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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Optimal CO2 diffuser placement?

I have a new 4 gallon tank with DIY CO2 and a glass diffuser. My dwarf baby tears are starting to look pretty sad. I'm dosing with Seachem Flourish, but I suspect they're not getting enough CO2 (I think I'll need to make the next mixture more potent.) I don't think the spot I have my diffuser is optimal - it's underneath of the filter intake, about an inch above the substrate. I'm wondering if the filter is just sucking it up. Does anybody have any suggestions for where I should place the diffuser? I want to make sure my HC gets enough CO2.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:58 AM
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Its possible the filter is sucking it up and re-oxygenating the water. I would put it where there is a decent amount of current, like near the output from the filter. Just make sure the output doesn't cause to much turbulence on the top of the water as it will release Co2, but you want some movement for O2. I am also growing HC, it is a difficult plant to get established but once it does it starts to grow. I would also use Seachem Iron, and Potassium as the regular flourish comprehensive does not give the total necessary FE and K for HC I use all 3. Lastly make sure your drop checker reads lime green to achieve that 30ppm of Co2.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:00 AM
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BTW what kind of lighting do you have?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoskybound View Post
I have a new 4 gallon tank with DIY CO2 and a glass diffuser. My dwarf baby tears are starting to look pretty sad. I'm dosing with Seachem Flourish, but I suspect they're not getting enough CO2 (I think I'll need to make the next mixture more potent.) I don't think the spot I have my diffuser is optimal - it's underneath of the filter intake, about an inch above the substrate. I'm wondering if the filter is just sucking it up. Does anybody have any suggestions for where I should place the diffuser? I want to make sure my HC gets enough CO2.

Thanks!

Your issues your having will depend on 3 things.. First is light. What do you have for light? Brand and amount? Do you have enough or to much....... How far is it from the substrate to the bottom of your light. More light means more things like Co2 and Nutrients.

The nutrients your supplying arent complete. Your only dosing a Micro nutrient and you also need a macro. id suggest saving a ton of money and switch to dry ferts. Get a package deal that has all the micro and macro. Then dose per your needed tank size. I use and recommend doing the Estimative Index dosage. It provides non-limiting nutrients so you can always rule out issues with that.

Where your Co2 is at is fine. In my 20 gallon ive got an Aquaclear 50 that I let the diffuser sit under the intake and it runs it into the filter. I can easily crank up my co2 and make my drop checker go bright yellow. But thats with pressurized co2. If your doing DIY co2 id recommend doing an in tank reactor using a powerhead. something like this.... but using the HOB filter shouldnt harm it one bit. https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-CO2-Reactor/2/

This will really help your Co2 dissolve better into the water. just make sure youve got great tank circulation to distribute the co2 everywhere in the tank. Also having a nice ripple on the surface for gas exchange is important.

Remember its balance of light/nutrients and Co2. if your missing any of the puzzle it dont work well.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Musclecar67 View Post
Its possible the filter is sucking it up and re-oxygenating the water. I would put it where there is a decent amount of current, like near the output from the filter. Just make sure the output doesn't cause to much turbulence on the top of the water as it will release Co2, but you want some movement for O2. I am also growing HC, it is a difficult plant to get established but once it does it starts to grow. I would also use Seachem Iron, and Potassium as the regular flourish comprehensive does not give the total necessary FE and K for HC I use all 3. Lastly make sure your drop checker reads lime green to achieve that 30ppm of Co2.

GL
Rob

Adding O2 back into the water is just as impurtant as Co2. Benificial both ways. As I posted ive actually used HOB filters to help disperse the Co2 coming from my diffuser and I get my drop checkers to turn bright yellow doing so.

Also as a note.. Drop checkers are FAR from accurate. It can read lime green or even yellow but that doesnt mean you have 30ppm of Co2. Drop checkers color and how fast they react all depend on placement, current, flow of co2, method of diffusion or such as a reactor. Some ways dissolve Co2 100% others dont. KH of the water and more. While I use drop checkers Really what i look at is my fish and plants. I push my Co2 til my fish say.. NO MORE and are stressed. I back it off till they go back to normal and then I back it down a hair more for safety. This would be the max Co2 level you really can attain without wiping out your fish. Personally I dont worry if its 30ppm or not. If my fish are happy and the plants show the right look and growth then its good enough. Example of this would be my tanks where the fish are happy plants pearl and grow, low to no algae and drop checkers read bright yellow.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:22 PM
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I agree O2 is important as I stated. I have had my Co2 levels drop from to much surface turbulence, I figured out what my tank needed by adjusting slowly until it stabilized.

