CO2 Level (DIY) went through the roof last night! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Level (DIY) went through the roof last night!

I have a 37 gallon tank and hooked up my DIY CO2 last night (1 bottle) which I had mixed 2 days prior. I used Champagne yeast which puts out alot of CO2. I am using a glass diffuser (which also acts as a bubble counter) that creates fine bubbles and i set it right under my fluval intake.

Before going to bed, I noticed that it was creating CO2 at 2 bubbles per second. This morning I woke up and one of my larger fish was at the top gasping. I quickly took a PH test and it showed 6.6. My tap water has a KH of about 9 which would make my CO2 level at 68 PPM. I moved the diffuser away from the intake so the mist of bubbles just go straight into the water and started up my lights. I was kinda running late to work so I had to leave it like that. Hopefully I wont come home to a graveyard.

I cant get a pressurized system for another 5 months so I have to deal with DIY until then. Should I just keep the diffuser away from the intake and let it run 24/7 ? Hopefully I will get just enough CO2 that way and maybe even hook up a second bottle on a tee? What do all you DIY folks do?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 09:35 PM
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At night you could run an air stone at night or move the spray bar so that it agitates the surface of the water.... hope the fish are ok
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 08:05 PM
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how many times must we explain this.

increased CO2 does not displace O2. You can have 200ppm CO2 and still have plenty of oxygen for the fish. (hint: pearling only occurs when the water becomes saturated with O2, which is a mere 4ppm)

Fish gasp for air because your O2 levels are too low, not because CO2 is too high.

I've accidentally run CO2 at 85ppm for an entire week, and my fish didn't gasp, show signs of stress, or die.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by malkore
how many times must we explain this.

increased CO2 does not displace O2. You can have 200ppm CO2 and still have plenty of oxygen for the fish. (hint: pearling only occurs when the water becomes saturated with O2, which is a mere 4ppm)

Fish gasp for air because your O2 levels are too low, not because CO2 is too high.

I've accidentally run CO2 at 85ppm for an entire week, and my fish didn't gasp, show signs of stress, or die.
You're not obligated to explain anything! I'm new to this hobby and also new to the forum so I'm still learning. I've been doing alot of research in other subjects and never read about how to elevate O2 levels. I wasnt able to find a quick answer in the forum so I started this thread. Maybe I was typing in the wrong keywords in my search... The least you can do is post a link to an existing thread instead of complaining.

EDIT: I know that the plants should produce the oxygen but my situation is that I converted an existing "fish only" tank to planted so the plants havent produced enough oxygen as of yet.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:28 PM
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No one means anything by it. Sometimes the people who have been here a long time get fed up with being asked the same questions over and over.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:44 PM
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I ran into this problem a while back. But I didn't recognize it because not all my fish had problem, only my cardinals. I solved the problems with air pump and an airstone at night. Just set one up with a timer to come on after the lights go out. The plants consume O2 when there is not photosynthesis going on. With DIY (that's what I have too), there's really no easy way to stop the CO2 except to bleed it off.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2
I ran into this problem a while back. But I didn't recognize it because not all my fish had problem, only my cardinals. I solved the problems with air pump and an airstone at night. Just set one up with a timer to come on after the lights go out. The plants consume O2 when there is not photosynthesis going on. With DIY (that's what I have too), there's really no easy way to stop the CO2 except to bleed it off.
I followed "Lil boy blue's" suggestion and placed an airstone last night. Hopefully everything is ok when I get home. I didnt lose any fish yesterday but my black ghost knife was laying on the substrate gasping when I got home yesterday so I did a 50% wc and hooked up my airstone right away and he was back to normal. I actually did hook it up to my day/night timer. Are there any plants that produce more O2 than others during photosynthesis?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 11:16 PM
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I think you'll be ok now that you have the airstone. As soon as I did it, my losses stopped immediately, and now my fish are all 100%.

Others with more experience may refute me, as I am only thinking logically, but I think the faster growing a plant is, the more CO2/O2 repiration it does. So if you want high O2 producing plants, you probably want stem plants. However, you do realize that when the lights go out, the high O2 producing plants become high O2 CONSUMING plants, right?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
how many times must we explain this.

increased CO2 does not displace O2. You can have 200ppm CO2 and still have plenty of oxygen for the fish. (hint: pearling only occurs when the water becomes saturated with O2, which is a mere 4ppm)

Fish gasp for air because your O2 levels are too low, not because CO2 is too high.

I've accidentally run CO2 at 85ppm for an entire week, and my fish didn't gasp, show signs of stress, or die.
I don't agree! Fish are gasping because CO2 is too high. Oxygen is not the issue. The only way a fish can exhale CO2 is if the concentration of CO2 in their blood is above that in the water. So, when the water CO2 level is too high, the fish have high CO2 in their blood and die of CO2 poisoning just as we would, for the same reason.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:48 AM
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Quick question in response to Malkore's comment -- I've seen it said over and over on the forum that oxygen will not drive CO2 out of the water -- that the two can both be there in large quantity and therefore high CO2 levels shouldn't harm fish -- but yet there are often references to O2 driving out CO2 (ie. don't use a biowheel, don't use an airstone during the day, cover your tank to avoid outgassing, etc.) So if CO2 can't drive oxygen out of the water, why can oxygen drive CO2 out? Is there a scientific answer, or am I misunderstanding the connection here? Thanks for any information.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncskainch
Quick question in response to Malkore's comment -- I've seen it said over and over on the forum that oxygen will not drive CO2 out of the water -- that the two can both be there in large quantity and therefore high CO2 levels shouldn't harm fish -- but yet there are often references to O2 driving out CO2 (ie. don't use a biowheel, don't use an airstone during the day, cover your tank to avoid outgassing, etc.) So if CO2 can't drive oxygen out of the water, why can oxygen drive CO2 out? Is there a scientific answer, or am I misunderstanding the connection here? Thanks for any information.

Water naturally will only hold about 3-4 ppm of CO2 in solution. If you increase the amount of CO2 beyond that it of course wants to come out of solution. The only place it can do this is at the water/air interface. So the more movement you have there the quicker the CO2 can escape from solution.

A Bio-Wheel creates a very large surface area for the CO2 to escape from. As does an airstone. Covering the tank will only work if the seal is perfect and there is no air movement.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:38 AM
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Thanks, Rex -- that makes sense.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:10 PM
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Never mind, bad post on my part.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
This morning I woke up and one of my larger fish was at the top gasping.
Quote:
Are there any plants that produce more O2 than others during photosynthesis?
Your Problem seems to be at night when the lights are out.....Your 02 levels were already low before You left for work--and without anyway to increase 02 during the day while You were gone--there doesn't seem to have been enough to go around from Your plants.....

Plants Produce 02 as a By Product of Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs when there is light. Lights go out: Plants start Using 02 and putting out C02--same as the fish, and You and I.

In other words, during the day your plants are taking in C02 and releasing 02, but at Night--it Reverses: Plants start using 02 and releasing C02--same as Your fish.

Turbulate the surface of Your water, or go with an airstone and pump....

HTH


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
how many times must we explain this.

increased CO2 does not displace O2. You can have 200ppm CO2 and still have plenty of oxygen for the fish. (hint: pearling only occurs when the water becomes saturated with O2, which is a mere 4ppm)

Fish gasp for air because your O2 levels are too low, not because CO2 is too high.

I've accidentally run CO2 at 85ppm for an entire week, and my fish didn't gasp, show signs of stress, or die.
well thankfully you did post it again, its the first time i have heard

increased CO2 does not displace O2.

im a newbie.
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