Going back to the gas can, C02 questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 47Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Going back to the gas can, C02 questions

I'm redoing a couple of tanks and am going back to pressurized with in-line reactors. Most plants will be slower growers and moderate light (I'm going to about 70% peak on Fluval 3.0's with 24" deep tanks). Canister filters. Tank journal on these can be found here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-makeover.html

I still have most of the equipment needed, but naturally couldn't find a few key components. I will update when I get a couple of mail order parts in later in the week and can get started. But in the meantime, I'd like to clear a few things up from this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ement-use.html

@Greggz keeps his stunning rainbow tank with CO2 levels I would have thought were lethal to fish, but at over 3 times the levels I always aimed for his rainbows are thriving. Now I'm wondering the value in a controller, drop checker, or charts at all. My tap comes out right at 3 dKH, 8 GH, 7.0 pH and 87 TDS. I do not currently have an RO/DI filter at home and have always used tap water for these tanks. Considering investing in a home RO unit and barrels so I can get KH to 1, but for the next several months at least, these are going to be kept with my tap.


The good news is that I have one tank with no fauna at all now, not even snails as far as I can tell. I'll get the other one there (or close) when I break it down in the next week or two. With no living fish or inverts, I won't have to concern myself much with over-gassing until I get it dialed in. If I can just drop pH one half point, I *should* be in the sweet zone by the chart's estimation.
After sitting in an open container with an airstone overnight, I have a KH of 3 degrees (from an API test, same as when measured directly out of the tap).

At a pH of 7.0 (out of the tap) I would have 9 ppm
At a pH of 6.8 = 14.3 ppm
At a pH of 6.6 = 22.6 ppm
At a pH of 6.4 = 35.8 ppm
At a pH of 6.2 = 56.8 ppm
At a pH of 6.0 = 90 ppm


Could I safely drop pH a full point with livestock in there? Intuitively I would think that with a canister that might be approaching the upper limits and it's because of wet-dry (and the O2 saturation it provides) that folks are able to pull these levels off. Is that a safe assumption? Finally, I'm considering a controller but it seems pretty shoddy to let it control both tanks while only reading one, even though they are virtually identical. Is that too crazy an idea? Thanks in advance for your insights.
Squisher likes this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 01:26 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,725
Those are some great tap water numbers. If I had those, might not even use RO.

When you test the tap pH are you testing it right out of the tap? If so, I would let a glass degas for a few days. A pH of 7 indicates your tap water has some CO2 in it. I would expect it will rise to somewhere around 7.4 or so.

I would not be thinking in terms of CO2 ppm concentration or charts. There are too many variables and you will never know your absolute value without very expensive test equipment.

IMO, better to think about the relative value of pH drop from fully degassed value. You will hear quite often that a 1.0 point is desirable, but that may or may not be true in your tank. In my tank, the sweet spot is about a 1.35 drop. With less light and less stems, yours may be less.

The need for CO2 controllers is often debated. Not much middle ground. Some think it's a waste of time, and some couldn't live without it. Put me in the couldn't live without camp.

It allows me to easily fine tune my pH drop, and keep it there consistently. I also look at it as a fail safe for my Rainbows. I don't know of anyone who has added one and is sorry they did it.

But as always, this has been my experience, and your mileage may vary.

Good luck and I subscribed to the journal. Look forward to following along.
Blue Ridge Reef and evil8 like this.


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

Last edited by Greggz; 01-15-2020 at 02:56 PM. Reason: typo
Greggz is online now  
post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 01:54 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,681
I think you're referencing @Greggz comments on KH measurements as they relate to the ph/KH calculations/chart where his readings would indicate a ridiculous 90-something ppm, which he - rightly - said was impossible. Better to use the pH drop from fully gassed or, IMO, a dc. Both are only going to give you ballpark, but that's all that any hobby-grade approach is going to do. Of course, both of those approaches (as well as all the others) are highly dependent upon the way we measure KH and pH. I use a pH probe and a Hanna alkalinity colorimeter to try to improve the precision. Using 5x the API KH test water quantity recommendations can help also.

I believe that you can do more than a 1-point drop safely for your fauna, just do it gradually over several days. I've gone, easily, 2-points. Never tried more.

