Lighting and C02 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting and C02

Hi, i have just purchaced a 600L tank (6ftx2ftx2ft) and have ordered 4x39w + 4x39 t5 lights for the tank is this suitable or overkill? will also be running pressurised c02 is it necesary to have a solenoid on the reg? also will i need more than one difuser running into the tank? also what sort of tubing do you use for the c02 line i have heard silicone is no good for co2?

any help would be greatly appreicated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 01:46 PM
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Hoppy is probably the best person to answer the question regarding the lighting, but it seems to be quite a bit of light you have. However, you mention that you have pressurized CO2, so as long as you keep up with fertilizers (both macro and micronutrients), you should be able to have a relatively fast growing tank.

It is not necessary to have a solenoid on a regulator, but it does allow you to control your CO2 via a timer so that your CO2 can be turned off at night, when there is no need for the injection of CO2.

For a tank your size, I would not recommend a (single) diffuser, as you will likely not achieve sufficient CO2 dissolution into the water column. You will likely need 2 (or 3) diffusers, or better yet, you can use an inline reactor to achieve maximal CO2 dissolution. This can then be optimized by using powerheads to ensure that CO2 levels are uniform throughout the aquarium. This can also be monitored using a drop checker with a 4 dkH reference solution.

Finally, for the tubing, some people say not to use silicone tubing, while others say it is fine. I am with the latter, and use silicone tubing. Some people will quote numbers discussing the permeability of silicone tubing to CO2 gas versus other types of material, silicone being thousands of time more permeable, but the actual coefficient is still on the order of log-6 or so.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:16 PM
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The problem with silicon tubing is the tenancy to harden over time after exposure to co2. But it is not bad, just stay away from the vinyl tubing, because it will harden and crack a lot sooner. Depending on where you get your co2 system, you can probably get some "co2 tubing" at the same time.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:46 PM
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A 4 tube T5HO light should be about 32 inches from the substrate in order to get high light, but not so high as to make controlling algae a continual nightmare. Don't just shut off half of those tubes, to reduce the intensity. The 24 inch front to back depth makes it very hard to uniformly light the substrate with two closely spaced bulbs. Raising the fixture takes care of that problem.

I used both silicone tubing and "CO2 resistant" tubing. The latter was very stiff, and hard to stretch over barbed fittings. The former was much more pleasant to work with. Both worked fine, otherwise.

If you use high light, as you seem to intend, a solenoid is essential. With high light you need to keep the CO2 concentration near the maximum the fish will live with in order to provide for the plants demand for it. But, that much CO2 at night, when the plants aren't using it, will drive up the concentration above that which the fish can live with. So, it is essential to shut the CO2 off at night. With lower light, the plants don't need as much CO2, so the overshoot at night isn't so bad. Maintaining a constant water surface ripple 24 hours a day helps keep a good supply of oxygen in the water, for the fishes benefit, and helps dissipate the CO2 at night when it is shut off.

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