30 ppm of Natural Co2 in my tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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30 ppm of Natural Co2 in my tank

Many of the forum members may not accept this but this a reality from my experience.

Yes you can maintain about 15 - 25 ppm co2 without adding any means of Co2 supplementation.

I'm living in Kerala. As the natural ponds having a lot of co2 similarly our well water is having good amount of co2. As said earlier you people may not accept this statement but it is true. Whenever I do a 60 or above water change I can see the co2 indicator turning from dark blue to light green even without adding any co2. If I managed to keep the water stagnant it will remain greener. And if I do some surface agitations it will gradually turns to blue.

I think people in Kerala residing at Kottayam district or Western parts of Kerala (maybe whole Kerala) they don't need to add any extra co2 instead keep a 30 percent water change every 4 days or so without surface agitation. I don't know about well water in other places in India or worldwide but our well water is really a Co2 source. It's redsoil at the topmost layer here and below 3 feet or so it's laterite and when go to deep it's like non molten marble stone like soil.

After a lot of surface agitation now my indicator is blue. Maybe at next water change I can prove this.

I must preserve this co2 source lol

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 01:46 PM
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My well water also comes out at high co2 level here in Michigan.

However, with no additional co2, it will de-gas pretty quickly. The moment you are done filling the tank, the co2 level starts going down.

My guess is you would have to perform large daily water changes to really utilize well water co2 for your plants.


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'm filling my tank without making any agitations. I usually keep a bubble wrap above the water and place the water hose above it. The indicator will remain green for days if I didn't make any water movements.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 02:38 PM
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Have you thought about installing a drip system? Perhaps having a constant influx of fresh water could keep your CO2 levels elevated.


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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 02:55 PM
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Very nice. I'm always interested in the water in different areas as it seems to be a wide variety. Do you have more information about the water? I would be interested in the PH/GH/KH if you have that information.
Does the surface water tend to be far different?
No need to go to a lot of trouble but interested if you happen to know.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by d33pVI View Post
Have you thought about installing a drip system? Perhaps having a constant influx of fresh water could keep your CO2 levels elevated.
Good idea. Must think about it seriously

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Very nice. I'm always interested in the water in different areas as it seems to be a wide variety. Do you have more information about the water? I would be interested in the PH/GH/KH if you have that information.
Does the surface water tend to be far different?
No need to go to a lot of trouble but interested if you happen to know.
PH is around six
I don't know the KH
TDS shows something around 37 to 48

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-21-2016 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 04:30 PM
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I have a decent amount of CO2 in my well water too. This water is run through an iron filter first.

ph - 7.3 goes up to 8.2 after gassing out
kh- 9
gh - 10

Because of this I always age my water or add it slowly with a lot of agitation to decrease co2 spikes. Interesting that someone else is using their natural co2 to their advantage when it causes me so much trouble. lol I wonder if a drip system would be effective to maintain low but constant co2 levels?


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm having pressurized co2 but as an experiment now I completely shut off co2 supplementation. Drip system or daily small water changes will do the work. All without surface agitation.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 08:39 PM
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I'm filling my tank without making any agitations. I usually keep a bubble wrap above the water and place the water hose above it. The indicator will remain green for days if I didn't make any water movements.
What kind of indicator are you using? It is physically impossible for an open body of water to continually have 20+ ppm of CO2 in it, unless there is a big source of CO2 constantly bubbling into the water - volcanic gases, perhaps?

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 08:52 PM
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What kind of indicator are you using? It is physically impossible for an open body of water to continually have 20+ ppm of CO2 in it, unless there is a big source of CO2 constantly bubbling into the water - volcanic gases, perhaps?
Natural bodies can have high CO2 from organic process like bacterial respiration.


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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 10:58 PM
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Natural bodies can have high CO2 from organic process like bacterial respiration.
That would be the equivalent of a continuous volcanic vent supplying CO2. CO2 leaves water very easily, so something has to be replacing the CO2 that leaves the water for the CO2 level to remain much above 3-5 ppm. Atmospheric CO2, in areas that are not toxic to animals, cannot possibly be high enough to keep the water at a 30 ppm CO2 level. Remember the lake in Africa that burped CO2 a few times, killing all the animal life for miles around?

If I got a 30 ppm CO2 reading from any aquarium without a continuous supply of CO2 my only thought would be to find the error.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:10 PM
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That would be the equivalent of a continuous volcanic vent supplying CO2. CO2 leaves water very easily, so something has to be replacing the CO2 that leaves the water for the CO2 level to remain much above 3-5 ppm. Atmospheric CO2, in areas that are not toxic to animals, cannot possibly be high enough to keep the water at a 30 ppm CO2 level. Remember the lake in Africa that burped CO2 a few times, killing all the animal life for miles around?

If I got a 30 ppm CO2 reading from any aquarium without a continuous supply of CO2 my only thought would be to find the error.
Respiration is a 24 hour process so it never really depletes. You can see the rise (at night) and fall (plant & algae consumption at day) of CO2. Also as you know from injecting CO2, fish and other critters will adapt to high CO2 as long as there's good O2 coming in. As for the CO2 leaving the water at a steady rate, it is high, but not enough to kill or knock you out. I remember measuring it to be 1700ppmv (4x atm CO2) around my tank. It's not ideal health though I would imagine.


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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 12:53 AM
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What kind of indicator are you using? It is physically impossible for an open body of water to continually have 20+ ppm of CO2 in it, unless there is a big source of CO2 constantly bubbling into the water - volcanic gases, perhaps?
Hoppy I believe the OP said he is actually using well water, not from an open body of water. Although he did say ponds there have high co2??

I can tell you for sure, my well water comes out at over 30ppm co2 consistently. This is pretty common. As to open bodies of water, I have no clue if that is possible.


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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 01:01 AM
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I know it regularly happens with well water, and some natural springs produce carbonated water. It is the open body of water that I don't see anyway for CO2 to remain at 30 ppm or so, unless there is a large continuous source of CO2 in the substrate area of the body. Biological CO2 might be adequate, but intuitively it doesn't seem likely, for that much CO2. Very deep, and cold water could hold on to a lot of CO2, I suppose, but does that actually exist in nature?

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 01:02 AM
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Interesting. I am on a well only 15 miles from the base of Mt St Helen's and when I do a water change, my indicator stays blue until I turn the Co2 back on. Just my luck that my volcanic well is crap in the Co2 department.

Ill take the snails from the bottom of the tank.
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