How high can C02 go before being fatal to fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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How high can C02 go before being fatal to fish?

How high can C02 go before it begins to be a problem for fish? I just measured my C02 for the first time tonight since I went pressurized and apparently I have 120ppm of C02 in my little 10 gallon. Obviously that's a lot more than it should be. The only fish acting a little funny is my gourami (pumping it's gills a lot, hanging out at the surface), the neons, ottos, corys and such all seem to be fine. I measured my ph at 6.0 and my kH as 4. Does a 120ppm of C02 sound right for those water parameters?


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 01:42 AM
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there must be a mis-read on either KH or pH. 120ppm is wayyy too high for fish. I have heard people get away with 40ppm at the most. my co2 has gotten as high as 55ppm at night though.

how old are the testkits and what brand are they?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 02:23 AM
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Sounds right. I have had my CO2 that high with no apparent negative results to the fish.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Both kits are from Aquarium Pharmeceuticals. The pH kit says 2003 on the bottom and the kH/gH kit says 1999.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 02:32 AM
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do you think they are actually that old though? kind of odd about the dates. My AP box says 2004 as the copyright date on them. if a box says 1999... may actually be that old. could they be?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't be surprised if they are indeed that old. The LFS that I bought them from has tons and tons of old stuff that you could just tell had been sitting on the shelf for years. I'm guessing the kH/gH test I bought is no exception. What about the pH test though? Assuming that it was indeed made in 2003, you think that would be considered too old to be accurate?


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 03:33 AM
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I see you have Eco-complete, you are probably getting a false KH reading from it, I dont remember what causes this, I have the same problem. except mine reads 140ppm.
Ignore the readings and use your fish and a bubble counter (if you have one) as a reference to your CO2.
Also people will coment that this problem will go away after a while, my crazy parameters actually crept up on me slowly, meaning that for the first couple of months my CO2 readings made sense in comparison to today.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 03:53 AM
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id just buy a brand new set of both pH and KH testkits.

just remember that pH testkits have a .2 ppm margin of error, so getting a true co2 reading is pretty tough. I highly reccommend getting a digital reader (pinpoint has a .01 accuracy) if you are truely serious about getting your co2 hit perfectly. if you just want a general range, then liquid testers are fine. as long as fish arent dieing, and the plants are growing, you are in that range

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmmmm, I didn't think about the eco-complete. I am afterall using a "corrupted" batch. I'll definately look into the digital pH tester. Absolutely HATE doing all those liquid tests. If only there was a digital tester for kH/gH as well.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 06:52 AM
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Was your "corrupted" batch of eco with the white color resulting pH down clarifier, or the corrupted batch before the "cure" full of pH down clarifier with high phosphates added. If it was without the white colored "cure" (result of the clarifier), I can attest you will get very high KH/GH and pH readings for many weeks, which might explain the high CO2 readings. And lots of water changes and a couple of months time should settle it down.





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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 08:47 AM
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I've had my CO2 levels up to 40, 50 and even 60 with never an issue for fish. 120 might be pushing it though .
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 10:25 AM
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You won't get a definitive answer. I've read that levels higher than 12 ppm can cause kidney failure in some species. On the flip side I've read that levels as high as 70 ppm are harmless.

Personally I say shoot for between 15 - 20 ppm.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 07:51 PM
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I've had the pH in my 10 pegged at the low end (yellow) on many occasions and my kH is 3 to 4 points. The shirmp I had didn't do so well but the fish didn't seem to mind. Just remember that the the pH-CO2 relationship is for water with carbonate - nothing else in it. Test kits are good for benchmarks but don't get to carried away with numbers. My advice is to keep an eye on things and but don't worry too much about the fish until they show signs of distress. Look at your fish and plants and make adjustmest from that.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2005, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betowess
Was your "corrupted" batch of eco with the white color resulting pH down clarifier, or the corrupted batch before the "cure" full of pH down clarifier with high phosphates added. If it was without the white colored "cure" (result of the clarifier), I can attest you will get very high KH/GH and pH readings for many weeks, which might explain the high CO2 readings. And lots of water changes and a couple of months time should settle it down.
The eco-complete that I am using did indeed have that white colored crap in it. That means mine kH/gH readings shouldn't be too far off, should they?


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2005, 08:29 PM
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the extremely high phosphate level(it is basically what acid buffer is) in the contaminated eco complete will drop the ph reading a lot.


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