Adjusting Solenoid for Stable CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Guys,

I am currently in the aftermath of my planted 75g crashing.
Red plants died, Monte Carlo fading yellow.

I dispensed the CO2 Gas via powerhead as my tank is 4 feet long.
I believe I had running medium light.
Also, I had a Canister Filter with a spray bar creating some agitation a little below surface water.

Everyday, My target was 30ppm CO2 at about 1 hour before Lights OFF.

I've done some research and found out that Target CO2 levels should come at Lights ON.

IF my CO2 injection starts 1 hour before Lights ON and the rate of injection is about 5 BPS. Then finding my CO2 concentration is about 30ppm at Lights ON...


My question is:
After the first few hours during Lights ON, the CO2 ppm levels should plateau right?
I mean that CO2 concentration will eventually level out and stay there?

I suppose I could test with my terrible API test kits but would prefer some advice from experiences aquascapers.

Kindly please share tips about target CO2 and stability of CO2.

Thanks,
-Harry

I know it was vague so I had to edit my original post to better describe my situation. Please do read again. I really do need some advice on target CO2 and how to maintain it throughout the photoperiod.

Thanks
-Harry

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-07-2019 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 02:55 PM
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Many will use a pH probe, $20 or so from Evilbay, API for pH is very difficult.

Degassed water pH - 1st hour of photoperiod pH = 1.0 drop in pH is 30ppm CO2(roughly)

To get a good degassed water pH drop an airstone in a cup of tank water for 30 minutes and test pH.
Measure the tank as you see fit (every hour) to examine the curve.
Ideally photoperiod should remain flat and consistant.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:00 PM
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Way deep subject with no "real" answers!!
So a shot at what I call "true"? One point is that there is no one truly accurate way to say how much CO2 we have in our water with the test kits we use. Sounds like you may be using the charts that list what CO2 we have depending on PH/GH readings, but that is not one which I favor as it is based on two things we often do not get right. Both PH /GH/KH readings are based on assumptions that we have the "normal" water with the normal amount of dissolved solids even though water varies a great deal in all areas. Sometimes we have the right combo of CA and MG and sometimes we have others thrown in. So is the chart right for your water which may be hard and alkaline or is it based on soft acidic water and your water is somewhere else? My water is hard/alkaline with lots of limestone and the charts said my fish were thriving in 80PPM of CO2! So I threw out the idea of using the charts!
Rather than chase an ideal that I can't actually measure or test, I go with a very different idea and simply add more very slowly and watch my fish for stress until I have worked my PH down to a point somewhat close to a full point lower. Perhaps it would max out my plant growth a bit to shoot for ideal and constant, it seems not to make enough difference to drive myself that hard as I do find far more important items need attention. CO2 content in natural bodies of water varies radically all the time, even day top night and plants do fine. Think of a small stream which suddenly has a tub full of pine needles washed in after a heavy rain that changes the makeup of the water. Plants have to be very tolerant of change.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:07 PM
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So you are attaching a line to a power head and then adding Co2. You would need a defuser or in-line injection with fine bubbles to get Co2 into the water column fully. I use a drop checker to test for Co2 in the water easy way to do it.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Many will use a pH probe, $20 or so from Evilbay, API for pH is very difficult.

Degassed water pH - 1st hour of photoperiod pH = 1.0 drop in pH is 30ppm CO2(roughly)

To get a good degassed water pH drop an airstone in a cup of tank water for 30 minutes and test pH.
Measure the tank as you see fit (every hour) to examine the curve.
Ideally photoperiod should remain flat and consistant.
Thanks for the attention,

I will buy the PH probe although, I'm not sure I understand this degassed water ph drop stuff.

I think you are saying to aim for 1.0 drop in PH at lights on (roughly 30ppm at Lights ON)?
then measure every hour and aim for consistent 30ppm CO2 levels?

Basically, to reach 30ppm and maintain it throughout my 8 to 10 hour photoperiod, I just have to tweak the needle valve correctly?

-Harry
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:29 PM
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You seem to have the right idea.

As to your distribution method with a power head, your testing will let you know how good it is working.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishworks View Post
...
I am currently in the aftermath of my planted 75g crashing.
Red plants died, Monte Carlo fading yellow.
Your tank crashing probably has very little to do with when you started your co2. There were I"m sure many other factors at work. Nothing wrong with starting co2 before lights on to get good levels up, but I can assure you that people have been starting co2 with lights on for the a long time without issue.

As others have suggested I would get the probe, use a drop checker, watch your fish, etc to get a better handle on where you are.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Planted Rich,

I get where you are coming from. Though, I would like some reference values before I start tweaking the needle valve by eye.

Actually, I vaguely read about starting with 30ppm CO2 and maintaining it until lights OFF. I am just glad someone could confirm the idea since I am a big newbie. I just hope my second planted tank is successful.

