Will co2 help with daytime oxygen content? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Will co2 help with daytime oxygen content?

A couple months ago I started using an airstone to help with oxygen diffusion since my filter is fully submersed and does not provide oxygen. I was worried that my fish were suffering during the night as they appeared stressed when the lighting came on in the morning.

I have recently noticed a slow degredation in my plants(mainly pygmy chain sword), with some die off where as prior it was growing non stop. Part of it is from algae blooms since my ramshorn population needs a boost but only a very small part. I have an excess of lighting and tend to use ramshorns as a corrective measure to stop algae. This is different, however, as leaves appear to be simply dying off without algae trouble. For the record I use flourish once a week.

I suspect a lack of carbon and have stepped up my bioavailable carbon supplementing to twice a week, considering more. I also happen to have a complete aquatek mini setup just sitting there. I bought it months ago thinking I'd start a new tank but found I don't have the time. The thing I really want to know here is if using co2 during the day would be adequate for oxygen. I could then relay the air pump to turn on at night.

Thanks in advance for feedback.

-mootsy

-mootay

Last edited by mootay; 08-14-2015 at 06:30 AM. Reason: turn air pump on at night, not off
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 04:25 AM
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Any chance the plants are dying off from potassium defficiency? (pinholes forming on leaves before they die).

If not, how are they dying? can you describe, or post pictures?

Flourish doesn't really provide much NPK, it's mostly micros... The fish waste will provide some N and P if you've got enough stock, but it tends not to have much K...

As for the CO2... CO2 isn't oxygen... it will indirectly provide oxygen via the plants when the lights are on, but only if the plants are healthy...

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 05:29 AM
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+1 to what Matt said. You probably have used up whatever the plants were growing on and now that there is a deficiency it has allowed the algae to grow and not the plants. I don't think co2 is your answer. It will only help if the plants are getting enough of the other nutrients. I would try a little Flourish Potassium or API Leafzone which also has potassium.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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I can post a couple pictures of the dying leaves. I want to clarify though, that I am not confused about co2 and o2. What I intended to say was that I would setup a relay to turn an air pump ON at night, thus providing oxygen when the plants are no longer giving it off.

I also want to add that the plants haven't used anything up per se, as the only thing I added was some root tabs clear back in February. Those were probably used up as I went through an awful period of green water. I regularly dose the tank with Flourish and the substrate itself is full of detritus and laterite. Do you think API Leaf Zone would work better? I heard it doesn't have as many trace nutrients as Flourish.

Mainly though, the difference between the time the plants were growing healthily and now is that I started using an air stone to supplement oxygen because my fish appeared stressed after a night cycle.




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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mootay View Post
I can post a couple pictures of the dying leaves. I want to clarify though, that I am not confused about co2 and o2. What I intended to say was that I would setup a relay to turn an air pump ON at night, thus providing oxygen when the plants are no longer giving it off.

I also want to add that the plants haven't used anything up per se, as the only thing I added was some root tabs clear back in February. Those were probably used up as I went through an awful period of green water. I regularly dose the tank with Flourish and the substrate itself is full of detritus and laterite. Do you think API Leaf Zone would work better? I heard it doesn't have as many trace nutrients as Flourish.

Mainly though, the difference between the time the plants were growing healthily and now is that I started using an air stone to supplement oxygen because my fish appeared stressed after a night cycle.



Provide a full photo of the tank please.
Is this tank high tech or low tech?
Is this tank heavily planted?
Is the tank overstocked with fauna?

In a heavily planted tank that's not overstocked with fauna, the plants will provide enough O2 during the day to carry the fauna through the night as long as there's not too much water to air exchange caused by agitation of any sort ei. a bubbler or HOB filter. circulating within the tank is good for keeping CO2 and O2 in the water.

Last edited by Steve001; 08-14-2015 at 12:21 PM. Reason: x
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mootay View Post

I also want to add that the plants haven't used anything up per se, as the only thing I added was some root tabs clear back in February. Those were probably used up as I went through an awful period of green water. I regularly dose the tank with Flourish and the substrate itself is full of detritus and laterite. Do you think API Leaf Zone would work better? I heard it doesn't have as many trace nutrients as Flourish.
Look, Neither Flourish nor Leaf zone is a sufficient, balanced fertilizer by itself.

Flourish has a small amount of NPK, but the amounts are inconsequential. This fertilizer really only contains useful amounts of Iron and micronutrients. Keep in mind that plants need 100's of times more nitrogen than iron, and take a look at your fertilizer label.. (a healthy apple tree leaf's dry matter might be 50ppm iron, and 2% nitrogen or 20000 ppm. 400 times more here.. this varies slightly from plant-to-plant.)


Leafzone contains Potassium (K), and Iron, but nothing else.

So, what's your tanks nitrate levels like? Looking at that "die back from the leaf tip with yellowing" pattern, I'm going to guess your plants are nitrogen deficient.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 05:15 PM
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+1 to matt

You are seeing bad nutrient (probably macro) deficiencies from using insufficient ferts. Get some dry ferts and dose reduced EI or something. Trace elements are needed but nowhere near to the extent that macros are.

This has nothing to do with carbon - unless you inject CO2 and then something happens you really shouldn't see any 'new' carbon deficiencies out of the blue like that. Carbon deficiencies that I have seen are also much uglier than this.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Provide a full photo of the tank please.
Is this tank high tech or low tech?
Is this tank heavily planted?
Is the tank overstocked with fauna?

