Running Co2 24/7 Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Running Co2 24/7 Questions

I have a low light set up with a mixture of fast and slow growing plants.
I want to run my co2 24/7. About 30 mins ago, I reduced the injection rate from 2bps to 1bps.

I'm going to wait a few hours and test my ph to see where I am at 1bps

Before the change, I was injecting approx. 19ppm of co2. ph 6.9 during photoperiod.

Do you guys think my reduction from 2bps to 1bps should be safe when the lights are out?

Will this damage the solenoid? Can solenoids be run 24/7?

Thanks
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:54 PM
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Why are you wanting to run the co2 24/7 when you have a solenoid? It doesn't get used at night, at all. You do run a risk of gassing your fish out if it builds up too much. That question wasn't mean to be snarky at all by the way. I'm genuinely curious as I'm still pretty new to the hobby.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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No worries, Arayanasdad. Didn't take offence.

It's something I recently found out after being informed by a few members here. If you do a search you will find quite a few people run co2 24/7 for various reasons.
My reason mainly due to low light and stability. Slow and steady has always worked best for me when it comes to lower lighting, so I figured I should try a lower bps 24/7.

I stayed up for quite a while after lights out and measured ph. It didn't seem to have changed. Today, I checked just before turning on the light, and ph is still the same 7.0. Degassed is 7.5-7.6

I'm going to observe ph through out the day and see how steady it is. If it stays at 7.0, then that means my ph will be constant 24/7. 10ppm co2 according to the co2 chart. Not bad I feel for a 38g at 1bps.

I think the reason my ph didn't drop during the night is due to my surface agitation. There's a good amount of ripple.

As for the solenoid, if the power goes out while I'm sleeping or out of the house, the co2 will be cut off. Not good to keep injecting co2 when the water is stagnant.

This is turning out to be quite interesting and I'm curious to see what kind of growth I get from the change.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 12:21 AM
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It seems odd that the CO2 wouldn't increase with lights off. Plants are consuming CO2 and producing oxygen with lights on. When lights are off plants release CO2 and consume oxygen. With lights off the oxygen level in the water should decrease and the CO2 increase. Is it the steady PH that you're looking for? These PH swings aren't like other PH swings and will not harm your critters.

Overall with this method your CO2 consumption should go up by about 1/2, your plants should have less CO2 available when they need it, and your fish will have less oxygen available at night.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Betta Splendid View Post
I want to run my co2 24/7. About 30 mins ago, I reduced the injection rate from 2bps to 1bps. Do you guys think my reduction from 2bps to 1bps should be safe when the lights are out? Will this damage the solenoid? Can solenoids be run 24/7?
I’ve run 24/7 now for a couple of years and have had no problems with my solenoid. If it ever dies, the worst case is that it shuts the CO2 off (if it doesn’t freeze open, which is rare). The better ones should last many years (5-10?)

I wouldn’t focus on bps, but determine a CO2 level that you want, then adjust until you reach that level.

You will find that your CO2 usage will go down which, I believe, is due to saturation levels being maintained. You will also find that plants will grow, albeit at lower rates, whenever there is ambient light in the room and having CO2 present during this time helps.

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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
It seems odd that the CO2 wouldn't increase with lights off. Plants are consuming CO2 and producing oxygen with lights on. When lights are off plants release CO2 and consume oxygen. Overall with this method your CO2 consumption should go up by about 1/2, your plants should have less CO2 available when they need it, and your fish will have less oxygen available at night.
Some plants, such as Dwarf sag, take up CO2 at night, storing it for photosynthesis during the day. My pH is rock solid day and night which indicates static CO2 levels.

If you maintain surface agitation 24/7, then CO2 and O2 should not vary measurably. I’ve measured O2 day and night and there is no measurable variance with a Salifert kit.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
It seems odd that the CO2 wouldn't increase with lights off. Plants are consuming CO2 and producing oxygen with lights on. When lights are off plants release CO2 and consume oxygen. With lights off the oxygen level in the water should decrease and the CO2 increase. Is it the steady PH that you're looking for? These PH swings aren't like other PH swings and will not harm your critters.

Overall with this method your CO2 consumption should go up by about 1/2, your plants should have less CO2 available when they need it, and your fish will have less oxygen available at night.
Hi Kubla,
Yes, a stable PH is one of the two things I'm after. The other is low and constant co2. The thing to keep in mind is that my tank is low light. So my target is about 10ppm during photoperiod. I'm going by the study that was conducted on riccia. In low light, riccia have the biggest response in the 6.6-10ppm range, while an increase to 30 has a much smaller effect on growth. I like lower lighting so this suits my set up perfectly. Also, reason I want to keep it on constantly is that when you're targeting such a low amount, it takes much longer to hit your target level due to a decreased injection rate.

