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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2002, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have a fairly heavily planted 10 gal. The plants all seem to be doing well with no COČ injection. I have and air stone going. I've heard it's not necessary in a planted tank. If I remove it, will it doing any harm to the fish? Are they dependant on it for any reason? What is an air stone purpose?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2002, 03:07 PM
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The purpose of an airstone is to encourage gaseous exchange at the water surface. In a non CO2 injected tank, the only place the water recieves CO2 is by fish respiration and absorption at the water surface. So your airstone is actually helping you in this case. The highest CO2 levels you could hope to see would be 3-4ppm but with a stangnant surface, the plants could consume the CO2 faster than the water could absorb it through a stagnant surface.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2002, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Now I may be wrong, but I always thought it was the other way around. In a planted tank, I thought it was best not to have too much surface agitation to preserve the CO2. I though that aereation ( surface agitation ) was to increase oxygen and to rid the water of CO2 for non planted tanks. Have I been wrong about this all along?

I have a 55 gal tank with very low surface agitation and my plants and fish are doing very well. Would my plants do even better with a air-stone? I have to say I'm confussed now.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2002, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anonymous
Now I may be wrong, but I always thought it was the other way around. In a planted tank, I thought it was best not to have too much surface agitation to preserve the CO2. I though that aereation ( surface agitation ) was to increase oxygen and to rid the water of CO2 for non planted tanks. Have I been wrong about this all along?

I have a 55 gal tank with very low surface agitation and my plants and fish are doing very well. Would my plants do even better with a air-stone? I have to say I'm confussed now.
I completely understand how you can be confused as it is a tiny bit confusing at first.

By creating turbulence at the water's surface you are encouraging gas exchange, whether it be oxygen going in or coming out or CO2 going in or out.

So if you do not have CO2 injection this aggitation will allow more CO2 into the water as the only other source is the fish.

However if you do inject CO2 you will get more from that into the water then you will with the gas exchange at the surface.

So basically it is beneficial to have an airstone with no CO2 injection and not beneficial when you do have CO2 injection!

Kyle

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2002, 04:31 PM
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So say I didn't use a diy or pressurised co2 system and I just used fertilizer, and an air stone, with the propper lighting, would my plants grow healthy?

thanks, (i am also new to this and confused!)

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2002, 06:51 PM
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It all depends kit. The main thing that it depends on is what type of plant it is and your other parameters. They might grow but probably not as fast and they won't be as healthy as they could be with CO2.

Also what type of fertilizer are you adding? I would be very carefull adding fertilizer with no CO2.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2002, 01:12 AM
 
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First I want to thank you Fender963 for your quick replies on this question and the one in the other thread about flourite.

As you can see, I went ahead registered so I would no longer be that mysterious anonymous person.

I think I'm still a little confused. If I understand you correctly, it depends on how much CO2 is already in your tanks water. Up to a certain concentration, aeration will increase CO2, but if the concentration is higher, it will help release CO2.

To be honest, I'm still not sure I believe this. I did some research on the internet and found some pages that seem to say surface agitation reduces the amount of CO2 whether its high or low.

Here are a couple of examples...

:Note the paragragh "Aeration"

http://www.tropicalfishcentre.co.uk/Filtration.htm

and...

http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/basic/13-1.cfm

Now I'm fully aware that you kind find all kinds of conflicting information regarding this hobby out there. Maybe their wrong, or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting what they are trying to say.

At any rate, I still appreciate your responses to my querries. People that are willing to take the time help people on these forums are valuable to us all. I just hope that you don't mind me to seemingly disagree with you. Again maybe I'm just misinterpreting everything.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2002, 02:07 PM
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Tom, I can see how all this conflicting information can be confusing.

On the first link you posted, they said:
Quote:
With planted tanks, and there is a small fish population, even agitation is kept to the minimum, to actually keep CO2 in.
What they are saying is that if you don't have a large fish population to supply CO2 to plants, then you want to eliminate surface agitation to prevent CO2 loss. A planted tank with a heavy bioload of fish can supply a pretty good amount of CO2 to a moderately lit tank.

The second link you posted mentions this:
Quote:
There is a gas exchange which takes place at the surface of the water between carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen. The exchange results in carbon dioxide (CO2) leaving the water and oxygen entering due to the fact that there is more oxygen in air than water and vice versa for carbon dioxide.
They are saying that CO2 levels are higher in the water than in the air. This is not always true. It certainly isn't true for a CO2-injected system, and it isn't generally true for a cup of standing water (unless it is carbonated, hehe). But it is true for that planted tank we were talking about that has a heavy fish load. All those fish are releasing CO2 into the water and you could see higher CO2 levels in the water than in the air. In this case, aeration would cause you to lose that CO2 more rapidly.

In a low-light tank with low-light plant such as some crypts, anubias, java fern, etc. I generally will use surface agitation. It keeps things consistent. You'll usually see CO2 levels around 3-4ppm. You won't see fantastically rapid plant growth, but under the right conditions, plants can grow healthy and lush nontheless. Without the surface agitation, and with a high fish load, you might see CO2 levels around 4-6ppm, but then you have to worry about the consequential nutrient output of the fish, and the plants inability to consume those nutrients, given the CO2 and lighting conditions. Your best friend in that case is water changes to keep nutrients in check.

