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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Surface Movement

I'm sure this had been asked priviously but after several minutes of searching decided to post....

I just began CO2 injection in my 60g tank. After injecting for two days at 8 hours my drop checker is still dark blue.

I am currently injecting at a rate of approx. 1BPS. The first day was slighly less and the second day I increased it to slightly more then 1BPS.

So why no CO2 indication? Could it be that I have too much surface movement?

I have two fluval canisters with the output nossels at each end of the tank. This causes the flow of each output to meet in the middle of the tank and "roll" under.

Each nossel is about 1/4" under the surface. This causes alot of surface movement which I thought was a good thing. So much so that I recently floated some Riccia and it got shredded.

If I don't keep up with evaporation, I get quite a bit of o2 bubbles on the surface.

So, do you think I have too much surface movement to keep proper CO2 levels?

Appreciate your thoughts?

*60g
*Substrate = 50% Florite sand 50% regular Florite
*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 05:39 PM
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My covered sump filtered 180 gallon tank takes more bubbles than I can count. I have a ripple that goes the whole 96" length of the tank with a 1/4" maximum
wave' near the spray bar.

Just keep increasing the BPS every day or so until you get there. I suspect you will need 5-10 BPS for your 60 gallon tank. Increase slower and less often as you approach your goal and don't adjust CO2 unless you are going to be observing the tank. Too much CO2 will gas your fish long before the drop checker shows it is too high.


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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 05:56 PM
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When injecting CO2, you want surface agitation, but not too much as that will offgas the CO2 you are adding into the tank. I have very little surface agitation in my 60G and am around 7-8 BPS. I can't count the bubbles, but I'm assuming I'm around there. The bubbles go up the bubble counter too fast for me to count


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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 06:03 PM
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What is your method of co2 introduction into the water? Reactor? Diffuser? Atomizer? Other? This can make a difference in how much co2 you need to add and the concentration it will make?

I see a couple things to try or change. First would be to change the current and reduce the surface agitation. Less is better. It's ok to have some but with that means the need to crank up more co2 as it off gasses. I would also look at making the flow of the tank more circular in one direction. This can also make a difference in your concentration of co2 as well as what the drop checker will read. Having a more complete flow throughout the whole tank will also be more beneficial to your plants.

Remember a drop checker isn't accurate and should only be a guide. Use what your fish tell you. Are they normal? Are they stressed and gasping for air? Your plants can tell you a lot as well. Do your plants pearl at the end of the day?

This is what is try. Change the flow as mentioned above. Increase the co2. Watch the fish. Sure watch the drop checker as well if you want. It can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to show changes. But watch the fish mostly. In my 20 gallon I'm using a diffuser fed into an hob. To get my drop checker to turn yellow I have to run about 6 to 7 bps. On my 46 gallon I use a cerges reactor. I'm running a bubble count to fast to count it. But I'd guess some where close to 10bps. Be patient and make sure your able to spend time while making adjustments to watch for changes in the fish. If you already did 1bps then double it to 2. If after an hour no changes fish look good go to 4 bps and watch. Then if needed more try 6 bps and watch. If fish show stress back it off in the middle and then give them some surface agitation til they act normal. Reduce the agitation and watch.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 06:33 PM
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Contrary to what a lot of people are going to tell you, surface agitation is a good thing. It oxygenates the water which makes the whole tank happy - fish, bacteria, plants, shrimp, snails, etc. There's no need to decrease your surface agitation. Turn your CO2 up gradually and be sure you have good flow throughout the entire tank and not just on the surface.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff5614 View Post
Contrary to what a lot of people are going to tell you, surface agitation is a good thing. It oxygenates the water which makes the whole tank happy - fish, bacteria, plants, shrimp, snails, etc. There's no need to decrease your surface agitation. Turn your CO2 up gradually and be sure you have good flow throughout the entire tank and not just on the surface.
Well, if the OP is battling with CO2 concentration, one way is to definitely decrease surface agitation.

On my 55g, I was able to change the color of my drop checker to green solely by reducing surface agitation til I got the desired level of CO2. Fish and plants were equally happy.


