CO2 issues.... HELP!!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 issues.... HELP!!!

Setup:

45 gal display tank
20 gal sump
Mag 7 pump
UV sterilizer
Pressurized CO2
Finnex 24/7 LED light

Setup has been running for 4 weeks now. kH: 7, pH: 7.5. Running CO2 at 3-4 bps. Not seeing any drop pH or change in color of drop checker. I have a few plants and fish in the tank. Plants not doing too good - turning brown, even java moss is turning brown. Fish look healthy and active. Not gasping for air at surface

Need advise on how to increase dissolved CO2 concentration.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:25 AM
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Since you're using pressurized CO2, can't you just crank it up?

I have CO2 in a tank with an oversized HOB filter, so there's a lot of surface turbulence. But I'm able to get enough CO2 into the water to distress my fish, just with a ceramic diffuser. (Er, not that it was my intention to distress my fish.)
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 04:44 AM
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If your sump has a lot of water agitation or has a wet/dry section then it is likely de-gassing all the co2 before you are able to measure it. With a sump you are going to need to crank the co2 up and reduce the amount of agitation/turbulence that the water encounters.

How are you dissolving the co2? Do you have a reactor?
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 05:42 AM
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3-4 bps probably isnt enough for 65 gallons of water...even under the best circumstances. In my experience 1 bps per 10 gallons is closer to the ballpark. The key word being ballpark because there are lots of factors involved.

Is the sump sealed? If not, like keymastr said you're losing a ton of CO2 right there.


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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 is injected into a Cerges reactor. Water then flows into the tank inlet. I do not see any bubbles in the tank. This tells me that the CO2 is dissolving in the reactor prior to entering the tank. There is agitation in the sump - however this is at the inlet of the sump - would this affect CO2 loss.

The sump is not sealed - any suggestion on how best to seal it and how to minimize agitation in the inlet on the sump?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:30 PM
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You probably need to increase your CO2 rate. It's probably all being gassed off in your sump and you have a pretty big tank.


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
You probably need to increase your CO2 rate. It's probably all being gassed off in your sump and you have a pretty big tank.
I agree, you should just try to up your Co2 first. its probably your sump. I was doing 3-4bps in my 55gal with 1ph drop and a green drop checker.

then I added a powerhead for an added green spot algae treatment, it is close to the surface and causing some slight surface agitation. This brought my drop checker to blue.

Im now pumping 6-7bps. drop checker is green again.

just pump up the CO2. watch your fish for distress though!

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 06:27 PM
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I would bump the C02 and keep bumping it up until you see the fish reacting to it.

The best way of doing it without touching the C02 needle valve is by injecting C02 1-2 or even 3 hours earlier.

Ex. If you start at 7 am then start at 6 am then keep injecting earlier by 30 or mins every day until you see the fish reacting to it. Also having the fish go up to the surface a few times is not yet pushing it. When you are close to the limit the fish should be hanging close to the surface close to the time that you shut off your c02.

This has to be done when you are present or you can monitor the fish in the tank.


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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 07:57 PM
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You definitely do need to bump up the CO2. With that said, the sump probably isn't all that terribly inefficient as far as CO2 is concerned (not calling it ideal either). You just have a large body of water and a fair amount of surface agitation.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the info. Have bumped up the bps - almost impossible to count bubbles!! But will monitor drop checker and fish.

Any suggestions on how to seal the sump to reduce CO2 loss?
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppp View Post
Setup:

45 gal display tank
20 gal sump
Mag 7 pump
UV sterilizer
Pressurized CO2
Finnex 24/7 LED light

Setup has been running for 4 weeks now. kH: 7, pH: 7.5. Running CO2 at 3-4 bps. Not seeing any drop pH or change in color of drop checker. I have a few plants and fish in the tank. Plants not doing too good - turning brown, even java moss is turning brown. Fish look healthy and active. Not gasping for air at surface

Need advise on how to increase dissolved CO2 concentration.
I like to keep things simple. I'd dump the sump. And I'd bet you'd not have to up the co2 if you did that. Plants turning brown just like leaves in the Fall, not good, indicates not enough co2 in this situation. Why do you have a sump?
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 09:03 PM
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Do not get rid of the sump. Plenty of people successfully run CO2 setups with large sumps.

I would either just deal with it and up the rate of CO2 like others have mentioned. You could always put saran wrap over the sump to create a sealed environment and help with gas exchange. Will probably help out a little and conserve a bit of CO2. I personally wouldn't bother though...

Also I turn my CO2 on like 4 hours before lights come on to build up levels. This is probably on the more extreme side but I found that it works for me. My point is don't be afraid to experiment to get things to work. Just because someone with the same size tank runs 3bps doesn't mean you don't need four times that for your tank to thrive. Depends on too many different factors.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 09:10 PM
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What kind of sump are you running? I'm a using a wet/dry and my bubble count is about 4bps on my 75g. Drop checker is green. I had to seal my sump up though. Have you tried cleaning out you drop checker and replacing the fluid?
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 09:26 PM
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Tom Barr suggests sealing the turbulent part of a sump with duct tape, if you have a wet dry then seal that but if the water surface is calm there isn't any need to seal it. I haven't ever noticed any difference with a covered or uncovered tank or covered or uncovered sump although there is rippling in both my sump and tank but I do see a difference if I allow actual turbulence at the overflow or drain as right now with the water low in the overflow so water is falling several inches. If you have a simple drain that draws bubbles into the sump then covering the sump might help but using a durso or other type of bubble reducing system will really help. Better is to make the drain into a Herbie or Beananimal type that runs with a full siphon plus an emergency siphon. Full siphons are silent and draw no air into the sump.

I get impatient. To check if CO2 is really dissolving I would take water samples from the return, the water test should be somewhat more yellow than the final color you are looking for. Then take samples from the far end of the tank top and bottom and just at the intake to see how mixing is going. I also turn on the gas and test the water every 10-20 minutes to see how long it takes to get to my target pH. If I am not changing anything else just turn gas on that much before lights on. If I was relying on a drop checker I would be hours behind.

Are you feeding the plants? You didn't mention lights but if you are using CO2 usually that means a lot of light and if so plants will need NPK+M. If the UV is on all the time that will do something to iron added to the tank somehow.


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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
Do not get rid of the sump. Plenty of people successfully run CO2 setups with large sumps.

I would either just deal with it and up the rate of CO2 like others have mentioned. You could always put saran wrap over the sump to create a sealed environment and help with gas exchange. Will probably help out a little and conserve a bit of CO2. I personally wouldn't bother though...

Also I turn my CO2 on like 4 hours before lights come on to build up levels. This is probably on the more extreme side but I found that it works for me. My point is don't be afraid to experiment to get things to work. Just because someone with the same size tank runs 3bps doesn't mean you don't need four times that for your tank to thrive. Depends on too many different factors.
I actually think that injecting earlier gives the water more time to get a good concentration of C02 and get the C02 rich water circulated in the tank more. I know the logic is the same as injecting more C02 but you can easily adjust the start time VS tweaking the metering or needle valve.


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