Thanks,
-Harry

Asteroid,

I just bought a Hanna Instruments PH meter and KH meter. Hopefully they serve me well this 2nd planted tank.

Before the Ph Meter arrives, I've read they have strict maintenance procedures. Like they need to be cleaned by special solution after use. Then, also immersed in storage fluid while not in use.

Thanks,
-Harry

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
You seem to have the right idea.

As to your distribution method with a power head, your testing will let you know how good it is working.
Hey Arnold,

I just ordered a pH meter/tester.

Dipping the probe in Planted Tank water exposes it to compounds, protozoa, bacteria and fungus.

Could I ask how you clean your PH probe?

-Harry

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-08-2019 at 12:26 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishworks View Post

Hey Arnold,

Could I ask how you clean your PH probe?
Arnold? That's a first.

I just rinse probe with RODI water.
Probe I am using is designed for continuous submersion in the solution to be measured.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishworks View Post
Planted Rich,

I get where you are coming from. Though, I would like some reference values before I start tweaking the needle valve by eye.

Actually, I vaguely read about starting with 30ppm CO2 and maintaining it until lights OFF. I am just glad someone could confirm the idea since I am a big newbie. I just hope my second planted tank is successful.

Thanks,
-Harry
Yes, I did leave out several details and the devil really is in the details! What I meant to put out was that I do not find it worthwhile to get too obsessed with the numbers but use them as a starting guide point. Knowing the PH is a good point to start as what we do want is related to that. As the add CO2, it reacts with minerals in the water like calcium to form a light acid. Adding any acid to the water will make the PH go toward acidic, right? So as a way to see how much CO2 we have, we are looking for what amount of reaction we are getting! The awkward part comes in when we look at a table which states how many PPM of CO2 we have with the assumption being that we we have a "standard" amount of calcium and other minerals in the water. Awkward because water varies so much from place to place. So we can use the charts but only IF we have the standard water as the chart developer had! So that leaves us a guide but not one to follow too closely if we get answers which make no sense.
Tests, guides and many of the things which we use as handy tools are good but we need to keep in mind that they are also only as good as how well we find them working. Unfortunately that leaves us to but the head on the wall for some time until we get a better "feel" for things. Certainly no harm in having more info from all those handy things but just not to get too hung up on them if other points may indicate we need change.
At some point, we may find the plants and fish say we are doing it right but the tools say we need to change, so I go with the plants and fish as the real final answer!
I look at CO2 as an "added" benefit to the plants and less as a prime factor in live or die.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:20 AM
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was your tank cycled? for your second try, make sure it's cycled before adding plants that you ultimately want in your scape. it just makes things easier in the long term.

as for dialing in co2 and keeping it stable at 30ppm throughout the photoperiod, check out dennis wong's site. essentially you need to increase co2 and increase co2 off-gassing to achieve high, stable co2 levels.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Arnold? That's a first.

I just rinse probe with RODI water.
Probe I am using is designed for continuous submersion in the solution to be measured.
I bought a pH Pen Probe with cleaning solution and storage solution. Hopefully they serve me well.

If your target CO2 concentration is 30ppm, how long would you keep it that level during the photoperiod? 6 hours?

My last tank started with 6 hours and had hair algae, GSA and staghorn. When I got up to 8 hours only staghorn remained which I would manually pluck. I've been thinking about longer photoperiods but might not due to cost of electricity and CO2.

Also, Tom has some posts from 2008 saying 40ppm is his new standard. I assume this is for hi-light. perhaps medium light would be at 30ppm and lo-light at 20ppm?

https://barrreport.com/threads/impor...a-guide.11495/

Bump: PlantedRich

Actually, that would be a very flexible and versatile way to go about it. The magic numbers might not workout.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishworks View Post
If your target CO2 concentration is 30ppm, how long would you keep it that level during the photoperiod? 6 hours?

Actually, that would be a very flexible and versatile way to go about it. The magic numbers might not workout.
Example of my schedule:
3:45pm CO2 = ON
4:45pm = Sunrise
5:00pm = Full Lighting about 110PAR
11:00pm = Sunset & CO2 = OFF
11:15pm = Moonlight

Note: I've never discovered any magic numbers for anything aquatic.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Example of my schedule:
3:45pm CO2 = ON
4:45pm = Sunrise
5:00pm = Full Lighting about 110PAR
11:00pm = Sunset & CO2 = OFF
11:15pm = Moonlight

Note: I've never discovered any magic numbers for anything aquatic.
I see, so 6 good hours of photosynthesis.
Thanks
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 02:35 PM
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[QUOTE=Maryland Guppy
11:15pm = Moonlight
[/QUOTE]

I've been wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the first person, how the blue Moonlight setting effects the fish? I can automate this on my 29 gallon low tech tank, but not on the other aquariums (yet).

Don't make things too complicated. Try to relax, enjoy every moment, get used to everything. - Angelique Kerber
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