CO2 - After Dark - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 - After Dark

I've been away from the aquarium scene for about 15 years and recently decided to try my first planted tank after seeing some of the amazing examples on this forum. Thanks for the inspiration!

A question that's been nagging at me is night time dissolved CO2 levels. If you've already established the correct CO2 levels during the photo-period, let say 25PPM for example, when the lights are off and you reduce (or switch off) the CO2, should the goal be to keep the same 25PPM through the night hours to help keep PH consistent?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 07:17 PM
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Smile Ammonia is the #1 Killer of Our Critters

I think many folks turn the CO2 off at night, I suppose the reasons run the gamut, from saving money to a misunderstanding of the CO2, O2 relationship in water.

I think that since fish that live in CO2 enriched waters, live in them 24-hours-a-day, we should mimic nature to the degree we can.

The greater reason is the pH, ammonia/ammonium relationship.

I think people have a tendency to overload (biologically speaking) their systems, the filtration systems are geared to handle one level then suddenly the system changes.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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the going thought is that nonuse of co2 at night by the plants means we dont need to supply it

my ph wont rise until lights come on, yours can be had that way as well with kh balancing

as long as enough oxygen is supplied during the night phase it doesnt hurt to add co2 at night, I had an older setup that bubbled 24x7 and what didnt like a little low ph died lol

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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the going thought is that nonuse of co2 at night by the plants means we dont need to supply it
Understood.

What inspired this question was reading about someone that was chasing his CO2 around day to night - green DC during the day and waking up to a blue DC in the morning. He then began playing with splitting up the timing of his lights and CO2 system to begin at different times. This struck me as a questionable solution for this particular problem. It would seem to me that instead of completely turning off the CO2 at night, that a reduction in BPS (but maintaining the same PPM due to the lower uptake) might be a more stable solution. However, in my lack of experience, I may be concerned about something that needs no concern, hence my question.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 09:12 PM
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I would look for kh issues in his water, he might be running a high tap water balance all tap, it would be good to know his water details if we could

agreed the chemistry is tough im not good at chem. im good at eyeballing

my tank runs 80% ro water 20% tap which translates into good enough co2 where im at, a good balance exists for sure id fine tune kh and make sure test kits are of high quality when making inferences based of that param

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Last edited by brandon429; 09-17-2014 at 09:23 PM. Reason: sp
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 09:14 PM
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pH shift through Co2 is not harmful to fish. There is no concern, just turn off the CO2 at night since plants won't use it.

In natural systems, CO2 actually build up at night and drop during the day because plants & algae use it when the sun is out.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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pH shift through Co2 is not harmful to fish. There is no concern, just turn off the CO2 at night since plants won't use it.
Fair enough, but I am under the impression that stable PH helps keep algae under control?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 09:55 PM
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Fair enough, but I am under the impression that stable PH helps keep algae under control?
Algae is a big term. If you're referring to Black Beard/Brush, maybe. The shift happens in the dark so algae isn't an issue since most of them need light proliferate.

ps. Most people start their CO2 1 hour to .5 hours before the light comes one so plants will have CO2 immediately.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 01:21 AM
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When I actually had my co2 connected on my 55g, I let it run 24/7 without adding airstones at night. I had (2) AC 300s that provided aeration at the surface. They were later replaced by (2) Eheim 2213s also without issues. I wanted to maintain my ph of 6.7-6.8. Not to mention, I did not want to cycle a poor solenoid design off and on. If you have hardscape or substrates that alter ph, a stable environment becomes crucial for some inhabitants. Co2 is cheap so the savings are not enormous. Its a subject that goes back and forth and there is really no right or wrong. It a personal preference type thing.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.
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