Co2 Loss - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 Loss

Hi All,

I am wondering what you all think about how I have my tank setup focused on the distribution and loss of CO2

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I'm having technical issuses with my post today. haa

Bump: So considering the 48" length, and the location of my airstone that I have absolutely shoved into the far far corner, juxtaposed to my C4 HOB filter, Does this look like it will be sufficient? I was considering running another line and a second MIXMAX reactor / diffuser on the bottom of the tank and shooting CO2 across the tank so that I essentially have to diffusers thrusting CO2 across the tank, showering my plants with wonderful little CO2 bubbles? I have my CO2 drop checker and just moved my powerhead above my co2 diffuser last night. I also just moved the airstone in that corner last night. This way I have oxygen and the surface agitation on my tank concentrated completely across the tank from my CO2 reactor diffuser. My co2 comes from a 20oz CO2 paintball tank and the co2 gets fired out of the MIXMAX powered by a sweet little 210gph pond pump. I love how it works, I'm just wondering if it's effective? The tank is only two months old and my plants are definitely growing. I just got the drop checker.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 05:26 PM
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Did I read co2 reactor? So it is a powered reactor? Then you don't need to to all that. Just keep your flow going is all.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huhu89151734 View Post
Did I read co2 reactor? So it is a powered reactor? Then you don't need to to all that. Just keep your flow going is all.
Hey huhu, yup, I have a little 210GPH pond/waterfall type of pump that spins that impeller withn the MIXMAX like a turbo booster.

Thank you for responding, I appreciate it.

The air stone, is stuffed down to the very bottom, harnessed and trained, down by suction cups so that the bubbles come up right where the HOB filter flows in on the extreme corner oppostive where the co2 is pumped at about mid level of the thank and the powerhead pushes the bubbles ever further downward and across the tank. I think I'm blowing in like 80 bpm since the tank is 55 gallons. The fish seem just fine, I have kept a close eye on them since I cranked up the CO2 and they still fine cruising along on the floor of the tank, none of them are scramming up to the top for air.

Hi All, I have created a video for the purpose of critique. Please let me know what you think about my co2 solution and what I should change, add or remove. All feedback is appreciated.

https://youtu.be/RKXujqTtWdc

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-24-2017 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 12:37 AM
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Are you using 4dkh with the drop check? I watched the video and couldn't tell the color. That reactor looks efficient. I would dial in the drop checker on that side to green, then, move it the next day to the other side of the tank and see if it colors the same. Assuming nothing else changed, that will tell you right there if you have full co2 coverage. I would avoid the airstone if it was me but I am bubble averse.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Attackturtle View Post
Are you using 4dkh with the drop check? I watched the video and couldn't tell the color. That reactor looks efficient. I would dial in the drop checker on that side to green, then, move it the next day to the other side of the tank and see if it colors the same. Assuming nothing else changed, that will tell you right there if you have full co2 coverage. I would avoid the airstone if it was me but I am bubble averse.
Thank you Attackturtle. What about oxygen for my fish? That's my only concern and "only" reason for the airstone. I'd just assume remove it if my fish start to choke from lack of O2.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:06 AM
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Looking at the vid, I see little to change. What I looked at was the way the plants seem to be moving in most all spots. With the powerhead, I might think you are getting close to the best you can expect. You are getting just really small bubbles coming out with the reactor you have set up. This is good as small bubbles stay down and in the water better than large. If you take a look around at various videos of ceramic or other diffusers, you often see an almost solid stream of the bubbles going straight up. So you are much more sure of getting it spread around.
And then there is also the part of me that is cynical enough to know that no matter how well we start out, things do grow! That's good but it also means that we will find some of that great growth will get in the way of our most careful planning. right now without too much bulk of plants in the way, it is easier to get the flow all the way to the far end of the tank but as time goes on, the plants themselves will begin to get in the way.
I try to keep in mind that water flow and lighting is not a firm thing but does change. So many want solid wall to wall even lighting but then that may change if you have tall plants that grow over shorter.
which may be one of the three things that you can look over. Rather than doing too much more to improve the CO2, which looks pretty good, you may want to let it settle in for a bit and then if it seems slow, the other two legs of the stool are light and ferts.
It takes some time and getting to know the plants as they work in your tank. One of the battles or one of the bennies of this game is that there is no one single way a tank will run. We each get the challenge of working out what's up with our own little kingdom. Occasionally I get all three things in order at the same time and then other times, I feel like I'm still missing some clue.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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How does this color look? I think we're green as in 'GO'. It's not abundantly clear, but I will look in the morning after the CO2 has been off all night, and try to compare the color. If it's looking blue, then I'll move the CO2 drop checker. Thanks for helping me get this dialed in.

