Am I understanding correctly? Warning video of tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Am I understanding correctly? Warning video of tank

Hey guys (Girls). Just trying to see if I understand this correctly.
I am starting a new tank and I'm trying to get a good understanding of co2 in soft low kh water.
Is it true that it will take less bubbles per sec to get the same amount of co2 into water that has a lower kh so let's say I have kh of 7 and I run 7 bps and then let's say I have a kh of 3 and I run 7bps will the tank with lower kh have more co2 dissolved in its water? Or does ph play the more important roles in this or does the kh actually control the ph.

I know I might be way off but I'm thinking an answer to these questions will give me and answer that I'm looking for to understanding.

I have a 75 gallon with a 2 foot tall huge cerges reactor with a rio / needle wheel impeller I can see all the micro bubbles in it and it goes back the the pump in my sump and into the tank. I have like 9 bbs and it is getting into the tank I can see the little bubbles everywhere .
I am thinking because my ph/gh/kh are higher than I'm wanting them to be it is not absorbing the co2 into the water column as much as it would if I used straight r/o water and add my own gh.

Last edited by SwampGremlin; 08-19-2015 at 11:54 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 10:11 PM
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totally incorrect

kh simply buffers the effect that CO2 has on your pH. it's not a perfect formula and those charts are meant to be used as a guide - not an exact science

Basically you can have the same amount of CO2 in tanks with different kH and have them read out at different pH levels. Do NOT assume that these are the only two factors in determining pH as that is not the case. Just because these tanks have different pH values does not mean that they do not have identical PPM of CO2 in them.

I think you are under the assumption that your pH reading truly determines the amount of CO2 in your water which is definitely a false statement. Look for the amount of DROP in pH to determine how much CO2 you have. A good rule of thumb is that a 1pH drop due to CO2 injection is a good amount of CO2. Your tank could need more or less depending on many factors that you can't control. Leave a cup of your tank water out for a day or two and read the pH on it. When your lights are on and you are injecting CO2 the pH of your tank water should be somwhere around 1pH lower than the reading on water that sat out for a day without supplemental CO2.

Look for the response from your plants / fish to best determine how much CO2 you need. Don't bother with the 'science' behind it because it's all a load of crap and there are way too many factors to take into consideration for it to work right anyways. Don't try to screw with your water parameters to match what you read. Just slowly raise up your CO2 and when you see fish showing signs of stress you have hit the maximum. Back off that point a little and you will probably be fine.

ALSO:
Little bubbles everywhere = crappy job done by your reactor. Bubbles of CO2 are going to hit the surface of either your sump or your display tank and just gas off into the air. CO2 that is truly dissolved into your water is not visible. That coupled with the amount of surface agitation that overflows have with sumps mean that you will need a LOT of CO2 to get to where you need to be. surface agitation gases off CO2 into the air leaving you with less in your tank.

A properly functioning reactor would not allow any gas to pass outside of it - thus completely dissolving all CO2 into your water. Your reactor is not failing to do this because of your water parameters.


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Last edited by klibs; 08-19-2015 at 10:26 PM. Reason: yerp
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
totally incorrect

kh simply buffers the effect that CO2 has on your pH. it's not a perfect formula and those charts are meant to be used as a guide - not an exact science
Ok I see I just read somewhere that it's easier to gas your fish with low kh/ph than with high kh/ph due to the fast change in co2 ppm with smaller changes of co2 put into the water.

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why I can run my co2 maxed out as far as it will go with a drop checker yellow as yellow can get and show no fish stress what so ever with very little surface movement

I read people using 3 bbs 4bbs I'm at like 9 bbs with a 2 foot tall cerges reactor with about 4 ft of spiraled braided clear hose on each side to increase dwell time i don't feel I should be having to dump this much co2 into the tank but if I go lower I start getting green spot algea ect

Last edited by SwampGremlin; 08-19-2015 at 10:25 PM. Reason: add
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
totally incorrect

kh simply buffers the effect that CO2 has on your pH. it's not a perfect formula and those charts are meant to be used as a guide - not an exact science

Basically you can have the same amount of CO2 in tanks with different kH and have them read out at different pH levels. Do NOT assume that these are the only two factors in determining pH as that is not the case. Just because these tanks have different pH values does not mean that they do not have identical PPM of CO2 in them.

