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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question co2 ?

Forgive me if I am in the wrong place. I have a (probably) simple question, how many bubbles per second? Is there a rule of thumb? Now I have 1bubble every 2 seconds for 10 gallons with maybe 12 plants with only 7 hours of night (no lights). My ph is 7.2 and hardness is only 5. My first try with co2 after finally building a leakproof system. DIY of course.

5 tanks & growing! Gotta get some moonlights so my fish can sleep cus I cant stop lookin!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 03:20 PM
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Generally everyone aims for 1 bubble per second, I kind of find it odd though as if a 160gal tank needs 1bps why would a 10gal tank need that? Wouldn't it be overkill?

If your fish are healthy and the plants are growing you can probably assume its safe, though a drop checker could be useful to gauge what's going on.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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co2 ?

Whats a drop checker? Is that a tester like for ph etc. Ive seen something onlne (drs f&s or that *** place) that gives you a co2 reading. Hoping that I wouldnt need the stuff until I had a taste of the results. But your right any rule of thumb would have to take into account the number of plants at the least.with gallons no of fish etc. Gettin in over my head again. How can you not luv this (more than a) hobby!

5 tanks & growing! Gotta get some moonlights so my fish can sleep cus I cant stop lookin!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 04:29 PM
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A drop checker is a device that holds a little pH indicator in some water that has exactly 4 German degrees of hardness of KH.
It is set in the aquarium under water, but the construction of the device means there is a bubble of air separating the 4dKH water from the aquarium water.
CO2 in the aquarium enters the air bubble. When there is more CO2 in the aquarium, more CO2 enters the bubble. When there is less CO2 in the aquarium less CO2 enters the bubble.
The CO2 in the bubble enters the 4dKH water (remember, this water also has some pH indicator solution). When there is more CO2 in the bubble, more CO2 enters the 4dKH water. When there is less CO2 in the bubble less CO2 enters the 4dKH water.
The CO2 mixed with the 4dKH water alters the pH in that water in a way that has been carefully measured, and the pH indicator solution changes color to tell you what the pH is. This in turn tells you how much CO2 is in the aquarium.

Look here at TPT for instructions about how to make your own, or buy a drop checker, and how to read it.
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Other ways of telling how much CO2 is in the aquarium are not very accurate. Among the cheapest ways, a drop checker is the most accurate.

KH/pH charts are only accurate if carbonates are the ONLY buffer in the water. That is what is created with the drop checker: An exact level of carbonates and nothing else. In an aquarium there are many things that can buffer the pH of the water that KH/pH charts are worthless.

Setting out some water for 24 hours and testing the pH. A change of 1 unit means there were 30 ppm CO2 in the water. This also does not give you accurate results. If the water is not too far away from neutral, it might be a hint, but not close enough for what we need.

Actual pH test meters are so expensive that most aquarium keepers do not want to invest that much money. These are certainly the most accurate, though.

Counting bubbles only tells you how much CO2 is passing though the tubing. It says nothing about how much CO2 is actually spreading through the aquarium. The same bubble count on 2 different tanks, with 2 different diffusers can be so different that 1 bps can be just fine on a 30 gallon tank, but worthless on a 10 gallon tank. Or the other way around.

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The drop checker gives you information that can be used like this:
Even if the number is not quite right, the changing color can show you how much the CO2 varies over the course of the day and through the weeks that your yeast/DIY system is running. By understanding how much CO2 is actually staying in the water you can alter the system you use to distribute the CO2 in the water, and you will know when to swap out the yeast, or can tell the results of using a different diffuser.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Dropchecker

Sounds like its gonna be worth every penny of the $12 or 13 it costs. I will break down and put it on my next order. It will get me closer to free shipping! Oh yeah! let me check out the DIY list. Thanks for the info sounds like you know what the hey!

5 tanks & growing! Gotta get some moonlights so my fish can sleep cus I cant stop lookin!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 06:24 PM
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I never followed the BPS in my co2 tank, I always used a drop checker and adjusted my bubble rate from there.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 06:42 PM
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Bps are not exchangeable measure between two tanks. The size of the bubble may vary, your distribution, tank oxygenation, light...

Bps is only for you to know if you are letting more or less gas flow when tweaking the needle valve.


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