Can’t get my head around this Co2 business! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
Abi
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Can someone please help, I’m new to the whole Co2 thing and it’s starting to take over my life! I’m watching the plants melt, the hair algae grow and I’m constantly worried about poisoning fish with co2.
I have a 123 litre tank with lots of plants, gravel substrate. canister Co2 with solenoid and ceramic diffuser, 2x 28w jewel strip lights with reflectors, (1 natural 1 colour) and an assortment of fish. I had the co2 set to be on for 6 hrs, same with the lights- the co2 comes in 1 hr before the lights and goes off 1hr before. I had to reduce the co2 slightly as fish had a bad reaction after I switched from ladder diffuser to ceramic, hence my paranoia about killing them. My drop checker is showing line green which I understand is good, but in the morning it’s always dark green, almost blue. My ph is 7.6, dropping to 6.6 during co2 period,from what I’ve read that’s good so why is the algae thriving and the plants suffering? I’m dosing with a complete fertiliser weekly, have good surface agitation from the filter outlet and am redirecting the co2 bubbles with a power head, but I’m seeing black spots on some leaves now, can anyone help advise where I’m going wrong?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 07:50 PM
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If you are getting a 1.0 drop that is good. Are you getting that drop within the hour that it is on before the lights?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 07:51 PM
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Are you doing frequent water changes?
What "Complete fertilizer" are you using?

What are your water parameters? Ammonia, nitrates, dKH and dGH...
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Water is ok, had a small rise in ammonia but assumed that was due to all the dead plant matter, will test again tomorrow and let you know the results. The fertiliser is called TNC complete aquarium plant nutrient, says on the bottle it contains essential macro nutrients and valuable trace elements. I should add that I bought this tank secondhand and have only had it since last weds. Itís a mature tank- emptied at time of pick up then refilled within 30 mins- kept the filter wet in transit so Iím assuming will carry on as before. So it had a complete water change on weds and then I did a 50% water change on Saturday after fish started showing signs of co2 poisoning. I tested ph first before co2 went on and then after it had been going for a while with lights on, Iíll check in the first hour tomorrow.

I checked ph after co2 had been running a couple of hours with lights on, Iíll check in the first hour tomorrow.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-15-2018 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 08:14 PM
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Water is ok, had a small rise in ammonia but assumed that was due to all the dead plant matter,
Algae uses ammonia to germinate..

nutrients/CO2/ light all need to be balanced to prevent algae..

You actually have 2 choices..
Make sure light/nutrients match CO2 by 1) cutting back on CO2
2)increasing light/nutrient

Prefer #1 personally..

gut feeling is your light is no where up to the level of CO2..

Actually.. upon further review, light quantity may be sufficient..
33gal tank...

"old school" wpg puts you under 2...

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-14-2018 at 08:35 PM. Reason: edit
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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So what should I do? Increase light period? Decrease co2, or use additional fertiliser? I’m a complete newbie at this, have kept fish before so I understand the nitrogen cycle, just not how to get the co2 right. I do know that the tank was doing fine before I bought it, emptied it and refilled it. I wonder if the move was what caused the crypt plant to melt? I don’t think there was any black on the plants before and I’m using all the same set up as the previous owner was, only difference is I changed the ladder diffuser to the ceramic and reduced the co2 slightly after fish reacted badly.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abi View Post
So what should I do? Increase light period? Decrease co2, or use additional fertiliser? Iím a complete newbie at this, have kept fish before so I understand the nitrogen cycle, just not how to get the co2 right. I do know that the tank was doing fine before I bought it, emptied it and refilled it. I wonder if the move was what caused the crypt plant to melt? I donít think there was any black on the plants before and Iím using all the same set up as the previous owner was, only difference is I changed the ladder diffuser to the ceramic and reduced the co2 slightly after fish reacted badly.
What fertilizer mix are you using? My suspicion is that all other things being equal, you really need more fertilizers.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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It’s this one. Do I need to try something else as well, or instead of?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 07:05 AM
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TNC Complete is looking good.

You re-filled the tank within 30 mins. Where did the plants come from? Assuming you used dechlorinator and the water temp is reasonable, the is not much to go on without some pictures and your actual water parameters.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I bought tha tank complete with plants and fish, the plants had been growing in the tank for a long time. I use seachem prime for water. Temp is around 24- thats the temp the previous owner had kept it at so have just continued with it. Will post water results after I get home today.

Some photos

All plants came with the tank apart from the large leafed one on the right, that was in my previous tank before. The brownish plantís ( cryptocoryne?) leaves melted so I cut it right back hoping it would grow back.

Ok have tested water and results not good- this is before co2 starts for the day.
PH 7.6
NH3/NH4 0.50 ppm
NO3 40 ppm
NO2 0.25 ppm

Will do partial water change, no idea why Iím seeing ammonia and nitrites tho.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-16-2018 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abi View Post
Ok have tested water and results not good- this is before co2 starts for the day.
PH 7.6
NH3/NH4 0.50 ppm
NO3 40 ppm
NO2 0.25 ppm

Will do partial water change, no idea why I’m seeing ammonia and nitrites tho.
Ya with those two it looks like you're going through a mini cycle. Maybe there was just an abundance of organic waste from the plants melting and algae growing?

Either way I know I experienced this as well and for me I wasn't using enough ferts. I eventually switched my co2 to come on 2 hours before lights to get the concentration up when the lights came on, then started dosing heavy with all npk+micro.

That's the whole reasoning behind ei method, dose heavy correct with water change. Make light your limiting factor. Algae can grow with excess nutrients and light, algae can also outcompete plants when nutrients are scarce and lighting is high. If you put in an abundance of nutrients and drop the light this should allow the plants to win the battle vs algae for the nutrients available. After than point you can steadily increase light until you start to notice algae taking advantage of the excess.

I could be totally off base here, but this is what I have managed to piece together through my trials. Lol.

Good luck, most of all consistency and persistence are what's going to make the difference for ya!

New to the hobby, feel like ive really found something that can be a life long passion. I sincerely appreciate anyone taking the time to pass along any advice, and look forwards to being able to do that same. -DC
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dcchillin thanks for that, will research extra fertiliser and reduce light. I have another issue now, just got home to find the solenoid buzzing like mad, no idea what that means but it can’t be good!! The right hand dial has dropped from 60 to 40 as well
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