Bump: My wife says it's not green but it's not blue either. Hmm I have the the bubble turned up to like 80 bpm. Seems high, but it's 55 gallons. I did kill the airstone for now. I guess I could always turn it on in an emergency.

Thanks Rich and A.T., this is a tremendous help. I removed the drop checker from the tank, and sure enough it was green.

The forum is awesome and you guys are great.

I hope I can help you out some time in the near future.

Cheers,

Mike
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 03:10 PM
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We are pretty much out of the loop for sure on judging colors. After it goes through your camera settings, and our monitor settings we are closer to victim of electronics than judges of color! Better to trust the folks closer?

The airstone is one of those things that are good or bad. For me, I don't like any more noise than practical so the air pumps are normally off. The thing about water is that it works to try to find "normal" for what is around. That is what is getting us in trouble with the oceans. As we add more CO2 to the air, the water does soak up more. And that does the same for the ocean that it does for our tank. The PH goes down as the CO2 makes carbonic acid. It's a small thing but small things matter to the small things that build reefs. All the reef tank guys are obsessive about PH as it makes life really difficult for them.
But the nice thing about the water soaking up CO2 is that it also soaks up O2 just by being exposed to it. Old thinking was that running an air pump put the O2 into the water but newer thinking it that it may do that slightly but the major bennie of the rising column of bubbles is that it moves the water from the bottom to the surface and the O2 gets in by natural magic. I run powerheads as the easy way to not only move the water, bottom to top for O2, but also to move it round and round.
Back in 50's-60's the motors were so stinking big and couldn't be in water so rising air bubbles were a good choice but many no longer go that way. We can stick a little lemon sized motor down behind something and get better water movement.
But then that is all about what we each like, some like the rising column of bubbles and like to watch the fish play in them.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 11:06 PM
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That green is dark but it could be the picture. If you are using 4dkh I would say you can pump it up. If the fish are not choking they are fine. After dark green is a brighter green, then a yellow green, then light yellow green and then yellow. I came home once to a runaway DIY co2 in a 5 gallon yellow drop checker and my fish were fine. Individual experinace will vary greatly. It's all a balance, just have to find yours.

Pick a Saturday or Sunday when you can monitor the tank all day and up the BPS/BPM 20% and see what happens. The entire surface of your tank exchanges oxygen and oxygen exchanges easier than CO2 so I wouldn't worry about the airstone unless you leave the co2 on at night or your fish start surfacing and it's an emergency. If your fish don't act different, you are safe to keep it at that level. Actually, turn off the airstone first and see if the color changes (noticeably) before you pump up the CO2. Your CO2 may be venting a little early with that airstone in there.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
We are pretty much out of the loop for sure on judging colors. After it goes through your camera settings, and our monitor settings we are closer to victim of electronics than judges of color! Better to trust the folks closer?

The airstone is one of those things that are good or bad. For me, I don't like any more noise than practical so the air pumps are normally off. The thing about water is that it works to try to find "normal" for what is around. That is what is getting us in trouble with the oceans. As we add more CO2 to the air, the water does soak up more. And that does the same for the ocean that it does for our tank. The PH goes down as the CO2 makes carbonic acid. It's a small thing but small things matter to the small things that build reefs. All the reef tank guys are obsessive about PH as it makes life really difficult for them.
But the nice thing about the water soaking up CO2 is that it also soaks up O2 just by being exposed to it. Old thinking was that running an air pump put the O2 into the water but newer thinking it that it may do that slightly but the major bennie of the rising column of bubbles is that it moves the water from the bottom to the surface and the O2 gets in by natural magic. I run powerheads as the easy way to not only move the water, bottom to top for O2, but also to move it round and round.
Back in 50's-60's the motors were so stinking big and couldn't be in water so rising air bubbles were a good choice but many no longer go that way. We can stick a little lemon sized motor down behind something and get better water movement.
But then that is all about what we each like, some like the rising column of bubbles and like to watch the fish play in them.
Thanks Rich, using the bubble counter, things are going quite well. I appreciate the guidance.