As for the stable PH, I want to keep my PH lower 24/7. For some reason, my tank has a hard time keeping iron available to plants. In my tank, Fe gluc precipitate in minutes (with no co2), and within an hour with co2. EDTA has minimal effect, but at least there's a response compared to gluc.
I've been dosing DTPA for the past 6 months and this has been the best type of iron for my water so far. It works but I'm wasn't happy with the amount needed to keep my plants green. 0.09 to 0.1 daily is needed or else the plants become pale.

So far, as of day 3, I can say that keeping the co2 on 24/7 has had a positive effect on my iron availability. I'll explain at the end of this post on what I've observed so far.

I guess my set up may be an odd ball here because most people use at least medium lights when injecting co2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
I’ve run 24/7 now for a couple of years and have had no problems with my solenoid. If it ever dies, the worst case is that it shuts the CO2 off (if it doesn’t freeze open, which is rare). The better ones should last many years (5-10?)

I wouldn’t focus on bps, but determine a CO2 level that you want, then adjust until you reach that level.

You will find that your CO2 usage will go down which, I believe, is due to saturation levels being maintained. You will also find that plants will grow, albeit at lower rates, whenever there is ambient light in the room and having CO2 present during this time helps.



Some plants, such as Dwarf sag, take up CO2 at night, storing it for photosynthesis during the day. My pH is rock solid day and night which indicates static CO2 levels.

If you maintain surface agitation 24/7, then CO2 and O2 should not vary measurably. I’ve measured O2 day and night and there is no measurable variance with a Salifert kit.
Hi there, Deanna. You're one of the members that got me thinking about doing this and I'm so glad I gave it a try! Thank you! I'll focus more on ph rather than bps now.
I observed a small increase in ph during photoperiod. From 7.0 to what looks like about 7.1, *maybe* 7.2. I think it should be okay because the plants didn't exhaust the co2 supply. Going by the chart, at peak consumption, my co2 dropped to 10ppm from 12ppm if my readings are correct. Or from about 9 to 8 depending on which chart. I noticed slight variations on different charts.

Very happy to hear the solenoid is good!

Something I noticed on Day3: My plants are greener with less daily iron dosing. On day1, I dosed the usual 0.1ppm iron. Day 2: 0.08ppm. Today on Day 3: 0.06ppm. I'm going to see how low I can go. I'm pretty sure this is the result of keeping my ph lower 24/7.

I'm going to stick to 24/7 co2. I'm not worried about the fish because my co2 remains low through out the night.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Betta Splendid View Post
Something I noticed on Day3: My plants are greener with less daily iron dosing. On day1, I dosed the usual 0.1ppm iron. Day 2: 0.08ppm. Today on Day 3: 0.06ppm. I'm going to see how low I can go. I'm pretty sure this is the result of keeping my ph lower 24/7.

I'm going to stick to 24/7 co2. I'm not worried about the fish because my co2 remains low through out the night.
At your pH, the EDTA is likely all precipitating out and useless to the plants, the DPTA is good up into the 7.5-8 pH area. The gluc is likely not precipitating out. It is rapidly consumed by plants. So, you have to find the dosing level where you get a positive reading for about a half-hour after dosing. However, the DPTA is fine. I'd stick with that to keep things simple.

Be a little careful about quick positive results. It may be real but, usually, it's best to judge after about two weeks.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
It seems odd that the CO2 wouldn't increase with lights off. Plants are consuming CO2 and producing oxygen with lights on. When lights are off plants release CO2 and consume oxygen. With lights off the oxygen level in the water should decrease and the CO2 increase. Is it the steady PH that you're looking for? These PH swings aren't like other PH swings and will not harm your critters.

Overall with this method your CO2 consumption should go up by about 1/2, your plants should have less CO2 available when they need it, and your fish will have less oxygen available at night.
Makes you wonder just how much CO2 the plants actually use during the day, doesn't it? How did you come upon the idea CO2 consumption should go up by half?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 01:51 PM
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Makes you wonder just how much CO2 the plants actually use during the day, doesn't it? How did you come upon the idea CO2 consumption should go up by half?
Not the consumption by plants, just the amount of CO2 used. I assumed about an 8 hour photo period, then cut the injection rate in half but increase the injection time X3.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 04:08 PM
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Not the consumption by plants, just the amount of CO2 used. I assumed about an 8 hour photo period, then cut the injection rate in half but increase the injection time X3.
Gotcha.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
At your pH, the EDTA is likely all precipitating out and useless to the plants, the DPTA is good up into the 7.5-8 pH area. The gluc is likely not precipitating out. It is rapidly consumed by plants. So, you have to find the dosing level where you get a positive reading for about a half-hour after dosing. However, the DPTA is fine. I'd stick with that to keep things simple.

