Aeration confusion - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Aeration confusion

So after reading the Aeration in heavily planted tanks...? thread I got a bit confused about whether my method is harmful to plants or fish. I run 3 timers... Air Pump, Co2 and lights. In the past I've always used surface disruption for aeration. Just a few days ago I buried my spray bar so I would have perfectly still water surface. I did this because I love the look. My tank is quite high and I adore seeing the plants/fish reflected off the top of the water surface. I do get surface scum but after the lights go out and the air stone kicks on the cycle is restarted and the water is perfectly clear by morning.

So my concern is with the drastic degasing of Co2 after the slow build up all day. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Piraha; 04-05-2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: bad gramer
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 07:36 PM
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If its working for you... I dont see why change it.
I would start the Co2 1hr before the lights tho.
Are you injecting O2??? or you mean that to say airstone?

you can get the same clear still surface by using a $12 surface skimmer.



Did you read the thread I shared at the end? Its interesting and talks about the scum layer.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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It works for me.... aesthetically ... but I've only had it this way for a few days. I'm concerned about how the change in environment when the air pump comes on will affect the fish/plant life in the tank.

I did read the Barr report which is what got me thinking about how I reconfigured my tank. This line in particular stuck with me.. "scum is removed allowing for much better/more stable CO2/O2 exchange, then the ENTIRE SYSTEM IS FAR MORE STABLE OVERALL."

Before this change I had my spray bar up enough to cause surface disruption, but as the water evaporated all week it became noisy and annoying. This is the same reason I don't use a skimmer, or at lease until I put in a sump.

So recently I lowered the spray bar and put in a air stone that runs at night. Thinking I would eliminate the noise and save on Co2 but after reading the thread I became worried I made my system "UNSTABLE".

Sorry I wasn't clear.

C02 starts 9:30am runs to 8pm
Lights turn on 11:00am run to 8pm
Air stone runs 8pm to 8am

Last edited by Piraha; 04-05-2013 at 08:36 PM. Reason: poor speller
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 08:41 PM
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My lily pipe actively churns the surface. I don't do the surface vortex thing with the lily pipe just below the surface because I never feel like I am getting big enough of a vortex. I have no problems maintaining CO2.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 08:42 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it much. CO2 outgasses really fast anyway.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gSTiTcH View Post
I wouldn't worry about it much. CO2 outgasses really fast anyway.
That is my concern.... slow build up all day with no surface disruption than BOOM. Massive change in environment when the air stone get turned on.

Is this a Bad thing or just not the perfect way?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 08:59 PM
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Why are you assuming there is a slow build up all day because there is no surface disruption?

I would assume you are only injecting CO2 in the first place because of plants. If you have plants, it is unlikely that the CO2 levels will accumulate that significantly throughout the day.

Anthony


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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I thought with a light to medium planted tank there would be a build up.. although I don't have a drop checker. So your right the plants could be using everything I put in there.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 02:56 AM
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Get a drop checker to confirm how much build up (if any) happens through the day.

If you can set up the spray bar for a gentle ripple at the top this is generally enough to keep the scum away, yet minimize the loss of CO2.

Set up an auto fill to keep the tank level exactly where you want it to minimize the noise from the spray bar. If you have a sump, this should be an auto fill system, or at least the drain down from the tank ought to set the surface height. Unless the sump is not full enough to supply a week's worth of top off?

The changes in water chemistry because of CO2 changes are quite acceptible to the fish. The problems that people used to associate with changes in pH are actually because of changes in mineral levels. If you move fish from a tank with high mineral level (which probably has a high pH) into a tank with low mineral level (probably has a low pH) then the fish cannot maintain the right amount of osmotic regulation. Too much water enters their cells, and they have a hard time getting rid of it.
This has nothing to do with the pH.
But when early fish keepers had no test but pH, and saw the fish die, they assumed it was because of the change in pH.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 11:42 AM
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plants only use about 5% of the gas we put into the tank, the rest is either accumulating or being gassed off.. plant beds significantly decrease the amount of co2 availabe iside them.. dense beds reduce flow by 70-90% whichreduces co2 flow through and amount by that much

don't be afraid to waste a little to save your fish.. you are already wasting more than u think

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 02:15 PM
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My pH goes from 6.7 during the day to 7.3 at night. This corresponds to CO2 levels of roughly 10 at night and 50 during the day. I use strong circulation during the day with CO2 on, and I add aeration at night with CO2 turned off. This arrangement has not seen any fish fatalities in my heavily stocked planted tank. I had some stressed breathing before, when I had less surface agitation and did not turn off my CO2 at night.
Good luck,
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 04:28 PM
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with a 0.6 ph change you are nowhere near 50 ppm co2.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
with a 0.6 ph change you are nowhere near 50 ppm co2.
My fully degassed pH is 8.2, making a pH rise of 1.5. My overnite aeration does not fully remove CO2, I'm guessing because of heavy livestock and planting.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 05:43 PM
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look, I think using pressurized Co2 isn't complex. Let me share my opinion of how to do it.

If you really want to do it right, look at the plants/algae/livestock instead of a drop checker or other means of estimating its concentration.

Just set up the "gas day" so you can be around all day to observe any changes in the livestock behavior while you crank it up a tiny bit at the time. Given that there is good surface agitation for proper atmospheric gas exchange(aeration), there is nothing to worry at night.

Leave it at the most you can inject without suffocating the livestock, then watch new plant/algae growth in a two week span at least. Back up a tiny bit every two weeks to be able to observe plant/algae growth. If you are getting stunted plants and more algae, bring it back up a fuzz and that is it.

Now, if you have too much light, beyond the capabilities of plant mass vs CO2 to do the necessary photosynthesis then algae will fill the gap. I never go above 6 hrs.

I hope this helps.

Oh, and by the way, your tank looks awesome but I think it will look even more awesome with background...


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Last edited by pejerrey; 04-06-2013 at 05:48 PM. Reason: info
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 06:16 PM
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I run two Penguin 200 filter and two mall airstone. I don't use CO2. I get plenty of water aeration.

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