CO2 and pH... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 and pH...

I'm not sure if it's my co2 or my pH test. I think it's the test...

I tested my tap water right out of the tap, after aerating overnight, in both my tanks (one has co2, the other doesn't), and the distilled water I bought from the store. The "normal" range pH test insists that all are at 7.6, which is the max my API liquid tests go. The "high range" pH is saying 7.4, which is the lowest. So I think my "normal" pH is bad...

That being said, I'm not sure my tank is getting enough co2. I'm getting one bubble every 6-8 seconds on my DIY co2. The recipe was two cups sugar, 1/2 tsp Red Start Activated bakers yeast, and enough water to fill the 2L bottle four inches to the top. I put the yeast in a little warm water with about a tsp of sugar and swirled it around a bit, and let it sit like that for about 15 minutes, while I fussed with everything else. Basically, it's similar to what I do when I make bread or pizza.

I talked to my dad (a PhD Chemist), and he advised that I not add any kind of "buffer". He said it would defeat the purpose.

If it makes a difference, I'm running the co2 line into a powerhead and it's a ten gallon tank.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 12:43 PM
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Could you possibly have a leak somewhere?

When i was using DIY co2, that was a very similar recipe to mine. But, i would reliably get 1 bubble every couple of seconds... at least until the mix was "wearing out".

How long is the tubing to get to your tank? The least amount of tubing benefits DIY co2, since there is not a whole lot of pressure behind the gas. Are you using a gas separator as your bubble counter? I used a separator also, but did not add liquid for the BC. I could pretty much hear the bubbles just fine if i wanted to count them, but that's just me.

I live in MI also, and my water is pretty hard and basic. Even more so than yours. I couldn't really get a consistent change in pH value with my DIY co2. Now, on pressurized, i get nearly a 1 point decrease in pH.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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The lines are kind of long, and unfortunately I can't cut them down much more. I'm sure I can trim a few inches away, though.

I don't think I have leaks, I drilled holes that were smaller in diameter to my tubing, and it was a %[email protected]!# to get them through. I cranked the lids down tight. I'll check with some soapy water, to see if I see any fizzing...

My co2 set up is with the yeast mixture in a two liter, a 20oz bottle as a bubble counter/separator (or as my dad calls it, a "scrubber"), and a powerhead as a diffuser.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:17 PM
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Carbonic acid forms when CO2 dissolves in water. If there is no pH difference between tanks you're trying to add CO2 to, and regular tap water, you aren't adding enough. 10 bubbles per minute is hardly anything on that size tank.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to add another bottle of yeast mixture. There's no fish in the tank, I guess it can't hurt too much.

Now that I know why it's such a PITA, I think I'm going to look into pressurized co2. I'm going to need it for my larger tank someday anyway.

FWIW, no leaks. But I am going to reconfigure some things.

Thanks

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown


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