Too much CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Too much CO2

I started pressurized C02 a couple weeks ago. So far the plants look great. I have been "eyeing" the bubbles because I have no counter and no drop check.

Today I noticed my fish were all swimming at the surface which they never do. Do you think I am over doing the CO2? They dont appear to be gasping and are not sluggish.

I turned it off and put an airstone in. In case that would help

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 07:26 PM
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Yes, if your fish are all at the surface, you have too much Co2. Back it off just a bit and have confidence that you are putting in enough Co2 for now. After your fish acclimate to that level of gas, you might be able to bump it up again in a week. Just watch your fish when you do. there is no real need for a drop checker. A bubble counter can help in fine tweaking like this but is not necessary if you are careful and observant of the fish.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 12:07 PM
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My suggestion is to check the pH for a few days to see if there is any major swing using the air stone. I would check it in the morning and evening. The air stone could be eliminating all of the CO2 and you don't know it.

You were probably seeing the fish at the water surface in the morning. The plants were competing with them during the night for O2. Plants produce O2 during the day and consume it at night. If you are running CO2 24/7 then the problem occurs at night. It's hard to know when the airstone needs to be running at night. It would make sense that it's not needed the entire time the lights are off. Maybe starting it 3 hours after the lights go out until the come back on. Once the lights come on the plants start producing O2 and you're okay. You want the airstone running as little as possible because it's depleting the CO2 you're trying to put in the tank. It's a fine balance.

Some fish are more sensitive to the O2 reduction than others. That's why you'll see some at the top and not all. I lost 5 new yellow furcatas because I didn't know they needed a high saturation of O2 in the water all the time. I've had fish for years, but never that species. Now I have a stone running on a timer a few hours late in the evening until morning. Even though my other fish aren't at the top showing signs of any problems it's got to be taxing on their systems when the O2 levels drop every evening.

My CO2 runs 24/7 and it's easier and cheaper to add the airstone rather than buying a whole new system. I already had the timer and pump.

After 50 years I do a lot of things right, but still get things wrong
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