need help on my water - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Valrico Florida
Posts: 26
need help on my water

my water test is PH 7.8 Gh 4d KH 3d nitrate 0 My question is I have very low co2 reading I use aqua medic 1000 reactor with new 5lb co2 tank I start with 10 bubble and I had 6ppm and increase to 20 bubble still same 6ppm and one more question I test the water after ro unit and sit for one day the Ph 6.8 after do the water change 24 hours I test the tank water the PH 7.8 is anyone can tell me what' go wrong thanks
ken238 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 05:12 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pismo Beach, CA
Posts: 112
I don't think you are getting any responses because your writing is very hard to read. You need to write in complete sentences and explain your situation better. How many bubbles per second are you running? You mighty have something in you tank that is buffering the water. What king of rocks and substrate do you have.? If you are very young or english is not you first language then that is excusable other wise there is no excuse for the terrible grammar. If you want real help then you have to ask in a way that everybody can understand. I don't want to be to rude but many young people write like they are sending a text message.
ZLewis is offline  
post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Valrico Florida
Posts: 26
English is second language anyway I use Eco-complete substrate only one drift wood .I run 1 bubble per second in the first week and I have 6ppm,second week increase to 2 bubble per second still have 6ppm but the Ph up to 8.3
ken238 is offline  
 
post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 08:01 PM
Grow little guys... grow.
 
i4x4nMore's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 191
re: need help on my water

Yes, I agree, your post is a bit hard to understand....

BUT, from what I can piece together:

You clearly aren't getting any CO2 into your water column. A 7.8pH and 3kH would have very little CO2 according to CO2 charts. Without knowing your exact situation, setup, and attention to detail, here's the things I would check:
  • Check for leaks... Use very soapy water and brush it on the outside of ALL the interconnections on your regulator while the CO2 is running. This includes all the tubing interconnects, and check-valve(s), and the insertion point into the water column. If one of these connections is leaking then the soapy water will bubble and reveal the leak. This really works. I revealed a leak just two weeks ago on one of my CO2 tanks when I notice the gauge pressure dropping faster than I would expect.
  • Next, make sure your water flow isn't too high through the reactor. CO2 needs time to diffuse into the water. It's possible for you to inject CO2 and have it just escape to the atmosphere. If you see CO2 bubbles escaping from the reactor and making their way into your tank, then the water flow is too high.
  • If you are using a pH controller to turn the CO2 on and off, then make sure that it is accurately calibrated.
  • If you are not using a controller, then make sure you running the CO2 long enough to make a difference.
  • Also, as it was mentioned earlier, you may have something else buffering your water that your test kit couldn't measure as CaCO3 when you tested the kH (please correct if I am wrong on this). In any case, your kH could actually be much higher than you think it is.
  • Get creative and inject a ton of CO2 into a gallon of tap water and then measure the pH just to verify that you see a huge drop in the pH. Verify everything, your pH test kit and your kH test kit.
Alternatively, post more detail about your situation (in a clear to read fashion) so that we can fill in more pieces of the puzzle. Good luck!

Cheers!

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
One should never have to decide between chocolate, cake, or cookies.

Last edited by i4x4nMore; 04-15-2008 at 08:03 PM. Reason: spelling
i4x4nMore is offline  
post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Valrico Florida
Posts: 26
I did check for leaks and test kits even test the co2 reactor.here is what I set up,before I use powerhead (maxi 1200) outlet to co2 reactor (aqua medic 1000) every fine.I just replace powerhead with Eheim 2217 filter about 2 week.the Ph getting higher everyday the co2 getting lower.I don't know is filter media ( Eheim ehfisubstrat) or (ehfimech)keep buffering my tank's water.
ken238 is offline  
post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 10:19 PM
Grow little guys... grow.
 
i4x4nMore's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 191
re: need help on my water

Hmm... still need more to go on. As I understand, you originally had a powerhead driving the water through your CO2 reactor. But now, you have a canister filter and the CO2 reactor is in-line with that. And the powerhead is no longer used (?).


