Help with strange CO2 behavior - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Help with strange CO2 behavior

I have a 20g high tank with about 16/17 gallons of water, 65w Aqualight, Eco-complete, an Eheim 2213 and an Aquaclear 30 for filters, and 2 Hagen CO2 systems with a ladder on each side of the tank. Water parameters are:
pH = 6.8
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 10
phosphate = 1
KH = 5
gh = 6
CO2 = 24 ppm per Chuck's calculator

Water temp is usually 78, but has been going up to 80-82 due to temps over 100 here (I have lousy A/C). I have quite a few stem plants, mostly elodea and hygrophila polysperma.

When I got home from work today, I noticed that the tiny CO2 bubbles released from the top of the ladder are congregating at the water surface along the sides and front of the tank. I have a row of little bubbles just sitting there and some have moved out into the middle of the tank. Is this because the water temp is warmer? I have fish and shrimp in this tank and none of them seem to be in distress, but it looks really weird. I set the Aquaclear on low output during the day so it doesn't deplete the CO2 and turn it full open at night to add a little oxygen to the mix. I'm wondering if I should leave it full open during this weather.

None of my plants are pearling, by the way, which they did do the first week or so before the brown stuff grew into a nightmare. After a horror of a time with brown dust-bunny stuff that killed off nearly all my stem plants, I yanked them all out and threw away the ones that were "infected," soaked the others for a couple of days in tap water, cleaned my gravel good and replanted, adding about 20 stems of elodea. No algae except the slightest sprinkling on the CO2 ladders and a little on the glass and a few leaves. Plants are growing visibly each day and all little inhabitants are doing well.

Any info on this CO2 issue will be welcome.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 12:52 PM
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Things seem to be going well...are you adding any micronutrients (i.e. fluorish, plantex)?

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm dosing macro nutrients + calcium/magnesium on Saturday with my 50% water change, macros on Monday and Wednesday and Plantex+B Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I also dosed Flourish iron this week on the water change day only, but maybe I should dose it with the micros. I notice that the color on my hygro leaves went from pale pink to much brighter with one dose of the iron. I just started getting holes in my red wendtii leaves after my last water change, so I don't know if something is deficient or if I burned holes with the dry ferts (calcium/magnesium and potassium, the rest I mixed to dose as liquids). I also have a couple of hygro leaves that are becoming skeletonized, so I need to get out my plant book and see what it might need. I've had a lot of company the last couple of weeks, so I've been just doing the basics.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 04:27 PM
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Do you have a thin film on the surface of the water in your tank. Hagen makes a surface skimmer for your Aquaclear. It's part # HG0832 at for $8.49. I've never used one but I do see a thin surface film on one of my tanks sometimes. When I clean the filter, it goes away for a while. I'm using an Eheim Liberty on this tank. Here's what the skimmer looks like:
If you didn't notice the problem before you slowed the filter down, well that's the answer, hopefully.
The link I gave you didn't work for some reason but you can still look it up at or even Hagen's web site.
That brown stuff was probably cyanobacteria and is fairly common on net tank setups.
Good luck!
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