New Power head with co2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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New Power head with co2

So, I've been running pressurized co2 for about 4 months now and have not seen any significant growth in plants. I decided to purchase a powered today rated a 160 gallons per hour. I have a 50 gallon tank. I think 3x circulation should be good. I am also going to focus on being more consistent with dry fertilizer dosing. I put Seachem fertilizer tabs in the gravel as well.

My question is, should I put the co2 hose on the output of the power head or should I put the glass diffuser under the intake and let it sick up the co2 bubbles?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 08:38 PM
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Are you sure the hose input is on the outflow side and not the inflow side? The usual method here is to cut the propellers in half (bend each half slightly away from each other), and then feed the CO2 into the inflow side. The propellers chop it up and blast it out.

You can modify that method with a DIY reactor (like a plastic syringe or similar) and venturi loop that ensures almost 100% efficiency.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 09:30 PM
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I'm not sure you need to be hacking up the impeller of your new powerhead. Then again, I'm not convinced you needed the powerhead. CO2 by itself is only part of the puzzle. So just adding CO2 (assuming decent diffusion) won't do much unless there's sufficient/abundant light and nutrients. Perhaps now that you've added CO2, you need to increase ferts, or light, or both some to get the growth your looking for. Also, it goes without saying that plants are only gonna grow so fast and some are downright slow no matter how good the conditions are.

Now if the powerhead has a hookup for an air line, you might hook directly to that (I'm doing some DIY CO2 with a mini Elite filter that has an air port that I hook to for really nice micro-bubbles). Otherwise, you might place your diffuser near the inlet of the powerhead so it pulls bubbles into the impeller.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Are you sure the hose input is on the outflow side and not the inflow side? The usual method here is to cut the propellers in half (bend each half slightly away from each other), and then feed the CO2 into the inflow side. The propellers chop it up and blast it out.

You can modify that method with a DIY reactor (like a plastic syringe or similar) and venturi loop that ensures almost 100% efficiency.

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It is on the outlet. I got this one.

http://m.petco.com/shop/en/petcostor...on-power-head#

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I'm not sure you need to be hacking up the impeller of your new powerhead. Then again, I'm not convinced you needed the powerhead. CO2 by itself is only part of the puzzle. So just adding CO2 (assuming decent diffusion) won't do much unless there's sufficient/abundant light and nutrients. Perhaps now that you've added CO2, you need to increase ferts, or light, or both some to get the growth your looking for. Also, it goes without saying that plants are only gonna grow so fast and some are downright slow no matter how good the conditions are.

Now if the powerhead has a hookup for an air line, you might hook directly to that (I'm doing some DIY CO2 with a mini Elite filter that has an air port that I hook to for really nice micro-bubbles). Otherwise, you might place your diffuser near the inlet of the powerhead so it pulls bubbles into the impeller.
There was no way I was hacking up the power head.

I had a glass diffuser with a ceramic disc in it. Very small bubbles. I put the co2 hose on to the power head on the outlet. I'll try that for a little bit. If I don't get the results I want I'll put the diffuser under the inlet.

I haven't been consistent with ferts but when I was running sugar/yeast mix my plants did well. I switched to the pressurized because I almost back siphoned my tank in our new house. My hubby wasn't thrilled even though he didn't blow his lid. That's why he bought me the pressurized unit.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-22-2017 at 05:43 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprManKalEl View Post
There was no way I was hacking up the power head.

I had a glass diffuser with a ceramic disc in it. Very small bubbles. I put the co2 hose on to the power head on the outlet. I'll try that for a little bit. If I don't get the results I want I'll put the diffuser under the inlet.

I haven't been consistent with ferts but when I was running sugar/yeast mix my plants did well. I switched to the pressurized because I almost back siphoned my tank in our new house. My hubby wasn't thrilled even though he didn't blow his lid. That's why he bought me the pressurized unit.

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In that case, I would think diffuser behind and below would be better. Smaller bubbles under pressure will absorb better than big bubbles on the outflow side.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 02:18 PM
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Maybe you are not injecting as much CO2 as you were previously. How are you checking your CO2 levels 8n the aquarium?

A diffuser and/or powerhead may not provide the best results for a 50g. If you have a canister filter maybe a reactor would be better.

