Using air stone with CO2 injection? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Using air stone with CO2 injection?

I know this is a weird question, but I'm thinking of injecting CO2 and adding an oxygen airstone into my planted tank.

I normally wouldn't do this because the oxygen will cause the CO2 to fizzle out. But I have a unique problem.

I'm going away for 3 weeks and there will be no water change for 3 weeks. Someone will feed the fish every day, and top up water every week - that's it. Even if there's a floating lizard in the tank, they will not remove it. So this tank has to be on autopilot for 3 weeks.

The CO2 is hooked up to a PH controller that regulates the PH to 6.8 (+/- 0.1). The lights are timed for 6 hours.

The problem is after 3 days, there is a surface film buildup. Had this since day one and this is due to the ADA soil. And I cannot stop the surface film from building up.

Eventually the film will stop gas exchange and it can starve my tank of oxygen.

Protein skimmer or surface skimmer is not the solution. I actually have one but the floating head has to be cleaned of leaves every 3 days or it will get clogged. It will not survive 3 weeks without cleaning.

Surface agitation may be another solution. I can adjust my lily pipe to break the surface, but this will certainly fizzle out the CO2 at a high rate.

Or I can use an airpump and pump in a tiny amount of air with an airstone. This I hope will reduce the CO2 fizzling out.

I've never used an air pump before. With an air pump, can I use a CO2 diffuser instead of an airstone? I have an extra unused diffuser but will the airpump generate enough air pressure for the diffuser to work?

Is it possible to adjust the airflow from the airpump?

My objective is to keep the tank alive (shrimps and all, and also the plants that need a moderate CO2 level).

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 08:36 AM
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Usually air pumps don't have enough preasure for a diffuser.
Get a two way gang valve and open the unused valve just till it reduces the air bubbles to a minimum amount.
You can test this before you go by just allowing the film to stay.
After the film has built up good enough try what you think is the minimum amount for 24 hrs to see if the fauna act odd and if not your good to go on your vacation. If not raise it a bit and try again.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 03:10 PM
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Air Stone and CO2

Hello dave...

The air stone will mix a bit more oxygen into the tank water and that will drive off a bit of the carbon dioxide. The air stone is really a "non-essential" and just for looks. Add the CO2 if you like, but you can lose the air stone.


"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 04:23 PM
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Hey Dave,

I am going to be keeping Hillstream Loaches in my 75 that I'm starting up. They require More flow and oxygen than most fish. So I have a similar issue to what you're about to face. I'm solving my issue with a powerhead. You could put it on a timer that would kick on an hour after your CO2 cycle is done. If you aim it properly, you could get surface agitation and the added bubbles. Without knowing your setup, and knowing that you have shrimp, you would need to make sure that you get a lower flow powerhead, and put a sponge on your intake. Or you could hook it up to a sponge filter (my shrimp LOVE them). Or you could just go with a sponge alone on a timer with your air pump. There's lots of ways to attack this issue. It's just all on how you want to handle it.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Usually air pumps don't have enough preasure for a diffuser.
Get a two way gang valve and open the unused valve just till it reduces the air bubbles to a minimum amount.
Good point...
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