190ppm co2?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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190ppm co2??

So I was reading on the barrreport and found a kh/ph chart for calculating co2. I have used one before but they told me I had driftwood so my readings would be off..

Well now I have no driftwood for about 2 months and I decided to check mine..

Ph6.4
Kh16
=190ish ppm co2..

From what I understand he said the higher the kh, the more room for error in the chart.. could it possibly b that far off???

Drop checker yellow all day.. dark green by morning. Fish and axolotl seem fine.. I have gone too high before and observed what seemed like drunk fish lol.. they r not sluggish now or showing signs of distress..

Is it possible that the chart could b off that much??

Thanks
Jeff
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdenney View Post
So I was reading on the barrreport and found a kh/ph chart for calculating co2. I have used one before but they told me I had driftwood so my readings would be off..

Well now I have no driftwood for about 2 months and I decided to check mine..

Ph6.4
Kh16
=190ish ppm co2..

From what I understand he said the higher the kh, the more room for error in the chart.. could it possibly b that far off???

Drop checker yellow all day.. dark green by morning. Fish and axolotl seem fine.. I have gone too high before and observed what seemed like drunk fish lol.. they r not sluggish now or showing signs of distress..

Is it possible that the chart could b off that much??

Thanks
Jeff
Do you get more plant growth with higher Co2, say being in a yellow?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 08:24 PM
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I recall a Guy in Ohio's tank was 220 according to the chart.
Cardinals and tetras looks fine to me.

So yes.......




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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Um maybe...im not really too sure if it benefits plant growth any more to be higher than 30ish ppm. I know it def helps to stop algae tho.

Not sure if co2 itself actually inhibits algae growth or if the co2 upping the intake of nutrients by the plants just starves the algae.

Yeah I had read the whole thread I remember you saying that now that u mention it. Thanks for the reply tho.. so in your tanks do u just keep bumping the co2 up until u see fish distress and then go back down a little???

Thats how ive set mine since I got it. Was having algae issues so I ended up clearing the whole tank except for my stems.. Trying to start over sort of.. only algae I have now is cyano... struggling with that one lol.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-11-2013 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 12:02 AM
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Does it matter how low the ph goes if you crank up the c02 for maximum plant growth ?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 12:17 AM
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Does it matter how low the ph goes if you crank up the c02 for maximum plant growth ?
if i remember correctly PH could go low as 4.5 with co2, sure you can increase the co2 at the maximum levels but i would watch for the fish/shrimps, shrimps will start to go crazy all over the place and fish will appear upside down (appear to look dead). i have to save my fishes few times from overdose of co2, i go crazy with co2 because i want the fast plant growth.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 12:39 AM
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if i remember correctly PH could go low as 4.5 with co2, sure you can increase the co2 at the maximum levels but i would watch for the fish/shrimps, shrimps will start to go crazy all over the place and fish will appear upside down (appear to look dead). i have to save my fishes few times from overdose of co2, i go crazy with co2 because i want the fast plant growth.
My C02 is about 25 ppm @ 6.7ph 4 KH ,im starting to grow somw hair algie and would like to turn the c02 up but im afraid it will affect the ph to much.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 01:31 AM
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My C02 is about 25 ppm @ 6.7ph 4 KH ,im starting to grow somw hair algie and would like to turn the c02 up but im afraid it will affect the ph to much.

i have 0 Kh and ph starting at 6.2 and the only effect you will get from adding too much co2 is this:

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 02:07 AM
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Ridiculous colours on those plants, very nice growth! Have you had any experience with higher KH and GH with the same Co2 level?


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 02:13 AM
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Ridiculous colours on those plants, very nice growth! Have you had any experience with higher KH and GH with the same Co2 level?

in the past when i had high Kh/GH plants did not look very well even with the highest co2 diffusion and it was very hard to dissolve the co2 when the KH was very high. i would worry more about the Kh being higher instead of worrying too much about the GH.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by happi View Post
if i remember correctly PH could go low as 4.5 with co2, sure you can increase the co2 at the maximum levels but i would watch for the fish/shrimps, shrimps will start to go crazy all over the place and fish will appear upside down (appear to look dead). i have to save my fishes few times from overdose of co2, i go crazy with co2 because i want the fast plant growth.
I've never been able to get the pH that low, 5.3 is about it.

Good reason why; fick's 1st law of diffusion, the gas degasses porportionally as the CO2 concentration increases.

Unless you have a sealed system, very very effective CO2 diffusion method etc, no surface area across which the degassing must occur etc.

This occurs anytime I leave the CO2 running during a water change in the sump where the CO2 system is running full blast for the much larger tank inside a small region, roughly a few gallons, NW+ post canister micro bubble catch. pH meter has never records below 5.37.

This is still a lot of CO2 and lethal to fish, not much lower than 5.4 is Very Tough.
This is at about a KH of 5.

I could try this one one of my homes tanks which have a low KH(1).




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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 01:01 AM
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I've never been able to get the pH that low, 5.3 is about it.

Good reason why; fick's 1st law of diffusion, the gas degasses porportionally as the CO2 concentration increases.

Unless you have a sealed system, very very effective CO2 diffusion method etc, no surface area across which the degassing must occur etc.

This occurs anytime I leave the CO2 running during a water change in the sump where the CO2 system is running full blast for the much larger tank inside a small region, roughly a few gallons, NW+ post canister micro bubble catch. pH meter has never records below 5.37.

