CO2 ? for those using Hagen Nutrafin Natural Plant System
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:29 AM   #1
RedFish
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I have just started using this system (24hrs) my pH has dropped from 7.6 to 7.1. I am terrified I'll get up tomorrow and it will be 3!
The manual says to use pH stabilizer. Does anyone use this?
I have also read that it should be used in conjunction with calcium carbonate (ie Flourish excel). ??
I am getting 1 bubble every 5 seconds, is this normal ?
I find using this CO2 very scary, as I don't feel in control of it. Now that my pH has dropped I am afraid that if I took it away the rise in pH would hurt the fish, right?
Help please!
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:23 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to land of co2..
Your ph will drop as co2 forms carbonic acid which lowers you co2.
It is very important that you water has good buffering capacity as in KH (carbonite hardness). About 70 ppm or 4degrees hardness is an average number needed. You will need to test your water with a kh test kit. If it is too low you can add baking soda (NOT baking powder) 1 tsp 10 gals very slowly over a period of time until you get a good kh reading. Once your kh has risen above 70ppm you won't have too worry about your ph crashing. I just treat my water during water changes and then pump in the new water already kh boosted.
Best of luck
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Botia,
I think I should be ok then, because my Kh is 5 degrees. However I will continue to test ph and kh frequently until I feel comfortable with this new setup.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:47 AM   #4
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No you don't need to use Excel with C02. A PH drop is normal when using C02 more so if you have a low KH. The drop you had is very minor and is still in good range, just keep a eye on it daily intill you get a balance in your C02. Also get a KH test, it should be no lower than 3. Your fish will be ok if the PH swings are not large ones. A after thought, I would test the PH at night when your lights are off to make sure it is not below 7.1 because the PH will be lower when the lights are off.
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:25 AM   #5
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You might expect to see about 0.8 drop in pH total, that is measuring just before lights on in the morning to late in the day while all plants are still active.

Find a CO2 chart and see what level of CO2 you will have a various pH levels with your KH. A KH of 5 is fine, but do measure it once in awhile to see that theat is stable, some places switch water sources during the year and that value may change (snow melt?)
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:32 AM   #6
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Calcium Carbonate is what is in kent's turbo calcium and seachem's equillibream I believe.

Matt
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:19 PM   #7
RedFish
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Thank you all very much.
I measured pH just before I turned the lights off it was 7.0 - 7.1 (hard to tell exactly), and again I checked first thing in the morning before I turned the lights on and it was 6.8 (maybe a touch higher). So that is less than a .8 swing and as long as it stays around there that is all good correct? I check the CO2 chart and at 7.1 its about 12ppm CO2 and at 6.8 it is about 24, so all very good. (woohoo!)
I will continue to check the KH and it is fun watching the CO2 bubbles go up the ladder. My watersprite is pearling, the fish look happy, I get to go watch what the plants do for the next few weeks.
Isn't this all amazing? I have learned more chemistry in the last 4 weeks that I ever did in high school!
My hubs and kids listen patiently whilst I babble on about low nitrates and mixing KNO3 and trace elements and CO2, but they do like to watch the bubbles and the fish too!
ta!
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenac
No you don't need to use Excel with C02. A PH drop is normal when using C02 more so if you have a low KH. The drop you had is very minor and is still in good range,....
Oh and thanks trenac, I won't go and buy Excel, it would be nice to go one week without spending on the fishies. :shock:
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFish
Oh and thanks trenac, I won't go and buy Excel, it would be nice to go one week without spending on the fishies. :shock:
That would be nice, but highly unprobable.. Something always comes up.

From my experience running the nutrafin systems I've never seen the ph get too low even with 3 cannisters running on my system. I just bought a pressurized system today and are going to be removing the nutrafin and adding em to my smaller nano's to let them do their job on those. Great little system for those that don't feel like DIY'ing it, but can't afford the cost of pressurized.

Matt
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