnight. Plants utilize CO2 when they have access to light and O2 when they don't. I assume you turn off your CO2 at night yes? If you do that's probably your problem, turn it off. If you don't then it means your plants sucked all the oxygen out of the water and your fish were suffocated by them. Many people run airstones at night to negate this. Hope you figure it out!
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I left the bubble wand on last night and had no issues this morning.

I do however have an issue with the CO2 monitor that I got. When I got home last night I fully expected it to be blue because I turned off the CO2 system. For some reason it was still the same green im assuming the 4dKH liquid that came with it was not correct. So i will be making some this weekend. In the meantime I tried just using the aquarium water instead. I know its not as accurate but it was definitely blue when put it and turned green when i put it right over my CO2 diffuser for a few hours. I did move it back to where it should be last night so I guess I will see where it is after running CO2 all day.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
What probably happened is that your plants used up all the oxygen in the water overnight. Plants utilize CO2 when they have access to light and O2 when they don't. I assume you turn off your CO2 at night yes? If you do that's probably your problem, turn it off. If you don't then it means your plants sucked all the oxygen out of the water and your fish were suffocated by them. Many people run airstones at night to negate this. Hope you figure it out!
What he said... Bacteria, plants, and fish all use up the oxygen during the night. It's recommended to turn off CO2 overnight.. but it's probably not a high CO2 issue, instead a low O2 issue. If you don't have adequate surface agitation with the filter on, use an airstone/wand to be safe. I have an air pump on a timer for night time since I had a death overnight too even with a VERY small bio load
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:02 AM   #9
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I would never trust the "4dKH" solution, or the indicator solution, that come with a drop checker bought on no ebay links allowed There is no reason to believe that the maker of those kits understands what is supposed to be in the solutions. You should make your own 4 dKH water, from distilled water and baking soda, see http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...8&postcount=14 for a simple way to make it. Then use the test fluid from a pH test kit for the indicator solution - use a test kit that reads in yellow and blue, with yellow at about 6 pH and blue at about 7.6 pH. The API pH test uses the right solution.

A couple of Ebay drop checkers I bought had unusable solutions with them, which convinced me that the people making the drop checkers don't really understand what solutions are needed.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Just wanted to follow up with everyone that helped. I added an aerator and have it on a timer to come on when the lights go off and back off when they come back on. No issues so far with the fish gasping for a while now!

Also I messed around with the 4DKH solution and shook it up good before putting some in and also used only two drops of regent instead of the 5 it suggested and it worked great. Was a blue when I first put it in and slowly turned into a light light green after about 3 hours. I even put it over the top of my diffuser to double check it and it turned yellow. So I think it is working ok. Atleast until I can make some myself.... Thanks to all the help.
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