New to the Planted world, questions with Co2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Hello!
I am new to the Planted tanks after lots of years with African Cichlids. I am setting up a 30 gal fully planted tank. I have a Marineland Penguin 350 (with my own media) with a fluval heater. As a substrate I used Flourite. For lights I am running the two LED strips that came with the tank (better lights will come soon). Some of the plants I have inside the tank are Java moss, Monte Carlo, Proserpinaca Palustris, an Anubia and a couple more I can't remember the name. I decided to set up a DIY Co2 kit with citric acid and baking soda, it is currently set at 1 bps. Should I increase my bubble count? How can I know what is safe and what is not once I add fish to my tank? Is there a more exact method than a drop checker? Thanks for all the help.

I am also dosing Flourish 3-4 times a week on small doses, is that too much?? Or is this amount safe?
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-05-2018 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 05:27 PM
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I would simply cut your 4 KH solution with equal parts distilled water to give a reading of approximately 15 ppm when the checker is in the green. This should be a safe level for 24/7 diffusion, as long as you have decent surface agitation.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 06:11 PM
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On a 30g, it will be very difficult to supply too much co2 in terms of it being dangerous to the fish. A 30g is on the large side of using DIY. Not a perfect science but measure your tap water ph (let it sit for a little while) and then measure the tank. Most shoot for a 1.0 PH drop (usually around 30ppm) due to the co2. I doubt you will get there, but as @madcrafted mentioned if you get to 15 ppm or approx. 0.5 PH drop as you have an idea where you are.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obocali View Post
Hello!
I am new to the Planted tanks after lots of years with African Cichlids. I am setting up a 30 gal fully planted tank. I have a Marineland Penguin 350 (with my own media) with a fluval heater. As a substrate I used Flourite. For lights I am running the two LED strips that came with the tank (better lights will come soon). Some of the plants I have inside the tank are Java moss, Monte Carlo, Proserpinaca Palustris, an Anubia and a couple more I can't remember the name. I decided to set up a DIY Co2 kit with citric acid and baking soda, it is currently set at 1 bps. Should I increase my bubble count? How can I know what is safe and what is not once I add fish to my tank? Is there a more exact method than a drop checker? Thanks for all the help.
1bbps for 30 gal is pretty safe

the fishes will gasp near the water surface if they feel like theres too much co2

I never measured my co2 and relied on intuition. you dont need to worry too much.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by obocali View Post
I am also dosing Flourish 3-4 times a week on small doses, is that too much?? Or is this amount safe?
I assume that you mean Flourish Excel, which will help a lot given the comparatively low (and inconsistent) output of DIY CO2. I'd dose that on a daily basis.

As @houseofcards said, you will struggle to supply enough CO2 if your lights are strong. The solution may be to keep lights on the low end (below 30 PAR at the substrate). If you want high growth, you will need strong lighting and pressurized CO2. If you want slow growth, but still nice, lower light will result in healthy plants and as much CO2 as you can get from the DIY will help. Bps is not a good measure of CO2 levels, it just tells you where your injection rates are. Use the pH drop mentioned by @houseofcards. Drop checkers also give you a good idea of where the CO2 levels are, but need to be changed every two-three weeks.

Be careful about the light: if you don't keep CO2 CONSISTENTLY in the 30-35 ppm area with high light, you will get a lot of algae. The word "consistently" is important. IME, DIY CO2 is rarely consistent unless you watch it closely.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @houseofcards, @madcrafted, @Deanna, @IntotheWRX for all the input! the tank is doing great so far, the DIY CO2 system has been surprisingly constant and the parameters of the water are very stable now. Java Moss is growing great starting to cover the whole piece of wood. I added 5 Otocinclus which I am completely a fan now, great algae eaters. I also added 2 Fancy Guppy and 1 Male Apistogramma Macmasteri which I found in my LFS and fell in love with. I should be getting the female next week. I plan on adding a couple of plant pots in order to create some caves hoping they will spawn.

My monte carlo is the one who I see no spread at all, any recommendations on how to get it to spread quicker?

Thanks again for the help.

Ps: The picture of the fish, he was still on the bag from my LFS he has gained more of his color back.
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