which thing to monitor? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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which thing to monitor?

Ok, I have my CO2 up and running again. The tank got better after that...a little less algae. But I have a dilema. I have a PH monitor/controler, and I have that little color change glass thingy on the side of my tank (in the water). Which one is more important to look at to judge my CO2 levels? The monitor is what's controlling it right now...but after the first week the color change bulb is now very blue...so my PH is running "steady" but it still says I don't have enough CO2. I could switch my CO2 to simply run on a timer, and not worry about the PH setting (I hear it's inaccurate anyways), but I'm worried that my water will get so bogged down with CO2 that way that my fish will die. Should I just keep pumping till the fish start gasping?

Which is a better judge of CO2...?

dave

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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bump...

what should I pay attention to more...my ph monitor/controller or my drop checker?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 09:53 AM
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Do you have 4dKh solution in your drop checker? If it's your tank water, it won't be accurate unless your Kh is exactly 4. From my short experience using pressurized ph controlled co2, i trust the drop checker and the ph stabilizes and stays consistant for me. I have a huge difference in the ph from my tap about 9 to the adjusted ph of my tank at around 6.2. My tap settles if left alone for a few days to around 7.2 or so. I just do a 50% water change right from the tap and in a few hours the co2 balances everything out and i don't even get a color change from the drop checker. Drop checkers tend to be behind a few hours of what's actually happening in the tank from what I hear. If your Ph is drifting to keep the desired amount of co2, i would say there is a problem there. You could slowly lower your ph using your controller every few hours and watch the drop checker and your fish while your light cycle is still on and watch for it to turn more of a yellow green and then raise the ph just a little from that point just so you know you are getting a good 25-30ppm of co2 which is a very healthy dose, and helps keep algae away.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 01:02 PM
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JMO, but I have no need for a PH controller. Everything I have read states that the change in PH due to the addition of Co2, even the daily fluctuation if it is on a timer doesn't have a affect on your fish. If that is the case then why have the PH controller? I have been using pressurized Co2 on two of my tanks for about 9 months now. It is on a timer to go on and off with the lights so when it goes off the Ph in the tank goes up, when it comes back on the Ph goes back down. No affect on the fish. I use the drop checker. As long as you are using 4DKH you should be able to keep your Co2 at the proper level and the PH shouldn't be an issue.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugman View Post
JMO, but I have no need for a PH controller. Everything I have read states that the change in PH due to the addition of Co2, even the daily fluctuation if it is on a timer doesn't have a affect on your fish. If that is the case then why have the PH controller? I have been using pressurized Co2 on two of my tanks for about 9 months now. It is on a timer to go on and off with the lights so when it goes off the Ph in the tank goes up, when it comes back on the Ph goes back down. No affect on the fish. I use the drop checker. As long as you are using 4DKH you should be able to keep your Co2 at the proper level and the PH shouldn't be an issue.
while you may not NEED a ph controller, the point of them is to provide a consistent target co2 level.

Usually a ph controller allows you to get more life out of a tank of gas.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 03:09 PM
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Your problem may be that your CO2 is pumping well into your tank but your flow may not be spreading in all over your tank. If your pH monitor has the 4dkh in it and is switching off your CO2 but your drop checker is blue then it's your tank water flow issue. The water where your drop checker is located doesn't have the same CO2 in it that the water where you controller reader is sitting.

There can be a big difference in 6" spacing. Tom Barr did some measurements in a thread here and on his web site. The results were pretty amazing. This is why I have my CO2 on a separate powerhead coming out of a spraybar that is the length of my tank in the back. I have 2 filters at opposite ends of my tank stirring things the other way.

The problem is that you need the CO2 spread throughout your tank. Then your plants grow up and block the flow of water that's distributing the very CO2 (and nutrients for that matter) that they need to grow.

Just keeping on keeping on....


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