It's confusing at first, but once you understand, you'll be more well equipped to care for your plants. Never hesitate to ask questions!

- Sam P -
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2002, 02:41 PM
 
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Thanks for helping clairify this confussing subject. Its becoming increasingly clear that the key to having a successful planted tank is too have the right balance of CO2, nuitents, bio load, and light. Whether to aerate or not, is just one part of this equation.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2004, 10:38 PM
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i am new so about this... i have a bubble curtain and the surface is like loaded completely with bubbles and i want to convert it to a planted and still keep my curtain if it is a good idea.. it is a 10g... and i want to use DIY Co2...
are there any conflicts do i just hook up my co2 into the bubble curtain or should i make a reactor? i think it would be cool making a reactor...
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2004, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newkidonthetank
i am new so about this... i have a bubble curtain and the surface is like loaded completely with bubbles and i want to convert it to a planted and still keep my curtain if it is a good idea.. it is a 10g... and i want to use DIY Co2...
are there any conflicts do i just hook up my co2 into the bubble curtain or should i make a reactor? i think it would be cool making a reactor...
Not a good idea. Yes either a reactor or a diffusor.....Yes it is cool....

Jason

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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I know this is a tad bit off-topic with discussing Newkid's problem, but I am having some of the same issues. I woke up this morning and noticed my roseline shark died (cry) and all my fish were gasping for air looking like they were about ready to croak. The only positive note I can think of on all of this is I lost only one fish instead of the whole tank. I have a pretty decent size fishload and apparently oxygen was completely used up. I had been watching my fish late at night to make sure this wouldn't be an issue. Monday I removed my HOB filter and put in another eheim. Of course this lowered the surface aggitation and the co2 levels rose. When the lights first flicked on and I noticed my deceased fish I threw in an airstone and did a quick 15% water change or so just to try to get things stabilized. Of course all seems well now with the fish, but I'm sure my co2 levels are plummeting as we speak. I had just done a water change last night and I buffered a tad bit extra baking soda and instead of hitting the 75 ppm range I hit around 85-90 for the whole tank. My PH was 6.8-7.0 when I tested it. So I assume I was somewhere in the 20-25 ppm mark. I am running 2 nutrafin co2 cannisters, I have a 3rd here I was thinking about adding, but removing the HOB fixed my problems and so I haven't installed it.

Now that we have ran through all of that, my question being, it's apparent I'm going to have to run an airstone when the lights aren't on. Between the plants and the fish load it's apparent that a good bit of the oxygen was consumed (my goby literally fastened himself to the back of the aquarium and stuck it's mouth out of the water and was just breathing air. How much will this totally decimate my co2 levels? Anybody have any experience running an airstone at night via a timer? Also how long do you believe I should run the airstone (I know this is going to be a trial and error thing, I want to run it as short as possible but still make the fish comfy through the evening.) I am running my main lights for a 10 hr period (130w) and then have aux lights (30w) that I run an hr before and after the 130w turn on and off to give a dawn/dusk effect for the fish. So basically there is a 12 hr period of darkness and as far as I can assume the plants are only producing oxygen during that 10 hr window when the 130w are on. Sorry if I'm rambling, I searched around and couldn't find any info on how fast co2 levels would bounce back (With a cheap Co2 setup like I have, I wish I had the money to go pressurized at the moment) or how long anybody runs their airstones at night that have this problem. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Matt
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2004, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fender963

So if you do not have CO2 injection this agitation will allow more CO2 into the water as the only other source is the fish.

Kyle
This is not correct. Aerating water will ALWAYS adjust the CO2 concentration in water toward the atmospheric concentration - which for all practical conditions is lower. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is ~0.035% volume, ~350ppmv, or ~0.639ppm(mg/L) give or take slightly depending on location.

For a cup of stagnant tap water that has rested for 24 hours, the CO2 concentration is ~2-3ppm, greater than the atmosphere at ~0.639ppm. Aeration only cavitates the CO2 to be released into the atmosphere so too reach a concentration closer to the atmospheric conc.

I think the wrong myth came from the fact that CO2 is 200X more soluble in water than O2. This is true b/c CO2 reacts to form H2CO3, carbonic acid, which is not CO2, allowing for greater and greater amounts to dissolve in the water. O2 simply dissolves as O2.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2004, 02:11 PM
 
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i think there is a happy medium here. i have the nutrafin co2 system with the bubble ladder, and with no surface agitation my fish were gasping for air in the morning. i adjusted my filter output to sligtly agitate the surface without actualy breaking it, and found that this solved the gasping problem without affecting the daytime levels of co2 in my tank. the filter output is angled just to the point that the surface is circulated, but not "agitated", if you know what i mean. when i first started with the plants, i was really careful about the no surface agitation rule, but i have found that it doesn't have as dramatic affect on my tank. of course, the tank in question does not have co2 injection, so maybe this is completeley irrelevant. i may have enough co2 that i can afford to lose some...

just my 2 cents.
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