In a heavily planted tank that's not overstocked with fauna, the plants will provide enough O2 during the day to carry the fauna through the night as long as there's not too much water to air exchange caused by agitation of any sort ei. a bubbler or HOB filter. circulating within the tank is good for keeping CO2 and O2 in the water.


1. I would say it falls under the low tech category.
2. The Pygmy Chain Sword has carpeted well and is quite dense, but that's about it for plants.
3. The tank has a couple of CPDs and probably somewhere in the range of 10-12 Assassin snails. There was a much heavier bio load for a time when Ramshorn snails dominated the tank. I was manually removing a few each week for a while until recently I had noticed that baby Assassin snails were moving about in the tank which seems to have coincided with my Ramshorns disappearing and many empty shells cropping up.

I think the general balance of the tank has been to be overstocked with fauna(snails) so perhaps I'll leave the air stone running.

As for nitrogen deficiency, lately testing reads about 20-40PPM nitrates. In the past I would see zero nitrates but still excellent plant growth.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 10:55 PM
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1. I would say it falls under the low tech category.
2. The Pygmy Chain Sword has carpeted well and is quite dense, but that's about it for plants.
3. The tank has a couple of CPDs and probably somewhere in the range of 10-12 Assassin snails. There was a much heavier bio load for a time when Ramshorn snails dominated the tank. I was manually removing a few each week for a while until recently I had noticed that baby Assassin snails were moving about in the tank which seems to have coincided with my Ramshorns disappearing and many empty shells cropping up.

I think the general balance of the tank has been to be overstocked with fauna(snails) so perhaps I'll leave the air stone running.

As for nitrogen deficiency, lately testing reads about 20-40PPM nitrates. In the past I would see zero nitrates but still excellent plant growth.
See this thread https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=98529 and this thread https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=506 Looks to me you have a nitrogen deficiency according the the chart.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 11:34 PM
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As for nitrogen deficiency, lately testing reads about 20-40PPM nitrates. In the past I would see zero nitrates but still excellent plant growth.

Is that number a calibrated test? I know I harp on this a lot, but nitrate tests are not to be trusted without a calibration check. Errors of reading over 600% of actual levels are very common, and larger errors have been reported .

I would say your numbers without calibration suggest somewhere between 2ppm and 40ppm, but that tells us nothing of value.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Is that number a calibrated test? I know I harp on this a lot, but nitrate tests are not to be trusted without a calibration check. Errors of reading over 600% of actual levels are very common, and larger errors have been reported .

I would say your numbers without calibration suggest somewhere between 2ppm and 40ppm, but that tells us nothing of value.
I use a simple API 5 in 1 test strip kit. I expect you to now tell me it's useless trash and I need to upgrade to a better kit for reading nitrates.

On the other hand I did pick up some API root tabs today. I also have Jobe's plant spikes which might be a tad heavier in nitrogen but are even worse than root tabs when it comes to disintegration upon contact with water being that they are made for terrestrial plants. At least with the root tabs I have a fighting chance to get them somewhat buried if I prep a hole and act quick. Still not something I like to do when my substrate floor is barely visible.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 03:31 AM
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Calling it useless trash would be showing some restraint.

Feel free to edit.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 01:06 PM
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I use a simple API 5 in 1 test strip kit. I expect you to now tell me it's useless trash and I need to upgrade to a better kit for reading nitrates.
No.. I don't care what test kit you have.. when it comes to nitrates, all test kits are trash until proven otherwise by checking them against a known sample...

I personally have yet to find a strip test that I trust, but I'll admit I've not tried API's. I use their liquid tests, and most seem fairly good, but my set of their liquid nitrate test reads 6 times actual levels.

My first hint that it was off was it told me my tap water was 20ppm, which exceeds legal limits (it's actually 3) ... I then mixed up a some reference solutions and found out it was reading 6 times too high.

I am by far not the only one that has had this problem..

Also that result doesn't make the test trash. The results I get from the API liquid test are *very* consistent... I just need to divide its numbers by 6 when I use it.

I now use a different test most of the time, as it is easier to read in the 10-20ppm range than the 6x API test... but I still keep the API one as it is useful for measuring very low values.


Moral of the story: Don't trust your nitrate test without reason to do so. It is very common for them to deceive you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mootay View Post
On the other hand I did pick up some API root tabs today. I also have Jobe's plant spikes which might be a tad heavier in nitrogen but are even worse than root tabs when it comes to disintegration upon contact with water being that they are made for terrestrial plants. At least with the root tabs I have a fighting chance to get them somewhat buried if I prep a hole and act quick. Still not something I like to do when my substrate floor is barely visible.
That's a good step.. I've used the API tabs and seachem tabs before.. the API ones are NPK with iron, but dissolve too fast, and the seachem ones have lots of micros, but don't have enough NPK. They both seem to work fine for what they contain..

I now do the DIY osmocote+ thing, and like those a lot. However, those have their own problem of leaving little beads behind in the substrate. This isn't really an issue if you bury them really deep, but when I pull up plants completely to rescape they end up popping up.

I also do the "mix my own liquid fertilizers from dry"... it ends up being pretty cheap that way, I'd suggest considering that option as well.

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