Most accurate CO2 test? - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 04:44 PM
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I'm not going to even try to get a set of numbers that actually count for anything real. The testing methods and devices that are affordable just aren't up to the task. Example: if I'm trying to match temps for something and I want to be as accurate as I can. Do i think the digital thermometer I have is 'accurate'? NO. Might it be repeatable? Yes. Therefor I can use it to get a reading on one temp then use that reading for the match. Neither has to actually convey the 'real' temp but if the two readings match I've accomplished the task.

pH and available CO2 are similar, only you set the reference based on the observation of the stock. Yes, fish lives do matter - of course; only I don't necessarily consider discomfort to mean duress. You need some standard to establish a valid reference number that relates to the instrument in your possession that will give you acceptable, functional feedback going forward. Whether that number is actually associated with a particular ppm CO2 value is not really the point. It's the number you need to keep things right in YOUR tank.

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post #32 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:46 PM
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love these discussions of accuracy vs precision..

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post #33 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
love these discussions of accuracy vs precision..

I chose my pH meter specifically because it had a three point cal vs two or in some cases one. At least it tries to approximate the response curve. Still only claims accuracy to 0.1 but the precision/repeat ability is what I really wanted. That and a little Kentucky wind-age will always get me where I want to be.

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post #34 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 10:10 PM
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Greg, now you have to buy the LaMotte CO2 test kit to prove your statement. Can I borrow it?
Good one Edward!

The thing is, if I thought the LaMotte kit was REALLY accurate, I would buy it in a second. Inquiring minds want to know.

But in the absence of something truly accurate, I am left to the devices at my disposal. And that means getting the most accurate reading of relative values is still about the best way I know how to manage it.......unless someone has a better idea??

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Originally Posted by ChrisX View Post
As MarylandGuppy said above, dissolved O2 and CO2 aren't mutually exclusive. If you have little dissolved O2 to begin with, your fish will become distressed when you add moderate amounts of Co2.
That's a good point and little understood. With or without CO2 injection, creating good oxygen levels is very important to fish health. And Dennis does a nice job of explaining it.

In general, creating good surface agitation (oxygen) allows for a larger pH drop (more CO2). In my opinion it's good for the fish and the general health of the tank.

And believe me, my Rainbows are just as important as the plants, so their comfort and good health is very important to me.


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post #35 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
That's a good point and little understood. With or without CO2 injection, creating good oxygen levels is very important to fish health. And Dennis does a nice job of explaining it.

In general, creating good surface agitation (oxygen) allows for a larger pH drop (more CO2). In my opinion it's good for the fish and the general health of the tank.
A good surface skimmer (either overflow weir or add-on) works wonders for O2 levels. One of the reasons I run a sump.
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post #36 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 07:41 PM
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Do you need to have to set a certain bubble rate when using a pH controller? I have a 250 gallon that I am going to be bringing online. I was going to use a mazzei venturi set up. I still trying to figure out a good system to accomplish the CO2 dosing myself.
Are you using a sump?
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post #37 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Liquidgarden View Post
Do you need to have to set a certain bubble rate when using a pH controller? I have a 250 gallon that I am going to be bringing online. I was going to use a mazzei venturi set up. I still trying to figure out a good system to accomplish the CO2 dosing myself.
Are you using a sump?
Let me say first that I'm not laughing at you personally, but I just got the mental image of someone trying to count bubbles into a 250g.

Priceless.

Thank you. You elevated my day.
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post #38 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Cichlid-140 View Post
Let me say first that I'm not laughing at you personally, but I just got the mental image of someone trying to count bubbles into a 250g.

Priceless.

Thank you. You elevated my day.
I'm glad I made you laugh but your reply wasn't very helpful.

Ok, so what pressure range do you set on the regulator going to the solenoid that would be going to a venturi?
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post #39 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 09:36 PM
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Sorry, but I had to actually get some work done.

Yes, if you're referring to me, I run a 50g sump on a 141g display tank, but after 100Lb of pool filter sand and I don't know how much rock work I'm left with a 142g water column. I'm using a standard in line 5/8" ID diffuser driven by a Dwyer RMA-150-SSV flowmeter (10-100ml/min). Can't tell you how that'll work till this @#&^% cycle gets done. I'm setting up to run the effluent through 10' of 5/8 hose and then direct it as best I can into the input stream of the return pump.

Edit: Can't answer on the venturi. Never used one. The diffusers need a min of 30 psi. Most run in the neighborhood of 35-40psi.

