co2 - is there possibly a limit of ppm? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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co2 - is there possibly a limit of ppm?

I was a little confused today looking at my bubble counter on my co2 tank. I have normally kept it at 3bps (180bpm), which has always yielded me a co2 reading of 45-50ppm. no problems to the fish, so never felt like reducing it. the co2 reading came from 6.6pH and 6KH.

today, I noticed that it looked like a constant flow of bubbles was flying through my bubble counter. upon the best attempt at counting the bubbles I could, it came to 5-6bps (around 300-360bpm). I did not however see any change in my pH level, and KH was the same as usual. So, still had a co2 45ppm reading. no ill signs from the fish either.

I am not sure why my Regulator wont maintain a bubble count, but obviously need to get it fixed.

Just confused as to why my co2 reading didn't sky rocket. Almost like any excess co2 bubbled out (maybe doesnt have time to fully dilute in my reactor). Could this imply that there could be a limit of co2 in certain situations... obviously tank/setup dependent?

Cliff
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 05:07 AM
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Check the high pressure gauge on your regulator, is it lower than 700PSI? You could be getting an end-of-tank dump because the tank is almost running out of CO2. I can only speculate that the reason you are not getting lower ph reading is because your reactor is not efficient/large enough to dissolve more CO2, some people have no problem getting >100ppm CO2.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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it did actually drop to 700 the other day. figured that meant I will still 30% full! off to the brewery shop I go

My reactor is pretty good. I got it from glass-gardens.com and has 4 bio-balls in it and push's down on it. but... if it disolves the co2 well to give me 45ppm but no more, then I am a happy man hopefully the refill helps me out.

any idea why it releases bubbles at odd rates? this could be from being near empty too. I posted this same question a while back but the resolve was that I had too little pressure (psi). It is now at 30psi and still does it. Basically the bubbles come up at as example : bubble,<pause>,bubble,bubble,<pause>,repeat... sometimes with 3 bubbles in a row, and sometimes 2 consecutive duplicate bubbles come out. with 3-5bps this makes it near impossible to get a good count. any ideas to the cause?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 12:29 PM
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You have to watch the high pressure gage closely. Right now both of my tanks are running about 1000 psi due the temperatures in the house. In the winter they run just a hair under 700 psi due to the temperatures. So what is good in the winter is bad in the summer. Once you see a 200-300 psi drop with the temperature being constant you need to start thinking about a refill.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 12:55 PM
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If in fact your bubble rate is higher (and also still consistent), the reactor has spare capacity and the CO2 level has topped out, then I would speculate that there must be enough current/turbulence at the water surface to have reached an equilibrium where the CO2 is dissipating fast enough to not allow a higher ppm level.

Assuming that statement makes gramatical sense , does the theory make sense?

Brian.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 01:45 PM
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Yes, there is an upper limit. It depends on a lot of factors. Open a can of soda sometime and you see the difference - under high pressure all the CO2 was dissolved. Release the pressure and it bubbles out.
In aquariums the main factors would be delivery/dissolution rate and surface exchange/turbulence.

Temperature and how tightly the top is closed (or if it is open) mattter as well, but usually those are relatively constant.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 03:14 PM
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I have a very large reactor which I am using for my 800L tank. I found that the efficiency of the reactor is depending on how much water you pump through, hence pressure inside the reaction chamber. At the beginning, I used a small Dupla pump which was recommended by the user guide, the reaction rate was very slow, the chamber get filled completely with CO2 and start leaking CO2 into the tank at merely around 10 bubbles/seconds. But after I switched to a 1200 l/h pump, I can turn my CO2 to full blast and I still don't get any CO2 built up in the chamber.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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great info! thanks all.

as for my setup, it is an open top Paludarium with a decent amount of surface agitation, so that must be keeping the co2 in check. I like it that way if it is truely helping. I backed the bps down to 3 again and will check the co2 level when i get home from work.

i will refill tomorrow.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 08:23 PM
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I would NOT adjust bubble rate due to the dump at the end. That way, you have to adjust it back once you refill and the bubble rate drops down again.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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doesnt take long to re-adjust. i just have my wife sitting there with a timer and get the bubbles to be at 15 per 5 seconds. then test it to a minute to make sure I was accurate. usually only takes about 2-3 minutes to get back to normal.

my regulator does not hold well after the power is turned on and off, so I have to readjust whenever the power flickers during a storm anyway. still think something is screwy with it.

I found a local place that is open til 10pm each night that will refill on the spot! nice and convienent. The other places I called all have you keep it with them for a couple days until they have a chance to refill off site. won't trade out or anything. I may invest in a 20lb'er today so I dont have to refill but once a year instead of 6 months.

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