Be a little careful about quick positive results. It may be real but, usually, it's best to judge after about two weeks.
Hahaha you're right! Leaves became pale again so I bumped it back up to 0.1ppm daily this past 2 days. I'm just going to use my plants as iron indicators from now on. Those closer to the light are the first to show pale coloring.

I really wish that was the case with gluc, but I'm pretty sure they're precipitating in my tank. I tried dosing gluc as my only source of iron, and by day 4, the plants started to lose their colors. It clouds up my tank also .

Yesterday, I took out one of my hob filters. Was running 3 hob's, now just 2. The ph is super stable now. With 3 hob's, there was a 0.1-0.2 increase in ph during photoperiod. Now with 2 hob's, ph is constant.




About running co2 24/7.... while doing some reading on the subject this past week, I noticed that some members are very much against doing such a thing, stating that it's a waste of co2 and there is risk of gassing the fish.

I understand this for those who have higher light and injection rate. What about those who have lower lighting and run low levels of co2?

My lights are on 10-12hrs, so I am wasting co2 when the lights are off, but co2 is cheap.
If it's waste we're talking about, how is running low levels of co2 24/7 any different than people who dose very high amounts of fertilizers, only to syphon out half of it at the end of the week?

Last edited by Betta Splendid; 08-07-2020 at 08:32 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Betta Splendid View Post
Leaves became pale again so I bumped it back up to 0.1ppm daily this past 2 days.

About running co2 24/7.... while doing some reading on the subject this past week, I noticed that some members are very much against doing such a thing, stating that it's a waste of co2 and there is risk of gassing the fish.

I understand this for those who have higher light and injection rate. What about those who have lower lighting and run low levels of co2?

My lights are on 10-12hrs, so I am wasting co2 when the lights are off, but co2 is cheap.
If it's waste we're talking about, how is running low levels of co2 24/7 any different than people who dose very high amounts of fertilizers, only to syphon out half of it at the end of the week?
Re: pale leaves. If you can correct it with iron, then fine. It can also be a symptom of other things, but the next most common would be insufficient N. Make sure that your NO3 readings are at good levels.

Tanks vary, so I can't comment on those that poo-poo CO2 24/7. I'd certainly ask if they've tried it in support of their statements. I have a high light/high CO2 tank and have been running 24/7 for a year or so. My CO2 usage dropped when I went to 24/7 (as measured by less frequent refills) while my CO2 level remained the same.

You can see more detail on my opinions on this in this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-question.html
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2020, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: pale leaves. If you can correct it with iron, then fine. It can also be a symptom of other things, but the next most common would be insufficient N. Make sure that your NO3 readings are at good levels.

Tanks vary, so I can't comment on those that poo-poo CO2 24/7. I'd certainly ask if they've tried it in support of their statements. I have a high light/high CO2 tank and have been running 24/7 for a year or so. My CO2 usage dropped when I went to 24/7 (as measured by less frequent refills) while my CO2 level remained the same.

You can see more detail on my opinions on this in this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-question.html
Early on I suspected nitrate, but raising it to 30-40ppm didn't help.

At the moment, my nitrate is 10ppm and I'm dosing about 1ppm daily.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed but I think I may have found the deficiency. I think it's Mg. My city tap is 36 calcium and 9ppm magnesium according to a water report from 2018.
I was doing smaller water changes (10%), and I think the levels dropped too low over time. I thought it was fe, but now that I think about it, I had performed several 20%+ water changes this past week and saw a bit of improvement for a day or two. I had increased fe dosage around this time which led me to believe it was fe deficiency. I think the water changes were replenishing Mg in my tank without me knowing at the time.

Yesterday, I dosed some epsom salt to bring my GH up from 9 to 10. By the end of the night when I looked at the tank, the plants are a little greener. Today I did a 20% water change and dosed the new water with epsom salt. I added 8.3mg to the new water so this would ensure about 17ppm in the water when taking Mg in tap water into account.

The plants seem to be improving. The ones showing the most improvement so far is my H. Taiwan and Amazon Sword. I don't see anymore yellowing on the Taiwan lily. It's definitely greener and the Amazon Sword is becoming a much richer green.

This is an improvement but I know they're suppose to be greener than this. I'll be keeping a close eye on them over this next few days. Hope things keep improving.

I'm also going to increase my water change to 20% weekly.

