co2 levels, how long? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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co2 levels, how long?

I just setup a complete Rex Grigg system in my 40 G tank.

I am using a red sea CO2 indicator. How long would it take for it to turn green? Its been running for an hour now on 5-8 bps. It's still blue. I would like to get some idea of what to expect.

Thx
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:45 PM
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Are you using aquarium water or a certified 4 dKH solution in it?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Are you using aquarium water or a certified 4 dKH solution in it?
I am using aquarium water. "certified 4 dKH", I guess.

I am using the red sea co2 indicator. It comes with a bottle of liquid.

The dark blue color is now starting to fade. (I think)
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 02:53 PM
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I have the Red Sea drop checker and use it according to the directions on it. Those specify 1 ml aquarium water and 2 drops of the red sea CO2 indicator. Mine will read close to instantly when changing the water and fluid. In the tank it takes a little bit, about 10 minutes or so.

I think you should change the water and fluid, ensure that you add the 1 ml and 2 drops and see what happens.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesso View Post
I am using aquarium water. "certified 4 dKH", I guess.

I am using the red sea co2 indicator. It comes with a bottle of liquid.

The dark blue color is now starting to fade. (I think)
I know that the directions say to use aquarium water. That's wrong. You are only measuring the pH of the water and not the actual CO2 level when you use aquarium water in your Res Sea CO2 Indicator.

You should be using a certified carbonate based 4 dKH solution. There's a ton of info around about drop checkers. Here's one: http://www.barrreport.com/articles/2...s-why-how.html

Here are two places where you can get this 4 dKH solution. You use it along with your Bromothymol Blue pH indicator solution that comes with the Red Sea CO2 indicator kit.
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...-standard.html
http://liquidarthome.net/khstandard

Chuck's CO2 cart/calculator also mentions why using aquarium water is wrong. http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

"The pH-KH-CO2 Relationship
pH, KH, and CO2 have a fixed relationship as long as carbonate is the only buffer present (no phosphate buffers like pH-UP and- DOWN, Discus Buffer, etc). There are some parts of the country that have high levels of phosphates in their water supply. For those cases, determining CO2 levels will be difficult, as the phosphate will throw off the pH-KH-CO2 relationship, which means the CO2 charts and calculator below won't work. Note that the commercially available CO2 test kits will also be invalidated by the phosphates."


Anyway, back to your original question. Drop Checkers/CO2 indicators are somewhat sluggish. Sometimes the response times is around three hours or so even if you are using a certified 4 dKH solution. If you are using aquarium water in a Drop Checker/CO2 indicators that has a high KH and you are trying to get the Drop Checker/CO2 indicator to turn a green color; you run the risk of asphyxiating your aquarium stock.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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So the Red Sea indicator liquid is just low PH indicator?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjp2 View Post
I have the Red Sea drop checker and use it according to the directions on it. Those specify 1 ml aquarium water and 2 drops of the red sea CO2 indicator. Mine will read close to instantly when changing the water and fluid. In the tank it takes a little bit, about 10 minutes or so.

I think you should change the water and fluid, ensure that you add the 1 ml and 2 drops and see what happens.
The directions were written before people developed how to use a pure carbonate based known dKH solution. A 4dKH carbonate based solution is the most popular one. These are sometimes called lab certified dKH solutions.

The pH/KH/CO2 relationship is only valid if the only buffers present are carbonate based. Phosphate buffers and phosphates skew this relationship to the high side and invalidate the test results.

Should you want to know more, read Chuck's link entirely and do some searches: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
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So the Red Sea indicator liquid is just low PH indicator?
The Red Sea indicator liquid is a Bromothymol Blue pH indicator. This is commonly referred to as a freshwater low range pH indicator.

Take a look at the freshwater pH chart on the right and notice the different shades of blue, green and yellow. This chart shows the ranges of colors that you can get when you use Bromothymol Blue pH indicator.



You are only measuring the pH of the aquarium when you use aquarium water and the indicator liquid. Use a known carbonate based solution and the pH indicator liquid and you are measuring the CO2 level.

By using a known carbonate based solution, the pH/KH/CO2 relationship is valid. Some people refer to these as lab certified dKH solutions. A 4 dKH solution is the most popular.

When you use a 4 dKH solution, a blue color indicates a pH at or near 7.6 and a too low of a CO2 level. A yellow color indicates a pH approaching or at 6.0. This is too much CO2. A green color indicates a pH near 6.6 and approximately 30 ppm of CO2.

I’ll explain it a little more. Look at the following chart and find 4 dKH on the y axis. Don’t pay any attention to any of the other dKH values.

Now find a pH of 6.6 on the x axis. Follow it down until it meats 4 dKH. Notice that this gives 30 ppm of CO2. Now look at a pH of 6.8. Notice at this intersect that the CO2 level is 19 ppm of CO2. Go to a pH of 7.0 and notice that the CO2 level is 12 ppm.

This is saying that you have a good CO2 level for plants from a pH of 6.6 and 7.0 at a 4 dKH. Notice that 30 ppm is considered to be near the beginning of the of a too high CO2 level according to this chart. We have found it to be just about optimum for good plant growth and it is still safe for the critters and aerobic bacteria inside the aquarium.

People have used 3 dKH solutions and 5 dKH solutions, but the 4 dKH solution is the most popular.

Is this just about as clear as mud now?


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