Edit #2: Here's a link to the Mazzei site with links to their injectors. Click on the apropriate one and you'll find a table with what should be what you need. https://mazzei.net/injector-performance/

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post #40 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 10:59 PM
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Thanks for the info! I recently decided to start a planted tank and am trying to get up to speed. I am finding out that like the reef tank world there is a lot of anecdotal info out there. It takes some time sorting through it all.
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post #41 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 11:36 PM
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It takes some time sorting through it all.
Yeah, like years! At least for slow learners like me.

The first few times I got into a serious discussion, it's like the others were speaking gibberish. But slowly it all began to make sense.

But the real reason I dropped into your post was that you got my attention when you said 250G. That's jumping head first into the rabbit hole. I love it!

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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post #42 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Yeah, like years! At least for slow learners like me.

The first few times I got into a serious discussion, it's like the others were speaking gibberish. But slowly it all began to make sense.

But the real reason I dropped into your post was that you got my attention when you said 250G. That's jumping head first into the rabbit hole. I love it!

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.
I had a beautiful 250 gallon deep dimension all sps reef tank all dialled in with amazing growth. Never lost anything. Then came the move into a new home...total disaster lost everything including all fish. I basically needed to have another system up and running to get anywhere near to a successful move. I had the tank moved sitting at the new house with all the dead coral rotting out in the yard then it hit me. I've been doing saltwater for 30 years! Time to move on. I went out a contender!! (to quote Rocky LOL) Used to sell the coral to the LFS and others. Could grow just about anything!

Now time to set my sights on a planted tank. Unfortunately, I have a huge tank going in. I'm hoping the discipline I developed from all those years growing coral will help me in establishing a beautiful system with healthy maintenance routines.

Sorry for hijacking this thread a little bit...it's my first post that I replied to in the Freshwater world. I am glad I made the switch. Now on to: What type of soil to get that lasts for years...here comes more anecdotal answers I'm sure.
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post #43 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 02:22 PM
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I had a beautiful 250 gallon deep dimension all sps reef tank all dialled in with amazing growth. Never lost anything. Then came the move into a new home...total disaster lost everything including all fish. I basically needed to have another system up and running to get anywhere near to a successful move. I had the tank moved sitting at the new house with all the dead coral rotting out in the yard then it hit me. I've been doing saltwater for 30 years! Time to move on. I went out a contender!! (to quote Rocky LOL) Used to sell the coral to the LFS and others. Could grow just about anything!

Now time to set my sights on a planted tank. Unfortunately, I have a huge tank going in. I'm hoping the discipline I developed from all those years growing coral will help me in establishing a beautiful system with healthy maintenance routines.

Sorry for hijacking this thread a little bit...it's my first post that I replied to in the Freshwater world. I am glad I made the switch. Now on to: What type of soil to get that lasts for years...here comes more anecdotal answers I'm sure.
Get a plan, spend some money and get a journal set up ASAP!
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post #44 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 02:29 PM
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What type of soil to get that lasts for years...here comes more anecdotal answers I'm sure.
You are going to find anecdotal evidence is about all we have here. No one is doing a scientific study on planted tanks.

And yes, for each topic you bring up, you might get 20 different answers.

So we all go through a good bit of trial and error to get our tanks dialed in. No perfect road map that I have seen yet.

As to substrate, many here use BDBS (Black Diamond Blasting Sand). Inert, long lasting, easy to plant in......and cheap. That being said there are a dozen other ones people have had with success with too.

The journal section here is your friend. Look for tanks with similar goals to yours. Loads of great information there. Has helped me many times and still does to this day.


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post #45 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 02:49 PM
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I just set up a 240 I bought used and had to reseal. Also just started using CO2. I justified buying a Neptune Apex (which I have immediately fallen completely in love with!!!) because I could apply the funds I would have used to purchase a CO2 controller towards the Apex EL. I'm using pH drop to control my CO2. The bubble counter on my regulator is a little bit useless because the tank is so big (only able to tell that I'm adding more or less - and have ordered a flow meter thanks to this forum!). I obviously want to put as much CO2 into the tank as I can (without stressing the fish).



Other than seeing the fish seeking the surface, is there a maximum amount of pH drop that is a safe measurement? I'm guessing different species of fish have different tolerances for pH drop. I currently have only harlequin rasbora's, Congo's, roselike sharks, a red-tailed black shark, and a bristlenose pleco.


I found with my fish when I had too much CO2 injected that fish went off their feed and just hung in the water, never tried to go to surface. Lost a few fish and set the ph probe cutoff higher, sadder but wiser.
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