What level nitrate do you recommend? I have inert sand substrate. Maybe an increase in Mg and nitrate might do the trick. When I had 30-40ppm nitrate, I was short on something else so I'm sure the nitrate uptake was a lot less than optimal.

Yes, I definitely remember that thread on Co2.
Do you have a lot of surface agitation to keep that amount of co2 from building up? I have a nano tank with ludwigia that I'm thinking about adding co2 and upgrade the lighting. There's no fish so I'm free to experiment with high levels of co2 on this one. Curious about surface agitation when injecting higher amounts. I'm scared the plants might melt overnight if I don't provide enough disturbance on the surface.

Thanks
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 01:38 AM
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This thread has kind of changed from a CO2 thread to a fertilizer thread. I’d rather not pick at individual ferts without looking at the whole package first. However, your tap water looks like it has all the Ca and Mg you need. With a low light tank, you shouldn’t need much in the way of ferts. So, can you provide the following:

- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings and which test kits/devices are used for each?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?

Regarding these questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta Splendid View Post
Do you have a lot of surface agitation to keep that amount of co2 from building up? Curious about surface agitation when injecting higher amounts. I'm scared the plants might melt overnight if I don't provide enough disturbance on the surface.
In my 29-gal, the only surface agitation that I have is small skimmer, but this has been re-configured to return the water above the waters’ surface, so I would judge it to be good agitation with surface rippling. I’m not sure that I know what you mean by plants melting without agigtation, but good agitation will ensure good gas exchange (which includes the very necessary oxygen) and will not cause CO2 depletion if you factor it in to the dosed amount of CO2.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
This thread has kind of changed from a CO2 thread to a fertilizer thread. I’d rather not pick at individual ferts without looking at the whole package first. However, your tap water looks like it has all the Ca and Mg you need. With a low light tank, you shouldn’t need much in the way of ferts. So, can you provide the following:

- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings and which test kits/devices are used for each?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?

Regarding these questions:


In my 29-gal, the only surface agitation that I have is small skimmer, but this has been re-configured to return the water above the waters’ surface, so I would judge it to be good agitation with surface rippling. I’m not sure that I know what you mean by plants melting without agigtation, but good agitation will ensure good gas exchange (which includes the very necessary oxygen) and will not cause CO2 depletion if you factor it in to the dosed amount of CO2.
Sorry for the derail, Deanna. I've upped everything this past 2 days, sort of a low ei dosing. Plants continue to show improvement so far, so that's about 4-5 straight days of improvement. Waiting to see how far it goes. Been doing more water changes as well.

These are my previous levels up until 2 days ago:

N=10ppm
P=1ppm
K=don't know but dosed daily just over 1ppm
Traces=Tropica Premium 1 squirt daily (2mL)
Fe=0.04-0.05ppm DTPA daily

Tests were performed on API liquid test kits.
PH=7.2, KH=5, GH=9, P and N listed above were also on API

These are the new levels I started yesterday...
N=30ppm
P=3ppm
K=2ppm daily
Traces= Daily 2mL Tropica Premium
Fe=0.08ppm DTPA from Leaf Zone daily (it also adds 2ppm K)

So an overall increase in everything including Fe but not the rest of the traces.

Using city tap water, no softner, treated with Prime.

Ferts are Flourish Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Tropica Premium, API Leaf Zone

Tank 38 gal, Filter 2x Aquaclear 200 HOB both filled with sponges. Current is quite strong and all plants are gently moving. Water filled to the top and I get good ripples. Filter media are never cleaned (they never get dirty or clog up). I only clean the intake sponges every week or two.

w/c was done quite a bit this week but I kept my levels up through dosing. Will be doing 20% weekly from now on.

Do you think the new levels are too high? Since the plants are still showing improvement daily, should I keep this level up or naturally let them drop to more realistic levels for lower light, ex 15-20 nitrates, 1-2ppm P?

It's the fish I'm worried about, that's why I don't want to dose too high.

The reason I increased dosage is because on my 3 gal low tech I dose a lot without any worries (no fish) and the plants are not pale. On this tank I dose Fe at 0.16ppm every other day. Weekly dose N=40 to 50, P=3 to 4, K=50+ (100% weekly w/c).


That sounds interesting. I like how you modded the skimmer. By melting, I meant having the ph drop too low at night if I don't provide enough surface disturbance. But I think it should work out on the 3 gal. I have an Aquaclear Mini on that one. There's no fish in this tank so I want to experiment with high co2/light. But first I have to learn how to balance my other tank hahaha.

I really appreciate the help you've given me on this forum, Deanna. Thank you.

Last edited by Betta Splendid; 08-12-2020 at 10:51 PM. Reason: spelling error
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