PH regulation with CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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PH regulation with CO2

I just started using a pressurized CO2 system on my 36g and as I expected, shortly after installation the ph dropped to around 6.4. The tank is currently cycling so there are no fish to worry about, but going forward how do you go about regulating this? I have some Top Fin pH reducer in my cabinet but was wondering if that's the right way to go about stabilizing the tank permanently?

I plan on stocking with 1 Ram, rummynose tetras, a few ottos, and 2 angels eventually.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 07:38 PM
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That's should be a fine ph, just make sure your kh is around 4.

Here is a chart that might help,
http://www.google.com/search?q=kh+ph...w=1366&bih=564

Ph controller is the easiest way to control ph swings.

They are about 110 bucks but you just set it and forget it.

John
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by caique View Post
That's should be a fine ph, just make sure your kh is around 4.

Here is a chart that might help,
http://www.google.com/search?q=kh+ph...w=1366&bih=564

Ph controller is the easiest way to control ph swings.

They are about 110 bucks but you just set it and forget it.

John
There has to be a cheaper way. Also, the only way I have to test KH is with a strip, the store didn't have a liquid kit so I figured this was ok for now. The tank in question isn't even registering any reading on the KH scale. My 10g low tech reads 40 ppm. (the strip kit is not single digits like those charts, do i just divide by 10?)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 08:39 PM
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Here is a calculator to go from ppm to dkh: http://www.saltyzoo.com/SaltyCalcs/AlkConv.php

A ph controller is a luxury item. You don't need it but might find it nice to have.

Just adjust the co2 flow with your needle valve to the point that you have the right amount of co2 at the end of the day. You can use the ph/kh charts for a rough idea but they can be unreliable. Especially, if you don't have a decent ph and kh test kit. Drop checkers are more reliable.

You can also just have pretty high co2 for now and then start very low when you get fish. Slowly raise it every day and watch your fish. If they start breathing hard or swimming at the surface or moving slowly etc, you know your a little high and back off. That would be your sweet spot once you back off a little and they start acting normal.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is this a good drop checker to get? Seems pretty decent, fluval is a good brand.

http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-A7551-Fl...s=drop+checker
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by notsogreenthumb View Post
Is this a good drop checker to get? Seems pretty decent, fluval is a good brand.

http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-A7551-Fl...s=drop+checker
I'm not sure. Maybe someone who has used it can give you some feedback. It probably does work fine though if you like/don't mind the look.

I like the look of the glass drop checkers. I just got some cheap ones on ebay and put ro/di water with a certain kh in the drop checkers along with Bromothymol Blue (the stuff that comes in the normal range liquid ph kits).
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 11:28 PM
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The pH fluctuations caused by CO2 aren't the kind that affects your fish (rather, the dissolved gas concentrations in the water affect the fish, so CO2 does have an impact, but not due to pH swings). pH swings caused by hardness fluctation is what affects fish. So don't worry about regulating pH, and instead focus on attaining proper CO2 that is good for your fish and good for your plants.

I prefer to run high CO2 with high amounts of water ripples at surface from filter output. Might cost a few pennies per day in CO2 to agitate the surface this much, as my bubble count needs to be high, but it's still very cheap.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 01:08 AM
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Nitrifying bacteria use the carbon from carbonates. While you are cycling the tank add enough carbonates or bicarbonates to keep the KH at least 3 German degrees of hardness, or roughly 60 ppm. Higher is better.

pH is not very important for fish. Most fish do not care about the pH changes from CO2, but do care that the mineral levels in the water are right.
I aim to keep the GH at the right level, then keep the KH within a degree or so. Let the pH take care of itself. When the GH and KH are right, the pH is usually pretty close to where it needs to be, and that is a pretty wide range.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 04:58 AM
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Hmmm now I'm confused. Was the OP asking about how to use co2 to drop his ph? I thought he was asking about how to find the right amount of co2 per plant and fish needs? Re-reading makes me think I misunderstood.
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