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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Smile A few CO2 questions from a newb...

Hey Everyone,

This is my first post here but I've been doing a lot of reading on this forum lately and figured it was time to register

Anyways, I have a few questions in relation to using pressurized CO2. I've decided to take the plunge into CO2 and have started ordering items i need, i ordered a milwaukee regulator, as well as some items from greenleaf aquariums (60mm atomic diffuser, CO2 tubing, permaseal, KH solution, brass check valve), the only things i need is a drop checker, and the CO2 Canister which i can find locally. I read a lot of people mentioning PH and KH and such, what I'm wondering is, what do I need to know about these parameters before I hook up the CO2? From what I've read, the PH will lower once I use the CO2 (I believe my PH is around 7), will this cause problems for my fish? The only thing i really test for these days is Nitrates and am not sure if it is necessary to know the hardness of my water and such before touching CO2. Being on city water, i believe our water is rather soft.

Also, in regards to drop checkers, will any drop checker suffice? I didn't order one from GLA due to it being about 40 bucks which i thought a bit expensive since i've seen others for $10-15.

One last question is in regards to substrate, I have a mix of standard aquarium gravel and flourite, will i be able to grow a carpeting foreground plant in this substrate ok? I see a lot of people on here using soils, and am unsure if this is necessary, I'm sure it helps but I really hate to change all my substrate, especially given the cost. This is for a 55 gallon tank. As for my tank conditions, I also just ordered a 2 bulb fixture for T5HOs, and will be using Flourish for micro nutrients and supple KNO3, phosphates (using fleet enema) and need to pick up some K2SO4 for potassium. Am i missing anything?

Anyways, i'll leave the questions to this for now, thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:21 PM
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I was able to grow an HC carpet with pure 100% inert sand.

Any drop checker will work

the higher your KH the less your pH will change and vice versa.

It's not that important to know your KH unless you want to grow some really difficult species of plants.

Make sure you get 4 DKH solution for you drop checker so that your co2 measurements are as accurate as a drop checker can be.

hopefully this answers your questions.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i ordered the 4KH solution from GLA that won't be an issue, i'm mostly worried for the health of my fish, obviously i need to keep the CO2 around the 30ppm mark, if it turns yellow there's too much, just wasn't sure if I was missing something since i hear people talking about "buffers" frequently. I've only been in the hobby since last summer so there's still a few parameters i'm not too familiar with
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:07 PM
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i keep my drop checker yellow and my shrimp are fine. The trick is to make sure you have a lot of surface agitation and adjust your co2 slowly. increase the rate a bit watch the fish and the plants and wait about 3 days. If everything seems fine then increase it again. Keep this up until you start to see some stress in your fauna then back it down a bit and you've found your range.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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so surface agitation is good despite pumping CO2 into the tank? I'm using HOB filters and wondered if this would be an issue, also considered getting a power head to help circulation but wasn't sure how this would affect my CO2 levels
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:51 PM
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some surface agitation is good but too much and you'll lose more co2 than you can put back in. But the more surface agitation the higher you can safely keep your co2 levels without endangering your fauna.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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where is the appropriate place to put the drop checker, near the diffuser, or opposite side of the tank, or does it matter?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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also, will does the PH shift between when the CO2 is on and when it's off at night hurt the fish? And in regards to this i've heard people saying they have their CO2 come on an hour before their lights come on, is there any issue with having both come on at the same time, i'd like to be able to just keep the lights and co2 on the same timer for the sake of ease Sorry for all the questions but thank you!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:22 PM
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where is the appropriate place to put the drop checker, near the diffuser, or opposite side of the tank, or does it matter?
move the drop checker around keep it in one place for a week then move it to another.

No the pH change dose not hurt the fish at all. pH changes because of total dissolved solids can be detrimental to fish but pH changes because of co2 doesn't phase them at all.

the theory behind turning on your co2 before you lighting is to bring your co2 levels up to optimum levels before the lights come on so that they are the same throughout the light cycle.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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would it be more ideal to have 2 drop checkers? maybe one on each side of the tank?

thanks a lot for the info, will it do any harm to just have the CO2 come on when the lights do, or just not quite as effective?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 04:39 AM
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find my thread in the powerseller section for glass drop checkers

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Bubbles View Post
would it be more ideal to have 2 drop checkers? maybe one on each side of the tank?

thanks a lot for the info, will it do any harm to just have the CO2 come on when the lights do, or just not quite as effective?
Having more than one drop checker wouldn't hurt. I use the same method as Rockhoe14er, increasing the bps until stress by livestock is seen then backing it off a bit. Between using the ph/kh chart and watching for signs of stress in the fuana I find no need in purchasing extra equipment.

Like previously mentioned it's better to have the Co2 on before lights so that it is available in abundance at it's highest point to plants. Will any harm result in having it come on at the same time... maybe some algae.

Also If you purchased a Milwaukee MA 957 the permaseal will not work =(.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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really, the permaseal doesn't work? well that's crap. what do you recommend i use with it? aren't all the connects the same for regulars to CO2 cylinders? seems weird it wouldn't work for this.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Bubbles View Post
Hey Everyone,

This is my first post here but I've been doing a lot of reading on this forum lately and figured it was time to register

Anyways, I have a few questions in relation to using pressurized CO2. I've decided to take the plunge into CO2 and have started ordering items i need, i ordered a milwaukee regulator, as well as some items from greenleaf aquariums (60mm atomic diffuser, CO2 tubing, permaseal, KH solution, brass check valve), the only things i need is a drop checker, and the CO2 Canister which i can find locally. I read a lot of people mentioning PH and KH and such, what I'm wondering is, what do I need to know about these parameters before I hook up the CO2? From what I've read, the PH will lower once I use the CO2 (I believe my PH is around 7), will this cause problems for my fish? The only thing i really test for these days is Nitrates and am not sure if it is necessary to know the hardness of my water and such before touching CO2. Being on city water, i believe our water is rather soft.

Also, in regards to drop checkers, will any drop checker suffice? I didn't order one from GLA due to it being about 40 bucks which i thought a bit expensive since i've seen others for $10-15.

One last question is in regards to substrate, I have a mix of standard aquarium gravel and flourite, will i be able to grow a carpeting foreground plant in this substrate ok? I see a lot of people on here using soils, and am unsure if this is necessary, I'm sure it helps but I really hate to change all my substrate, especially given the cost. This is for a 55 gallon tank. As for my tank conditions, I also just ordered a 2 bulb fixture for T5HOs, and will be using Flourish for micro nutrients and supple KNO3, phosphates (using fleet enema) and need to pick up some K2SO4 for potassium. Am i missing anything?

Anyways, i'll leave the questions to this for now, thanks in advance for the help!
Welcome to TPT as a registered member!

Milwaukee regulator is good - I have several of them. Be sure to read the instructions that come with it, if not followed, you could damage it. The atomic diffuser is nice because it makes real tiny bubbles but some aquarists compare it to champagne. I think the best diffuser is an inline one.

After using all kinds of substrate, I've decided that ADA Amazonia tops them all. I think you made a good decision to use T5HO and it seems like you have all the fertilizer needed to grow plants.

Good luck!


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Crispino! This forum seems like a very valuable resource, happy to be here!
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