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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff5614 View Post
Contrary to what a lot of people are going to tell you, surface agitation is a good thing. It oxygenates the water which makes the whole tank happy - fish, bacteria, plants, shrimp, snails, etc. There's no need to decrease your surface agitation. Turn your CO2 up gradually and be sure you have good flow throughout the entire tank and not just on the surface.
Plants will be happier with more co2. Not o2. If that were the case we would inject o2. Seeings how the Op is having issues with co2 concentration and their description of their current at the surface being able to butcher stuff. I'd say his surface agitation is way to high. Having some is fine but to much is counter productive and overkill. Besides the plants down low need the circulation to carry the co2 equally throughout the tank. I'm not saying have zero, but it doesn't need to be crazy or a lot. Let's also remember plants will be producing o2 as well.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:32 PM
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i agree with reducing surface agitation ... i am actualyl the complete opposite end of spectrum , i just run DIY yeast CO2 and use a powerhead for distribution and flow , the Co2 actually hits my spraybar and keeps it down in the water longer but i have NO surface movement or agitation but i am doing DIY so i am keepin maximum amount in as possible for my 58G and plants are very happy ^^ , increasing CO2 just to battle offgassing from surface agittiation just seems a waste of your CO2 , vs reducing the agitation for increased carbon retention in water .... but with all that said i have never run presurized but do understand it a bit ^^ GL
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimasterben View Post
Well, if the OP is battling with CO2 concentration, one way is to definitely decrease surface agitation.

On my 55g, I was able to change the color of my drop checker to green solely by reducing surface agitation til I got the desired level of CO2. Fish and plants were equally happy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Plants will be happier with more co2. Not o2. If that were the case we would inject o2. Seeings how the Op is having issues with co2 concentration and their description of their current at the surface being able to butcher stuff. I'd say his surface agitation is way to high. Having some is fine but to much is counter productive and overkill. Besides the plants down low need the circulation to carry the co2 equally throughout the tank. I'm not saying have zero, but it doesn't need to be crazy or a lot. Let's also remember plants will be producing o2 as well.
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Originally Posted by forester View Post
i agree with reducing surface agitation ... i am actualyl the complete opposite end of spectrum , i just run DIY yeast CO2 and use a powerhead for distribution and flow , the Co2 actually hits my spraybar and keeps it down in the water longer but i have NO surface movement or agitation but i am doing DIY so i am keepin maximum amount in as possible for my 58G and plants are very happy ^^ , increasing CO2 just to battle offgassing from surface agittiation just seems a waste of your CO2 , vs reducing the agitation for increased carbon retention in water .... but with all that said i have never run presurized but do understand it a bit ^^ GL
Just do away with all surface agitation and it should make your tanks really happy. I was shocked to find out that plants need CO2. I guess that may be why I'm not able to grow anything in my tank.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:49 PM
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Just do away with all surface agitation and it should make your tanks really happy. I was shocked to find out that plants need CO2. I guess that may be why I'm not able to grow anything in my tank.
There's really no need for that, bro.

If surface agitation is proportional to the amount of O2-CO2 exchange, then in a tank that is injected with a limited amount of CO2, what do you need? More surface agitation to force you to add more and more CO2 just to keep up with off gassing? No. You'd be an idiot to do that, all it does is waste CO2, and in the end, money. You'd need to fill your canister more often, and it's just unnecessary.

Plus, if you've got LEDs, lots of surface agitation can lead to the substrate looking like it's got a disco ball over it.


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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:28 PM
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Just do away with all surface agitation and it should make your tanks really happy. I was shocked to find out that plants need CO2. I guess that may be why I'm not able to grow anything in my tank.
Have to agree with jedimasterben. Definitely no need for that attitude. No one here is saying remove all surface agitation. Or treating you poorly But your point in saying keeping surface agitation high while cranking up the co2 doesn't make logical sense. It's quite counter productive. It is a waste and if balance is applied with applicable amount of agitation then you don't have to crank up the co2. No waste of co2. Your results and water quality will be the same as it would be if you had higher surface agitation and higher co2 output. But with no waste.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:33 PM
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I use wet/drys so I have plenty of O2, more than most tanks.
So I can go either way with the surface movement.

Still, surface movement does help in a few respects, if the CO2 adjustment is too high, then the rates of degassing are higher and the O2 is maximizes...........

While true........you lose some more CO2 this way, the effect is NOT pronounced if the movement on the water does not quite break the surface of the water.

In general, people will KILL fish if they add too much CO2, and get algae if they do not add enough or have troubles with various plant species.

More surface movement added a much needed buffer if folks add too much CO2, plant issues and algae can be fixed, bring fish back to life cannot

So the error must always be given to the fish.

You can see the surface movement on most of my tanks, but...this is not to say that low surface movement does not work either....but you never see high stocking loads in such tanks either, always curious why that is........




