CO2 off the charts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 off the charts

My water parameters are:

6 ph
16 dkh

This means my CO2 is 480 ppm? That sounds way too high. Can I even have that much CO2 in the tank? Good thing there are no fauna in the tank yet. I just recently got an ista max mix CO2 reactor and I think it is working a little too well. Levels were fine when I had a diffuser. Trying to adjust down is difficult since my readings are so high and the drop checker is always yellow. I have a yellow drop checker before the CO2 turns back on even after 18 hours of being off. Should I just turn off CO2 for a couple days until I can get it down?

Edit: I used 4dkh water in my drop checker also.

Last edited by Danh Vu; 08-11-2016 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Forgot some details
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 07:55 AM
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Those co2 numbers are wrong because co2 charts have known problems. Same goes for the drop checker.
I would recommend reading up on both of those measuring methods before panicking ☺
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I was guessing it was wrong. I will try to measure the PH before CO2 turns on tomorrow and see how much it drops.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 06:12 PM
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Well not really off the charts then I guess...

Several things can lower the pH besides carbonic acid, including temperature....
KH test kits actually test alkalinity not carbonate hardness. Carbonate hardness is usually the major part of alkalinity , but how big a role it plays is hard to say without more difficult testing. Another way to go about it is to use pure water and bee sure to add only -CO3 as a alkalinity source (the way the drop checker works)
Add peat or pH up-down solutions to your system and the chart will almost certainly not work for you.
Does the chart work ? Sure, it works quite well in controlled conditions. Our aquariums are influenced by other uncontrolled for factors. Nevertheless, it still offers a good aprox in most cases. Just be aware that when your result is 30ppm, the actual value is somewhere around (15ppm-45ppm).

I do not see that many problems with drop checkers. Once the right 4dKH solution and a good pH indicator is used all is left is to make sure the device is clean and not contaminated. The dropchecker will turn the color the test will turn once a specific pH is reached in the dropchecker solution. Does it have limitations, of course, like all measuring devices.

Now coming to your aquarium, if the drop checker is yellow and your pH is so low than I would say you have high CO2. It would be helpful to see what pH do you have when you degas the water. You do not have to wait a couple of days, just take some water out and put a working airstone in. In less than an hour the CO2 levels from that should have come at equilibrium with the atmosphere. This will tell you is your pH is influenced by other things.

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