Ph and co2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ph and co2

Hi all I'm a newbie !! I've just converted my 180l tank to pressurised co2 through a ph controller using tropica aquarium soil. Ive only just got it up and running in the last few hours of posting. With the soil not being inert I've had a drop in ph so my co2 won't come on I've got it set at 6.8 ph currently 6.6. I've read that the ph will increase with water changes? I'm using a drop checker with 4dkh solution which is green but I don't think green enough. I've tested the kh and gh with an api test kit kh=8 gh=15 is this ok? Thanks any help will be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 02:20 PM
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I recommend not trying to move the numbers as what you have is okay. Keep in mind that there are plants growing in every type of water and many do fine in water which hobbyists might call "wrong".
I no longer use a drop checker as it is very slow to react to change and the controller will do whatever you set it to do.
I do recommend calibrating the controller occasionally as they do drift and things like algae on the probe will change the readings.
When setting up new tanks with controller or adding CO2 to tanks with fish, I work the CO2 content down very slowly over several days to let the fish adapt to the new conditions. If I see them acting "off" I back off the CO2 for a bit. That leaves me using the controller and fish rather than drop checkers.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou so much for the info.. Am I right in saying that because of the levels of the ph ang kh my plants don't need co2 at the moment? Resulting in the controller not turning the co2 on? Thanks again
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 03:35 AM
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For a new tank, it just takes some time to see what it settles on once all the new stuff gets done. moving the numbers. And from there it can be kind of an "estimate"?
We say that 30 PPM is a good level for CO2 and that is then assumed to be done when the initial PH has dropped by a full point in PH. That is what the drop checker really does. We start out and the color is one point of reference and when it then turns green it is supposed that the PH is down a full point. But to get there we are kind of making a few assumptions along the way which may not totally be true so we may need to tweak things just a bit to get the best growth out of the plants.
If the only thing causing the reading of your KH is carbonates, the chart is a big help but then there are often other things besides the carbonates showing on the readings. No chemist here and just passing on things I read to let others explain it far better. Just don't get too involved with making changes to get exact numbers as much of what we measure is based on estimates. How exact is the estimate? We often don't really know so we estimate and call it good but then if we keep in mind that it IS an estimate, it will relive a lot of stress over trying to get exact numbers and eventually we get more into looking at what is happening with the plants and fish. Plants and fish doing well is more important than the numbers but all of this does take time and patient waiting to see what's really happening.
What to do now? Go with the "expected" and estimates. If your PH starts out at 7.8 and you have dropped it to 6.8, then assume the CO2 is correct. But if it seems like the plants are not doing well and pearling, etc. it is not a terrible decision to turn the adjustment down to get 6.6 as long as any fish are not showing signs of stress. Too much CO2 will not kill the plants nearly as much as any fish.
Being a gardener takes a good deal of patience. Being a gardener , inside and under water takes even more?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou so much for your advice already taken on board and putting into practice I'm sure I'll get there. Thanks again from the uk.
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