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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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How much more?

I have a 75 gallon tank & run the co2 tube right through the canister intake filter. I know this method doesn't work well with some filters but I haven't had any problems so far. I'm already at 4 bps / 2 psi & the drop checker takes ages to turn green maybe 5 hours or so. I only see some average pearling 3 hrs before the lights go out at the end of the day.

So do I need to crank the co2 some more? Isn't 4 bps decent enough for a 75 gallon tank?

Other possible helpful info:

* I also use a small powerhead at the opposite of the outlet flow to distribute the co2 effectively (or at least try to do so).

* I use 4dk solution for the drop checker.

* Minor BBA & green spot algae problem.

*CO2 does not cause the PH to drop that much at the end of the day. It only decreases from 7.4 to maybe 7.2 - 7.0

TIA
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and I already checked for leaks, there was none.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 01:59 PM
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4bbs should be more than enough for that tank. That's normal for the DC to take that long to change color. Pearling is not somrhting you judge your plants health by. Pearling is just a visual cue of when your plants are producing O2. O2 is not as soluble in water as CO2 is therefore you see the bubbles rising to the top of the tank from you plants leaves.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jmowbray View Post
4bbs should be more than enough for that tank. That's normal for the DC to take that long to change color. Pearling is not somrhting you judge your plants health by. Pearling is just a visual cue of when your plants are producing O2. O2 is not as soluble in water as CO2 is therefore you see the bubbles rising to the top of the tank from you plants leaves.
Thanks jmowbray for the info. it's just that I've read several times that how some people claim their drop checkers change color in less than 2 hrs and their plants pearl like crazy by then so I figuered out that something must be wrong with my co2 system.

Cheers
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:12 PM
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I think much of your CO2 is leaving the tank as fast as it comes in, but with no more details it's hard to be sure. Is the canister filter outlet near the bottom of the tank? Where is the filter intake relative to the outlet? What plants do you have and how densely planted is the tank?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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I think much of your CO2 is leaving the tank as fast as it comes in, but with no more details it's hard to be sure. Is the canister filter outlet near the bottom of the tank? Where is the filter intake relative to the outlet? What plants do you have and how densely planted is the tank?
Valid points there Hoppy. The spray bar (outlet) is in the middle of the tank & I have placed it slanted horizontally (at the back glass) so starts off 2 inches below the surface & ends up 8 inches below from the other side. The filter intake is located in the bottom right side of the tank. I have somewhat average surface agitation created by the powerhead mostly at the left side of the tank.

My plants are: Blyxa Japonica, Staurogyne, Echinodorus Quadricostatus, Ludwigia Repens, Cabombas, Java moss, Java Fern, Hygrophila Polysperma, and duckweed. I'd say the tank is about 90% planted.

Cabombas, Hygro's, duckweed, Ludwigias, Echinodorus Q. are growing fast.
Java fern, Blyxa, Staurogyne are growing slow but theyre doing fine.
There is some BBA on Java moss & Echinodorus Q.
The older bottom leaves of Ludwigia Repens & Hygrophila have pinholes in them & eventually fall off (specially in Ludwigia).
Some green spot algae in the bottom side of the front glass.
I used to have Rotala green but I pulled them out coz they didn't do too well in the tank.

I have 3 X 54 watts t5HO bulbs that run for 8.5 hrs a day. Theyre one year old so I don't think they have same intensity as before.

temp. 79 F
ph. 7.2 average
kh 4
gh 5
nitrate 20-30 ppm
co2 god knows
Ferts: EI method although I dose less N & more K instead.
I dont dose GH booster
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 09:02 PM
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your pH should be droping to 6.6 or 6.4 at 4 bps in that size tank, so it's got to be an inefficient system.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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your pH should be droping to 6.6 or 6.4 at 4 bps in that size tank, so it's got to be an inefficient system.
I know I'm dumb founded by all these. It isn't like NASA technology, the co2 goes right into filter intake so it has got to come out through the spray bar. So What's happening with the co2? I have to find another way of diffusing the co2.

I have pressurized co2 system on a 75 gallon tank. What's the best way to diffuse AND circulate the co2 for a tank of this size?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 02:10 AM
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A inline reactor would be more efficient. Sounds to me that 4 bps is not enough for 150 watts of T5HO lighting. If you are running it on a timer you'd want to see at least a .5 drop in pH from morning lights out to midday lights on. T5 HO lights put out a lot of light. Try putting some power heads like Koralia nano's to get better circulation and up the bubble count. Watch the fish and drop checker closely.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 05:00 AM
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Are the 3 T5HO bulbs spaced close together or are they 6 inches or so apart? Close together would give you very high light under the bulbs, and widely spaced would give you much more uniform light, but not as intense. I think you may have high light however you have them spaced.

Blyxa japonnica grew very fast when I had them with high light and good CO2, so I suspect you don't have enough CO2. Have you ever increased the bubble rate enough that the fish cluster at the top of the tank, usually in a corner? If you have never seen them do that you should probably try slightly increasing the bubble rate once a day, watching the fish very often throughout the day to make sure they are ok with that level of CO2. Once you see them starting to cluster at the surface, drop the bubble rate back to the last setting when they didn't do that. High light means you need to keep as much CO2 in the water as is possible.

You should also make sure your water surface is rippled across most of the tank, to get as much oxygen in the water as you can. That helps the fish tolerate the high CO2 better.

