Please help a newbie get my planted tank going great. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Please help a newbie get my planted tank going great.

I have 11.7 on the KH, is that twice as much as I should have for good plant growth? I read 6 dkh is good for plants, is this true? Looking at the chart that means I only have 3.4 on the co2 because my PH is 8.0. Out of the faucet my water is 8.0. and very very hard water.
So what would you knowledgeable plant people do? Buffer the water to get the Ph where it needs to be and run the co2. The co2 will get the ph down also but won't the buffering help? It is very hard to get my PH to go down. I use to try with PH decreaser but it would never go under 7.8, without overdosing which would hurt the fish.
I am running 3 watts PG on my 80 and 55 and soon to be running 3.5 on my 46 gallon.
If you were in my shoes how would you approach this situation knowing all my Numbers? I really want the co2 where it needs to be because i bet if I got that going My plants would be WWWonderful!!! Since they look pretty good now.
PLease remember I don't want to do anything to hurt the fishies. Looking at the chart i need to get the PH to at least 7.2 and 8 on the KH, this will give me 15 on the co2 which is the minimum I should have. won't dropping the PH that much hurt the fish or it won't if it's done gradually with co2? Can you go into this in your reply so I feel safe for the fish.
Right now I am almost done making one of these http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html#3. so this should produce enough CO2
Please let me know, thanks for your time
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any suggestions or knowledge that will help me. Please.
Thanks
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 06:54 PM
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The kh isn't bad for the plants but the lack of CO2, especially with that much light, isn't helping them either. Lowering the kh is a lot more difficult than raising it and quite honestly I don't think you would see any benefit from it. Lowering your pH through the addition of CO2 will not harm your fish either. I keep my fish at 6.6 and kh of 5 they have no issues at all.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Right now I am almost done making one of these http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html#3. so this should produce enough CO2
If you ask me, this should be a question and not a statement. I am wondering about your approach to providing co2 to the plants. FORGET about kH for a second. Are you really planning on running this on an 80, 55, and 46? DIY sugar/yeast for all of them? This is not unheard of I guess, but pretty insane. I cannot express the benefits you would have if you just invested $200 and hooked up the same pressurized system into all three of them. Seriously, you are gonna be swimming in DIY solution before you know it.

That said, Injecting co2 at your KH shouldn't be a huge, huge problem. I would say go in small increments, but that's next to impossible with a DIY system. (unless you have needle valves built in.) I can appreciate the advice that others have given, which is to "turn up" your co2 until your fish are gasping, then turn it back down a little so they aren't gasping. But again, you can't make these simple adjustments on a DIY system.

One idea for dropping the kh and ph is to filter with peat. This will accomplish both. I just did a little experiment to prove it, it's in the "water parameters" section as well.

Whatever you do to adjust the hardness/pH, do it gradually if possible. This will always stress the fish less.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 07:02 PM
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KH does not limit the amount of CO2 you can dissolve into the water. If you are using a good diffuser and bubbling 3 bubbles per second, for example, the amount of CO2 you put into the water will be the same for almost any KH. If, for some reason, you really do need to lower the KH you should do it by mixing your tap water with RO or DI water (not home water softener water.) I think the problems you see are just too little CO2 caused by the DIY system and/or CO2 leaks. You can set the CO2 generating bottles in a water bath, with a heater in it to increase the temperature to 80 degrees F or so and possibly get more CO2 out of them. But, ultimately you will buy a pressurized CO2 system or decrease the lighting you have - my crystal ball is never wrong!!

Hoppy
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I have looked into the pessurizd co2 system and am on the way to getting one. I have read and found that it will be almost impossible to get enough co2 into a 55 and 80 gallon tank. Do you guys have any suggestions on what regulaters would be best? Also, how can I hook up 1 system into all 3 tanks. They are in different rooms?
thanks for your time, i do appreciate it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunmiztres
Yes, I have looked into the pessurizd co2 system and am on the way to getting one. I have read and found that it will be almost impossible to get enough co2 into a 55 and 80 gallon tank. Do you guys have any suggestions on what regulaters would be best? Also, how can I hook up 1 system into all 3 tanks. They are in different rooms?
thanks for your time, i do appreciate it.
Lots of folks are happy with the AZOO regulators. They don't seem to have the 'bugs' that JBJ and Milwaukee seem to have like problems with controlling the bubble count, for instance.

Rex Grigg will tell you to build your own regulator. If you feel comfortable doing that he's probably right it's cheaper and just as good if not better.

Regards,
Barry
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 12:16 PM
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First thing. Read my Guide.

The use of acid buffers to lower pH is not necessary. Also it throws the pH/kH/CO2 chart out the window.

If you want to feed more than one tank with CO2 then your best bet is a custom built regulator. You can build it yourself or I can build one for you.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato
I would say go in small increments, but that's next to impossible with a DIY system. (unless you have needle valves built in.)
This comment intrigues me. I have set up a 20 g high and purchased the semi-diy co2 Nutrafin/Hagen bubble ladder and co2 yeast bottle. I am sure that regulating the co2 will be difficult since it is an organic process. Is it feasible to add a need valve to this diy setup in order to control the fluctuation in co2 production over the life of each fermentation cycle?

BTW - Good site Rex. Answered many questions...and I promise not to ask why no one has replied to my post yet. :-)
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:13 AM
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Needle valve on a DIY system would be a like a fish on a bicycle.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Needle valve on a DIY system would be a like a fish on a bicycle.
I thought so, that is why that comment intrigued me. Thanks for stating bluntly.
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