This is still a lot of CO2 and lethal to fish, not much lower than 5.4 is Very Tough.
This is at about a KH of 5.

I could try this one one of my homes tanks which have a low KH(1).
Tom i never claimed that PH would drop to 4.5, i have read this somewhere on this forum, if i remember correctly he said PH could drop low as 4.5 when you have 0 KH and maximum co2. i have used the maximum co2 on that tank in the video, when i say maximum i am talking about when co2 refuses to diffuse in the reactor anymore.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 01:35 AM
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Tom i never claimed that PH would drop to 4.5, i have read this somewhere on this forum, if i remember correctly he said PH could drop low as 4.5 when you have 0 KH and maximum co2. i have used the maximum co2 on that tank in the video, when i say maximum i am talking about when co2 refuses to diffuse in the reactor anymore.
CO2 should always diffuse in the reactor, because the tank water will be losing CO2 from the surface, and the higher the concentration of CO2 in the water, the faster the CO2 escapes from the surface. That means you always need to be adding CO2, just to stay at the same concentration.

A few years ago I read an article where it was demonstrated theoretically that there is a minimum pH that CO2 can drive water down to. The carbonic acid just isn't a strong enough acid to drop the pH any lower - adding more CO2 doesn't then create more carbonic acid, just more dissolved CO2.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 06:15 PM
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Tom i never claimed that PH would drop to 4.5, i have read this somewhere on this forum, if i remember correctly he said PH could drop low as 4.5 when you have 0 KH and maximum co2. i have used the maximum co2 on that tank in the video, when i say maximum i am talking about when co2 refuses to diffuse in the reactor anymore.
Sorry if I implied you said that, it's a long quoted myth around the planted web that there's a pH drop that gets to these levels. I think maybe in the 200-400 ppm perhaps, but degassing really takes off and makes it real tough to increase the CO2 concentration.

I've never been able to get zero KH even in RO.
I suppose with high grade stuff, you might get under 5 uS.

Still, it's tough to do and keep and adding the water to a planted tank with ferts, plants, sediment, bioflims etc, I do not think it matters so muchy if there's KH or not, the CO2 might be able to be measured if the KH is really zero(scale drops off to infinity) using the pH/KH relationship.
But the rates of degassing and the CO2 content is still stable.
You can add KH and then remove it again and keep the same rates of degassing and ppm in the water. So you could measure it indirectly.

Still, these ppm's are long long way from what we can really add without toasting fish and shrimp.

Discus have been the most wimpy of fish for CO2. 40-45 ppm and a temp of 84F and O2 at 7 ppm. More than this, they really do not like it.
Smaller tetras and fish? They are pretty tough customers.
Lower temps? Even better.

The folks who seem to have the most issues with the pH/KH table being way off are mostly in the mid west and where they get the water from karst limestone aquifers, or do partial lime softening. Water companies add various products to maintain the alkalinity and those seem to cause errors in the KH and/or pH.

Places with good high grade low KH tap, they really will not have much error.
Peat and ADA soils etc, likely potting soils also since they often have ample peat, will depress the pH, causing errors, mostly causing folks to think they have more CO2 than they really do.

This is more for the general discussion, not because you or any one in particular does not know this stuff. Good to think about it and be aware and see there are some methods to measure it even if you have no KH or have tannins etc that mess with the CO2 table.

There are ways around it.
I did this using a lot of water changes when I use to use peat and wanted to know what the CO2 was. But the tap water had phosphates also, so that threw it off and I thought I had more cO2 than I really did. I was like, "hey! I have 32 ppm of cO2 and I'm not adding any CO2 gas!".

That did not make any sense either.

Rules out the peat though.

Then I got an RO unit and figured out the tap was messing with me.
Several steps, but......got the answers at least. I was running 40ppm back in 1996, but it said I had 80-90 ppm. Peat added 15 ppm of that. Then the remainder was the tap additives. Less than 1/2 was actually CO2.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 06:25 PM
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A few years ago I read an article where it was demonstrated theoretically that there is a minimum pH that CO2 can drive water down to. The carbonic acid just isn't a strong enough acid to drop the pH any lower - adding more CO2 doesn't then create more carbonic acid, just more dissolved CO2.

You can seal the system.

As applied to hobbyists in planted tanks, think about the surface films/scums, they act as an effective barrier to gas exchange(O and CO2 for our purposes).

If the thickness and the diffusivity changes in the scum layer throughout the day(this is the case when the O2 from the plants causes the layer to dissipate or go away, only to return in the night time).

I think this is okay in the AM when the lights come on, and if you have few fish that need much O2. And it would be good right as the lights go off to contain the O2 from the plants.

But degassing rates would vary.
If the tank's water level changes throughout the week, also, another change for the degassing rates, so non sump type tanks will have to deal with that or add replacement water often. Many folks do.

Now if you added pressure, then you can super saturate the water and get more CO2 gas into there, but the pH stays the same. More common for O2 than CO2.

As there is a huge carbonate beverage industry, They add a lot of CO2 to their water, that might be a good place to look at this, but they really are not dealing with the rates of degassing.

It can be measured by the loss rates when you do not add CO2.
Or make various changes to the flow and other factors to the aquarium.

There's still ample CO2 being added from respiration of O2 from the sediment and the plants at night. That needs some accounting.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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