Why are you not dosing the fulll EI dosage of nitrates. Nitrates are the second most needed nutrient, after CO2. With high light, if you starve the plants for nitrates they will grow about like you describe.

Hoppy
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 01:27 PM
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I use the CarbonDoser EXT 5000 External Reactor from http://www.aquariumplants.com it was around $110 and works nicely and you could probably turn your CO2 down to 1 or 2 bps. The filter is not efficeint in breaking down the CO2 gas and disolving it into the water, do you see bubbles or a mist coming from the filter outlet??? My reactor is inline with my filter exhaust, the CO2 gas and water enter at the top but leave via a tube that picks up the disolved gas mixed with the water at the bottom of the unit, so the gas can't leave the reactor until it's disolved into the water.

Also circulation is a very big deal as I have just learned the hard way, but I use 2 JBJ circulation pumps (550 gph ea.) and a wave maker in my 150, it keeps a good flow which relates into more disolved O2 in the water, there's no dead spots where flow stagnates in the tank, it keeps plant leaves clean, fish love to swim into the currents, and it distributes nutrients and CO2 to all the plants equally, so those are a lot of good points for a peice of equipment. Look here:http://www.marinedepot.com/JBJ_Ocean...FIPHFF-vi.html your canister and powerhead should produce 750 gph combined or close to it.

Some pics might help!


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 08:16 PM
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You'll never be able to turn down the bubble rate to 1-2 bps with 150 w of T5HO lighting over a 75 gallon tank no matter how efficient the reactor is.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 150EH View Post
I use the CarbonDoser EXT 5000 External Reactor from http://www.aquariumplants.com it was around $110 and works nicely and you could probably turn your CO2 down to 1 or 2 bps. The filter is not efficeint in breaking down the CO2 gas and disolving it into the water, do you see bubbles or a mist coming from the filter outlet??? My reactor is inline with my filter exhaust, the CO2 gas and water enter at the top but leave via a tube that picks up the disolved gas mixed with the water at the bottom of the unit, so the gas can't leave the reactor until it's disolved into the water.

Also circulation is a very big deal as I have just learned the hard way, but I use 2 JBJ circulation pumps (550 gph ea.) and a wave maker in my 150, it keeps a good flow which relates into more disolved O2 in the water, there's no dead spots where flow stagnates in the tank, it keeps plant leaves clean, fish love to swim into the currents, and it distributes nutrients and CO2 to all the plants equally, so those are a lot of good points for a peice of equipment. Look here:http://www.marinedepot.com/JBJ_Ocean...FIPHFF-vi.html your canister and powerhead should produce 750 gph combined or close to it.

Some pics might help!
I definitely need a set of those wavemakers but first I need to save a few bucs for it. My filter & powrhead together produce 575 gph.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Are the 3 T5HO bulbs spaced close together or are they 6 inches or so apart? Close together would give you very high light under the bulbs, and widely spaced would give you much more uniform light, but not as intense. I think you may have high light however you have them spaced.

Blyxa japonnica grew very fast when I had them with high light and good CO2, so I suspect you don't have enough CO2. Have you ever increased the bubble rate enough that the fish cluster at the top of the tank, usually in a corner? If you have never seen them do that you should probably try slightly increasing the bubble rate once a day, watching the fish very often throughout the day to make sure they are ok with that level of CO2. Once you see them starting to cluster at the surface, drop the bubble rate back to the last setting when they didn't do that. High light means you need to keep as much CO2 in the water as is possible.

You should also make sure your water surface is rippled across most of the tank, to get as much oxygen in the water as you can. That helps the fish tolerate the high CO2 better.

Why are you not dosing the fulll EI dosage of nitrates. Nitrates are the second most needed nutrient, after CO2. With high light, if you starve the plants for nitrates they will grow about like you describe.
Two of the bulbs are spaced close together and the third is about 8 inches away from the other two. To be honest I've never cranked up the CO2 to a point where I find the fish & shrimp gasping for air at the surface but I'll increase the bps rate slowly tomorrow & watch the fishs reaction. In fact, as of yesterday I uped the bubble rate and now it takes about 1.5 hrs less for the DC to turn green so that's an improvement.

The reason I dose less N as recommended is that the tap water has desent amount of nitrates in it. Here's how my dosing regime looks like:

M - 1/4 tps K2HPO4 1/2 tps K2SO4 1/4 KNO3
T - 10 ml Flourish Comprehensive / 5 ml Seachem iron
W - same as Monday
TH - same as Tuesday
F - same as Monday
SAT - same as Tuesday
SUN - 40% wc only

Please note that I dose K2HPO4 instead of KH2PO4 and K2SO4 for extra K since I dose less KNO3.

What would you change about my dosing routine? I have 10 lbs. of each of the dry ferts I mentioned. I know there's a sticky about the dosing regime but as you see my ferts are slightly different. I hope K2HPO4 and K2SO4 are as good, what do you think?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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You'll never be able to turn down the bubble rate to 1-2 bps with 150 w of T5HO lighting over a 75 gallon tank no matter how efficient the reactor is.
Hey Mark as I told Hoppy, I increased the bps rate yesterday and now it takes a little less for the DC to turn green. Tomorrow, I'll increase the rate some more and watch the fish. Hopefully, by then it will be in its optimal level. Please, take a look at my dosing routine as well and see how I could improve that as well.

TIA
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