I wouldn't go as far to say drop checkers are not accurate. Any measurement or test is only as accurate as the person using it. Obviously you wouldn't put a DC above the diffuser or in a dead zone with no current. As far as method of diffusion whether its inline or directly diffused in the tank, the Co2 level will diffuse with the water in the tank, it is a gas therefore it expands weather or not there is great flow or not;although flow is important for aiding diffusion and maintaining an even flow if Co2. (This is why you can spray one puff of air freshener in a room with no air flow or very little and it will expand into the whole house, however this process will be expedited by a fan).

Many people use their fish as a method of finding C02 limits. I don't like to use my fish, as stressing them out is unnecessary, and its not accurate. Fish can become acclimated to Co2 levels and other water parameters, therefore I cant trust that I have to much or to little or the right amount. This is why many of us still use the drop checker, bps, C02 Charts, and our inhabitants to gather as much information as possible in an effort to be as accurate as possible.

The KH in the tank water may vary but the KH of the drop checker solution is always 4dkh, so the solution is not affected by the tank water only the C02 off gassing in the drop checker. BTW I stated lime green as 30ppm is recommended, your light and plant load must be factored into the tanks demand, especially as your plants grow, so a yellow color may be what you are shooting for; as is the case for Aquaticfan.

GL with the tank ! Here are a couple of links to help:
http://www.aquaticplantenthusiasts.c...-aquarium.html

http://www.fishfriend.com/articles/s...m_part_iv.html



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Adding O2 back into the water is just as impurtant as Co2. Benificial both ways. As I posted ive actually used HOB filters to help disperse the Co2 coming from my diffuser and I get my drop checkers to turn bright yellow doing so.

Also as a note.. Drop checkers are FAR from accurate. It can read lime green or even yellow but that doesnt mean you have 30ppm of Co2. Drop checkers color and how fast they react all depend on placement, current, flow of co2, method of diffusion or such as a reactor. Some ways dissolve Co2 100% others dont. KH of the water and more. While I use drop checkers Really what i look at is my fish and plants. I push my Co2 til my fish say.. NO MORE and are stressed. I back it off till they go back to normal and then I back it down a hair more for safety. This would be the max Co2 level you really can attain without wiping out your fish. Personally I dont worry if its 30ppm or not. If my fish are happy and the plants show the right look and growth then its good enough. Example of this would be my tanks where the fish are happy plants pearl and grow, low to no algae and drop checkers read bright yellow.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Your issues your having will depend on 3 things.. First is light. What do you have for light? Brand and amount? Do you have enough or to much....... How far is it from the substrate to the bottom of your light. More light means more things like Co2 and Nutrients.
Light might actually be my biggest problem. I don't know the specs on the light, it's the stock LED light that came with the unit. For some reason, specs on the lamp aren't available anywhere, the best I've found is that it's "suitable for low to medium light plants" (although I recently contacted Aqueon about sending me some more specific specs on the lamp.) The light is about 9" above the substrate. At the time I got the HC I was under the impression that it needs medium light, but if I understand correctly, it's actually high light.

I think I may be in over my head with this HC!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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I would also use Seachem Iron, and Potassium as the regular flourish comprehensive does not give the total necessary FE and K for HC I use all 3.
Thank you! I will try that. Since I'm using a DIY CO2 setup that's producing a very modest amount of CO2, should I consider using Flourish Excel as well?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:40 PM
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Light might actually be my biggest problem. I don't know the specs on the light, it's the stock LED light that came with the unit. For some reason, specs on the lamp aren't available anywhere, the best I've found is that it's "suitable for low to medium light plants" (although I recently contacted Aqueon about sending me some more specific specs on the lamp.) The light is about 9" above the substrate. At the time I got the HC I was under the impression that it needs medium light, but if I understand correctly, it's actually high light.

I think I may be in over my head with this HC!

Sounds like not enough light for your HC as it needs higher amount of light.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:41 PM
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Thank you! I will try that. Since I'm using a DIY CO2 setup that's producing a very modest amount of CO2, should I consider using Flourish Excel as well?

I would recommend using Excel.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:42 PM
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HC according to many it needs high light, but I am always told medium to high from professionals and my local fish store that have a great selection of plants and I trust them %110. In my own experience I mine has always been a little of everything lol. I have a Fluval Edge Aquarium and although the Fluval Edge is known for "insufficient light" the bigest factor in my tank was the FE,K and C02. I purchased a very bright led flood light and noticed it was way to much and I had algae issues and my HC was not doing well. I bought a CFL rated at 40W 5000K and 450 Lumen. Now my tank is thriving . Usually its suggested 3-4 Watts per gallon of water in tank NOT THE CAPACITY OF THE AQUARIUM. Hight from substrate is also important. I keep mine about 12=15 inches off the top, others way less. It depends on how strong the light source is. I kept raising it till I saw no algae and my plants were growing.

