can high levels of co2 be a BAD thing? (not talking fish) - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
zavikan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Worcester, Mass
Posts: 548
can high levels of co2 be a BAD thing? (not talking fish)

ok...the tank.

38 Gal
EI Ferts
2.5 WPG from 96 watt coralife 6700k 8hr photoperiod
Flourite substrate
pressurized co2 via Rex Reactor
2217 Eheim
Weekly 50% water change
Moderately to heavily planted


I read something someplace about keeping co2/ferts/light balanced, and that an excess of any will cause problems. I was of the mind that co2 *always* should be kept at the max possible (before the fish start to act wierd/sluggish/gasp).

Am I incorrect? will high co2 combined with relatively lean ferts/light timers CAUSE algae?


For instance. I have BBA completely covering my driftwood, yet all my plants grow beautifully and algae free. 1 piece of driftwood is dead inline to the filter output. another is in a lower flow zone.

WHAT GIVES?!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

----------The Tank---------------------------The Car--------------------------The Life-----------
Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.
zavikan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 01:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by zavikan View Post
I read something someplace about keeping co2/ferts/light balanced, and that an excess of any will cause problems. I was of the mind that co2 *always* should be kept at the max possible (before the fish start to act wierd/sluggish/gasp).
Everything I've read and experienced suggests this is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zavikan View Post
Am I incorrect? will high co2 combined with relatively lean ferts/light timers CAUSE algae?
Some people report profuse BBA growth on the plastic of filter outputs where CO2 is injected. Does this mean excess CO2, in combination with other factors and on certain surfaces, can cause BBA? I don't know, but the important thing is that there is no algae on the plants. I would not trade less algae on plastic/driftwood for more algae on plants!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zavikan View Post
For instance. I have BBA completely covering my driftwood, yet all my plants grow beautifully and algae free. 1 piece of driftwood is dead inline to the filter output. another is in a lower flow zone.
Driftwood is notorious for that.

Every month or two, I put a little hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and take my driftwood out of the tank. I spray the wood every few minutes until I think the algae is mostly dead, rinse it, then return it to the tank.
DarkCobra is offline  
post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 03:17 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by zavikan View Post

I read something someplace about keeping co2/ferts/light balanced, and that an excess of any will cause problems. I was of the mind that co2 *always* should be kept at the max possible (before the fish start to act wierd/sluggish/gasp).

Am I incorrect? will high co2 combined with relatively lean ferts/light timers CAUSE algae?



Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Everything I've read and experienced suggests this is correct.
Not trying to sound contradictory, but...


Everything I've read and experienced suggest this is not correct.

Everyone talks about balance, but I think that confuses people into thinking there is a magic formula. There's not. Your tank needs enough nutrients, and enough light, and enough co2.

If you dose one of the prescribed methods of dosing, like EI, PPS, or PMDD, your tank has enough nutrients. That eliminates one of the variables. From there all you've got to worry about are light and co2. If you've got livestock(which in your case you don't) then you have an upper limit on how much co2 you can pump into the tank. That means you also have an upper limit on how much light should be over the tank. However, no livestock means no co2 limit, which means no light limit...to some degree. At some point, no matter how much co2 you have, you can have enough light that you still have algae.

For example, I've run a tank without fish, dosing EI with AS as substrate, and jacked my co2 way up (50-60 ppm) and used 6wpg over a 17g tank. No algae, great growth. But, the moment I let that co2 drop...algae city.

However, in my experience, not enough nutrients combined with enough light and enough co2 does result in algae issues.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
 
post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 04:56 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cameron, TX
Posts: 132
If you get enough CO2 in the water that it starts to fizz, you've got too much. Keep in mind that CO2+water = Carbonic acid. So too much CO2 will drop your Ph.
BrentD is offline  
post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 04:59 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
If you get enough CO2 in the water that it starts to fizz, you've got too much. Keep in mind that CO2+water = Carbonic acid. So too much CO2 will drop your Ph.
Any amount of co2 drops pH. That's how pH controllers and drop checkers measure co2.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 06:37 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Not trying to sound contradictory, but...