I think you are under the assumption that your pH reading truly determines the amount of CO2 in your water which is definitely a false statement. Look for the amount of DROP in pH to determine how much CO2 you have. A good rule of thumb is that a 1pH drop due to CO2 injection is a good amount of CO2. Your tank could need more or less depending on many factors that you can't control. Leave a cup of your tank water out for a day or two and read the pH on it. When your lights are on and you are injecting CO2 the pH of your tank water should be somwhere around 1pH lower than the reading on water that sat out for a day without supplemental CO2.

Look for the response from your plants / fish to best determine how much CO2 you need. Don't bother with the 'science' behind it because it's all a load of crap and there are way too many factors to take into consideration for it to work right anyways. Don't try to screw with your water parameters to match what you read. Just slowly raise up your CO2 and when you see fish showing signs of stress you have hit the maximum. Back off that point a little and you will probably be fine.

ALSO:
Little bubbles everywhere = crappy job done by your reactor. Bubbles of CO2 are going to hit the surface of either your sump or your display tank and just gas off into the air. CO2 that is truly dissolved into your water is not visible. That coupled with the amount of surface agitation that overflows have with sumps mean that you will need a LOT of CO2 to get to where you need to be. surface agitation gases off CO2 into the air leaving you with less in your tank.

A properly functioning reactor would not allow any gas to pass outside of it - thus completely dissolving all CO2 into your water. Your reactor is not failing to do this because of your water parameters.

Thank you for your in depth response. I understand bubbles are bad but I have to put my face right to the tank to see the tiniest bubbles in the world but they are there when I look hard for them actually when the micro bubbles first come into the reactor there is not even time yet for them to dissolve yet and I see millions of micro bubbles in there smaller than small I don't think my reactor is (crappy) there isn't much you can do to change it its diy rio needle wheel sending millions of microscopic bubbles into a 2 foot tall cerges reactor and before it hits the tank it goes through 12 feet of tube I really don't see a way to improve the reactor side of things .

Possibly when I don't see bubbles in the tank I'm under the impression there is not enough co2 when in fact maybe there is plenty or maybe I need to duct tape my cpr overflow lid and sump lid to avoid gas from escaping?

Is this a possibility?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 11:27 PM
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Bubbles are not bad...as long as you're talking about fine mist bubbles. Some science exists to indicate plants can actually absorb CO2 as well if not better from direct contact with co2 vs co2 that is 100% dissolved in water, ie fine mist sticking to leaves.

Dont ask me to explain the aforementioned science, but the point is that having a fine mist isnt necessarily a bad thing, it's just rather unsightly in most people's opinion.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe a video of the reactor and sump someone might see any issues

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwH32_zYnOw

Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Bubbles are not bad...as long as you're talking about fine mist bubbles. Some science exists to indicate plants can actually absorb CO2 as well if not better from direct contact with co2 vs co2 that is 100% dissolved in water, ie fine mist sticking to leaves.

Dont ask me to explain the aforementioned science, but the point is that having a fine mist isnt necessarily a bad thing, it's just rather unsightly in most people's opinion.
Ah ok thank you for your response ass well.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-21-2015 at 03:44 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 12:43 PM
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CO2 levels are completely independent of 'seeing bubbles in the tank'. Like burr said if you have tiny micro-bubbles coming out it's fine but if you have larger bubbles breaking at the top of your tank then you are not dissolving all your CO2.

Sumps definitely gas off a good amount of CO2. In general if you run a sump you will need to pump more CO2 because some of it is constantly being gassed off in your overflow / down in the sump where water enters. If you have a wet/dry sump then you gas off even more. Not saying that you can't run CO2 with a sump - you just need to use more.

Based on how good your tank looks you are totally fine here lol. Your reactor is also looking like it is working well given that only ultra-fine mist bubbles come out.

Why are you so concerned about this anyways? Are there signs of CO2 deficiencies in your tank? It sounds like you know what you're doing... Tank looks really good and your plants look healthy.

SIDE NOTE:

How do you like the mix of rummynose tetras / harlequin rasboras? I am having a hard time getting rummys quarantined and into my tank and I am close to giving up on them and just adding harlequin rasboras to my rummy school. Funny that you have both in your tank... I would want a large school just like you have in there.

