Confused about CO2 and fish health - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Confused about CO2 and fish health

I'm about to make the DIY CO2 diffuser outlined in this thread:

However, I am unclear if this will be safe for the fish. I've heard that the reason fish problems occurs is because the pH swing caused by the CO2 diffusion is too much stress for the fish, and I have also read that it's not the pH shift but just the mere fact that the fish cannot get O2 because of the sheer amount of CO2 in the water. Which one is true? Are they both a possible problem?

Also, would having an air stone hooked up to an air pump come on at night be a good solution to this problem? Right at the moment, my 55 gallon is being fed CO2 by a DIY yeast bottle (1L Gatorade bottle--1 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp yeast). I have the tubing going to the intake of the HOB filter.

The fish are still the most important part of my tank, even though I am really enjoying growing plants in the tank as well. It's more important that the fish live than having thriving plants.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 10:11 PM
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With DIY CO2 (and only a single 1L bottle supplying CO2, at that), you will not suffocate your fish in a 55g tank.

However, when CO2 becomes dangerous, it is because it is able to compete the O2 off the red blood cells, causing death. It would not be due to the changes in pH.

Using an air pump on a timer to come on at night would solve this problem, but this is not necessary given your current setup.

Anthony


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 12:28 AM
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Co2 Induce pH swings are irrelevant. The only issue with co2 is TOO much of it and gassing your fish by displacing oxygen.

Co2 related pH swings are not like normal pH swings and should not really even be thought about.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I was asking is because my pH seems really low compared to some of the figures being posted by others with DIY setups. When I checked it with my test strips, the strip itself was actually lighter than the lowest pH indicator on the bottle. It was 6.1 or less. I'm not really sure why it is so low but my fish seem happy. I just don't want to kill the fish because the pH fell too low for them to survive.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
Co2 Induce pH swings are irrelevant. The only issue with co2 is TOO much of it and gassing your fish by displacing oxygen
Just a small correction, but an important one. CO2 does not displace O2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate86 View Post
The reason I was asking is because my pH seems really low compared to some of the figures being posted by others with DIY setups. When I checked it with my test strips, the strip itself was actually lighter than the lowest pH indicator on the bottle. It was 6.1 or less. I'm not really sure why it is so low but my fish seem happy. I just don't want to kill the fish because the pH fell too low for them to survive.
The problem with test strips is that they are notoriously inaccurate and extremely sensitive to poor storage conditions, etc.

Anthony


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