CO2 at night question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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I've done a search for this and came up with way too many light/CO2 threads to look through, as you can well imagine. Anyway, what I'm wondering is...if CO2 isn't used at night by the plants, should I find a way to stop the flow into my tank, and if so...how? It' just a simple diffuser.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 04:05 AM
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Different strokes for different folks on this one, schmoop.

I've tried it both ways. For me, leaving the CO2 running all night works better. My pH only varies by .1 when I leave it on (slightly more acidic at night), but if I turn it off it will climb as much as .6 at night. Also, the following day, it took up to 6 hours to return my CO2 levels to 20-25ppm. Much better to have the CO2 at the optimal level when the lights come on in the morning, me thinks. CO2 refills are so cheap that wasting gas is not a concern of mine.

Anyway.....that's my gig. Others do it the other way, and that seems to work for them. Try it both ways. Measure pH and decide for yourself.

Ted


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 04:20 AM
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I agree, and also run mine 24/7 for minimal pH swings.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 04:21 AM
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I've been thinking about it, and since I have a JBJ regulator with solenoid, couldn't you just have it turn off the last few hours of night/early morning. Instead of having it off all night, I could put it on a timer so it's only off, say, the 3 hours before lights-on, when the pH would be the lowest? Or would that cause too much fluctuation?

Later on, once the funds recover from buying my other new equip, I'll get a pH controller.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 05:03 AM
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Daemon,

This may work fine for others. It is clear that CO2 loss in my tank is primarily caused by out-gassing, not plant uptake. Thus, stopping the CO2 at any time of day will create a swift rise in pH for my tank. To put it another way, since the amount of CO2 given off [at night] by my plants is significantly less than the amount lost to out-gassing, it is better to work to counter the more 'powerful' of the two. I suppose that the 'ideal' situation would be to find the percentage of CO2 added by the plants with respect to the amount being injected. Then reduce the bpm by that small percentage at night. Or, I suppose, one could also make a coarse adjustment by multiplying that small percentage by the number of hours in your dark period (12 for most of us), and have your CO2 off for that amount of time. For instance, if the amount of CO2 contributed by plants is 1/10 that of the amount lost to out-gassing, you would shut the CO2 off for 1.2 hours at night. The best time to do this would be as soon as the light goes off.

This hardly seems worth the effort to extend the life of your CO2 tank by 10%.......and I can't believe I'm still typing :lol: .

Ted


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 11:31 AM
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I don't turn the CO2 off at night in any of my tanks. The fish population never seems to be stressed in the mornings, I've been known to get a flashlight and take a look in the dark.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 02:57 PM
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I have a carbo-plus in my 75G tank. One day I forgot to turn on the lights but the carbo-plus unit was on by a timer. By the time I got home in the afternoon, all fish were gusping on the surface except a few already dead on bottom. Based on this lesson, I guess high concentration of CO2 and low O2 CAN cause problem in a few hours. Also, everyone's tank (and water parameters) is different, so it is important to experiment with yours.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'm going to let it run. It's small, undersized for my tank right now, and any CO2 build up probably won't be enough to harm the fish. My tank is understocked with fish, and the plants are new, so sounds like stopping the CO2 in my case might cause more problems than keeping it going.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 08:39 PM
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I'm new to this but… What if you keep the CO2 on and turned on a power filter or something that would disrupt the water surface at night. This might accomplish two things. First increase the amount of CO2 loss and thus stabilizing the pH more. Secondly increasing the amount of oxygen in the tank at night to make the fish happier. Have not tried this so not sure how well it would work.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 09:56 PM
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typhaon,

What you've described is, effectively, how my tank is set up, since my spray bar slightly agitates the surface. This is probably why I see so little day/night fluctuation - and also why my bubble rate is so high :lol: . I feel that by injecting CO2 in this fashion, I increase my margin of error.

Ted


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 11:06 PM
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Been running my 10lb co2 24/7 for over a year now and counting without having to refill.It's only a 20gal tank but still that's a pretty insignificant cost to run co2 24/7.



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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Is that a can of compressed CO2, like for carbonated beverages?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 04:02 AM
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I run the Co2 24/7. The PH change is minimal in my 90 gal. about .2-.3 max. Fish dont even notice.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoop
Is that a can of compressed CO2, like for carbonated beverages?
Yes Schmoop, it is a can[ister] of compressed CO2. But the stuff I use isn't 'food grade' CO2 - just the stuff my local welding shop supplies. Nothing fancy. A 5 lb tank of CO2 can be purchased (filled) for around 50 bucks. It costs $5-10 to refill it. Add a regulator and your ready to rock. Total cost < $150.

*note compressed CO2 is in liquid form, so you should always have the tank sitting upright and be secured. If it were to fall on its side, liquid CO2 would be release into the reg and decompression of that liquid could spell disaster (since most regs are not made to withstand that kind of pressure)

Ted


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