Consistency is good but it tells nothing of the actual nutrient concentration (ppm). Commercial fertilizers frequently recommend too small a dose. It is possible that the plants used up the surplus of nutrients when you had the yeast method and now they are starving. What fertilizer do you use? How much how often?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I have a set of fertilizers that I ordered online from Green Leaf Aquariums. It contains CSM+B, K2SO4, KH2PO4 and KNO3. I am following (or trying to) the EU according to what came with them. I dose 1/8 tsp CSM+B 3x a week and 1/8 tsp each K2SO4 and KH2PO4 with 1/2 tsp KNO3 3x a week. On the 7th day I do a 50% water change. At least I try. I haven't been consistent with that. All of my plants are root plants except for the java moss I tied to some wood. This is why I at least keep the root tablets in the tank.

Yesterday (January 21, 2017) I did a nice cleaning of the tank removing all plants and taking all the leaves that had holes and weren't good looking off.

Today I will be putting more root tablets in and starting with the dry fertilizer dosing schedule.


I had 2x 2 litre bottles and a 20 oz bottle set up prior. The schedule for that was one 2 litre bottle was changed weekly so each bottle had a new mixture bi-weekly. In our apartment the tank had a wall with a cut out behind it. On the other side of the cut out was a counter where the bottles lived. In the house this was not the case. I set it all up and only put 1 2 litre bottle on as that was the first week. I forgot to close the valve on the second hose and while the mixture was not yet producing bubbles and pressurized I would say 10 gallons back siphoned. My husband got me the regulator 2 days later. My intention was never to keep the sugar/yeast method. It's a pain to keep making the mixture. However, when I was doing that and dosing consistently I noticed an increase in plant mass and significant decrease in algae. Then I got lazy with it.

This, I am sure, is the biggest problem. I haven't been on to of it.

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Also, with the bottles I had CO2 running constantly. Since I am pressurized the CO2 turns on at 2PM, lights at 4PM, CO2 off at 10PM and lights off at 12AM.

I try to dose the fertilizer in the morning around 8AM before I leave for work. Mostly when lights are off. I have read that it really doesn't matter but I feel like this gives time for it to circulate through the water column in preparation to be used when lights come on.

I usually mix the fertilizer in a small cup of water the night before to allow them to dissolve. I am not a fan of just dumping them into the tank. I feel like the fish might try to eat them.

If it helps, I am using Flourite Dark as substrate. My lighting is 36 inch T5HO. One 10,000K and one 6500K. Pretty sure they were replaced in January or February of 2016.

Wondering if a T5 daylight bulb from Home Depot or Lowes would suffice.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-24-2017 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 11:52 PM
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It looks like you are covered on the fertilizer front. Most (all ?) aquarium plants are capable of taking up nutrients from the water alone, so if you fertilize the water the root tabs are not needed (although they don’t hurt).
The time for the CO2 injection also sound good. You are right, I have seen no effect of when you dose the fertilizers as long as they are there when needed. The other specifications sound ok.
I feel your pain with the yeast thing. As a child I also had it and the stories that result from it (funny now)… aquarium in yeast, yeast in aquarium, yeast bomb, etc. Thing is yeast bottles can produce quite a lot of CO2 at peak times, enough to gas fish in smaller aquariums. I wonder if you are not injecting less CO2 now. Maybe get a drop checker and see if it turns a light green. You can also estimate the CO2 concentration from the KH and pH if you have the tests at hand.
If you decide to increase your CO2 do so slowly over several days and observe the fish behavior, no need to rush into it.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have a drop checker. I can't seem to get the liquid a good readable color. I made 4dKh water. At least I think I did. I have a kH test kit and it took 4 drops to turn color. I am using the pH solution from my master test kit in the drop checker. I think I put too much in because it's really dark blue. I put 6 drops. It's not like I don't have enough 4dKH water. I have 2 litres of 400dKh.

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Here's something interesting. I got pH of 6.4 and kH of 3.

According to the chart I have 35.8ppm CO2.


According to the web calculator I have 1.3.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-23-2017 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 10:44 PM
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Go with the first chart, maybe there was a bug in the calculator. I got 22.6, so maybe unreliable is the word.

The chart will tend to overestimate how much CO2 you actually have in there. If you dig a little deeper in the KH-pH thing you will learn that there are other things than can alter your pH than CO2, most common towards acidic, and other things that alter the measured KH that are not taken into account by the chart. This is why having a drop checker helps correct the small errors. For example I have a pH of 6.1; KH 3 and the drop checker is just the right shade of green.

Did you make your solution using distiled water ? Take care to avoid contamination in the drop checker when adding the solution. A small amount of residual water can significantly alter the reading.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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I did make the solution with distilled water. You need any? LoL!

My husband and I were just looking at it and, though it's dark, it's green. I guess I shouldn't put 6 drops of pH regeant in it. Since the installation of the powerhead I think there is a bit of difference.

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