More co2 newbie questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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More co2 newbie questions

I have gathered all but a few odds and ends for my co2 setup. So, I have some questions about how to actually start using it once I have it hooked up. Once it's hooked up and turned on for the first time, is it a good idea to "ease into it"? What I mean by that is that I know co2 impacts the ph of the tank, so I don't want to crank up the co2, make the ph crash and kill all my fish. So, what is a good process for starting out? Also, will it need to be repeated each time the co2 tank is empty? Speaking of empty tanks is it OK for the aquarium to be without co2 for a day while exchanging the tank? For example if the tank is empty, and I take it with me when I go to work, exchange it at lunch time and hook it back up after work, is that OK? Or will there be any ill effects from the aquarium not having co2 throughout the day? Eventually I would invest in a back up tank, but not for a while. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 07:27 PM
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1) Forget about the effect of CO2 on pH - it's temporary, and it's the other factors that affect pH that actually have a significant impact on living organisms. But, yes, ease into it, because a sudden large CO2 spike could have some effect on fish. I'd suggest increasing it daily over a week. I say this hypocritically, of course - I've always just set them up and gone full steam with no ill effects on fish, but others have had some issues. So be gentle.

2) No, don't worry about ever repeating the process, a few days of no CO2, and then back to normal, won't bother anything.

3) A few days without CO2 is fine. To be safe, you could dial down (or turn off) the lighting for that period, but it's probably not necessary. Last time I took apart my CO2 rig on a Thursday to tweak it, didn't finish before bed, had to leave town after work on Friday, and didn't set it back up until Monday evening. I had the lights off for the weekend, and ended up turning the lights and CO2 on when I went to bed Monday night, and then off when I woke up, and back to the original cycle (3pm to 11pm) that afternoon. No effects to speak of.

4) It wasn't really a question, but a backup tank is overkill. A backup regulator might be worthwhile, and I have several of those.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick reply. That was just what I was looking for. I'm glad to know that I don't need to bother with a back up tank. I was thinking it might like a gas grill where you always seem to run out of gas when you got a couple nice steaks on there. But, if it's OK to go without for a while, I will skip it.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 08:13 PM
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+1 for Kevmo's reply. When I notice I'm out of CO2 I am usually w/o it for about 24hrs b4 i refill the tank, and no issues to speak of.
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