CO2 level and plant mass? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 level and plant mass?

We know that we will increase the nutrient dosing as the plant mass increases. Since the CO2 is the main source of plant nutrient, do I need to also increase the CO2 injection rate?

I recently have some green hair algae developing on the lower part (or old) of my rotala leaves. Hair algae mostly cause by insufficient of CO2 or imbalance of nutrients.

When I first started the tank, my CO2 bubble rate was 1 bubble /second. The pH reading was 6.6 and tank water is 4kdH, so that give me about 30 ppm of CO2. I can confirmed that with my drop checker turned to light green. No or minimum of algae.

Now my plant mass is almost double. With the same CO2 bubble rate at 1 /second, the pH is almost no change after 6 hours, and reads 6.9 (tape water is 7). I don't know if I have the CO2 deficiency or the plant pearling drive off the CO2 during the photo period. Algae starts to invade my tank.

Should I increase the CO2 bubble rate? I have amano and red cherry shrimps in the tank.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 11:10 PM
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I would increase it.
To me, the 'no pH change' suggests the plants are using it as fast as it enters the tank.
Increase it slowly, watch the livestock, and monitor the rate to see that it is consistent.
If everything is OK, but the drop checker shows that the pH is still a bit high (indicating not a bit increase in the CO2) then add a bit more.
Make the changes at least 24 hours apart to be sure you are really seeing the results.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 09:34 AM
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what color is the drop checker now? I would trust the checker and not go into the yellow.
I'm getting hair algae also, and from what i read it can be caused by too much iron. That may be for my case because iron is a problem in my tap water. Also, i have a scarlet trumpet that was loosing color, i dosed with leafzone and it was back within a week. Main ingredient is iron. Don't know if that's bringing the hair algae.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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I don't use drop checker for a while. I should increase the CO2 rate to 90 bubbles per min for the next 2 weeks to see what happen.

I have a lot of pearling from my rotara about 3 hours into the photo period. I wonder if the pearling (oxygen) decrease the concentration of my CO2 injection.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 03:55 PM
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Most of the CO2 we diffuse into our tanks is lost to the atmosphere at the water surface. Only a small part of it is used by the plants. One thing increased plant mass does is inhibit water circulation in the tank. If that reduces the circulation too much, a lot of the areas in the tank will never get any CO2. So, it is best to avoid such dense plant growth and/or add a powerhead so that the water can circulate and reach all areas of the tank. Your lack off a big drop in pH due to the CO2 is very convincing evidence that too much of the tank water isn't getting any CO2.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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I up the CO2 starting yesterday. I took some pictures for the pH level. The left one is 2 hrs after CO2 injection, middle one is 4 hrs, and the right one is 6 hrs.

Attachment 301266

My tank is full of hair algae now. They appear on the bottom part of the plants: old leaves of rotala and moose. The new growth leaves have no algae. Should I cut them or just left them?

Attachment 301258

Last edited by mheat; 12-28-2014 at 06:04 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 01:13 PM
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Looks like you took pics of VALS with the hair algae.. they are like a magent for it in my tank as well.. Im about ready to pull the remaining few I have.. /sigh

75 Gallon Tank
High Tech Co2
EI method ferts (started 3/26/14)
4 Coralife 10k daylight bulbs - High output T5 - 54 watts (48in) 2.88 WPG
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 01:30 PM
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You might want to check for leaks too with some soapy water around the bubble counter, regulator and so on. I had a similar issue recently and it turned out my bubble counter had developed a small leak... probably from the co2 line getting pinched.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 02:01 PM
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If you plant mass increases and your ferts schedule also, you must definitively increase co2.

I have a 75gl tank and when I started 5 years ago I had a few plants, and I also used to have 1 bubble per second... then my plant mass doubled, and I got algae like you, then by reading around I found out I had to increase Co2... I moved into 2bps and algae went away... Then my plant mass increased even more, I increased to 3bps, and then 4bps, and increased ferts accordingly. I have a wet/dry filter, so degassing is high, and Co2 must be pumped more. If you have a canister filter, watch closely your fish when increasing (slowly) Co2. You may need less co2 than me.

3 months ago I moved into EI which asks for a lot of ferts, and now I can't even count the bubbles. EI with high plant mass requires a lot of co2. Forget drop checkers, get a PH meter and measure the PH drop from when you start Co2 injection: a drop of 1.1-1.2 will assure you to have enough co2 in your tank.

Here is my tank now:

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. pH swing of 1.2, is it safe for shrimps?

Now increase the bubble rate to 90 per minute, and use a powerhead to blow the CO2 bubbles across the tank. My tank is a small5G tank, so the current is pretty strong. I will try this for the next 2 weeks to see what happen.

The algae on the plant is blyxa japonica, not vals.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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I almost give up on my tank. Not taking care it any more. Does once a while. Thinking that after finish up the CO2 bottle and I will tear it up. I do 30% water change once a week instead of 30% twice a week. No more spot does of Excel as it does not work.

After a couple of weeks, all of my hair algae is gone. I think the frequent water change cause the hair algae grow.

Attachment 322474

Attachment 322482

Attachment 322490

Attachment 322498

Last edited by mheat; 04-25-2017 at 05:13 AM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 09:20 PM
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Awesome

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 11:46 PM
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How did you get the moss to grow on the driftwood like that and what kind it is?

My tank is overrun with hair algae. I'm going to try turning up the CO2 and see what happens.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kntry View Post
How did you get the moss to grow on the driftwood like that and what kind it is?

My tank is overrun with hair algae. I'm going to try turning up the CO2 and see what happens.
That's Java moss. I had some in my tank growing on driftwood like that. You can just tie it on with thread that will dissolve in a few weeks, leaving the java moss attached.

HOWEVER, I really wish I had never put it in my tank. That stuff is a scourge. It spreads, and you can never completely get it all out of your tank. It should come with a warning: "Put in tank only if you want tank to become one big java moss incubator."
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mheat View Post
I almost give up on my tank. Not taking care it any more. Does once a while. Thinking that after finish up the CO2 bottle and I will tear it up. I do 30% water change once a week instead of 30% twice a week. No more spot does of Excel as it does not work.

After a couple of weeks, all of my hair algae is gone. I think the frequent water change cause the hair algae grow.

Attachment 322474

Attachment 322482

Attachment 322490

Attachment 322498
This is very interesting, your tank looks great now! So, you just neglected it and got better? Did you change anything besides reducing water changes? Any change in Co2 or ferts? Or light? I am really curious to learn more!
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