Everything I've read and experienced suggest this is not correct.
Maybe there was a misunderstanding. I was confirming the original poster's statement that CO2 is best kept near the maximum allowable amount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Everyone talks about balance, but I think that confuses people into thinking there is a magic formula. There's not. Your tank needs enough nutrients, and enough light, and enough co2.
I agree it's confusing. Unlike excess light or nutrients, excess CO2 is beneficial up to the point where it harms fish/plants. CO2 therefore doesn't fit the literal meaning of "balance", yet everyone refers to it as part of the balance, hopefully with the understanding of that caveat.
DarkCobra is offline  
post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Maybe there was a misunderstanding. I was confirming the original poster's statement that CO2 is best kept near the maximum allowable amount.
Yep, I misunderstood. The OP kind of made two contradicting statments: excess of any will cause algae AND co2 should be kept high., and you said "yes, that's true". I was confused on which one you were saying is true.

Anyway, point is, we agree, co2 should be kept as high as possible(considering livestock of course)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 07:24 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
elihanover's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 380
Send a message via AIM to elihanover
I think he's (she's?) asking if excess CO2 can cause algae? If the OP is not, then I am.

There's no basement in the alamo.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
elihanover is offline  
post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 07:27 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cameron, TX
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Any amount of co2 drops pH. That's how pH controllers and drop checkers measure co2.
True. I meant too much will drop your pH drastically.
BrentD is offline  
post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 07:39 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by elihanover View Post
I think he's (she's?) asking if excess CO2 can cause algae? If the OP is not, then I am.

Too much co2 will not cause algae.


Too much light, or too little nutrients will. Too many nutrients with too little co2 will also cause algae.

But, too much co2 will not.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 07:42 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
True. I meant too much will drop your pH drastically.
Within reasonable limits, this isn't bad for plants. What I mean by reasonable is that at some point, it's likely that the environment will be too acidic for plants, but in the hobby I've never, nor have I heard about anyone, reached that level. I've had tanks with pH below 5 and plants were fine.

In regards to livestock, absolutely too much co2 is an issue, but

A) pH drop due to co2 is not harmful to fish...too much co2, which causes a pH drop is, but the pH drop itself is not the culprit

B)the OP is talking about a fishless tank.


To the OP:

What are you using to measure co2?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 12:00 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
MarkMc's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Springwater,NY
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Within reasonable limits, this isn't bad for plants. What I mean by reasonable is that at some point, it's likely that the environment will be too acidic for plants, but in the hobby I've never, nor have I heard about anyone, reached that level. I've had tanks with pH below 5 and plants were fine.

In regards to livestock, absolutely too much co2 is an issue, but

A) pH drop due to co2 is not harmful to fish...too much co2, which causes a pH drop is, but the pH drop itself is not the culprit

B)the OP is talking about a fishless tank.


To the OP:

What are you using to measure co2?
Is it possible to make the water too acidic by injecting CO2? There must be some point that you can't dissolve any more CO2 into an amount of water at a particular temperature. I wonder what that saturation level is and what would the resulting pH be. My guess is that those levels would not cause issues with aquatic plants only.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Mark
MarkMc is offline  
post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 04:42 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cameron, TX
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Within reasonable limits, this isn't bad for plants. What I mean by reasonable is that at some point, it's likely that the environment will be too acidic for plants, but in the hobby I've never, nor have I heard about anyone, reached that level. I've had tanks with pH below 5 and plants were fine.

In regards to livestock, absolutely too much co2 is an issue, but

A) pH drop due to co2 is not harmful to fish...too much co2, which causes a pH drop is, but the pH drop itself is not the culprit

B)the OP is talking about a fishless tank.


To the OP:

What are you using to measure co2?
But would aquatic plants grow in a tank full of Perier? (I'm legitimately asking. My gut instinct says no, but if I'm wrong than that seems like it would be really interesting to see. Would definitely bring pearling to a whole new level.)
BrentD is offline  
post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 08:16 AM
Planted Member
 
gogreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: California
Posts: 264
funny cause i was gonna ask this same question tonight. i guess as a follow up...how much or how do you measure fertilizers when you deciede to pump up the co2 to the reasonable maximum level?

Benedict
gogreen is offline  
post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 12:26 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jmhart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (40/98%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
But would aquatic plants grow in a tank full of Perier? (I'm legitimately asking. My gut instinct says no, but if I'm wrong than that seems like it would be really interesting to see. Would definitely bring pearling to a whole new level.)

I guess that would fall under my "reasonable limits" clause. I've never gotten to that point, and I've dropped pH below 5.0 with co2 without issue.

Perrier has a pH of 5.46, TDS of 475...so, I'd say it's safe to say that at that level you'll have fizzy water.

However, I still don't think that's an issue, because it's just a pH thing (and partial pressure of the gas) and plants can live below that pH.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
__
jmhart is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome