Too much co2 releasing? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Too much co2 releasing?

I'm new to this forum so apologies if I put this post in the wrong thread. I have this reoccurring problem where the soil in the tank gives off too much co2. The tank has been established w the soil for a little over a month maybe 2 months. The plants are fine but I'm worried about my fish. I have 4 longfin leopard danios and their gills are noticeably red. I was online looking at photos of these fish to differentiate their sex and I noticed the fish gills in the photos weren't nearly as red as the fish in my tank. Ammonia: 0 ppm / Nitrate: 5.0 ppm / pH: 7.6 / Ideas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 12:40 PM
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How do you know the soil is giving off too much CO2? Unless your tank has a degassed pH of 9.0. Do you know the nitrite reading? Closer pics of the fish might help.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 03:47 PM
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Bubbles from the substrate could also be hydrogen sulfide.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure how someone acquires degassed water but I get mine from filtrated water dispensers at my local grocery store.
Hydrogen sulfide? Google says it comes with a musty/swampy or rotten egg smell. My tank definitely has a distinct scent but it's not rotten eggs, and I dont know what musty/swampy water is supposed to smell like. It might smell musty... I think my tank has had the same smell before without the soil when I was first getting it established.. Should my tank be odorless?

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Two different fish and their gills have the most noticeable coloration

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 04:45 PM
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One acquires degassed water by allowing water to sit for 24 hours uncovered so it has time to degas. There is no way you have enough bacterial activity in an aquarium with two inches of substrate and four fish to produce any noticeable CO2. My concern would be that they had been exposed to ammonia or chlorine at some time.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think thats the case, If it had chlorine the ammonia would've spiked and I have 0 pmm of ammonia. My fish don't seem stressed out... I haven't seen any scratching or swimming against the glass so I might just leave them be. No harm, no foul.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
If it had chlorine the ammonia would've spiked and I have 0 pmm of ammonia.
An ammonia test will not detect chlorine. You can easily have high chlorine and no ammonia. While your ammonia levels are fine you haven't listed any nitrite levels which is also very dangerous to fish. Your nitrate and PH are fine.

If you have a lot of organic material in the soil microbial activity will release CO2, CH4, HS and H2SO4. If you had a lot of CO2 your PH would be lower. Many people here also inject CO2 into their tanks for faster plant growth. They often have a PH between 6 and 6.5 with no reports of red gills. HS and H2SO4 are however very toxic to animals. Unfortunately I don't know how to test for these.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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If it had chlorine the ammonia would've spiked and I have 0 pmm of ammonia.
An ammonia test will not detect chlorine. You can easily have high chlorine and no ammonia. While your ammonia levels are fine you haven't listed any nitrite levels which is also very dangerous to fish. Your nitrate and PH are fine.

If you have a lot of organic material in the soil microbial activity will release CO2, CH4, HS and H2SO4. If you had a lot of CO2 your PH would be lower. Many people here also inject CO2 into their tanks for faster plant growth. They often have a PH between 6 and 6.5 with no reports of red gills. HS and H2SO4 are however very toxic to animals. Unfortunately I don't know how to test for these.
Would the fish show signs of stress if H2SO4 was present?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Littlemadfish View Post
I'm new to this forum so apologies if I put this post in the wrong thread. I have this reoccurring problem where the soil in the tank gives off too much co2. The tank has been established w the soil for a little over a month maybe 2 months. The plants are fine but I'm worried about my fish. I have 4 longfin leopard danios and their gills are noticeably red. I was online looking at photos of these fish to differentiate their sex and I noticed the fish gills in the photos weren't nearly as red as the fish in my tank. Ammonia: 0 ppm / Nitrate: 5.0 ppm / pH: 7.6 / Ideas?
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Would the fish show signs of stress if H2SO4 was present?

Lets go back to the beginning if we can. The tank has been established for only a month or two total? Or this is an older established tank that you added a soil substrate to only a month or two ago?

You say the problem is reoccurring. When did it start? How often/frequently do you notice it? What is it exactly that you're noticing other than the red gills?

What makes you think the soil is giving off co2? Do you see something to make you think that or are you just guessing? Are you seeing bubbles coming out of the substrate? If so chances are it is not co2. Doesnt necessarily mean you're seeing hydrogen sulfide but it could eventually turn into that and what you're seeing now is just excess "gasses". A lot of people find it useful to take something like a chopstick to poke around in a dirt substrate. This helps release those excess gasses so they dont build up and eventually turn into a giant cloud of hydrogen sulfide. It also helps pockets of anaerobic substrate from forming; which you want to avoid.

I'm not sure what stress a fish might display from h2so4. However, red gills is almost always a sign of either ammonia or chlorine poisoning in fish. I see those test results in that photo but cant make it out too well. I'm tempted to say if that first tube is your ammonia test that it looks a bit green to me which would indicate more than 0; but the photo isnt too great so I cant say that for sure.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lksdrinker View Post
Lets go back to the beginning if we can. The tank has been established for only a month or two total? Or this is an older established tank that you added a soil substrate to only a month or two ago?

You say the problem is reoccurring. When did it start? How often/frequently do you notice it? What is it exactly that you're noticing other than the red gills?

What makes you think the soil is giving off co2? Do you see something to make you think that or are you just guessing? Are you seeing bubbles coming out of the substrate? If so chances are it is not co2. Doesnt necessarily mean you're seeing hydrogen sulfide but it could eventually turn into that and what you're seeing now is just excess "gasses". A lot of people find it useful to take something like a chopstick to poke around in a dirt substrate. This helps release those excess gasses so they dont build up and eventually turn into a giant cloud of hydrogen sulfide. It also helps pockets of anaerobic substrate from forming; which you want to avoid.

I'm not sure what stress a fish might display from h2so4. However, red gills is almost always a sign of either ammonia or chlorine poisoning in fish. I see those test results in that photo but cant make it out too well. I'm tempted to say if that first tube is your ammonia test that it looks a bit green to me which would indicate more than 0; but the photo isnt too great so I cant say that for sure.
The tank is around 4-5 months of being established. It's been a reoccurring problem since the tank was first established, I noticed it with my old Khuli loach. Even a day or two after doing a 75% water change the gills would become red again, same thing with the danios. The khuli loach was present before I dirted the tank. I dirted the tank 3 months ago, I watched different videos of people setting up dirted tanks and did poke at the substrate with a chopstick, not only that I also vacuum the gravel, it gets turned a decent amount. There's only half an inch of dirt and maybe a 1 1/2 of sand for the cap.

The only thing in the 10 gal are the danios. I noticed some stress coming from the fish a week after getting them, I think the red gills were present early on. I saw scratching once and a couple of the fish swim up and down against the glass every now and then, it's never constant though. I watch them pretty closely and haven't seen any others rub on anything. I did a dosage of prime on Wednesday just in case it was chlorine, their gills are still red.

I've read that some people don't use co2 diffusers because the soil will release the co2 when you first set up a dirted tank. Sorry for the crusty photo, I use my garbage android to post on this site. I'm going to start using my laptop. I can assure you though the ammonia wasn't present. I dealt with ammonia issues a lot when I first joined the hobby; I made the rookie mistake of plopping fish in a brand new tank and without conditioning the tap water (yikes).. I did a fishless cycle once the fish inevitably died due to being so clueless. So my guess, given your input, that it is in fact chlorine.. or my tank simply isn't getting enough oxygen.

I get the water for my fish at my grocery store's filtrated water thing because my tap water is insanely hard. What I do is I fill about 5 gallons worth of the water from the store and then fill the rest of the tank up with 2 gallons of conditioned tap water. I don't let the conditioner sit in the water for a full day though like one is supposed to. I just shake the water around. I'll let the prime sit next time I do a water change and see if that changes anything.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Littlemadfish View Post
The tank is around 4-5 months of being established. It's been a reoccurring problem since the tank was first established, I noticed it with my old Khuli loach. Even a day or two after doing a 75% water change the gills would become red again, same thing with the danios. The khuli loach was present before I dirted the tank. I dirted the tank 3 months ago, I watched different videos of people setting up dirted tanks and did poke at the substrate with a chopstick, not only that I also vacuum the gravel, it gets turned a decent amount. There's only half an inch of dirt and maybe a 1 1/2 of sand for the cap.

The only thing in the 10 gal are the danios. I noticed some stress coming from the fish a week after getting them, I think the red gills were present early on. I saw scratching once and a couple of the fish swim up and down against the glass every now and then, it's never constant though. I watch them pretty closely and haven't seen any others rub on anything. I did a dosage of prime on Wednesday just in case it was chlorine, their gills are still red.

I've read that some people don't use co2 diffusers because the soil will release the co2 when you first set up a dirted tank. Sorry for the crusty photo, I use my garbage android to post on this site. I'm going to start using my laptop. I can assure you though the ammonia wasn't present. I dealt with ammonia issues a lot when I first joined the hobby; I made the rookie mistake of plopping fish in a brand new tank and without conditioning the tap water (yikes).. I did a fishless cycle once the fish inevitably died due to being so clueless. So my guess, given your input, that it is in fact chlorine.. or my tank simply isn't getting enough oxygen.

I get the water for my fish at my grocery store's filtrated water thing because my tap water is insanely hard. What I do is I fill about 5 gallons worth of the water from the store and then fill the rest of the tank up with 2 gallons of conditioned tap water. I don't let the conditioner sit in the water for a full day though like one is supposed to. I just shake the water around. I'll let the prime sit next time I do a water change and see if that changes anything.

I still dont understand what it is you're seeing that makes you think you have a problem with co2. Prime works instantly so there is no need to let it sit for a day....not sure why you would think otherwise. You can assure me that ammonia was not present because you tested and confirmed this? What kind of dirt did you use as a substrate? Lots of potting soils contain ammonia and can/will leach into the water column.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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alright I made a mistake then. never mind, thanks guys.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:51 PM
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