Hi all - I've searched, but still hopeful for some specific advice on the setup I've got going, and my balance of needs for both flora and fauna.
I decided to stock my tank with two free swimming species - zebras and white clouds. I started dosing as of a few days ago. Yesterday, I switched my platies to another tank, and acquired a large addition of white clouds, so the new occupants, as of yesterday, amount to 7 white clouds, 4 RCS, 3 amano. The tank now totals 6 zebra danios, 9 white clouds, and the shrimp.
I began dosing pretty conservatively, as I hadn't received my drop checker yet, and the other day, when I did goose the CO2 a bit - from 1b/2s to 1b/1.5 s, I noticed my platies going to the surface under what seemed like oxygen duress, within an hour of the increased CO2.
Today, a gentler increase of CO2 - currently, from 1 b/2 sec to 1b/1.67 seconds. Nevertheless, within 30 minutes, many of the white clouds had gone to the surface.
I had thought I had adequate flow from the Fluval 205 set to maximum, in this 20H - there was surface ripple. The outflow was about 2" below and parallel to the surface. Representative pic:
and from below:
Thinking to try to maintain O2 while providing for adequate CO2, I've unclipped the outflow hose, so it now "shoots" at the surface, from just below the surface. As it stands now:
The fish seem "happier," and there is a good deal of small air dispersed, now. However, looking at a primitive DIY drop checker I rigged (until my glass checker and standard solution arrives, I made this ugly thing, and a reference solution using one of Hoppy's formula of 6 g. H2C03, 1L, diluted to 4 dkH - thanks, Hoppy). I know measurement errors, and the volatile nature of bicarbonate can skew the checker, but as a rough estimate, I wanted to get it into the tank now, rather than waiting until the proper equipment arrived. The checker has stabilized at a blue-green, which tells me I'm somewhere around 20 PPM CO2, certainly not 30 PPM:
The pic is a bit off - it is bluer in reality than in the pic. Not as blue as "pure" reagent, but not green, either.
My question is this - and I know it's hard to tell from the pics - but as I'm splashing a fair amount of water under the "higher" agitation regime, and it runs more noisily, I'd hope I've enough agitation to maintan adequate O2 under the "low agitation" orientation, above. I've nothing to compare it to, to know what "proper" agitation means. Can anyone offer any thoughts on which of the two orientations above would likely be necessary, to sustain O2 for these animals, while increasing the CO2 rate to ensure CO2 adequate saturation for the plants?