Questions:


  1. How do you know that you have "6ppm" of CO2? Many things can throw off CO2 test kits such as tannins and other acid sources in the water column. If your pH and kH are accurate, it is improbable that you have 6ppm CO2.
  2. Do you use a controller to turn the CO2 on and off?
  3. Just curious, What do the two gauges on your CO2 regulator say when you are running the CO2?... something like, "High pressure gauge: 800psi, Regulated pressure gauge: 40psi"
  4. When the CO2 is running, EXACTLY how many bubbles pass through the bubble counter in 60sec... use a timer and count them all :-)
  5. Exactly what method did you use to verify your kH test kit? And your pH test kit?
  6. Very silly question... Are you sure you are injecting CO2?
  7. What kind of water do you use in your tank? Tap water? Prepared R/O water?
  8. Is your tank, lightly planted, or heavily planted?
Thoughts: I really don't think that the media in the canister filter affects the kH of the water at all. I use the exact same filter and I have a reactor very similar to the Aqua Medic 1000 reactor... but they are not directly in-line with one another. The reactor gets a water feed from the canister filter but it's flow reduced with an adjustable valve and then travels to the tank separately.

Cheers.

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
One should never have to decide between chocolate, cake, or cookies.

Last edited by i4x4nMore; 04-15-2008 at 10:43 PM. Reason: added question #1
i4x4nMore is offline  
post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 11:06 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pismo Beach, CA
Posts: 112
You write fairly well for english being your second language. I can not say I can write that well in another language. I think you've been given good advice so far and I hope you figure it out.
ZLewis is offline  
post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Valrico Florida
Posts: 26
I use red sea co2 test kit all I need 3 drops .I don't use controller.co2 regulator high pressure gauge about 700psi,regulated gauge 20 psi.I set 20 bubble per 60 second.KH also red sea kit and read 4 degree,Ph I test both digital and red sea kit both real close 8.3.I'm sure injecting co2 I can see bubble flow up inside the reactor.I use r/o water filter.my tank medium plant.
ken238 is offline  
post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:22 AM
Banned
 
Left C's Avatar
 
PTrader: (19/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 5,009
I just have to ask this. Please forgive me if it is redundant.

Is the 4 dKH solution in your drop checker made with distilled water and baking soda or are you using a different 4 dKH solution?

EHEIM PIMP #164
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Classic 2011, Classic 2213, Classic 2217, ECCO 2236, Pro II 2028, Liberty 2040, Liberty 2042

VICTOR PIMP #1
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
VTS253A-1993, VTS250B-580, VTS253D-320, HPT500-40-350-4M, SGT500-40-4F-DK
Left C is offline  
post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Valrico Florida
Posts: 26
I use red sea co2 test kit.must be something keep buffering the water
ken238 is offline  
post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 04:38 AM
Grow little guys... grow.
 
i4x4nMore's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 191
re: need help on my water

