High Co2 content? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Folks: Bear with me while I learn my water chemistry. I bought a tetra laborette kit and tested my water. My Kh is less than 1 degree and My Gh is less than 1 degree and my Ph is 6.0. According the the chart with the test and those results, my co2 concentration is around 20 mg!! Is that not a problem. All I read says 2 mg is perfect. Where do I go from here?? Thanks everyone for helping. :?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishlady
My Kh is less than 1 degree and My Gh is less than 1 degree and my Ph is 6.0. According the the chart with the test and those results, my co2 concentration is around 20 mg!! Is that not a problem. All I read says 2 mg is perfect.
20 ppm or mg/l would be perfect. You seem to have extremely soft water, or are you using RO/DI water?


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 07:53 PM
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water seems a little to soft actually, I would double check those test kits, check for exp. dates, do a bucket test ect.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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That is my well water right out of tap!Somewhere last night I read that 2.0 mg of C02 is perfect. Am I mistaken, are they talking about added Co2? I find this all SO confusing!

Can you tell me something?? Why when I run an air stone do the fish get covered in air bubbles and look uncomfortable. Do you know what is happening there? I removed the air stone when it happened. Thanks for helping!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 08:15 PM
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However, you can hurt your fish if your pH crashes when injecting co2. Low kH like that is very dangerous for your fishkies

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishlady
Somewhere last night I read that 2.0 mg of C02 is perfect.
CO2 levels are not measured in mg. Usually they are noted as ppm, which is the same as mg/l. Between 10 and 20 is optimal for plants and fish. Where did you read it? Perhaps taking it out of context makes it seem incorrect?

Why were you running an airstone? Just with an air pump? Maybe it was causing too much current?


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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I was told to run the airstone to help clear cloudy water. Is clear now. I just repeated the tests, Gh is showing zero and Kh is between 1-2. How do I increase these numbers? I read about baking soda here. Should I use that. Also, I read about Seachem's Equilibrium. What should I do here?? Thanks so much. The tank has been set up for a year and I have lost only a few fish but could not find a reason. LFS always told me my water was fine. Little do they know huh?? Thanks for helping. I have plants coming on Tuesday and I need to get the water right for them and the fish..

Yes, the Co2 was mg/l. So I guess I am ok there...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 03:08 AM
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Read my FAQ. I have a good section on dealing with soft water. If you are not adding CO2 to the water then you can't have much more than 1.7-1.8 ppm. You also need to let the tap water rest for a minimum of 12 hours before you test the pH.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2004, 02:03 AM
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If you did actually read some place that 2ppm of CO2 was ideal, it was a misprint (happens all the time) and was supposed to read 20ppm. It got past the proof reader (who probably didn't even know that it was supposed to say 20 in the first place).

GH between 1 and 3 is good. KH between 1 and 3 is good. PH should be around 6.8 or so. CO2 between 16 and 20 is really fine!

Baking soda will increase your GH, but go slow. Do not exceed .2 or .3 in a 24 hour period if you want to be kind to your fish. They can be sensitive and reactive to pH changes that are too rapid.

Try 1/4 tsp. in 1 quart (or 1 liter) of tank water, well dissolved by stirring. Return it to the tank by pouring slowly where there is good water flow to help distribute it through the tank.

If you have a lot of plants, take out the air stone. The effect of bubblers and air stones in a planted tank removes CO2 at an accelerated rate. As long as you do not suffocate your fish with CO2 poisoning (and 16 mg/l is fine) you don't need to aerate. The plants should be producing enough oxygen for the fish. Remove the air stone in the morning (like on a weekend) so you can watch them hourly throughout the day and make sure they are fine. Unless you have fish that are accustomed to very rapidly moving water with very high aeration, they should be fine. BTW, it is rare to find such fish!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2004, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoach1999
If you did actually read some place that 2ppm of CO2 was ideal, it was a misprint (happens all the time) and was supposed to read 20ppm. It got past the proof reader (who probably didn't even know that it was supposed to say 20 in the first place).

GH between 1 and 3 is good. KH between 1 and 3 is good. PH should be around 6.8 or so. CO2 between 16 and 20 is really fine!

Baking soda will increase your GH, but go slow. Do not exceed .2 or .3 in a 24 hour period if you want to be kind to your fish. They can be sensitive and reactive to pH changes that are too rapid.

Earnest Steve
Some bones to pick...

A kH and GH of 1-3 is not fine. A GH under 3 = Ca and Mg deficiencies and a KH under 3 = pH crashes.

Baking soda does NOT increase GH, it only increases KH.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2004, 02:19 AM
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To treat "cloudy" water, you must first try and understand what was the cause of the clouding. If you are starting "pre-bloom" algae, you may have too much light (maybe some stray sunlight at some point during the day?) or too much nutrient in the water. Planted tanks benefit from a few fish, but your fish load may be too much for your tank. Rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon of water MAX (you can have LESS). In the case of some cold water super-polluters, like goldfish, it is 1" of fish length to 4 gallons of water.

Other causes of "Cloudiness": When you change your filter medium, try and do it in steps. For instance, if you have 2 pieces of foam or plastic filter mesh, change one, then change the other in 3 days. This will give the new filter a chance to re-seed with beneficial bacteria from the one older filter you left in. Changing water with your filters all at once at the same time could potentially reduce your bacterial coloy to levels too low to handle the excess fish food and waste, etc., in which case "undesireable" bacteria may start to gain the upper hand (kind of like "new tank syndrome").

If you just throw in an air stone and it drops your CO2 levels rapidly (by off-gassing CO2 with the oxygen bubbles that are leaving the water), your pH will also alter rapidly. This sudden pH change can cause discomfort, illness, and even shock (or death) to some or all of your fish, so do be careful!

When you change your water, the amount and frequency can sometimes have an effect on cloudiness. Minimum changes would be 3 times a month, but even better is 25% a week, or 15% to 20% twice a week. If you go too long without a change your tank can become sceptic which is toxic to fish and not good for plants. If you change water too much or too often (say, like 50% every week, and 100% once a month) you can reduce the colony of beneficial "nitrification" bacteria that your water needs in order to keep ahead of the "bad" bacteria in keeping up your nitrogen cycle (breakdown of ditrius and uneaten food, etc. -- ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate). If you have a well-established tank that is broken in and aged a bit, you may also be benefitting from the "de-nitrification" that comes from certain anearobic bacteria that convert accumulating nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas that escapes into the atmosphere.

I hope this helps. Come back if you have more questions. There is no place around here like this place, so THIS MUST BE THE PLACE!

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2004, 02:29 AM
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Right you are, Rolo.

Baking soda only influences KH. One can raise GH by adding calcium sulfate.

According to Red Sea, the optimum KH for water plants is 3 to 8.

Having just reviewed Nature Aquarium World, Book One (Takashi Amano) I noted that in the specs of about every and all of his tanks KH was in every case between 1 and 3, as was also GH (between 1 and 3). I suppose I should drop Takashi a line and let him know about all the trouble he can expect by keeping his numbers so low!

Earenst Steve
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