CO2 Injection Rate Seems High - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-11-2020, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Injection Rate Seems High

Hello All,

I recently switched to a reactor on my 40 breeder because I didn't like the soda pop tank. I'm really happy with the results and the clearer looking water, but I've been scratching my head over it for a while. It seems like my co2 injection rate needs to be cranked way up in order to get good saturation in the tank.

My dKH is roughly 5-5.5 and off-gassed pH is 8.2. To get high levels of co2, without stressing the livestock, I drop my pH to about 6.5-6.6. Plants are growing fairly well - I did a rescape on the tank not long ago and got a good deal of BBA afterwards, that seems to have ended and plants are mostly algae free again. Woohoo!

The bubble counter is running at easily 5-7 BPS, I can't accurately count it, but it's really flowing. I've done leak checks with soapy water/Simple Green and didn't detect any gas leaks on my regulator, needle valve, pressure gauges, check vale, etc. Everything seems good. Bubble rate is consistent.

But it just seems like I'm having to really pump out the co2 to get good saturation. One of the benefits of a reactor, I thought, was you were actually able to turn down the co2 to get the same levels of saturation vs an in-line atomizer or in-tank diffuser (I was using the former before the reactor).

Any thoughts or insight? I thought about maybe putting a bazooka atomizer designed for in-tank use inside the reactor in the hopes with helping dissolution, but then I thought the bubbles might be too fine and simply get pushed out into the tank.

The reactor is made by NilocG, it's 24" tall and 2" in diameter, the canister filter being used is a Fluval 407. Another thought I had was to remove the bio balls that came with the reactor, but I don't know how that could help with efficiency of dissolution.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-11-2020, 11:17 PM
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It's a large drop in pH, 8.2 --> 6.5.

Is possible you are just hitting the max for your tank? CO2 will reach an equilibrium with the air and different for every tank depending on flow and obstruction. I notice in my tank, just trimming and changing plants can have an effect since it affects water currents which can contribute to more or less off-gassing of the CO2.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-11-2020, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahem View Post
It's a large drop in pH, 8.2 --> 6.5.

Is possible you are just hitting the max for your tank? CO2 will reach an equilibrium with the air and different for every tank depending on flow and obstruction. I notice in my tank, just trimming and changing plants can have an effect since it affects water currents which can contribute to more or less off-gassing of the CO2.
I agree it is a big drop. I'm measuring using an Apera Instruments pen that I routinely calibrate and store in the proper solution. What I've been doing is measuring the pH drop, cross referencing the dKH co2 chart, and watching the color of my drop checker. According to the infamous chart, I have 40-45ish ppm co2, my drop checker won't turn green until around 6.7-6.6 pH and turns a nice lime green at about 6.5 pH. Livestock is doing well, and cross referencing those resources, my co2 levels are high which is good.

I'm just sitting here like man...that's a lot of co2 flowing through the bubble counter.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 12:05 AM
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How much off-gasing/surface agitation do you have?


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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How much off-gasing/surface agitation do you have?
Not much surface agitation, a very mild ripple, if even that much. But I am using a lily pipe with skimmer, in stainless steel.

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