I'm one that is not in the controller camp. The only value I see to it is if it shuts down the supply in a runaway situation, but then you also have the potential of a failed controller mechanism, so I guess it's a wash. I run mine 24/7, now, and have seen no significant difference between shutting it off at night and running it 24/7 in terms of plant health (did see a little less BBA on older growth). However, one difference I did notice was that I needed to cut back on flow (BPS) to maintain the same ~35ppm CO2 (I run a dc in the yellow zone with 5 dKH solution). I'm guessing that the algae reduction may have something to do with consistent CO2 levels day and night, but never tried to test that.
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.
Deanna is offline  
 
post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Thank you both for your thoughts and differing perspectives on controllers. My biggest concern with getting one is trusting that I'll be getting the same results in two tanks. I'm running them both off of one CO2 tank with a regulator sending gas into both aquariums. They'll have identical substrate, water and fert regimen, but I've done this long enough to know no two are exactly alike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Those are some great tap water numbers. If I had those, might not even use RO.
I'll at very least be doing it that way for a while. I've had really good luck with aquarium projects of all type using this water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
When you test the tap pH are you testing it right out of the tap?
I should probably upgrade my test kit game, but it's ever so slightly acidic out of the tap using the API kit. I just retested and it's probably closer to 6.9 out of the faucet and 7.0-7.2 after a day in an open bucket with an airstone in. I've never gotten anywhere near 7.4, but I'm trying to compare shades of green rather than using something giving me a digital reading. The range on the pH kit is useless in my shrimp tanks with ADA soil, it's all just "yellow." I'm also using API reagents for KH and GH, and with those in particular there's a "midway" point that drives me crazy where they don't *quite* change to the target color, but are no longer the base color. I'm all ears about better reagents or even equipment. I realize this is all pretty pointless without accurate base numbers.
Greggz likes this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:03 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I should probably upgrade my test kit game, but it's ever so slightly acidic out of the tap using the API kit. I just retested and it's probably closer to 6.9 out of the faucet and 7.0-7.2 after a day in an open bucket with an airstone in. I've never gotten anywhere near 7.4, but I'm trying to compare shades of green rather than using something giving me a digital reading.
IMO, the GH/KH kits are close enough.

But for pH, I highly recommend a calibrated probe. I've tested the API vs calibrated probe and the API kit can be off quite a bit. IMO, not accurate enough for our purposes.

Personally I prefer one where the probe stays in the tank. They tend to drift less than pH pens which can dry out between uses if not stored properly.

And of course all this depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. The more light and stems you have, the more getting pH drop from CO2 accurate and steady is important.
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.


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

Last edited by Greggz; 01-15-2020 at 03:49 PM. Reason: typo
Greggz is online now  
post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Personally I prefer one where the probe stays in the tank. They tend to drift less than pH pens which can dry out between uses if not stored properly.

And of course all this depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. The more light and stems you have, the more getting pH drop from CO2 accurate and steady is important.
I'm sold. Looking at the Milwaukee controller now. Any brand recommendations?

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 04:25 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I'm sold. Looking at the Milwaukee controller now. Any brand recommendations?
For the most part I see people using either the Milwaukee or American Pinpoint.

Personally I have the American Pinpoint, but I am sure the Milwaukee does the same job. I am very pleased with the probe as there is very, very little drift. I calibrate about once every month and it's rarely off more than .03 or so.

There are other off brands but I have no experience with them.
Blue Ridge Reef and mjwgh2 like this.


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.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is online now  
post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Just ordered the Milwaukee. And a pH pen for good measure. Will update values on Saturday barring a delay, thanks for your recommendations.
Squisher likes this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Well, I got all set up to do this and it turns out that I need connectors for the accordion tubing to hook up the inline diffuser. So waiting on those to arrive. In the meantime, I did a test out of the tap this morning and KH is 2, maybe even under. In the past 3 has been the point of color change, but I tested 3 samples in clean test tubes so I feel like it's pretty close. pH is between 6.8 and 7.0 on the liquid kit. Leaving some unopened to degas and measure tomorrow. Barring a shipping delay I'll also have the pH pen by then and can get a more accurate reading. The controller and all other parts are already here, so hopefully will be up and running one day this week. I'll post exact values (may do the KH test with a 20 ML sample as suggested earlier) and see what you guys think.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 12:44 AM
Algae Grower
 
pfcs49's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LongValley, NJ
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
IMO, the GH/KH kits are close enough.

