CO2 & air stones - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 & air stones

As I understed during the night you should run an air stone for your fish to get enough O2. Question is with a reasonably heavy populated tank will I lose enough CO2 during the day if I also run the air stone. Tank size is a 265 gallon using an automated CO2 with a reaction chamber rated at 500 gallons. CO2 tank size is 20 pounds. Losing CO2 as far as cost is not an issue but rather maintaining proper CO2 concentrations and ph.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 07:11 PM
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If your tank is planted, plants will keep the oxygen up during the day so running an airstone while injecting CO2 is counterproductive.

If you (think you) need to run an airstone during night time, you can put the pump onto a timer.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 07:40 PM
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I would check the fish in the morning before the lights come on and see how they look. If they are hanging around the top or gasping for air then an airstone may be needed. I run my co2 only with lights on and I keep it pretty high and I haven't had a problem with fish stress. I do use a surface extractor and it helps keep gas exchange going on the surface, but with a tank that large, and with a decent plant mass, and good water circulation I wouldn't think you would need an airstone. Just check the fish to make sure though.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 07:44 PM
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And if you have either a CO2 test kit, or KH and pH kits, you can just test the CO2 levels whenever you want -- in this case, just before lights-on. If you don't have what you need for this, then looking for gasping fish is pretty much as accurate, just that numbers are always nice.

Plants are gone, but my 33gal and I are back after a long hiatus.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 09:08 PM
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I don't have experience with a tank that size, but I do run an airstone on a 42 hex covered tank 24/7. I have a pH meter in there, and the last time I actually checked this, my pH went from 6.97 to 7.05 when I turned on my air (which is pretty strong aeration, Tetratec DW96-2 driving two stones). My kH is 6 dKH, so that equates to about 3 ppm CO2 loss.

It will probably be a bit more in a rectangular tank because of increased surface area. Best way to measure is with a properly calibrated pH meter and a kH test kit. I use and recommend American Marine pH meters.

If your tank is uncovered, there's really no need for an airstone if there's adequate water movement. I have NOT tested this, but I would imagine that CO2 loss will be a lot greater if you run an airstone during the day in an UNcovered tank.

I cause some controversy for saying it, but I think full stocked covered tanks (planted or not) are better off with airstones all the time. It insures high DO levels for the fish at all times and at all levels of the tank. Many people run full stocked covered tanks with no stones and they say the fish are fine. No reason to doubt them, but you really need a DO meter to know what your DO levels are. It's when they drop below 5 ppm that there's reason to worry. If you have a covered tank for example, you might think the fish are fine, but there may be times of the day where DO is dropping down between 3 and 5 ppm. This might not kill your fish, but they will be under stress and may or may not show it.
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