A couple C02 questions for a pro - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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A couple C02 questions for a pro

Hay everyone..

Is it possible to grow big healthy plants in my 75 gallon tanks without a c02 canister. Currently, I made a DIY c02 system with two, 4 liter milk jugs. I know this wont do much, but I think it will raise the c02 by 3 or 4 ppm. im only using 130 watts of light over my 75 gallon so the plant's don't nesseceraly need a c02 tank to survive. With proper nutreince, will these plants grow big enough to cover the back wall of my aquarium? considering I only have a DIY co2 system and 130 watts of light.

Also, I know fish breath o2m and exhale c02. If you have big fish, will they contribute to c02 production in the tank?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:15 PM
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Fish will contribute a small amount of CO2. Plants can grow without CO2. But some plants that are more light demanding also require the use of CO2. CO2 in a planted aquarium is a lot of like N2O in an engine. It drives the plants faster and helps control algae.

If you can raise the CO2 levels 3-4 ppm it will help. As much as getting them into a higher range? I doubt it.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info rex, it all helps. I got one last question, then Ill shut up and stop clogging the message boards.

Basicly your saying that plants will "grow" without large amounts of c02, but they won't grow very fast or healthy? Does that apply to all plants? even the most hardy ones like jave fern?

ps... I checked out your web-site. It is perhaps the best source of clear information regarding aquadic plant's on the net. I put it in my faveorites..:-)
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 01:32 AM
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Java fern doesn't need CO2. But I can tell you that given the right conditions, high light and nutrients and CO2, that Java Fern is a WEED!

There are some plants that due to the amount of light they need you pretty much have to have CO2 to help keep the algae in check.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Fish will contribute a small amount of CO2.
since Shuks has an Arowana as well this applies to both of us. Is there any way to estimate how much co2 a particular fish produces? Based on size of the fish and gallons in the tank? I dont need co2 in with mine, but am still curious.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hay spar... I would like to know what size your tank is, and how heavilt planted is it. How many WPG do you use?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 12:10 PM
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it is a 110g paludarium, a little less than 1/2 full, so ~50g's. A lot of driftwood, I estimate that there is about 40g's of actual water in there.

Fairly heavily planted, mostly Java Fern and Val. Also have Red Tiger Lotus and Water Sprite.

I have 2 2x65 PCF's on top, but with one light turned off right now. So, about 3.9wpg.

The Arowana is in my 180g though if that was what you were looking for. No Plants in that tank.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 12:37 PM
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As long as you use no buffers besides carbonate based buffers you can use the pH/kH/CO2 chart to see how much CO2 your fish is adding. Remember that water normally contains about 3 ppm.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 05:45 PM
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i use buffers in it though. phosphate buffers at that. so the chart is no help unfortunantly.

i bought a co2 testkit for it, but found out afterwards that it wont work with buffers either.

i was just curious if there is a general formula that gives out the amount of co2 produced from fish. with 3 huge fish in my tank and 3 medium sized fish I would expect that at least 3-4ppm come out of it, but dont know where to begin estimating.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 10:07 PM
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Can I jump on board?

My water parameters in the afternoon - after DIY CO2 has been running all day are:
NO3 - 5-6
pH - 6.6
gh - 5
kh - 7


According to the chart, my CO2 is around 53 ppm in the afternoon. Is this too much for the fish? I haven't seen them at the top gasping for air - ever.

My CO2 goes 'off' around 5 p.m. It comes back on around 10 a.m. So, my pH makes a swing from around 7.0 or so to 6.6. I know this is big. However, since it does not 'crash' to this level, is it harmful/stressful?

THANX!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 12:23 AM
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as long as your fish are fine, then 53ppm is fine. I keep mine between 45 and 55 at all times. I am sure it gets much higher than that at night as I dont turn off my co2 flow.

do you also turn your lights off at 5? you should always have your co2 on while the lights are on. putting them on the same timer makes that easy.

you should bump up that NO3. especially with co2 injection, your plants will be draining that quickly. see about jumping it up to 20-30ppm

edit>> forgot to add... pH swings caused by co2 flux does not harm fish. pH swings caused by Hardness change is what gets them.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 05:20 AM
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Thanks a million. I run the CO2 along with the lights. I just haven't been running it the whole day with the lights. But that is easily fixed. I appreciate your help.

I don't know if I want to up the NO3, yet. I have been trying to monitor that closely. I haven't seen any significant drop in NO3 in my tank yet. Is this normal?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 12:07 PM
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what wpg do you have?

if it is even about 2wpg then I would suspect the test kit. do you have anything to dose NO3 (i.e. KNO3)? test it out on a bucket to see if adding the dosages of NO3 have an impact on the test kit.

and you do know that NO3 is not problematic for fish until it gets to extremely high ppm's, right? I have had my tnaks at 80ppm+ with no signs of fish stress. Many peoples tap water is 20ppm. So, increasing it up, even overboard a little will only help things out. the day NO3 bottoms out you will have algae spring up on you.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 06:15 PM
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The test kit is an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit. I have seen many different registers on it - from 40ppm to 5 ppm. So, I really have never thought it might be bad. I'll try to test it later next week. Until then, I'll add 5ppm NO3 to the tank and see what happens. I have never added more because I thought that too much NO3 causes aglae problems.

Thanks again!
DP
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 01:24 AM
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never hurts to buy a new testkit

excess NO3's primary (even only maybe) side effect is fish health problems. algae will not pop up due to too much NO3. only if you have no NO3. plants will do better as well with high NO3 since there is no chance of bottoming out of NO3.

the average person keeps theirs at 20ppm. perfectly safe for fish, and perfectly good for plants.

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