VERY High CO2 Readings - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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VERY High CO2 Readings

I am having a problem with my CO2 readings.
First of all some tank specs...

33gal
146watts (96watts CF 2x25watts aquarium fluorescents under AquaMirror)
Fluval 404 (only BIO material in it)
Substrate Eco-Complete mixed with Plain
PH: 6 or 6.5
KH: 8 DH
GH: 7 DH
CO2: ???ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm (Am sure this test kit is a dud)

I have two DIY 2 liter bottles for CO2 that I alternate on recharging for a more consistence CO2. But when ever I tested it I always had a low reading, showing around 8 or 9 ppm on the CO2 Chart.
So I decided to add a third 2 liter bottle last night to increase my CO2.

Well I tested my PH and KH today to see that my CO2 would rather be at:
PH 6 = 240ppm
PH 6.5 = 76ppm

Now my fish in the morning were breathing a little more labored then usual, but not to the extent they looked worried.

Is there something I'm missing? Why would my readings all of a sudden be so off?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:18 PM
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Why can't you get a decent PH reading? 6-6.5 is no good, too much range.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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I have the Tetra test Ph kit; it only shows you these readings:

5.0, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 10.0

Thinking maybe I should invest in a better test kit?
Hoping for a PH controller someday soon.


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Pressurized CO2
96 Watt Coralife Light Strip + 2 25 Watt fluorescent tubes under a Aquamirror
Sand
200 Watt submersible Tronic heater
Temperature 27.1 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)
Dosing EI Method
KNO3, KH2PO4, MgSO4+7H2O, and trace.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:33 PM
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I would buy a ph kit with a narrower range. I use one 6.0-7.6 in 0.2 increments.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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I think I might just do that, maybe convince my wife I NEED to buy my PH controller sooner then we talked about!

Even so I'm thinking my test kit must just be plain wrong. Because it would have to be off by 1 PH, to bring it to 25ppm. I always hated the matching/guessing color test kits.

One more question if I could. If my plants are periling, does that automatically mean the fish should be fine? Because my fish are starting to hang out at the surface of the water.


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Pressurized CO2
96 Watt Coralife Light Strip + 2 25 Watt fluorescent tubes under a Aquamirror
Sand
200 Watt submersible Tronic heater
Temperature 27.1 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)
Dosing EI Method
KNO3, KH2PO4, MgSO4+7H2O, and trace.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaNerd
One more question if I could. If my plants are periling, does that automatically mean the fish should be fine? Because my fish are starting to hang out at the surface of the water.
Not necessarily. O2 and CO2 levels are separate things. Even if you have plenty of O2, you might have real CO2 poisoning(the fish can't effectively take in O2) if CO2 level is extremely high. It is often debated how high the CO2 needs to be before the real CO2 poisoning sets in. People have reported levels of 50-90 ppm CO2 without problems, but it also depends on fish species. I would back off the third DIY CO2 bottle and see if fish stop gasping.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:02 AM
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I agree.

Fish gill serve as the function of gas exchange. The gill would only function if water's CO2 level is lower than blood CO2 level. If water's CO2 level is higher than CO2 level in the blood, the gill cannot expel the CO2 in the blood.

So even if O2 is high in water, fish still have trouble expelling CO2 out of their body.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the prompt replies.

shalu: I unhooked one of the CO2 bottles for now, seems to have helped alot. Thanks for your advice; Im also looking into getting a CO2 Controller. (Going to go pressurized soon anyway)

danmhippo: Thanks, makes perfect sense about CO2 levels. Im always glad to learn new things from others in this forum.


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Pressurized CO2
96 Watt Coralife Light Strip + 2 25 Watt fluorescent tubes under a Aquamirror
Sand
200 Watt submersible Tronic heater
Temperature 27.1 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)
Dosing EI Method
KNO3, KH2PO4, MgSO4+7H2O, and trace.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:15 AM
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Using a CO2 controller on a DIY system might not be such a good idea.
Unless I'm mistaken, the controller shut off CO2 supply to the tank when the desired PH is reached.
This will cause a pressure build up in your bottles and without anyway of relieving the pressure could result in the bottles bursting.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyg
Using a CO2 controller on a DIY system might not be such a good idea.
Unless I'm mistaken, the controller shut off CO2 supply to the tank when the desired PH is reached.
This will cause a pressure build up in your bottles and without anyway of relieving the pressure could result in the bottles bursting.
I would just be using the PH controller as a PH tester at first if I had to, just to get rid of the color matching crap. I would probably just get all the pressurized stuff at once though.

Thanks for the advice anyway, you never know if someone might have done that. What a mess that would be!
But that got me thinking unless you use the solenoid backwards. As in when you want the CO2 to be on or injected into the tank the Solenoid would be closed. Turning the CO2 off youd open the solenoid, which would just bleed off all the pressure and stop it from reaching the tank.
It would be slow processes though every time you turned on the CO2; it would take awhile to build up enough pressure again.


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Pressurized CO2
96 Watt Coralife Light Strip + 2 25 Watt fluorescent tubes under a Aquamirror
Sand
200 Watt submersible Tronic heater
Temperature 27.1 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)
Dosing EI Method
KNO3, KH2PO4, MgSO4+7H2O, and trace.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:47 AM
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This reminds of the pressure relief valve of pressure cooker. If you were able to find one that you could adjust pressure setting of the relief valve, then maybe you could use it with DIY CO2.

If you were able to find one, I would assume you have to install it before the solenoid, so when the solenoid is off, excess pressure could escape from the relief valve before the DIY bottle burst.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danmhippo
This reminds of the pressure relief valve of pressure cooker. If you were able to find one that you could adjust pressure setting of the relief valve, then maybe you could use it with DIY CO2.

If you were able to find one, I would assume you have to install it before the solenoid, so when the solenoid is off, excess pressure could escape from the relief valve before the DIY bottle burst.
There you go, I think you and me just invented a new CO2 system, automatic DIY. I wonder if thats been done yet? I'm almost curious enough to try that once I get my whole setup. lol


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Pressurized CO2
96 Watt Coralife Light Strip + 2 25 Watt fluorescent tubes under a Aquamirror
Sand
200 Watt submersible Tronic heater
Temperature 27.1 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit)
Dosing EI Method
KNO3, KH2PO4, MgSO4+7H2O, and trace.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:17 AM
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The advantage to DIY is that it is cheap. The disadvantage is that it is short lived and cannot be throttled. Use the ratio of sugar to yeast to control "speed".

Compressed CO2 is expensive, but it lasts a long time and can be controlled.

If you let tank water sit overnight it should equilibrate to ~5 ppm. Check the pH and KH against the chart and if the pH is lower than it should be correct for that too.

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Last edited by BlueRam; 03-16-2005 at 04:20 AM. Reason: another idea
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