Can't seem to get enough CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Can't seem to get enough CO2

At least I think that is the issue. But I'm open to other ideas.

Let me set the stage a little.
Tank in question is 75 gal.
Filtration is 2x XP3's. one running an AM 1000 reactor. Outflows are setup per Betowess and Wasserpest's suggestions for best flow.
Ferts are all E/I and by the numbers (except a slight decrease in PO4 since it tends to run high in the tank.
Lighting TEK 4x54 with GE 6500k bulbs (soon to be changed to Current 10k and 6700)
2 bulbs run 10 hours and all 4 bulbs for two hours mid-day.
CO2 is pressurized and run by a Milwaukee controller with a new pinpoint probe that gets calibrated every other week.

I recently fought an algae war that was really ugly. I had to do the Excel overdose and spot treatment to clear things up. But the tank has looked good for several weeks now.

However, I'm starting to see a small (very small) amount of algae. BBA, green spot. Nothing serious but concerning to me because I can't figure out why it's showing up.

Now I know that most algae issues are CO2 related. But I feel like I'm really blasting it in there. The controller is set for pH 5.7 and is on a whole lot more than it is off. KH is 3 deg.I'm going through a 10lb cylinder in just over two months. The BPS is too high to even count and I get a healthy CO2 buildup in the reactor not long after lights on. I can also see a brisk bubble rate coming up through the reactor (nice that it is clear), and I have checked for leaks.

All this is happening even at fairly low light levels. Doesn't seem like I could ever up the light for even a 4 hour burst and keep up.

But I know there are people on the board with really similar setups (like Betowess) with gorgeous tanks and little or no issues. So I feel like I'm missing something important. I have asked a lot of questions, read a lot, and tried my best to implement things as well as I can. But I don't wan't to descend in algae Hades again.

Please HELP!!!!!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 06:32 AM
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so what's your co2 in ppm?

a little algae is good. it tells you that the tank is healthy..
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 04:18 PM
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That is really burning through the CO2 in two months. I don't think you need that much gas. BBA does like current. I still get it, albeit slowly in my 90 gallon with similar flow. My BBA is almost non existant in my 65 gallon with less flow (one Eheim 2128) and a slower gas flow of pH 6.3. Usually I should get 7-8 months on my 10 lb. tank on the 65 gallon. I have had BBA show up in the 65, but so little and so slowly it doesn't count with one squirt of Excel every couple of months on a spot on my Crinum calemestratum. But I don't have a suggestion, just anecdotes.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 06:18 PM
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I'd love to hear suggestions as well. I think I'm (still!) in a similar boat. My KH=8-9, and I recently dropped my pH to 6.0. That should make my CO2 ppm ridiculously high, but continued BBA and GSA (at least I'm guessing it's GSA) would suggest otherwise. I only recently dropped the pH from 6.1 to 6.0, and I'm finally getting pearling on my Riccia about half way through my 9 hour light cycle.

I also recently switched to a used Eheim 2215, glass lily pipes, an inline Hydor and replace both my bulbs (now have 9325 55w and 6700/10K dual 96w). So, those could contribute as well.

It actually seems like my fish are starting to gasp a bit more than I'd like, so they might be showing effects of the CO2 levels, but with the pH set to 6.1, they were fine, but the no pearling and continued algae.

Oh, and regarding the GSA, I've been dosing 1/2 (!) tsp of PO4 over the last month or so. That is *much* higher than the EI recommended dosing for my 46g. So, now I wonder if my GSA is really GSA.

So, as with you, what are some suggested solutions?
Brian.

Last edited by BSS; 01-25-2007 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Add additional information
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well according to the chart, my pH would be HUGE. KH of 3 and pH of 6 is 87ppm CO2, so pH of 5.7-5.8 should be really high. Obviously the chart is not working well in my situation.

I don't have a drop checker yet, but plan to get one when I can find it at BigAls or the DRs.

Have done the offgas method and calculated that I was in the 40-50 ppm range.

Do I dare turn the controller up to say 6.0 and give that a try?

It does seem like I'm dumping a ton of CO2 in. Fish don't seem to mind though. I'd love to get even 6 months out of a cylinder.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 04:04 PM
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I think pH 6.0-6.2 would be fine. How high are the lights. Maybe try them a few inches higher up and run the second bank a little longer (3+ hours). I know that sounds like inviting algae, but maybe the plants need a longer midday blast? And possibly shorten the whole length by an hour to 8-9 hours. I'm just throwing that out there. FWIW, I took my solenoid of my pH controller and only use the SMS122 as a pH monitor. That saves gas too and my tank runs up to pH 6.8 during the off light hours, but gets down to the 6.2 during the photo-period. I put the CO2 gas on two hours before lights on and off an hour before lights off.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 05:53 PM
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On another note if you are getting a lot of build up in your reactor, you are wasting a lot of co2. You may want to consider putting a second reactor on the other filter and spliting the bubble count with a gangvalve/manifold. You will conserve a lot of co2 this way. On my ada 120cm tank (about 65-70 gallons). I use an external reactor along with a ceramic disc diffusor. If I don't I can't get enough co2 into the tank. I have way too much light.


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