Need help determining CO2/light level - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Need help determining CO2/light level

Seeking some advice:

30 gallon long.
Pressurized CO2 feeding into a glass diffusor that is directly under my filter intake.
110 watts compact flourescent lighting (4000K), 3.6 WPG
With this setup, in order to combat algae problems I had the CO2 pumping fast.
Fish fairly inactive, occasionally make a quick grab at the surface air and go back down.
Any shrimp I keep seem to die within a couple weeks.
KH = 14, pH = 6.4... which would mean ~ 160 ppm CO2. Is that even possible?

Anyway, I recently was advised to lower my Co2 level. It was killing my filter with all that air anyway... so I was glad to. I repositioned the diffuser under the filter output and turned the bubble rate way down... maybe 2 bps. Fish seem ALOT happier now... but I'm worried algae will come back with such high light and not as much CO2... so is it advised that I also lower the light level to balance things out? I have another fixture that is a twin tube hood that holds two T12 bulbs. That would give me 2 WPG instead... and the much less efficient T12 bulbs. Should I use this light instead or stick with the high powered light? With the new CO2 setup pH is 7.1, which would indicate 33 ppm of CO2.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 03:24 AM
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Yes lower the light intensity, keep C02 going good, but not to point of choking your livestock.
Raise the spraybar to lightly break the surface at night for good aeration and a clean surface.

Don't put the diffuser directly under the intake, put it in the path of the outflow for dispersion in the tank.
If you can cut the 110w in half for 2/3 of photoperiod that would help.
I hope you are dosing the tank with ferts, and have plenty of plants in the water.

Craig

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I can't cut the 110w in half, as then only one side of the tank would be lit... but I will use my 60 watt twin tube light instead. I guess that is essentially half the light... although they are the T12 bulbs and not the compact flourescent bulbs. So probably less than half.

I'm skeptical of this change though. pH during the day is 7.1. When I get up in the morning it's 7.0 with the Co2 still going. With hardly any drop in pH I'm wondering if the CO2 really IS 30 ppm as the CO2 chart would indicate. I suppose I should wake up in the middle of the night and check to be sure. Perhaps the plants start working again as sunlight comes in from the porch in the morning.

I have a good load of plants and will start dosing this week.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 05:06 PM
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Don't just wonder what your CO2 ppm is, get a "drop checker" or make one, and determine for sure what it is. See:DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art

Hoppy
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 12:51 AM
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Haha has that contraption helped you get rid of your algae woe's Hop? or does it help in growing nice plants?

Amano sells that thing because some folks will buy it, personally I find it f'ugly and useless, straying off the path if I may use the term. waste of time, or a distraction.

Craig

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx View Post
Haha has that contraption helped you get rid of your algae woe's Hop? or does it help in growing nice plants?

Amano sells that thing because some folks will buy it, personally I find it f'ugly and useless, straying off the path if I may use the term. waste of time, or a distraction.
Well, I didn't buy one from ADA, and I have demonstrated how easy it is to make one for a few dollars, it doesn't take any of my time to glance at it occasionally, and it doesn't distract me.

What it does is provide information. People tell us we need a certain amount of CO2, but not above another certain amount. This lets us know what amount we actually have in the water. My algae woes are going away, my plants are beautiful, beyond any experience I have previously had, but I won't say the little device is the cause of that. It certainly did allow me to zero in on an appropriate amount of CO2, which was considerably more than I had believed I could use.

In a few years, assuming I live that long, I may become experienced enough to "read" the plants and the tank and not need to measure anything at all. But, for now, I and many other relatively inexperienced plant growers can use a bit of help, which this provides.

Hoppy
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 02:01 AM
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Very good answer Hoppy

Craig

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 09:48 PM
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I've got the CO2 drop checker on my holiday time-off wish list. My KH=8-9, and I've been having recurrent problems with BBA. As *I* believe that BBA is related to CO2, I've been dropping it down. I'm currently around pH=6.1. As that should make my CO2 PPM 'off the charts', I'm planning on going with the drop checker to give me a 'more accurate' reading of my CO2 PPM's. Once I grow comfortable with the reading, I can always remove the checker. But, as it stands, I have 0 confidence in my CO2 levels.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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Co2 reading

Quote:
But, as it stands, I have 0 confidence in my CO2 levels
You totally right to have no confidence in your reading.
The drop checker use a control sample of water (kh) this give it a hedge over the guessing game.
And when install a quick look give you a good appreciation of Co2 level.

I love it

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