Water turbulence - how often? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Water turbulence - how often?

Hey guys,

Quick question.

How often do you all bring your lily pipes etc. above the water line for maximum oxygenation and water turbulence (actual bubbling)?

Is this something I should be doing every night after the lights and CO2 go out, or should I just do this every once in a while if there's a bit of a film building up, or should I just not do this at all?

I know it's a simple question, I just want to be sure! =]

Many thanks!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 07:41 PM
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Never? You only need slight turbulence on the surface. Only so much oxygen will be absorbed into the water.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 07:54 PM
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I do not actually use lily pipes, but I tend to keep the water gently rippling all the time. None of the fish have gotten out their surfboards, so I figure that is about right.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 08:36 PM
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The minimum necessary to keep the film away is what I shoot for.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 08:52 PM
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Nightly after lights out is best if you don't mind the noise of the splashing. It will remove the CO2 faster and increase your O2 level which is a very good thing.

Contrary to what you may read, minimal surface movement isn't the best thing even during lights on either. Sure it may degas some CO2 but that's why you have a needle valve. So you can increase the injection rate, if and when necessary. You don't want so much movement during the day that you have splashing but a nice strong ripple during the day is good. It will degas more CO2, but, once again, you can increase your injection rate to compensate and the added O2 is beneficial. Plus, increasing the rate of degassing allows you to reach an optimal CO2 level more quickly and maintain it without having CO2 build up to toxic levels later in the day.

Here's a good example in GerryD's video in The Barr Report.

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...e-Video-75-gal

There's also a good thread where someone measured his pH in regards to his CO2 levels with varying degrees of surface agitation and showed that with good surface agitation, the CO2 level rose quickly to his optimal level and and remained consistent for the rest of the day. With little agitation it took longer to rise because CO2 had to be added more slowly because by later in the photoperiod the fish were in distress due to too much CO2 since there was little degassing going on. The CO2 levels in that second scenario also never leveled off. On a graph it continued to rise throughout the day until peaking and then began dropping slowly much later after the CO2 had been turned off. Whereas with good surface agitation CO2 levels dropped much more quickly after the end of the injection period.

Last edited by Jeff5614; 08-22-2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: add
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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To provide a bit more context, I don't yet have any fish. I am trying to get my plants to thrive haha.

It's weird, because the first time I let the water bubble for some time (to get rid of some film) is the first time I start to develop algae. It was only the smallest bit, about 1/3 the size of a thumb tack, but yeah. There's every chance this is coincidental, but the water turbulence was the only thing I changed prior to that developing.

I suppose a slight rephrase would be what is best for my plants? Is a slight film alright? Should I not necessarily worry if the tank doesn't fully degas over night? etc etc. Obviously it's very different once fish are involved.

Thanks so much for the replies everyone! Although it does make me feel like there isn't a one size fits all answer to this haha.

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

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