CO2 timing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 timing

Hi all - quick question about compressed CO2 timing. I finally got the BPS down since switching to canister filters. I am currently using 2 photoperoids, and have the CO2 kick on about 2 hours prior to the start of each photoperoid and ending at the end of each photoperoid. I've seen some folks use 24/7. I have a significant number of fish (about 12 angels and a ton of BN plecos and some SAE) in the tank as well - it's a 90 gallon aquarium. Have a bit of a BBA issue, however I've noticed that seems to be kept at bay since increasing the CO2 and cleaning the gravel. Keep the timed CO2 or should I switch to 24/7? Thanks in advance.

Pat
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 06:21 PM
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If you don't mind paying for the CO2, leave it on.
If you don't want to waste money on CO2, set it on a timer.

Measure pH every 15 or 20 minutes once CO2 comes on to determine how long it takes your setup to stabilize. Use this value to determine how early to turn on the CO2.
Measure pH every 15 or 20 minutes once CO2 shuts off to determine how quickly the CO2 leaves the system. This will tell you if you can shut off the CO2 before the end of the photo period.

I did this for my 125 gallon setup and ended up changing CO2 on time from 1 hour early to 2 hours early. It took about 1.5 hours for my pH to bottom out. I also have my CO2 shut off 1 hour before my lights now that i see the CO2 level stays constant for a while after CO2 shutoff.

Everybody's system is different. Measure and plot pH to determine how your system responds to CO2 cycles.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 06:29 PM
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There really is no need to have CO2 on 24/7; it just wastes gas.

If you maintain a good CO2 concentration, fertilization and maintenance (removing the algae) routine, it should eventually go away.

You may be able to speed the process along with spot treatment with hydrogen peroxide or glutaraldehyde (Excel).

Anthony


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 02:35 AM
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I don't think going 24/7 will help your problem. Just cost more, and potentially harm your fish. I would spot treat, increase plant mass, maybe even decrease photo period. but spot treatment with excel is usually a lickity split solution for BBA
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Great! Thanks all I'll give that a try.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 02:16 PM
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First, go search for CO2 ph/kh chart here. You will understand how to measure your CO2 level accurately, not with a drop checker. With a 90g, I doubt that your couple of BPS CO2 would be enough for the tank that size. Usually, the rate of your CO2 input would be so much that your bubble counter becomes useless.

Don't have your CO2 on 24/7 because, depending on your CO2 input level, you may be out of CO2 2x as fast. Instead of 3 months, you have to exchange your CO2 tank in 1.5 month. Two, CO2 level do accumulate. Your CO2 level would continuously increase until you have reached the adequate or equilibrium gassing level. You don't know that and I don't know that. In another words, you may end up gassing your fish in the middle of the night or your CO2 input level is so low that you would never be able to reach your desired CO2 level. Supposedly, you need to reach 30+ ppm of CO2 in order to promote good plant growths and fighting off BBA. I keep mine at 45+ ppm by the end of the light cycle. If I keep my CO2 on for 24/7, I will bet I would have gassed my fish in the middle of the night for sure.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 04:35 PM
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Curious as to why 2 light periods? How long between cycles?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the chart, I'll look that up now. The 2 photoperiods are because I'd like to see the tank on in the morning before I hit the gym and my daughter goes to school, then it's off for about 7 hours or so and back on at 3pm for the longer period (again, we can enjoy the tank too at that time).
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