Is it necessary to turn off pressurized CO2 at night? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2015, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Is it necessary to turn off pressurized CO2 at night?

I have a simple paintball system. It is challenging to keep levels consistent if I manually turn it off and on with the lighting. Can I just leave it on at night and let it go?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2015, 10:15 PM
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Depends on the amount of co2 you are injecting. For example, a lot of DIY doesnt have a "off switch" so it runs 24/7, but it is usually only putting a small amount of co2 compared to pressurized systems like your paintball (depending).

When the lights (photo period) are off, the plants are no longer photosythesizing, so they aren't using up the co2. So if the co2 is still being injected at night and nothing is using it, the levels of co2 can build up to dangerous levels and potentially kill all the livestock. It's also kind of a waste since some of the co2 being injected will be off gassed (happens all the time, but usually just the hours co2 is needed).

So it depends how much you are injecting if itis safe enough for fish to live through the night or not. UNLESS, you provide more surface agitation at night. What that really does is off gas the co2 so levels dont build up to dangerous levels, which again wastes co2.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2015, 10:19 PM
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You can.

Drawbacks: you might have to reduce the amount of CO2 if it runs 24/7. And you'll go through your CO2 faster - more of an issue with a small paintball system than with a 20-lb. tank.

Some people set up a powerhead that goes on when the lights go off (with a timer). The surface agitation helps make sure the fish aren't gassed overnight.

I leave my CO2 on all the time. I don't have extra surface agitation at night; I was just very careful when setting it up, making sure I was around to check on the fish when I first set it up.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-17-2015, 05:01 PM
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I ran mine 24/7 a several years back with the Milkwaukee system at lower bps. Now that I have much better equipment, I do turn it of. For me, I wanted a constant pH level with is why I ran mine 24/7. Now, I turn it off to save co2 once I learned that once the lights go out, the plants don't use it anymore, they take in O2 instead.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-17-2015, 07:57 PM
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It's generally thought that if the CO2 level isn't harmful to fauna during dark hours that it's being wasted. Do you have a regulator on your paintball rig? If so, you could buy a solenoid and connect it to your light timer.

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