Bottom line is make sure you have enough watts per gallon and your K temp is full spectrum (5000-5900K) You can use higher K temps but 5-5900k has the same spectrum the sun has.

As far as the fertilizers, yeah definatly give the FE and K a try and as far as the Excel, I would. DIY Co2 is fine but depending on the size and plant demands it can insufficient. Seachem states that you can use the Excel with Co2 injection. I don't because I have a pressurized system.

What size is your tank?
A few more links:
http://www.seachem.com/Library/Calculators.html
http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com...lbs_30_ctg.htm
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=713


Quote:
Originally Posted by echoskybound View Post
Light might actually be my biggest problem. I don't know the specs on the light, it's the stock LED light that came with the unit. For some reason, specs on the lamp aren't available anywhere, the best I've found is that it's "suitable for low to medium light plants" (although I recently contacted Aqueon about sending me some more specific specs on the lamp.) The light is about 9" above the substrate. At the time I got the HC I was under the impression that it needs medium light, but if I understand correctly, it's actually high light.



I think I may be in over my head with this HC!

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:44 PM
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I agree O2 is important as I stated. I have had my Co2 levels drop from to much surface turbulence, I figured out what my tank needed by adjusting slowly until it stabilized.

I wouldn't go as far to say drop checkers are not accurate. Any measurement or test is only as accurate as the person using it. Obviously you wouldn't put a DC above the diffuser or in a dead zone with no current. As far as method of diffusion whether its inline or directly diffused in the tank, the Co2 level will diffuse with the water in the tank, it is a gas therefore it expands weather or not there is great flow or not;although flow is important for aiding diffusion and maintaining an even flow if Co2. (This is why you can spray one puff of air freshener in a room with no air flow or very little and it will expand into the whole house, however this process will be expedited by a fan).

Many people use their fish as a method of finding C02 limits. I don't like to use my fish, as stressing them out is unnecessary, and its not accurate. Fish can become acclimated to Co2 levels and other water parameters, therefore I cant trust that I have to much or to little or the right amount. This is why many of us still use the drop checker, bps, C02 Charts, and our inhabitants to gather as much information as possible in an effort to be as accurate as possible.

The KH in the tank water may vary but the KH of the drop checker solution is always 4dkh, so the solution is not affected by the tank water only the C02 off gassing in the drop checker. BTW I stated lime green as 30ppm is recommended, your light and plant load must be factored into the tanks demand, especially as your plants grow, so a yellow color may be what you are shooting for; as is the case for Aquaticfan.

GL with the tank ! Here are a couple of links to help:
http://www.aquaticplantenthusiasts.c...-aquarium.html

http://www.fishfriend.com/articles/s...m_part_iv.html
Sorry But still disagree as im sure a majority here on TPT will about the inaccuracy of drop checkers. They while a useful tool are inaccurate. Fish need O2 and ive never heard of them adjusting to a point in where they acclimate to more co2 then what can kill them. If you do a search on here you will find plenty of discussion on the inaccuracy of drop checkers and how your fish and plants should tell you.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 06:03 PM
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I understand that everyone finds his or her own niche, but I don't understand how a "useful too can be inaccurate" ? Its never going to be exact, but then again most PT enthusiasts are not scientists nor are they using exact methods. This really an art of finding what works for you, but the tests and tools available like DC are accurate enough for %95 of our needs. Im not suggesting the DC be the only way of measuring the Co2. Fish certainly need o2 and o2 is provided in the aquarium in many ways, water changes, surface turbulence, air stones ect... And although surface turbulence and water changes work for me, including what the plants provide, I would not suggest its what someone else should do or not.

I tend to trust more people use things incorrectly unfortunately (not implying in this case), as its been my experience, especially when many of the materials today come from many sources / manufactures both professional and unprofessional.

I have taken many Biology and Physiology classes through college and most certainly the user determines the accuracy and precision of the test outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Sorry But still disagree as im sure a majority here on TPT will about the inaccuracy of drop checkers. They while a useful tool are inaccurate. Fish need O2 and ive never heard of them adjusting to a point in where they acclimate to more co2 then what can kill them. If you do a search on here you will find plenty of discussion on the inaccuracy of drop checkers and how your fish and plants should tell you.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your great responses, you guys are pros! Thanks for helping a newbie out!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 06:28 PM
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Happy To Help!

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