Measuring CO2 when adding Phosphate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2005, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Measuring CO2 when adding Phosphate

I have a question about trying to get my CO2 readings, they are reading insane amounts, 75ppm, this is with a PH reading of 6.6 and a KH reading of 10.
Acording to Chuck Gadd If you aren't adding CO2 to your water, and the CO2 level based on the pH and KH indicates more than 5ppm, then it is very likely that some other buffer (such as phosphate) is present in your water.
I add phosphate to my water,many people using the EI method do, so my question would be, how do you measure CO2 when dosing phosphates?
My fish and plants are all doing fine, so I know my readings are incorrect.
I only ask because I'm trying to halt my growth of BBA, and I've read that high levels of CO2 will help.
Any insight and help would be great.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 12:05 AM
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The amount of phosphate we add is very little, a few ppm max. It will not impact CO2 reading.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Shalu,
The amount of phosphate in tap water is also in the low ppm?
So I have a CO2 concentration of 75ppm!
Time to do some research I guess, this can't be right.
Hypancistrus, the LaMotte tests are expensive, I would like to not have to spend the money if possible.
My tank is fine, maybe I should just be happy with that, it just seems that the more you get into this hobby the more curious you get, I am actually trying to stop testing all together and use plants as indicators, but since I want to halt my BBA, I would like to know my true CO2 reading and move from there.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 01:19 AM
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Pete City,
I have a similar situation. My ph is 6.5 with a KH of 25. That would put my CO2 level at 237ppm. My fish are fine and don't seem bothered until I drop the PH around 6.4

JR
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 01:46 AM
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CO2 test kits are far from foolproof, not worth buying:some discussion here

There can be other stuff in the tap water, phosphate was just an example. It is not common to have more than a few ppm of phospate in tap water, to the extent of affecting ph measurement. Or you might have stuff in the tank that affects water chemistry, like certain driftwood.

You can let your tap water sit for 24hours, test kh and ph and see if it makes sense. And go from there.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 01:53 AM
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I was wrong about the LaMotte kit... it will be affected by any acids / bases. I was always under the impression it was somehow isolating CO2.

Thanks for the link shalu.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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OK,
Lets get into this, I started my tank in January of this year with a DIY CO2 system, I've actaully kept track of my CO2 readings from then,
My PH was always between 7.0 & 7.4
KH between 6 & 8
This put my CO2 into an understandable position
I must note that I wasn't dosing ferts using the EI method
I would usually dose Flourish and Nitrates 3 times a week.
I then went pressurized and started the EI Method
now I can't get a CO2 reading that makes sense.
I've tested PH with both Redsea and Wardley, test results are both the same
Tested KH with Redsea, always 10
Tested CO2 for the heck of it with Redsea stopped after adding almost 20 drops into the test tube because I knew that it was putting me at an insane CO2 amount again, and now from reading the link Shalu posted, I see CO2 tests are far from foolproof.
I just find this really interesting, Whats causing this?
I don't want to get to crazy with this topic, I know that many people have pressurized CO2 and dose ferts using the EI method,
My chemistry for whatever reason has changed from this, and like I said, my tank is healthy, just wanted a CO2 reading to try and stop BBA, so when I thought about increasing CO2 wanted to test to see were I was.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 10:08 AM
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I would take sample of your tank water, let it sit for at leat 24 hours. If you have a spare air pump, aerate the water to make sure most of CO2 is gone. Then measure kh and ph. Do the same for tap water. If the results are different, something is going on in your tank.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrneuzil
Pete City,
I have a similar situation. My ph is 6.5 with a KH of 25. That would put my CO2 level at 237ppm. My fish are fine and don't seem bothered until I drop the PH around 6.4
JR
KH = 25?! What test did you use?


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ok,
Give me 24hrs, then I will post results.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 04:45 PM
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and you mean a dKh of 25, not 25ppm right?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2005, 06:20 PM
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Thats right folks, my KH tests out at 25degrees not PPM. I first used tetra test and then thinking that was way wrong I purchased the Lamatte test and get the same results. Go figure. I have attempted to get city water lab results but have not been able to get that. I assume that something added to the city water system is giving a false reading, but I don't know what I should look for. Our water has always been very hard.

JR
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Ok,
It's 24 hours and the results are in
Tank
PH 7.4
KH 11

Tap
PH 7.4
KH 6

So does this reinforce my theory that by dosing phosphate to your tank you can't get accurate CO2 measurements?
I also have Eco-complete substrate, maybe this is the altering factor?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete City
I also have Eco-complete substrate, maybe this is the altering factor?
Most likely. Many people reported problems with kh/gh in the initial period.
Phosphate dosing is not the problem.

What is strange is ph remain the same.

You could mix some tap water with a little phosphate to similar concentration in tank, a few ppm. Repeat the above measurement. I doubt it will change ph noticably.

You can take a little eco from tank, mix with tap water, repeat the above measurement. I heard Eco only changes the kh/gh initially, it should get better with more water changes in the tank.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 07:57 PM
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I got the LaMotte CO2 test kit for craps and giggles on ebay for $6.00 tada door.

It seems to be within 10 - 15% of the values observed doing ph/kh resolution.

I doubt I will use it that much, but for a (winning!) 99 cent bid, I figured what the he11.

Peter

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