Co2 saturation before lights on. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 saturation before lights on.

Has anyone notice a beneficial impact on plants when co2 comes on an hour or 2 before lights come on ? Or is this just a theory?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 05:34 PM
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Yes, the beneficial impact is that the co2 is at or near full saturation so it maximizes the potential growth of your plants. The better and healthier your plants are growing, the less algae you'll see, and the more beautiful the plants will be. It's a good idea to saturate the water (to safe levels for the livestock) with co2 before lights come on.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 06:08 PM
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Agreed. I inject around 8bps in a 21 long tank, which results in a 1.2 pH drop. Even with that injection rate, it takes over an hour to hit 1.0 pH drop and I start injection 2 hours beforehand. This graph is from my tank (about 6 weeks ago), taken using a pH probe and reef-pi. If you don't start beforehand, you're giving plants light and nutrients, without the corresponding CO2 for a significant amount of the photoperiod.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 12:05 AM
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I used to do this until a member (thanks, @Edward) pointed out some potential drawbacks with this on-again, off-again approach and suggested leaving it on 24/7, but at lower dosing levels. So, after doing some research, and finding support for this approach, I moved to it about 8 months ago. I have not noticed a change in my plants, but the dosage is lower based upon a lower frequency of refilling the CO2 tank, yet the ppm in the tank stays in the area it was before changing to 24/7. I think this is because the overnight levels are not allowed to drop and, despite my intuition saying that it should then climb at night and then be lower later in the day (after heavy consumption), my pH readings stay surprisingly consistent throughout the 24 hours.

So, why it might be good (and I can't assure you of this):
- plants and fish like things to be consistent.
- if pH is allowed to rise above 7 at night, you start to convert the NH4 to NH3 which can stress fish and eventually harm them if too high.
- the pH sweet spot for fert uptake seems to be in the 6.0-6.5 area - might as well hold it there, since it takes very little light for plants to grow (long before your lights come on).
- fish need to be adapted to our CO2 dosing (not due to the pH change) and - maybe - a 20 ppm, or more, daily swing causes daily stress, even though CO2-based pH changes don't seem to cause problems.
- algae loves disruptions and - maybe - such daily shifts add a little bit of ooomph to the complex algae development matrix.

None of these thoughts, to my knowledge, have been proven or disproved.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm... I have my co2 turn on at 4am and natural light begins at 630 for me(my 20g is shaded on the porch and gets sunlight from sunrise) and around 10am that's when I turn on my LED until 530pm. Co2 turns off at 430pm.

My ph at the beginning for the first 3 weeks in August, during the day, would go from 7.8 to 6.6. And then 6.2 at night And back to 6.8 during the day. (2BPS). 3 months now, my ph stays at a constant 6.8 during the day and drops to 6.2 during the night. I have Aquaclear 50 and 20. I only do 5 gallon water change . So I'm guessing the aeration between co2 and o2 is balanced ?

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Originally Posted by AcidGambit View Post
Agreed. I inject around 8bps in a 21 long tank, which results in a 1.2 pH drop. Even with that injection rate, it takes over an hour to hit 1.0 pH drop and I start injection 2 hours beforehand. This graph is from my tank (about 6 weeks ago), taken using a pH probe and reef-pi. If you don't start beforehand, you're giving plants light and nutrients, without the corresponding CO2 for a significant amount of the photoperiod.



Doesnt it make sense to give plants nutrients , too, along with co2. For example, wouldn't it be better to have low co2 intake: (1 bubble every 2 seconds) to have plants absorb more nutrients to become more lush. I have 4 tabs and I dose comprehensive every 2 weeks now.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-23-2019 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NewtoAquatics View Post
Doesnt it make sense to give plants nutrients , too, along with co2. For example, wouldn't it be better to have low co2 intake: (1 bubble every 2 seconds) to have plants absorb more nutrients to become more lush. I have 4 tabs and I dose comprehensive every 2 weeks now.
If you maintain CO2 in the typical 30ppm area, along with high light, you want to be sure that there is constant availability of ferts in the water column (root tabs are unnecessary). CO2 and ferts are not independent of each other. Generally, the more CO2 (with high light), the more the fert dosing needed. Lower doses of ferts can be applied as a function of decreasing light.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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And your theory on root tabs being unnecessary for stemmed plants compared to dosing is what? If there are constant micronutrients flowing thru the substrate and water column until tabs are dissolved, I dont think its unnecessary in a high tech tank. Moreover, macronutrients do not need to be added frequently in a tank that has fish. The waste created by the fish and leftover food typically provide enough macronutrients. I've got 8 tetras, 4 cories, and 8 shrimp in a 20g.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by NewtoAquatics View Post
And your theory on root tabs being unnecessary for stemmed plants compared to dosing is what? If there are constant micronutrients flowing thru the substrate and water column until tabs are dissolved, I dont think its unnecessary in a high tech tank. Moreover, macronutrients do not need to be added frequently in a tank that has fish. The waste created by the fish and leftover food typically provide enough macronutrients. I've got 8 tetras, 4 cories, and 8 shrimp in a 20g.


I have a 40 breeder with 23 rummy nose tetras, 10 black neons, an apistogramma, 6 otocinclus, 8 corydoras, and probably about 100 neocaridina shrimp with too many snails to even guess. I feed the tank generously, and I still need to dose NPK to keep the plants happy, on top of co2 and micros. I could probably get away with no nitrate, but there’d be no way feeding would provide enough phosphate and potassium.

Relying on feeding and fish waste is totally doable in a Walstad tank. It’s designed with taking advantage of that, but it also requires the use of dirt that’s packed with all the macros and micros you need.

Insofar as root tabs being unnecessary, there’s a multitude of examples of tanks where people use inert substrate with no root tabs and rely solely on water column dosing and they’re able to grow even heavy root feeders, let alone stems.

It all depends on what methodology you wish to use and what works best for you.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by NewtoAquatics View Post
And your theory on root tabs being unnecessary for stemmed plants compared to dosing is what? If there are constant micronutrients flowing thru the substrate and water column until tabs are dissolved, I dont think its unnecessary in a high tech tank. Moreover, macronutrients do not need to be added frequently in a tank that has fish. The waste created by the fish and leftover food typically provide enough macronutrients. I've got 8 tetras, 4 cories, and 8 shrimp in a 20g.
It’s beyond theory. As @varanidguy mentioned, there are many of us that abandoned root tabs long ago in favor of column dosing only. Some members have run extensive tests to show it. Here are some links to give you some encouragement in trying it:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...er-column.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/3...t-fiction.html

Food and other organic sources do provide N, P and many traces at levels that can support all the nutrients of some tanks (mainly low-tech tanks). Again, though, as @varanidguy mentioned, K and, often iron must be supplemented even in these tanks. On a relative basis, I have far more fish than you and find that I can almost get along with the N and P from non-dosing, but still need a little extra, and traces must be dosed. Root tabs provide irregular dosing and many of us prefer greater control over the amount dosed. Add RO water and the need for dosing control of these nutrients (plus Mg and Ca) is magnified.

So, root tabs may not hurt and can help in the absence of column dosing, but they are not necessary if column dosing is performed either directly or indirectly via organics.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 07:49 PM
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Fish waste does not have enough K and root tabs don’t help either because aquatic plants prefer K from water column.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtoAquatics View Post
And your theory on root tabs being unnecessary for stemmed plants compared to dosing is what? If there are constant micronutrients flowing thru the substrate and water column until tabs are dissolved, I dont think its unnecessary in a high tech tank. Moreover, macronutrients do not need to be added frequently in a tank that has fish. The waste created by the fish and leftover food typically provide enough macronutrients. I've got 8 tetras, 4 cories, and 8 shrimp in a 20g.
It’s beyond theory. As @varanidguy mentioned, there are many of us that abandoned root tabs long ago in favor of column dosing only. Some members have run extensive tests to show it. Here are some links to give you some encouragement in trying it:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...er-column.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/3...t-fiction.html

Food and other organic sources do provide N, P and many traces at levels that can support all the nutrients of some tanks (mainly low-tech tanks). Again, though, as @varanidguy mentioned, K and, often iron must be supplemented even in these tanks. On a relative basis, I have far more fish than you and find that I can almost get along with the N and P from non-dosing, but still need a little extra, and traces must be dosed. Root tabs provide irregular dosing and many of us prefer greater control over the amount dosed. Add RO water and the need for dosing control of these nutrients (plus Mg and Ca) is magnified.

So, root tabs may not hurt and can help in the absence of column dosing, but they are not necessary if column dosing is performed either directly or indirectly via organics.

Very interesting read... thank you.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
I used to do this until a member (thanks, @Edward) pointed out some potential drawbacks with this on-again, off-again approach and suggested leaving it on 24/7, but at lower dosing levels. So, after doing some research, and finding support for this approach, I moved to it about 8 months ago. I have not noticed a change in my plants, but the dosage is lower based upon a lower frequency of refilling the CO2 tank, yet the ppm in the tank stays in the area it was before changing to 24/7. I think this is because the overnight levels are not allowed to drop and, despite my intuition saying that it should then climb at night and then be lower later in the day (after heavy consumption), my pH readings stay surprisingly consistent throughout the 24 hours.

So, why it might be good (and I can't assure you of this):
- plants and fish like things to be consistent.
- if pH is allowed to rise above 7 at night, you start to convert the NH4 to NH3 which can stress fish and eventually harm them if too high.
- the pH sweet spot for fert uptake seems to be in the 6.0-6.5 area - might as well hold it there, since it takes very little light for plants to grow (long before your lights come on).
- fish need to be adapted to our CO2 dosing (not due to the pH change) and - maybe - a 20 ppm, or more, daily swing causes daily stress, even though CO2-based pH changes don't seem to cause problems.
- algae loves disruptions and - maybe - such daily shifts add a little bit of ooomph to the complex algae development matrix.

None of these thoughts, to my knowledge, have been proven or disproved.
Interesting. How does this correspond with a PH controller? I'm just starting to set up a 75 gal. tank with CO2. If I leave the system on 24/7 with the PH controller on will it keep the PH stable with the CO2 level safe for fish, or am I missing something here?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by butchblack View Post
Interesting. How does this correspond with a PH controller? I'm just starting to set up a 75 gal. tank with CO2. If I leave the system on 24/7 with the PH controller on will it keep the PH stable with the CO2 level safe for fish, or am I missing something here?
It doesn't affect how a pH controller is used, unless your controller has timed settings on it. So, it will function just as it does now, but on a 24/7 basis.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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In ancient times, people thought PH swings was the main cause for fish death but that's not the case anymore. Its been scientifically proven that KH is what kills fish. My fish are fine when my ph went from 7.8 to 6.6 during the day and 6.2 at night from degas. But because I find the right co2/o2 balance, my ph is a constant 6.8 during the day and at night goes to 6.4 now
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 10:38 PM
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In ancient times, people thought PH swings was the main cause for fish death but that's not the case anymore. Its been scientifically proven that KH is what kills fish. My fish are fine when my ph went from 7.8 to 6.6 during the day and 6.2 at night from degas. But because I find the right co2/o2 balance, my ph is a constant 6.8 during the day and at night goes to 6.4 now
The old belief of pH killing fish was not so much the pH level, but a sudden and large change from one pH level to another. We now know that it is such a sudden change in TDS that actually does the damage, not the pH change. KH doesn't kill fish. KH is a measure of bicarbonates in the water and the typical changes are not harmful. It would take quite a large bicarbonate change to move TDS sufficiently to seriously stress fish.
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