what form of co2 do plants like best - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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what form of co2 do plants like best

as the title asks, how do plants like their co2....? chopped up in very fine bubbles dispersed throughout the w/c or do they like it completely dissolved in the water to where you cant see it?

i am using the hagen mini elite and it chops it into fine bubbles and that gets dispersed throughout the whole tank via my sump return lines


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:31 PM
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Individual molecules slip into the leaf and plant cells.
Very fine bubbles that get stuck to the leaves, or under the leaves also supply it pretty well. These fine bubbles do not enter the leaves, but there is enough bubble-to-water surface contact that the CO2 molecules do enter the water. These bubbles are also small enough that they can stick to decorations, leaves and other things while they get absorbed by the water.
Clunky big bubbles are pretty much worthless; they reach the surface and pop.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:54 PM
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I have had it easier getting my CO2 levels higher with an inline ceramic diffuser vs. an in tank glass ceramic diffuser or powerhead. Mainly because the bubbles are smaller and getting enough current to push the bubbles around the tank. If I would have combined the latter two methods, I'm sure the result would be the same but, I would have two pieces of equipment in the tank. When I used to use a a PVC reactor, I had to push the bubble rate higher to get the 30 ppm CO2 in the water.

Whatever is better at getting the molecules to the leaf is what would be preferred.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 05:19 PM
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The plants don't really care about the bubble size, the only important factor is the ppm of the water column. Whatever method allows you to reach that 20-30ppm of CO2 easiest and most reliable is probably the best for you. Given how important the CO2 concentration has been shown, you really need to focus on that, not on bubble size.


Having a couple of a couple of bubbles on a couple of leaves does not really compare with having all the stomata encountering a sufficient level of CO2.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 05:29 PM
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The plants don't really care about the bubble size, the only important factor is the ppm of the water column. Whatever method allows you to reach that 20-30ppm of CO2 easiest and most reliable is probably the best for you. Given how important the CO2 concentration has been shown, you really need to focus on that, not on bubble size.


Having a couple of a couple of bubbles on a couple of leaves does not really compare with having all the stomata encountering a sufficient level of CO2.
Agree 100%

1.6 million dogs were euthanized in the US last year alone, please consider adopting a dog that needs a loving home.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 05:43 PM
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+1 on the 100% agree. I'm using an AquaMedic 1000 reactor and getting 100% absorption rate (no bubbles coming from filter return). Getting the CO2 into the water is what does best (IMHO).

Drop checker turns green, I'm happy, fish are happy and the plants are happy.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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so are you guys all in consensus that if i am seeing little co2 bubbles around my tank that its is basically wasted co2?

and yes i know i am shooting for around 30 ppm and my drop checker is indicating a light green/yellow so i think im good there but just wanted to see what people thought about co2 bubbles


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:51 PM
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No the little bubbles in the water are not wasted. As long as the CO2 is in contact with the water column it will continue to dissolve. The bubbles that go to the surface and pop are wasted.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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these bubbles that im talking about have a hard time getting to the surface... almost as if they are too heavy to float up

but maybe i should just go with a reactor to get even better efficiency since i know some of these bubbles are making it up to the top of the tank


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 09:23 PM
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If you have a system that works, I would not worry about "wasted" CO2. A small percentage of wasted CO2 is a small price to pay for a functioning planted tank.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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^ahhh words of wisdom love em "if it aint broke dont fix it"


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 02:43 AM
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^ahhh words of wisdom love em "if it aint broke dont fix it"
+1024 to that!!

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 04:32 AM
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Tom Barr and many others have demonstrated that "CO2 Mist" works better than dissolved CO2 for getting lots and lots of pearling quickly in an aquarium. And, pearling occurs when the plants are growing fast. So, microscopic bubbles of CO2 blown around the tank works better than dissolved CO2 for the plants. But, many of us grew tired of the appearance of the water with those microscopic bubbles everywhere. That, in my opinion, is the trade off - if you don't mind the appearance of the cloud of bubbles, CO2 mist works best. If you don't like that look, 100% dissolved CO2 works best. Of course with CO2 mist you still have a lot of dissolved CO2, so the comparison isn't a good one. I think, but never tried to prove, that the CO2 mist doesn't affect the fish as much as dissolved CO2, so you can run more CO2 with CO2 mist than with just dissolved CO2.

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Last edited by Hoppy; 02-06-2010 at 03:41 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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hoppy your answers are always great and full of info... i also thought i had read where the co2 mist actually worked better but i personally am not sure and want some confirmation or disproof from people with some more experience and knowledge
i thought i read where the bubbles actually getting caught on the undersides of leaves allows the plant to absorb co2 more effectively or something...


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 07:50 AM
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I think, but never tried to prove, that the CO2 mist doesn't affect the fish as much as dissolved CO2, so you can run more CO2 with CO2 mist that with just dissolved CO2.
I haven't tested this in any sort of scientific manner, but my experiences point to this being true, that mist affects fish less than fully dissolved CO2.

There is also no reason that mist will waste more CO2 than full dissolution. Either way, gas transfer at the surface will make sure that not all the CO2 pumped into a tank will make it to the plants.


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