CO2 Levels and Pearling Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Levels and Pearling Question

I setup my pressurized CO2 yesterday. The CO2 is fed into a 2", 17" Long Rex Reactor which is connected to the outake of my Eheim 2217. The tank is 75G and currently 2.13WPG.

Yesterday (11am-11pm) I kept the CO2 at around 1BPS and needless to say, I saw no pearling nor any significant change in ph.

Today I cranked it up to 3BPS and no Pearling nor any ph change. It has been running since 11am, so 5 hours. (It turns off at night as the solenoid is connected to my timer)

My Ph is 7.3/7.4 and KH is around 5. There is 1/2 cup of crushed coral in the eheim.

What am I doing wrong, why isn't the ph dropping? Please help.

Thanks

P.S: EI dosing and trace + fe.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 08:30 PM
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If you are getting your water from one of the great lakes, dump the crushed coral out now.
You may never see pearling if your fish load is high, or you have a lot decomposition of plant matter going on. Pearling only happens when the water is completely saturated. Dont look at pearling asa goal, you should be looking for an awesome tank with healthy looking plants and animals.

Peter

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 08:33 PM
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Your plants may never pearl and that is OK. It isnt only just because of CO2 but other factors such as water flow, health of plants, and various other reasons. If you are growing plants and not algae then you are dong fine. Dont just look for pearling to tell you that they are growing!

To get your CO2 level up slowly increase it and check the PH every 2 hours or so. If it gets too high the fish will be at the surface gasping for air. Dont turn it up and leave, stick around to test the water and observe the fish.

Do you have any bubbles comming out of the Eheim spraybar. If may be that the bubbles arent disolving, do you have alot of surface aggation. This will cause CO2 to escape. Good luck


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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wantplantsnotwork: I dont know if the water is from the Great Lakes, but if so, why should I remove the crushed coral...is the water naturally buffered?

bigstick120: There is no surface agitation. No bubbles from Spraybar either. No surface agitation. Spraybar is below the water level and pointed downwards.


Prior to the pressurized system I was using the DIY method and pearling was evident on my plants. This was just a few days ago. That is why I am concerend since I have not seen any pearling and NO ph drop.

Even if I do not see Pearling, the ph should drop to indicate a higher level of CO2 in the water, but it has not in the past 5 hours.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 09:02 PM
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If you have a leak in the CO2 line between the bubble counter and the reactor, you may not be adding any CO2 to the water. It doesn't take much of a leak to lose it all. Do the soapy water test to see.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
If you have a leak in the CO2 line between the bubble counter and the reactor, you may not be adding any CO2 to the water. It doesn't take much of a leak to lose it all. Do the soapy water test to see.

I did put some soapy water and watched it for a minute...no bubbles. Is 1 minute long enough? I think I am also going to try and use windex.

I have circled all the connections where I performed the soapy water test.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 11:06 PM
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How about around the red cap on the bubble counter?

Hoppy
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
How about around the red cap on the bubble counter?

The red cap is screwed tight with teflon tape in the threads. Should i just spray windex around it?

By the way, how long should I wait to check for the bubbles (if any) from a leak?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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I turned the bubble counter upside down, with the CO2 still running and guess what, about 30secs later, water started seeping out from the threads. Guess I found the culprit.

What is the best bottle/way to make a bubble counter?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 12:18 AM
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Great job! Some leaks just hide from us. Mine was a leak at the bubble counter where it connected to the regulator (Milwaukee). Like you I had a bad time finding it and didn't until I noticed it was damp under it on the floor of the cabinet. Now you can fix it. Do a search here on the DIY section for bubble counters. One was made from a syringe body, as I remember.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 12:49 AM
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You want to lose the coral becase a) it is not needed unless you have extremely soft water, and b) because it screws up the C02/kh/ph relationship.
so that there is no way to tell how much CO2 you actually have.

Now, if you have very soft water you may need to buffer it up a bit. Some need to, but it is rare.

I like to keep things a simple as possoible, the less I add to the water, the happier I am.
Keep in mind, adding CO2 to water forms carbonic acid. The more CO2, the lower the ph. Lower ph means the quicker the coral gets disolved. Having petrified wood in my tank screwed things up so much, I lost a few fish before I figured it out.

Peter

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