Ok, let's add all the info up and see where we stand:
  • Your pH is between 7.8-8.3, checked both with electronic and analog tests. Good, I'll trust that.
  • Your kH reads about 4dkH... but you didn't say how you verified that your kH test is working properly. So that's still slightly unknown in my book. Very simply, your pH, kH, and CO2 triangle does NOT add up. At least, with the numbers you are giving. No worries.
  • Your tank is filled with Eco-complete as a subsrtate and you have a piece of driftwood. Fine.
  • Your CO2 tank has a high pressure of 700psi, and a regulated pressure of 20psi. On the surface, that sounds reasonable... since it's less than 900psi it sounds like it's on its way to being empty... check it over the next week.
  • You checked for leaks. I'll go with that for now. Besides, even with a small leak, the CO2 would still register in the water as a pH change. Your CO2 canister will just empty faster with a leak.
  • You mentioned that you counted 20 bubbles per 60 seconds through the bubble counter. So that's 1 bubble every 3 seconds. Fine.
  • Your tank is medium planted. Fine.
  • You used a RedSea CO2 test kit and it took 3 drops before the color changed happened during the titration. Ok, so you are registering some CO2. Otherwise, if you only had ambient CO2 levels, the first drop would have changed the test sample instantly. (This is all based on my previous experience using a LaMotte CO2 test kit.)
  • You filter your tap water through an R/O unit. Ok, what additives do you use to prepare that R/O water before you add it to the tank? If it really is R/O water, then you wont have any minerals or buffer in the water, unless you add those things directly. Thus, you should know exactly what your buffer is. The pH will be very erratic in pure R/O water. So, do you really mean R/O (reverse osmosis) or just "filtered" water?
Summary, Thoughts, and More Questions:
  1. Please verify that you don't have any coral, crushed coral, or beach sand in your tank in addition to your substrate.
  2. Even though the exact nature of your tank water is still a mystery to me, there is something very fundamental that is missing here. Enough CO2 injected into water (even if it has a very high kH) will eventually register a pH drop.
  3. You don't use a controller, so does that mean you let the CO2 run continuously? You turn it off at night?
  4. 1 bubble for every 3 seconds could be too low of a rate. Your plants, for example, could consume the CO2 faster than you are injecting it. In your first post, you mentioned "10 bubbles" and then increasing to "20 bubbles"... what does that mean? Per second? Per minute? Then later you mention 1 bubble per second and then incresing it to 2 bubbles per second. 1bps and 2bps are fairly strong rates of CO2 injection if all that CO2 is being dissolved.
P.S. If you're up for it, take a picture of your setup showing the reactor and how things are connected, then post it. Would love to see if there's something obvious that I'm missing.

Cheers!

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
One should never have to decide between chocolate, cake, or cookies.

Last edited by i4x4nMore; 04-16-2008 at 07:09 AM. Reason: Refined some of my thoughts.
i4x4nMore is offline  
post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 12:00 AM
Banned
 
Left C's Avatar
 
PTrader: (19/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 5,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken238 View Post
I use red sea co2 test kit.must be something keep buffering the water
I know that you are using the Red Sea CO2 Indicator with a 4 dKH soltion.

The directions say to use aquarium water. This is wrong.

You should be using a 4 dKH solution made with baking soda and distilled water.

What are you using for your 4 dKH solution?

EHEIM PIMP #164
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Classic 2011, Classic 2213, Classic 2217, ECCO 2236, Pro II 2028, Liberty 2040, Liberty 2042

VICTOR PIMP #1
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
VTS253A-1993, VTS250B-580, VTS253D-320, HPT500-40-350-4M, SGT500-40-4F-DK
Left C is offline  
post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 05:04 AM
Grow little guys... grow.
 
i4x4nMore's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 191
re: 4dkH solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
I know that you are using the Red Sea CO2 Indicator with a 4 dKH solution.
From what I can gather, I think that ken238 simply mentioned that his tank water measured a kH of 4 degrees using his test kit. Am I missing something? In his first post, he states 3dkH and, in the fourth post, he states 4dkH. LeftC, what is this 4dkH solution you are speaking of?

ken238, you can chime in anytime you like and help clear this up. Did you ever make any headway on your problem?

Cheers.

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
One should never have to decide between chocolate, cake, or cookies.
i4x4nMore is offline  
post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 10:31 AM
Banned
 
Left C's Avatar
 
PTrader: (19/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 5,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by i4x4nMore View Post
From what I can gather, I think that ken238 simply mentioned that his tank water measured a kH of 4 degrees using his test kit. Am I missing something? In his first post, he states 3dkH and, in the fourth post, he states 4dkH. LeftC, what is this 4dkH solution you are speaking of?

ken238, you can chime in anytime you like and help clear this up. Did you ever make any headway on your problem?

Cheers.
Howdy i4x4nMore

He also says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken238 View Post
I use red sea co2 test kit.must be something keep buffering the water
The last sentence isn't quit clear what he's saying either.