But for pH, I highly recommend a calibrated probe. I've tested the API vs calibrated probe and the API kit can be off quite a bit. IMO, not accurate enough for our purposes.

Personally I prefer one where the probe stays in the tank. They tend to drift less than pH pens which can dry out between uses if not stored properly.

And of course all this depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. The more light and stems you have, the more getting pH drop from CO2 accurate and steady is important.
That's my experience as well. I rely on a well calibrated probe on my Milwaukee controller in my 240g. If I want to measure other tanks I'll take a cupful of water and stick the probe in it.
Blue Ridge Reef and Greggz like this.
pfcs49 is offline  
post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Since I'm again waiting on parts, I'm using the CO2 tank to fill passive bottles. At a rate of about a bubble per 3 seconds, it's enough to keep the bottle from overflowing or running out and the tanks are getting that amount day and night. But I'm only getting a pitiful .2 pH drop. It's temporary anyway, so not looking to improve that mousetrap.
But today rummaging through my old fish boxes, I ran across an Aqua Medic 1000 CO2 reactor with built in hose fittings that will work on my one of my tanks right away. Being one of little patience, I'm itching to hook this up. But a quick Google on them shows that the manufacturer rates these for flow rates of 250 GPH and up. The Fluval 205 is only 180 GPH. If I were to use this, would it simply under-perform its capabilities, or would the flow rate be so bad that the CO2 won't properly dissolve? This is one of the units with bio ball type things in it. I am skeptical the balls do much but the reactor with or without them seems like a good way to dissolve CO2. Just wondering if too weak a flow rate would make it no longer worth doing.

http://amzn.to/2rA5SBT

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
Bad news to report. So bad I can still hear my old football coach saying "Boy ya done messed up." Rather than take the time to set up my controller, I decided to put that off and got the CO2 diffusers set up and running Monday and was able to drop the pH a full point and back it off. It held throughout the day and all was well the next morning before lights came on so like a dummy I didn't test pH before leaving the house. And 9 hours later I got back from work to tanks of dead fish and shrimp. There was mist everywhere. I've since been informed (thanks @BOTIA) that mist is actually preferable for CO2 absorption by plants, but I've always misinterpreted it as a sign that the water was getting saturated.

In the tank with guppies, shrimp, and an Ancistrus, only guppy fry survived. In the recently rescaped tank with new bloody Mary shrimp, they appear to have all died. Both tanks also have developed an oil slick of surface scum. I got overconfident from reading @Greggz chart numbers and the following conversations and broke my cardinal rule. I have lost a lot of tanks of aquatic life from all manner of mistakes but most come down to being cavalier or impatient. I advise new hobbyists to take their time, measure everything carefully, and sit on their hands almost daily. I should heed my own advice. And read my own signature.

Trying to put a positive spin on this disaster, I'll be starting these (now high tech) tanks with a clean slate. And there's a lesson learned, even if it's one I've had to learn over and over.
Greggz and Leeatl like this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 08:35 PM
Suspended
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,561
Sorry about the losses.

So what actually happened? Did the bubble count increase after you left or are you saying the 1-point drop in PH was too much?
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Asteroid is offline  
post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,019
I think it was creeping up all along. The can was new so no thoughts that pressure changed and the bubble counters looked pretty close to where I'd set them though no way to measure that to know for sure.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 09:39 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,725
Wow I am really sorry to hear that. I hope I did not contribute with my observations on my own tank.

How much was the pH drop? A 1.0 drop should not have that effect, and in my own tank I go to a 1.4 drop with no discomfort. Do you have good surface agitation? You have plenty of O2?

A good general rule is to never mess with altering CO2 injection unless you will be there to observe. And even with my CO2 controller, I only make adjustments on the weekend when I can be there to observe.

Do you think your needle valve drifted? Mist everywhere makes me wonder what really happened?

And I know you already know this, but that is the exactly why I use a controller, a fail safe against losing a tank full of mature Bows to some unforeseen equipment failure/malfunction.
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.


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