CO2 Not Flowing Properly? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
Jim
 
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CO2 Not Flowing Properly?

I'm having a problem with my CO2 and would appreciate any input you might have. I have a 85G planted discus tank with a controller-maintained pH of 6.8 (full tank stats below). The CO2 set-up does work properly, but it seems that during the day, the CO2 is rarely flowing. Shouldn't it be running most of the day with the lighting cycle? When it is flowing (seems rare), the pH will drop quickly. For example, it takes less than 10 minutes fo the tank to go from 6.8 to 6.5, if I dial the pH setting on the controller down a bit. Is this normal?

Based on other posts, it sounds like people run their systems non-stop with the lighting cycle. I realize that my controller set-up operates a little differently, but I'm not sure that I'm getting enough CO2 into the tank. Based on the CO2/KH/pH table it looks like I should have a good level (23.7 ppm), but I don't understand how this can be the case if my bubble counter is standing still everytime I look at it.

Any thoughts?

I'm partly skeptical because the CO2 does not seem to have impacted my heavy BBA and green spot algae. The CO2 system is about 2 months old now.

Thanks,

Jim

85G planted discus tank
Milwaukee pressurized CO2/pH controller/power reactor/
CO2 flow rate is 2 bubbles per second
KH: 5
GH: 7
TDS: 210
Combination of RO water and tap (in the process of moving to all RO to control extreme PO4 levels and hardness)
Fluval 404 canister filter
84 degrees
JBJ PC lighting, 3.0 wpg, 12 hours per day
Substrate is small to medium-sized gravel and Flourite
Fish load is moderate to heavy
Plant load is moderate
Greg Watson ferts: CSM+B+Fe (10ml 3x week), KNO3 maintained between 5-10 ppm, not currently dosing PO3 because existing levels in water are high (more than 5 ppm)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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First off, "...does not seem to have impacted my heavy..." is an improper use of the word 'impact'. You can have an impacted tooth but something doesn't impact something else.
(sorry but that's a huge pet peeve of mine)

On to your question: if it only takes 10 mins to swing .3 pH difference, you may simply want to reduce your bubble rate a little. the pH controller is going to run the CO2 no matter what. It sounds like you've got it setup for quick, rapid changes, rather than slow gradual changes.
I think 23ppm is a little low. I'd set your minimum pH to 6.6, max to 6.8.

If you have 5ppm of phosphates, you should run your nitrates higher. but why do you have 5ppm phosphate? is it present in your tap water? Not enough water changes? (I know discus should be fed beef heart, which could lead to high nitrates/phosphates).

Your high, off balance phosphate level is the source of your BBA, and no amount of CO2 is gonna fix it...you've got to get that 15:1 nitrate to phosphate ratio back in balance.
I also see no mention of potassium dosing. You should be adding some, as you likely have a deficiency, which could be affecting phosphate uptake.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
Jim
 
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Thanks for correcting my diction You have much work to do on these boards -- errors in grammar, style and punctuation are rampant. You better get right on it

Seriously, thanks for the recommendations. I reduced the bubble rate a little and noticed the CO2 flowing normally this morning. I'll also dial the pH controller down a bit to increase the overall CO2 level.

PO4 is high because of extreme levels in my tap water. For this reason, I'm in the process of converting to all RO water. It's coming down, but slowly. I'm doing weekly water changes of 40-50 percent, FYI.

I'm not currently dosing potassium (other than the small amount that is included in my potassium nitrate solution). I do not have a potassium test kit and would prefer not to purchase one, unless I absolutely have to. I have been reading other posts and it looks like for my 85G tank, I could get away with the following: 1/2 tsp. potassium sulfate 3x per week (dry dosing).

Any thoughts on this potassium dosing?

Jim
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim
I could get away with the following: 1/2 tsp. potassium sulfate 3x per week (dry dosing).

Any thoughts on this potassium dosing?

Jim
I got potassium deciency(holes in older leaves, stunted new growth) in my 100gallon with 1/2 tsp K2SO4 dry every other day, no KNO3 dosing. I now dose 1.5 tsp every other day. Try 1 tsp if you get K deficiency.


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Flourite, wet/dry, AHSupply 302w PC, PinPoint controller

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40w T6 ODNO4x, no CO2. Discus grow out.
10gallon Tonina tank, 2x15w T6 ODNO 4x
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