CO2 Question (levels and maintaining) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 Question (levels and maintaining)

Hello All

A few questions on CO2 and lighting in general.

Tank Info
Aqua One Regency 120 (Deep), Dimensions Tank: 120W x 46D x 70H cm
Water Capacity: 300L (80 US gallons)

Lighting: 4 x 54W HO T5 (2 x 6700k 2 x 10000k) only running the 2 6700s at the moment (advised on here I had TOO MUCH LIGHT??)
Filter is Aquis 1200 (supplied with tank)
2 x Hydor Koralia 2 in tank for extra water flow
Pressurised CO2 with a Rex Grigg Inline Reactor

PH 7 KH 6 GH 7, 50% water changes and EI dosing

The problems I am having are to do with the CO2 and water flow.
I am seeing BBA and from everything I have read this is to do with
a) lack of CO2
b) fluctuating levels of CO2

The CO2 is turned on 15 minutes before the lights come on and the drop checker is generally bluey/green at the point the lighting starts. Over the course of the lighting period (about 7 1/2 hours) the drop checker colour changes to light green. The CO2 is turned off with the lights. I have increased the levels of CO2 so that the drop checker ends up more light green/yellow but the fish starting stressing so backed it off again.

Is this the best way to go about it?
Should I be turning the CO2 on a lot earlier, turning off later?
I don't see how the CO2 levels can be consistent if it is turned off when the lights are off, and you're not supposed to run the CO2 without the lights (correct yes/no?).

Also should I be running more lights? Running all 4 bulbs for at least part of the period.

Any help gratefully accepted.

Ta Gary


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:08 AM
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You should be fine running the lights the way you are now. You should change the turn-on time for your co2. Turn it on about 1-2 hrs befor your lights come on. You want co2 to be in the 30ish ppm or green on your dc by the time the lights come on. This will probably solve your bba problem. Just nuke the bba with excel or h2o2 and keep your co2 up.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Ta
Will set the timers back a few hours and see what happens

Cheers
Gary


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:29 AM
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With only 2 T5HO going your tank has about 7 lumen per square inch light - a medium lit tank. With all four lights you would have had a brightly lit tank but not as high a light I use in my tanks without any excessive algae growth. You could calculate your lights using this chart :-

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/at...3&d=1264805987

A peep at my tank which I call the 'Incomparable'.


I too use Rex Grigg inline reactors, in fact 2 of them, and was using DIY CO2 for 5 years but shifted to pressurised a year ago. I use a type of UGF which I have designed myself and the output of the same runs the reactors.

I turn on my CO2 at 5am and my lights at 6am. My CO2 switches off at 5pm and my lights at 6pm. I do EI dosing and 50% weekly WC. I mix my own fertilisers from lab reagents. You will find the result of my lights in the chart.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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That calculator is brilliant, loving it
Exactly what I've been looking for
Do you want me to attach the results for my tank (don't know if you keep record if different tanks etc).

I will change the lighting to bring the second lights on as well and move the time back for the start of the CO2 (as per yous and nokturnalkid's posts)

I have recently moved the lights up futher away from the surface (probably about 14/15 inches rather than 6/7). Would you advise moving them back dow to be closer to the surface or should it not matter.

Thanks for all the help

Gary


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 11:55 AM
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The higher you have your lights, more light escapes from the top of your tank, unutilised. I created the chart for my style of using reflecting tank canopy where all the light is directed into my tank water. I have been using bulbs for light for about 4 years - before that I was using either direct and/or indirect sunlight for years (I have been keeping planted tanks from December 1960 when I received my first tank as a birthday gift). The Incredible was conceived with the 6 foot long Eastern top opening onto the terrace to allow the direct morning sun to fall on the tank surface (25 years of my life I have lived without electric supply dreaming about the tank's design). After retirement I built the Incomparable into the outer wall of my permanent residence 10 years ago; and used it without CO2 or fertilisers and without any algae trouble. Then I discovered the internet and found that there were hobbyist using CO2 and fertilising the tank.

I wanted to find out what EI did. I tried it and I ran into trouble with fluctuating light intensity. 3 months of cloudy monsoon season that we have here forced me to add artificial lights. Now I use artificial lights in the monsoon and natural sunlight during clear days (a smaller carbon footage - no???).

I know that plants are more active (in photosynthesis) in the morning than in later part of the day. I don't know if that is because the morning air is richer in CO2 or if it is a factor of their circadian clock. So do have your CO2 high before lights on time and watch the clock time for that artificial morning.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:37 PM
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That calculator is very nice, it helps confirm my plans to run my lights in a alternating pattern rather than all at once.


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90 Gallon Low light/Easy Maintenance
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:55 PM
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If those lights are 6 inches above the top of the tank, you probably have high medium light intensity, with all 4 bulbs on, which should be a good light level. A further advantage of having the light raised above the tank is that the intensity near the top of the tank isn't nearly as high as it is when the lights sit right on top of the tank. Algae grow in response to light intensity, just as plants do, so keeping the light intensity no higher than necessary is always a good idea.

I think you need to work more on the CO2 system. It is very difficult to get uniform distribution of CO2 throughout the tank, and keep it uniform as the plants grow. That requires keeping the plant mass from increasing so much that the plants block the water circulation. As you get more plant mass, their consumption of CO2 goes up, requiring a still higher bubble rate. A drop checker is very useful for giving you peace of mind as you increase the bubble rate - unless the drop checker is green you are very unlikely to have enough CO2 to bother the fish. Once you get the bubble rate up to where the color is green, then you need to slowly, a little bit each day or two, raise the bubble rate, while watching the fish carefully so you don't stress them too much, and watching the plants looking for pearling from all of the plants. If you notice the fish clustering at the top of the tank, usually in a corner, or some fish laying on the substrate, or fish losing their color, you have too much CO2, so you can then reduce the bubble rate back to the previous setting. That will be the optimum bubble rate for a high light tank.

Of course, good tank and filter maintenance is important too. BBA, once started, can be very difficult to eliminate, so it pays to do all you can to avoid it ever starting.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 07:09 PM
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^ +1 on the drop checker, as Hoppy said. actually, i would recommend more than one drop checker, since co2 levels are different throughout the tank.

i have two, on each end of the tank. one is placed right in front of the filter's return line. this drop checker is always a solid bright yellow. the drop checker at the other end of the tank is almost yellow, but has more of a lime green tint to it. i have it packed with fish and theyre all doing perfectly fine

~ Jose


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2010, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone
Got lots to think about there, definitely some things I can change straight away
Cheers
Gary


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