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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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questions regarding co2

First, i'd like to say hello. My name is Ricardo and i'm just now trying to make the transition to a healthy planted tank. I do currently have a semi-planted tank but my plants do not seem quite healthy and do not seem to grow very well. Here's a few specs:
-tank is a 125g (standard 6 footer)
-i dose some dry fertz (per a fellow members advise from another forum)
i can go into detail about this if you'd like
-i dose excel and flourish on a every-other-day alternating basis
-my lighting consists of 4x65 6700k coralifes
-substrate is eco-complete red
-i use seachem root tabs
-higher pH at around 7.8
-i can get gh and kh readings if necessary

please let me know if i need to submit any more info for help. my goal is to buy a co2 set up to keep my plants healthy. i have been told i would need more light, but my canopy was done in such a way that i can not remove both of the JBJ 4ft light fixtures (i bought it that way). so i'm stuck with just a tad over 2wpg.
i am looking at this setup here
I plan to buy a 10lbs tank locally. I will be buying a reactor from Rex as well to distribute it through one of my xp3's. my concern is getting good quality parts but at a good price, seeing as i'm already in cold water with the significant other for spending so much money on a fish tank
With that being said, what else would I need to purchase in order to make this whole setup work? i at least know i also need a check valve, would this one work?
wrt the co2, i have a few other questions
1.if i run the co2 only during the day, would the pH swing during the night?
discus really don't like pH swings at all
2.i was told there was no need to run a airstone with co2, but i currently
have a sponge filter which i need because i'm still seeding one of my
xp3's, do i need to get rid of it? so no air at all in conjunction with co2? even at night?
3.have any of you had any problems with the combo of the regulator and
controller that i previously linked to?
4.i am only doing 1 water change a week now, when i do a wc is it fine to just turn off the xp3 and regulator w/ controller? i would have everything hooked up to a strip outlet which i turn everything off when doing a wc, except for the lights of course. i do roughly a 80% wc (i use to do 95% wc daily when growing out the discus in a BB ), so i'm finally beginning to enjoy my tank
5. does the reactor affect an xp3 at all?

i'm sure i have plenty of other questions but i'd hate to hit you fellow members with such a plothora of questions that i get none answered, lol. i have been reading up a lot but i must admit, the layout of this forum is a tad bit different than the one i'm use to navigating. i look forward to creating more traffic in this forum, seems to be a great looking community.
here's a few pictures so you get the feel of what i have:

full tank shot


these are my discus and the reason why i've had to sleep in the couch a few nights, lol
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 03:06 AM
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Nice discus, Fish dont mind the ph change due to co2. Your ph is a tad high for discus i keep mine a 5.8-6.2. Any who you shouldnt worry about co2 effecting your fish, unless you OD with it.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Nice discus, Fish dont mind the ph change due to co2. Your ph is a tad high for discus i keep mine a 5.8-6.2. Any who you shouldnt worry about co2 effecting your fish, unless you OD with it.
thank you very much. i know some fellow member that have kept discus in even higher pH, in the 8's. as long as they acclimate to it, the should be fine. when it comes to breeding though, that is a different story completely, they do need RO usually. but anyways, thank you for your reply. one of the things i'm scared of is "end of tank dump off", and i don't even know what that means, lol. how do i avoid that? what part specifically keeps this from happening? i'm really scared of OD'ing my tank as well since the discus are my main passion, and i want the co2 to keep the plants healthy, but they are not by any means suppose to be the focal point of the tank, at least not in mine. with that being said, i would like to take all the proper steps to avoid accidents that noobs might usually make. thank you in advance to anyone who can help me. and once again thank you Brandon. btw, what strain of discus do you have? do you have pics?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:11 AM
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Hi, just wanted to say love your idea of keeping the plants behind the little stone wall at the back, with the empty sand in front - great compromise between planted and keeping it simple to allow for cleaning up after the discus. Looks really good! Beautiful discus too.
Cheers, Kara
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, just wanted to say love your idea of keeping the plants behind the little stone wall at the back, with the empty sand in front - great compromise between planted and keeping it simple to allow for cleaning up after the discus. Looks really good! Beautiful discus too.
Cheers, Kara
thank you very much Kara. i actually do not have any sand. the bottom and the back wall are painted on the outside with textured paint. it was my compromise with the discus and plants, lol. come wc day, i simply siphon all the debris off the tank floor. i really don't vac the eco complete however since i figured the plants could use it.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:39 AM
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thank you very much. i know some fellow member that have kept discus in even higher pH, in the 8's. as long as they acclimate to it, the should be fine. when it comes to breeding though, that is a different story completely, they do need RO usually. but anyways, thank you for your reply. one of the things i'm scared of is "end of tank dump off", and i don't even know what that means, lol. how do i avoid that? what part specifically keeps this from happening? i'm really scared of OD'ing my tank as well since the discus are my main passion, and i want the co2 to keep the plants healthy, but they are not by any means suppose to be the focal point of the tank, at least not in mine. with that being said, i would like to take all the proper steps to avoid accidents that noobs might usually make. thank you in advance to anyone who can help me. and once again thank you Brandon. btw, what strain of discus do you have? do you have pics?
You will need a bouble counter, check valve, to make sure things do go wrong, make sure your dosing your co2 level to what your plants need. You dont want to much extra co2 in your tank my discus are geting use to it i just got co2 like a day ago.