Also do your RCS have trouble breeding among those fish? I'm new to RCS and I have about 15-20 in my 30 gallon along with some corys and a crew of 8 harlequin rasboras. Wondering if the rasboras eat all the fry before the colony can grow


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Last edited by klibs; 08-20-2015 at 12:57 PM. Reason: yerp
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 03:00 PM
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I'll take a wild guess at something here. Is the Alternanthera plants the place where you get the GSA spots when you turn down the BPS ?
Those plants are notorious for getting GSA on their leaves when not surrounded by
lots of fst growing type plants. It has been found that lots of plants, when growing well/fast, give off a chemical which inhibits algae growth. That Alternanthera is not
on that list of plants so it needs the other type to utilize their chemicals to survive in high light. 90 odd % of the time you see them is scattered in/w other plants in a tank.
I'll go ahead and label all of that as a hypothetical explanation for the GSA if those
Alternanthera are where you are seeing the GSA when you lower the BPS.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 06:53 PM
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KH doesn't buffer the water against pH changes with added CO2. The combination of bicarbonate ions and carbonic acid is a buffer against changes in pH due to addition of other acids or bases. The pH at which the water is buffered is determined by the KH and the ppm of CO2 in the water (of which a small portion is converted to carbonic acid).

If you add 2 bubbles per second of CO2 to high KH water you should get about the same pH drop as you would if you add that same amount of CO2 to low KH water. I say about because the solubility of CO2 in water varies a bit with KH. For many years KH has been referred to as a buffer, but a buffer always consists of a weak acid and its conjugate base (carbonic acid H2CO3, and bicarbonate HCO3-).

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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@Klibs. I am not worried so much about this tank per say,i ahve a 120 on its way from miracles and the tank in the vid has easy plants for me the noob with very high kh/gh water
The new tank is going to be strait r/onwater that has a kh of about 2-3 and im trying to know what to expect because i plan on purchasing a very large order of plants that prefer softer water and my worste night mare would. E for me to not understand soft water and have half my plants die on me.
For the question about the rummy nose and rasbora ,Im not sure what you mean by quarentine them to your tank,any fish i get goes into a breeder box that hangs on the outside of the tank and an airnbubbler forces small amounts of waterr to flow through the breeder box to acclimate them very slowly as slow as i can make it drip and i leave it there for a few hours before i pour them in other wise i had no problem with any of them and i dont watch my fish to see if they are sick i just go for it if it looks sick ill remove it and put it in my 10 gallon empty tank and medicate.
For the rcs they breed like crazy and niether of those fish mess with them at all i started with 10 and now i have probably 200 lol i probably ha e 50 in my sump i have a stainless steel screen to throw in the overflow that i purchased from han aquatics in route right now

@Raymon.S- yeah i do actualy see the gsa on the lower leaves of those thanks for the info on those also i had a small mat of dwarf baby tears that all of a sudden was over run by gsa and i really like my dbt.

@Hoppy-Ok so co2 is a bit more soluble in softer water? So that would explain why i was thinking it would take less of my co2 to enrich a softer than a super hard water?because right now in my 75 i can try to gas my fish as hard as i want and its just not going to happen and with the strait r/o softer wayer tank ibfeel it will be more at risk to do just that. Just truing to get more of a grasp on it.


Thanks all for your comments and taking the time to help out cheers

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 01:22 AM
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Hardness usually means GH not KH. GH has no effect I know of on CO2 solubility. KH does have an effect in that at very low pH, around 5.5, no more CO2 will dissolve in the water, and at very high pH, but I'm not sure how high, I think the same thing happens. But, in the 6.0 to 8.0 range of pH I don't think it makes a significant difference in CO2 solubility. (I may have this a bit garbled!)

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info Guys!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampGremlin View Post

I read people using 3 bbs 4bbs I'm at like 9 bbs with a 2 foot tall cerges reactor with about 4 ft of spiraled braided clear hose on each side to increase dwell time i don't feel I should be having to dump this much co2 into the tank but if I go lower I start getting green spot algea ect
Please don't worry over what other bubble counts people use. It' a nonsensical standard because each tank has too many variables for there to be a correct bubble count covering all tanks. The bubble count only matters to your particular tank. Besides there's no NIST standard for bubble size too.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Hardness usually means GH not KH. GH has no effect I know of on CO2 solubility. KH does have an effect in that at very low pH, around 5.5, no more CO2 will dissolve in the water, and at very high pH, but I'm not sure how high, I think the same thing happens. But, in the 6.0 to 8.0 range of pH I don't think it makes a significant difference in CO2 solubility. (I may have this a bit garbled!)
Check this link from the Krib. http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/khgh.html
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