The directions that come with drop checkers/CO2 indicators say to use aquarium water. That is wrong.

You should use a known dKH solution made with distilled water and bicarbonate or carbonate only. Baking soda is the most commonly used one.

Using a drop checker/CO2 indicator with a 4 dKH solution made with distilled water and baking soda turns green at a CO2 concentration of around 30 ppm.
If it's blue, then the CO2 level is too low or it's just freshly made, it hasn't had time to reach equilibrium with the aquarium water yet. If it's yellow; the CO2 level is too high.

The 4 dKH solution is the most commonly used one because when it's green; you'll have around 30 ppm of CO2.

You can also use other dKH solutions. Using a 3 dKH solution, the drop checker will be green at a lower CO2 level. On the other hand if you use a 5 dKH solution will be green at a higher CO2 level.

i4x4nMore, do you know about drop checkers/CO2 indicators and do you know about calculating the CO2 level from the pH/dKH relationship?

To correctly calculate the CO2 level from the pH and dKH the only buffers in the water can only be carbonate or bicarbonate based. Any other buffer, like phosphate and any other acids like tannins or acids from decomposition will skew this relationship and invalidate your calculation of the CO2 level rendering it incorrect. The results are usually used skewed to the high side.

Let me give you some links to read about this. I've got to hit the trail now.

Let's start with the following one. Pay particular attention to what Chuck is saying about using carbonates only and how phosphates can invalidate this relationship.
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

Bromothymol Blue is the indicator used. This is the indicator solution used in freshwater low range pH test kits. It measures a pH range from 6.0 to 7.6. Bromothymol Blue is also sensitive to CO2 as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromothymol_blue

Bill is selling this bicarbonate solution. There is much information on his site with links to read at the bottom about the people involved in coming up with the idea about using a known carbonate/bicarbonate solution in drop checkers.
http://liquidarthome.net/khstandard

I hope that this helps you, i4x4nMore.

Left C

EHEIM PIMP #164
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Classic 2011, Classic 2213, Classic 2217, ECCO 2236, Pro II 2028, Liberty 2040, Liberty 2042

VICTOR PIMP #1
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
VTS253A-1993, VTS250B-580, VTS253D-320, HPT500-40-350-4M, SGT500-40-4F-DK
Left C is offline  
post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 07:02 PM
Grow little guys... grow.
 
i4x4nMore's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 191
re: drop checkers

ken238 seems to have quietly disappeared from this thread :-) And in my attempt to help, I ended up learning something new. So, original problem not solved (as far as we know) but knowledge gained anyway...


re: Drop Checkers


Sweet! I love new toys... er, I mean necessary equipment. LeftC, I wasn't entirely familiar with drop checkers, so now I understand your previous comments in relation to ken238's replies. Thanks for the great info and the links. I had just started my own bit of research regarding them before I got your post. I was reading a long discourse by T.Barr where he talks about them... and I thought, "Ok, 'drop checker' came up twice in one day... time to look into it."

For myself, I have usually relied on the pH/kH/CO2 relationship because I have always prepared my own water from R/O water. And I use either CaCO3 or NaHCO3 as the only buffer. Up until recently, my phosphates were purposefully low (my pre EI days) so I considered their contribution negligible. And I didn't think tannins would build up in my tanks with all the frequent water changes.

I once bought and used a LaMotte CO2 test kit and I used it frequently to see if I could verify my CO2 concentration and see how it compared against the CO2 charts. Using the test kit, I was very satisfied with the match with the values I was seeing on the CO2 chart. But, as always, there's a lot going on behind the scenes.... I guess it's time to dive a little deeper.

Nowadays, since I dose 4ppm/week PO4, I guess they might become a significant factor in the pH/kH/CO2 relationship. Also, I suspect that one of my tanks has a significant amount of tannins due to the drift wood (the drain water is yellowish in my sink but not apparent in the tank).


Cheers!

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
One should never have to decide between chocolate, cake, or cookies.
i4x4nMore is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome