CO2 limit at 0dkh?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 limit at 0dkh??

I have between 0-1 dkh in my tank. I recently began injecting Co2 and honestly have very little experience (first tank and bad with chemistry).
Based on internet reading I am aiming for a ph drop of 1 to set beginning co2 levels and tune it from there (I believe this should give me around 30ppm?) My ph is 7.15 without injection.
Today was the first day of injection. The ph when I came home from work tonight is 6.14, seems like what I was hoping for but the drop checker is nowhere near lime green.
1. Am I starting out on this journey of injection in the right way?
2. Are my starting and ending ph levels acceptable?
3. Looking at the ph/dkh charts it seems that with my dkh (When I do the test one drop turns it yellow, it never shows blue) it seems like the range my co2 could be in is 11.9 to 1.2. Is that correct? At my low kh level is the max co2 level limited as the chart says?
4. Should I consider raising my kh (any other ways beside kh booster type additives or is that the best way?) and if so to what? I have a few shrimp and not fancy fish. When the co2 is dialed I’ll think about new livestock for this tank.

Thanks in advance everyone. Your advice has been helpful in learning.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 12:57 AM
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Test your KH with a 20ml sample.
Every drop = .25dKH.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Good idea. I will tomorrow and post results
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jdklein001 View Post
I have between 0-1 dkh in my tank. I recently began injecting Co2 and honestly have very little experience (first tank and bad with chemistry).
Based on internet reading I am aiming for a ph drop of 1 to set beginning co2 levels and tune it from there (I believe this should give me around 30ppm?) My ph is 7.15 without injection.
Today was the first day of injection. The ph when I came home from work tonight is 6.14, seems like what I was hoping for but the drop checker is nowhere near lime green.
1. Am I starting out on this journey of injection in the right way?
2. Are my starting and ending ph levels acceptable?
3. Looking at the ph/dkh charts it seems that with my dkh (When I do the test one drop turns it yellow, it never shows blue) it seems like the range my co2 could be in is 11.9 to 1.2. Is that correct? At my low kh level is the max co2 level limited as the chart says?
4. Should I consider raising my kh (any other ways beside kh booster type additives or is that the best way?) and if so to what? I have a few shrimp and not fancy fish. When the co2 is dialed I’ll think about new livestock for this tank.

Thanks in advance everyone. Your advice has been helpful in learning.
I've been going through the same deal on my tank, about 1 dkh. I made a thread on it here thread.

Basically I just had to incrementally increase the Co2 until my drop checker showed green and not pay much attention to the PH levels.
Just a little bit of a warning is to do this process very slow. I accidentally increased mine too fast and overshot it to yellow, by the time my drop checker showed anything my fish really didn't like it much.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdklein001 View Post
I have between 0-1 dkh in my tank. I recently began injecting Co2 and honestly have very little experience (first tank and bad with chemistry).
Based on internet reading I am aiming for a ph drop of 1 to set beginning co2 levels and tune it from there (I believe this should give me around 30ppm?) My ph is 7.15 without injection.
Today was the first day of injection. The ph when I came home from work tonight is 6.14, seems like what I was hoping for but the drop checker is nowhere near lime green.
1. Am I starting out on this journey of injection in the right way?
2. Are my starting and ending ph levels acceptable?
3. Looking at the ph/dkh charts it seems that with my dkh (When I do the test one drop turns it yellow, it never shows blue) it seems like the range my co2 could be in is 11.9 to 1.2. Is that correct? At my low kh level is the max co2 level limited as the chart says?
4. Should I consider raising my kh (any other ways beside kh booster type additives or is that the best way?) and if so to what? I have a few shrimp and not fancy fish. When the co2 is dialed I’ll think about new livestock for this tank.

Thanks in advance everyone. Your advice has been helpful in learning.
I've been going through the same deal on my tank, about 1 dkh. I made a thread on it here thread.

Basically I just had to incrementally increase the Co2 until my drop checker showed green and not pay much attention to the PH levels.
Just a little bit of a warning is to do this process very slow. I accidentally increased mine too fast and overshot it to yellow, by the time my drop checker showed anything my fish really didn't like it much.
So how far did your ph fall? I’ve read that ph dropping due to CO2 is not a problem and doesn’t actually effect the fish. Is that true??!!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jdklein001 View Post
So how far did your ph fall? Iíve read that ph dropping due to CO2 is not a problem and doesnít actually effect the fish. Is that true??!!
It dropped to about 6.0 from 7.0 before increasing the amount of Co2 I was adding, I don't know how much it dropped afterwards because my test kit only goes to 6.0.
I've also read that PH swings due to Co2 aren't to be worried about, and my own tank shows that to be true as my tank goes below 6.0 (assuming the test kit is even accurate or the water is) and my fish don't act like anything is going on until I put too much Co2 in the water and they can't breath very well.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Test your KH with a 20ml sample.
Every drop = .25dKH.
So my tank runs at 0.75 dkh. Tap water comes out barely at 2 dkh. Should I think about getting this higher just for the sake of it? None of my livestock have issues with soft water
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:55 AM
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I've been targeting 1dKH for quite some time in my tanks.
Usually dosing HCl to drop the alkalinity to 1dKH.

Maybe @ .5dKH to bump the tank up some.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 03:44 AM
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Your doing it correctly, my tank water is 0.8-1.0 KH and at 1.2 ph drop, the checker is still pretty dark green. Also you are correct to go very slow, the lower the ph goes a 0.1 increment will show a larger and larger co2 input. It will turn from okay to too much very quickly, once your checker is light green to slightly yellow your close enough as long as fish are acting normal. Every tank is different and I wouldn't worry too much about your final ph value. Even after dialing it in the co2 will fluctuate with many factors, surface agitation being a main cause. Water evaporates, filter output is closer to the surface and increases gas exchange, co2 off gassing increases while input stays the same.

Add enough co2 to make the plants happy but not as much to stress any fish. Not many people actually know ppm of co2 is in their water, it's too expensive to test for.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 05:28 PM
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Basically I just had to incrementally increase the Co2 until my drop checker showed green and not pay much attention to the PH levels.
Just a little bit of a warning is to do this process very slow. I accidentally increased mine too fast and overshot it to yellow, by the time my drop checker showed anything my fish really didn't like it much.[/QUOTE]


Above is pretty much what I did with mine. A PH drop from 7.6 to around 6.6 did not turn the drop checker in my tank to green. Adjusted CO2 until it turned green and stayed green throughout the lights on period. No problems with my plants or livestock. On a side note, I turn on the CO2 2 hours ahead of lights and turn off 1 hour before lights turn off. I saw an improvement in plants by bringing CO2 levels up before the lights turn on.
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