Im keeping Red dragon's and Blood pigeons. My other tank has Red turqs. All i got is my phone lol for pictures.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:40 AM
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Oh and for your size tank (long) you might need a co2 splitter and 2 diffusers, because you want a even amount of Co2 all around your tank.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrandonjBlair View Post
You will need a bouble counter, check valve, to make sure things do go wrong, make sure your dosing your co2 level to what your plants need. You dont want to much extra co2 in your tank my discus are geting use to it i just got co2 like a day ago.

Im keeping Red dragon's and Blood pigeons. My other tank has Red turqs. All i got is my phone lol for pictures.
phone pics count . i will have to research what a double counter is. how do i determine how much co2 my plants need? I have a print out of my local water departments water parameters, would this help? when setting up for a co2 tank, do you slowly dispense it or do you do it in stages so there isn't some type of shock? any help is greatly appreciated, and i must apologize for the noob questions.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrandonjBlair View Post
Oh and for your size tank (long) you might need a co2 splitter and 2 diffusers, because you want a even amount of Co2 all around your tank.
so that would mean buying two rex style reactors? i have 2 xp3's with 2 300 hydor inlines which shouldn't be a problem. but i guess i just wanted to keep it simple, you know? but if it's something that has to be done, then i'm willing to split it as you say.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 04:58 AM
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Well what you have now will work but if you want more plants, or just even health all around with your plants i would spread out the co2 with whatever reactor or diffuser you are planning on useing.

Btw what type of discus is the one in the middle of the last photo? Is it a spider-web?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Well what you have now will work but if you want more plants, or just even health all around with your plants i would spread out the co2 with whatever reactor or diffuser you are planning on useing.

Btw what type of discus is the one in the middle of the last photo? Is it a spider-web?
it is a Penang Eruption bred by Forrest form Johor Malaysia: here's his page


i honestly do not plan to put any more plants in the tank since i have limited space. i might get some manazanita wood and have it coming down, and i might tie of some plants on that but that would be about it. i will definitely check into the dual distribution of co2. thank you
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 05:12 AM
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I Really like that fish Word of the wise, your wood might swing your ph around are you going for the tree root look? Discus love it, its alot like there native waters. I hear it also helps with bullying if you have that problem.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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I Really like that fish Word of the wise, your wood might swing your ph around are you going for the tree root look? Discus love it, its alot like there native waters. I hear it also helps with bullying if you have that problem.
the wood is mainly there for the BNP's. also, it's a great place to tie off that large anubia and fern
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 06:17 AM
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With the water changes you are doing for the discus, the wood won't be able to drop the ph a whole lot. And 1 rex reactor will be fine if you have decent circulation. End of tank dump is a real danger. You have a lot of money invested in those discus. Don't skimp on your co2 system. That Milwaukee controller will be ok, but I wouldn't use that regulator. End of tank dump is preventable. A good regulator and needle valve will serve you well. Also, if you refill your cylinder before it runs completely out, you won't have any problems. There is a lot of info on end of tank dumps here, but it takes some work to figure out what is myth and what is real. But taking the time to figure it out will make sure you understand it well.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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With the water changes you are doing for the discus, the wood won't be able to drop the ph a whole lot. And 1 rex reactor will be fine if you have decent circulation. End of tank dump is a real danger. You have a lot of money invested in those discus. Don't skimp on your co2 system. That Milwaukee controller will be ok, but I wouldn't use that regulator. End of tank dump is preventable. A good regulator and needle valve will serve you well. Also, if you refill your cylinder before it runs completely out, you won't have any problems. There is a lot of info on end of tank dumps here, but it takes some work to figure out what is myth and what is real. But taking the time to figure it out will make sure you understand it well.
Thank you very much for the response. I was wondering if you could tell where i might find a good regulator at an affordable price? Where is it that most members go to buy their co2 equipment? again, cost is an initial concern, but i will not jeopardize my discus by cutting corners. thanks in advance.
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