You can reduce the rippling also and still have decent but flat current and exchange, this does NOT drive off a significant amount of CO2.
If there was no CO2 or plants, would this advice to have no current apply? Why not??????

Plants add a little O2....but not that much.......tetras and many of the more common fish kept in the top aquascapes tend to be VERY CO2 tolerant/low O2 demanding.




Regards,
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimasterben View Post
There's really no need for that, bro.

If surface agitation is proportional to the amount of O2-CO2 exchange, then in a tank that is injected with a limited amount of CO2, what do you need? More surface agitation to force you to add more and more CO2 just to keep up with off gassing? No. You'd be an idiot to do that, all it does is waste CO2, and in the end, money. You'd need to fill your canister more often, and it's just unnecessary.

Plus, if you've got LEDs, lots of surface agitation can lead to the substrate looking like it's got a disco ball over it.
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Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Have to agree with jedimasterben. Definitely no need for that attitude. No one here is saying remove all surface agitation. Or treating you poorly But your point in saying keeping surface agitation high while cranking up the co2 doesn't make logical sense. It's quite counter productive. It is a waste and if balance is applied with applicable amount of agitation then you don't have to crank up the co2. No waste of co2. Your results and water quality will be the same as it would be if you had higher surface agitation and higher co2 output. But with no waste.
Glad to see you agree.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:43 PM
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One advantage of good surface ripple is the loss of CO2. By increasing this loss it sets up a more pronounced gradient in CO2 concentration in the tank. When fish are feeling the effects of CO2 they head up to the surface, because that's where there is less CO2 in the water. With good surface ripple the surface water has still less CO2, and the fish find a place to get away from the higher concentration.

If you use DIY CO2 of course you want to do anything you can to keep the CO2 in the water, but with pressurized CO2 it is easy to increase the bubble rate to compensate for the surface ripple, and CO2 is very cheap in any case.

I like using good surface ripple, so I do so, but everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do. It helps in making that decision to know as much as you can about the effects of your decisions. The world keeps on going however you decide, and in the next year we may all decide to follow an entirely different path anyway.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I use wet/drys so I have plenty of O2, more than most tanks.
So I can go either way with the surface movement.

Still, surface movement does help in a few respects, if the CO2 adjustment is too high, then the rates of degassing are higher and the O2 is maximizes...........

While true........you lose some more CO2 this way, the effect is NOT pronounced if the movement on the water does not quite break the surface of the water.

In general, people will KILL fish if they add too much CO2, and get algae if they do not add enough or have troubles with various plant species.

More surface movement added a much needed buffer if folks add too much CO2, plant issues and algae can be fixed, bring fish back to life cannot

So the error must always be given to the fish.

You can see the surface movement on most of my tanks, but...this is not to say that low surface movement does not work either....but you never see high stocking loads in such tanks either, always curious why that is........




You can reduce the rippling also and still have decent but flat current and exchange, this does NOT drive off a significant amount of CO2.
If there was no CO2 or plants, would this advice to have no current apply? Why not??????

Plants add a little O2....but not that much.......tetras and many of the more common fish kept in the top aquascapes tend to be VERY CO2 tolerant/low O2 demanding.
Tom,

Thanks for posting. I agree with a wet dry you definitely have more O2 then most. Looking at the pictures of your tanks (BTW Beautiful tanks!) I would consider this moderate ripple and not excessive. Its probably as much as i have in mine as far as surface movement. I was recommending to the OP to reduce his as that his comments seem that he has a raging current across his tank and could be one of his issues for low Co2, as well as not having enough being added to the tank.. Below Quoting the OP on this would you feel his current is to strong? Would love your opinion on this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmckmc View Post
Each nossel is about 1/4" under the surface. This causes alot of surface movement which I thought was a good thing. So much so that I recently floated some Riccia and it got shredded.

If I don't keep up with evaporation, I get quite a bit of o2 bubbles on the surface.

So, do you think I have too much surface movement to keep proper CO2 levels?

Appreciate your thoughts?
I definitely dont know everything, far from it, but have learned so far that planted tanks are about balance as you of course have pointed out. To much Co2 dead fish, to little Co2 and its Algae issues.. Has to be a medium point in the middle. Or Maybe im wrong.. Always more room for me to learn.

I also agree with what your saying Hoppy. But id ask you the same thing based off the comments the OP posted about his surface agitation. In his case do you feel he may have to much? Or is there such a thing?

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