I just wanted to report that the CO2 levels in my tank are perfect and CO2 is getting diffused in my 55Gal tank using the aforementioned approach in this string (there's even a video in here somewhere that I made displaying it). That doesn't suggest that everything else is perfect and I don't have other challenges, but the CO2 reactor and diffuser is working incredibly efficient. I am using a Co2 drop checker and moving it around to all areas in the tank, from right next to the area where the MIXMAX reactor blows it into the tank as well as on the extreme opposite end of the tank, 4' away, up high, down low in the back up front. It's all a lovely shade of green and the plants are growing well (since I increased my lighting by more than double). Sometimes simple but thought out approaches work great and I think putting it in my tank and hiding it will be the biggest challenge. At first I was in dismay that I had it in my tank, but I'm already considering a few different ways to distribute the CO2 using the same method but in a different location. The reactor/diffuser, albeit will not win me any "best tank awards" looks sort of cool(that's obviously going to vary from one hobbyist to the next), so I"m not really disappointed as I'll soon be able to hide most of the hardware in the tank once my plants have grown out more. The impeller in the reactor/diffuser is also spinning much faster. If need be, I might even manicure a pathway, sort of like the cities trim back trees to allow for tall trucks to navigate through neighborhoods and power lines to connect throughout the trees. I just wanted to report this I'm thankful that it didn't take me months to figure out and I was able to find a solution in a matter of weeks and of course I have some of the good people of this forum to thank for that.

Now onto the other challenges that I am gladly looking forward to learning about and tackling.

Cheers all,
DD

Recipe for a quarantine tank: 5-15gal aquarium, no substrate, a heater that can heat the tank to 86F, "lights should be turned off", one - two mesh bags of biological medium, two small sponge filters, an air pump running into the tank powering the sponge filter. Lid is optional but you should be able to cover most of the tank to prevent fish from jumping out.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 01:43 PM
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Awesome thread and build. I already got so much information from this that I shared it. " @DigityDog70 wrote: "... That doesn't suggest that everything else is perfect and I don't have other challenges, but the CO2 reactor and diffuser is working incredibly efficient." As a semi-retired troubleshooter this really is the beauty of Aquarium keeping for me. As a Newbie there is always something to figure out and it seems this rabbit hole can be as deep as we care to go. Thank you all.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 01:45 PM
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Careful what you wish for when wanting more growth. I was in the same and just di some small changes that are almost working too good!
I took the spraybar off the 2217 filter and added a short piece of tubing to run the CO2 rich water down into the tank where I moved my Koralia nano powerhead to hide it as well as move the water better.
Now the sword which was just standing in place has put out two bloom stalks! One stalk runs up and to the end of the canopy where it bends back and is nearing four feet long.
At this rate, I may have to have a bigger compost pile? I like big sturdy plants but my fish are thinking it is getting crowded.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Careful what you wish for when wanting more growth. I was in the same and just di some small changes that are almost working too good!
I took the spraybar off the 2217 filter and added a short piece of tubing to run the CO2 rich water down into the tank where I moved my Koralia nano powerhead to hide it as well as move the water better.
Now the sword which was just standing in place has put out two bloom stalks! One stalk runs up and to the end of the canopy where it bends back and is nearing four feet long.
At this rate, I may have to have a bigger compost pile? I like big sturdy plants but my fish are thinking it is getting crowded.
Hi Rich,

Do you have more than one tank? Just curious what you're doing and if you have any photos posted up somewhere? At your leisure, if you get a chance I'd definitely like to see what you're tending to.

Cheers,

Mike

Recipe for a quarantine tank: 5-15gal aquarium, no substrate, a heater that can heat the tank to 86F, "lights should be turned off", one - two mesh bags of biological medium, two small sponge filters, an air pump running into the tank powering the sponge filter. Lid is optional but you should be able to cover most of the tank to prevent fish from jumping out.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 07:51 PM
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Due to being on the forum so much and for so long, I'm now running into the limit on pictures to post directly so it requires a bit more time to post up to a photo service and then repost here but I still do it.
First step for me is to announce without worry that my tanks are set up for me and my amusement, That often leads to conflict with what other people like to do. My tanks are not the standard, nor are they required to meet what other may like as long as I'm liking it!
I love my African cichlids and the plants are there to make the fish look good. That often means the plants are getting less than they might find ideal. Things like algae are good for my fish, so the plants are required to bend to that rule.
This is the current state of my main interest. It is a 125 gallon with mixed substrate. Sand, gravel Flourite and dirt are all in the mix in various portions. The fish and do the mixing and sorting as it happens in nature so I like the way it matches what I see in the lakes/rivers. Two Ehiem canisters (2217 and 2075) with a Grigg's style reactor on the 2217. Powerheads are added at places to get better circulation. Lighting is a variety of stand alone types that I can add, move and adjust as things change in the tank. There is a dual T8 tube, several CFL twisties and one LED downlight. Each are on separate timers to phase in and out at different times.

Front view (taken at night due to windows and reflections during the day?)


End view with the best friend wanting to eat!
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