pH and CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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pH and CO2

I am having issues with my CO2 and hoping someone can provide some insight. I am at a moderatly planted tank with pressurized co2.....however, my kh out of the tap is 10ppm which offers me little to no buffering....I have decided to add some crushed coral to a nylon baggie, as adding baking soda, has not helped to raise my kh effectively.....the problem is I have no way of telling where my CO2 is at, since my drop checker and CO2 chart is skewed since I am altering the KH......anyone have any idea how I can accuratly measure my co2......I adding a whole bunch of new plants and I have noticed my plants arent pearling as they once did (wondering if I need to up the CO2). I am currently getting about 2-3 bubbles per second......my other optin is to remove the crushed coral....but I fear that adding that much CO2 will bottom out my pH....hopefully someone has some ideas!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 08:48 PM
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I think you need to check your kH again, 10ppm or 10dkh???

Well I also think a little more info is needed, tank size, etc.

But just because your plants aren't pearling, doesn't really mean anything!!

You can gauge your CO2 by pH and kH on the sticky at the top of this section, you could also use a drop checker, but niether are spot on accurate.

For now I would set back and take a breath, and don't add anything else to your water. Try to get a pH reading just before lights on in the morning and try to get a better reading on kH as I doubt it's only 10 ppm, if so you'll be selling your tap water soon in the SnS.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gafi View Post
I have no way of telling where my CO2 is at, since my drop checker is skewed since I am altering the KH.
Not true... that's the beauty of the drop checker, it works with a reference solution (4dkH mostly) and therefore is independent from the kH of your aquarium water.

Baking soda should raise your kH effectively. If it doesn't, either you are using the wrong stuff (baking powder?) or your test kit is bad.

I wish I had soft water... but I can't see it being sold in the S&S quite yet.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 08:04 AM
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with water that soft, you don't need co2.

so do your plants a favor, leave the water chemistry to your plants, not you

people would love to have water like yours because co2 is not needed and the only maintenence needed is trimming.

btw its not unusual to have high ph most plants live in slightly alkaline water (7.2-7.6 typically) and they will adjust the water chemistry.

the co2 is not being really absorbed into the plant at night. The plant gives off aloe chemicals at night during the o2 cycle and adjust the enviroment for its optimal co2 day time / o2 night time cycles.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 08:22 AM
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I respectfully disagree. Plants do need co2 to grow as they utilize carbon to grow. Although a tank may have a low kH it may still have insufficient amounts of co2 to grow some demanding plants.
A low kH can be buffered before adding co2


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 05:57 PM
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I agree with emboli, plants' need for CO2 is not related to KH.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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thanks...thats why I added the crushed coral....however, i am getting some of the GH booster when my dry ferts come in...will that help to balance the kh...or will it mainly focus on the GH?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 06:21 PM
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GH booster --> GH
Baking soda --> KH


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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My kH issue is semi resolved with eh crushed coral in a baggie...it stays around 60ppm now which allows me to really pump the co2 in and maintains a ph around 7...it was more of how much co2 can i pump in safely, once I get my drop checker setup right I think I will just use that
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 09:47 PM
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Never trust your DC
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 03:56 AM
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I've have a DC for a couple of years now and it never change from Blue Color and PH test my ph would read 6.8
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 04:10 AM
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Yeh don't rely on your dc. Just pump up the co2 in increments and keep an eye on your fish's behavior


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 04:21 AM
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My dc works great.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 04:32 AM
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my dc in conjunction with my ph meter shows my drop checker
to be quiet accurate
my ph meter says ph 6.5 = nice green color
ph 6.7 =blueish green
works day after day month after month
first of all you need a good reference solution
and replace it every few weeks
a dc is good at being a reference on co2 not a absolute
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gafi View Post
My kH issue is semi resolved with eh crushed coral in a baggie...it stays around 60ppm now which allows me to really pump the co2 in and maintains a ph around 7...it was more of how much co2 can i pump in safely, once I get my drop checker setup right I think I will just use that
My KH here is 20ppm or less sometimes, I have never messed with it in about 6 years now. There is NO NEED to make it harder unless you have some fish that require high KH, eg some wild caught Tropheus or something.

You have great water due to the location you live.

So your KH is a tad over 0.5 degree, you STILL have some buffering capacity.
It's only when you get to zero that the pH/KH chart does not apply. Know nothings rattle on about this, but I've never had a case or seen one I was certain about where the pH dropped and they gassed their fish, in fact, I would challenge such claims as baloney.

If the CO2 gas rate being added is stable and the same, the CO2 gas in solution should also be relatively the same regardless of other issues. Now, without any KH, the slope for the CO2/pH/KH relationship falls apart, so you cannot measure the CO2 with that method..........but the CO2 being added and present for the plants........however, should be the same or close.

In otherwords, I can add 18 ppm of KH to RO/DI water, add CO2 to say 50ppm, then replace the water with pure RO/DI, the CO2 rate has not changed. So we shoul be pretty close to 50ppm, the only issue is now I cannot measure it using the KH/pH relationship.

This same method can be used to measure other factors that influence pH, eg tannns in your water, other forms of alkalinity(hydroxides, NH4, PO4, borates etc any non carbonate). Then after the flushing, you can return back to your standard routine.

Do not assume anything about CO2 as far as what is optimal, some might suggest 30ppm, but other tanks might need 50ppm, another might do best at 60ppm etc.

This assumption is the one of the worse, 30ppm is not a bad place to start, but then some tweaking from there is wise. But NEVER assume because a drop checker says around 30ppm, that everything is perfect. It's not, and this is an assumption as well.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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