Define Stable CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Define Stable CO2

If I start the lights on period with my drop checker medium green and by the end just before lights out it is lime green is that considered unstable or is it stable as long as it stays green whether medium or light? Just curious due to people equating some algae to unstable levels.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:05 AM
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I would say that would be stable enough.

Unstable would be (say) having CO2 on one day, and then off the next day (for example).

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:26 AM
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Stable means having the same ppm of CO2 in the water during the lights-on period every day, day after day. You can't use a drop checker to be sure of having that. First, it reacts so slowly to changes in CO2 concentration that it makes trying to adjust the CO2 bubble rate by watching it is futile. Second, it is very hard to judge the color of the drop checker, so what looks like the same color could be a 2-1 difference in ppm of CO2 in the water. The way to achieve stabile CO2 is to adjust it once, then leave the adjustment the alone until something in the tank changes enough to justify a change in bubble rate. Shut off the CO2 when the lights are out, using the solenoid valve, and turn it back on a half hour or so before the lights come back on, again using the solenoid valve. But, don't touch the regulator or needle valve adjustment.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:34 AM
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If you are not adding CO2:
CO2 follows a cycle through the day and night.
CO2 rises in the night, so if you are monitoring it via pH the pH will be the lowest in the early morning before the lights come on. The plants are not using it in the night, and it is entering the water from the air and the respiration of the livestock.
CO2 is used up through the day, so the pH rises. It cannot enter the water as fast as the plants are using it.

If you are adding CO2 via yeast the cycle will be similar. The yeast method does not add much CO2 to the average tank, so the cycle is pretty much the same.

If you are adding pressurized you can adjust it for day and night, for example with a device that monitors the pH and keeps it stable by adding more CO2 when the plants use it up and the pH starts to rise.

Any of these systems would be considered stable if they go through the same cycle day after day. Not too high, not too low. Consistent. Not the same level day and night, just the same level every day, then a different level at night, but the same every night.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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I have pressurized CO2 on a solenoid. I use a reactor and I only adjust the bubble rate when I replace the tank. I have the CO2 go on an hour and a half before lights on and go off an hour before lights out. I've just always been curious as to how sensitive CO2 shifts can be in order to affect algae growth. I have always thought that by unstable that would mean shifting from low or no CO2 to having some but I was wondering whether the shifts while in the green zone mattered at all.

Korya, New West - B.C. - Canada
75G Community Planted Tank
Turquoise Rainbows
Panda Corys
Rummy Noses
Neons
Clown Plecos
Albino BN Plecos
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