Disposable fluval CO2.. nervous.. what else do I need? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Ok... I’m at emerald gree. But you can barely see it from the bubbles! How many bubbles are normal. Things looked like Christmas came early on all the plants.

My endler macaroni looks stressed as he is swimming into the current (cheese is fine... she can care less if it doesn’t involve food).

Thoughts?
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post #17 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
We have a water softener/filtration- so that's prolly why. I keep forgetting my hubby spent a fortune hooking it all up when we built the new house.





note: I take back the melting plants I think it am just being OCD... now I see my tissue cultures are about 3 times the size! but the plants in back (the larger AR mini and bolbis, and the watersprite) seems to have the most issue. The outlet was blowing on them, so I moved it slightly.





QUESTION: so do I leave it on 24/7?



I hear very conflicting reviews that the swings are not good and then contrary that the CO2 at night will choke the fish.
You use softened water? I have heard that the extra sodium isn't good for the plants long term. I actually ran new plumbing at my house to avoid it actually.

I hear that most often that people turn off CO2 and sometimes run an airstone at night. You could always run an airstone, but you'd be wasting CO2.

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post #18 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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You use softened water? I have heard that the extra sodium isn't good for the plants long term. I actually ran new plumbing at my house to avoid it actually.

I hear that most often that people turn off CO2 and sometimes run an airstone at night. You could always run an airstone, but you'd be wasting CO2.

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My water has gh/kh of 3 and pH of 7.4-7.6 out of the water softener....

Straight out of the hose is kh 4, gh 7 and ph 8.4.



Its on a very low setting. My concern is that the Calcium/Magnesium is replaced with Salt Ions. So I am careful to add back in magnesium and calcium. I did it DIY before, but after further research I will be using Equilibrium. I could use our RO water, but its a huge pain in the arse as it is meant only for drinking, so filling my buckets in the kitchen would be nearly impossible.

I guess I could use the spicket in the garage to fill buckets... but it comes out ice cold, so then I would need to heat it, etc. Maybe ill do 50/50 mix in the future.



I now use mini pliers to turn on the CO2.... it didnt blow up this AM when I turned it on and my tester is still emerald

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post #19 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:37 AM
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Out of curiosity, how are you liking this setup so far?

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post #20 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity, how are you liking this setup so far?

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I like that it was easy to originally set up, and inexpensive to give it a try (20 bucks).

However; The silver knob on the top needs to be set to the bare minimum. Its far too easy to turn it too far (fraction of a mm). This may be less of an issue if you had a larger tank that eequired more CO2- as then you could just mark off the notche.The difuser that came with it was HUGE. I think around 4x3x1.5 inches! I found a different disfuser online with next day delivery for 12.00/ so its nice I can actually swap out parts.

I do worry that I will forget to turn it on or off one day (as life always throws you a curve ball) and it could potentially hurt my fish, or I will run out of CO2 (no way to see how much is left).... I have not noticed a decrease in algae at this time. Im going to keep this going for 2 more weeks, and will then potentially upgrade to something with a timer or better controls.

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post #21 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:57 PM
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This calculator will tell you how low you need your PH to drop with co2 to achieve 30ppm.

https://rotalabutterfly.com/co2-ph-calculator.php

You don't have to get 30ppm, if your worried about your fish, shoot for something less, like 20-25ppm. If your PH is 7.6 generally you need a 1 point drop to 6.6 If your PH is still 7.6 and 7.6-7.8 out of the tap then your not getting really any co2 at the moment.
This is where these charts and calculators lose me a bit, as far as logic. For instance, in my main display tank, my dKH is 5 and pH without co2 is about 7.4. The charts and calculators say that I need to hit a pH of 6.7 in order to hit that 30 ppm mark, however the common advice is to go for a full point drop. According to the charts and calculators, a full point drop with my dKH would be lethal to living organisms, but my tank is being lowered to approximately 6.2 without the fish and inverts suffering.

So am I simply lucky or are there inaccuracies in these calculations or what's going on here? It is difficult for me to fully wrap my head around.


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post #22 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
This is where these charts and calculators lose me a bit, as far as logic. For instance, in my main display tank, my dKH is 5 and pH without co2 is about 7.4. The charts and calculators say that I need to hit a pH of 6.7 in order to hit that 30 ppm mark, however the common advice is to go for a full point drop. According to the charts and calculators, a full point drop with my dKH would be lethal to living organisms, but my tank is being lowered to approximately 6.2 without the fish and inverts suffering.

So am I simply lucky or are there inaccuracies in these calculations or what's going on here? It is difficult for me to fully wrap my head around.
It's a good question. Is the KH independent than the chart numbers would be inaccurate. Or is it only good for most PH/KH ranges that start out with less co2 then you out of tap.


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post #23 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
This is where these charts and calculators lose me a bit, as far as logic. For instance, in my main display tank, my dKH is 5 and pH without co2 is about 7.4. The charts and calculators say that I need to hit a pH of 6.7 in order to hit that 30 ppm mark, however the common advice is to go for a full point drop. According to the charts and calculators, a full point drop with my dKH would be lethal to living organisms, but my tank is being lowered to approximately 6.2 without the fish and inverts suffering.

So am I simply lucky or are there inaccuracies in these calculations or what's going on here? It is difficult for me to fully wrap my head around.
The chart ignores your starting pH and assumes it is RODI water with enough carbonate to get the desired kH. In your case your starting 'theoretical pH' at kh=5 should be 7.7 to go to 6.7 would be a 1 ph drop and achieve 30ppm dissolved CO2.

The values in the chart are derived by using this formula:

3*kh*10^(7-ph)=[Co2]ppm

ph is the final ph after injection not the starting one or a difference.

The chart is useless for just about everyone because most municipal water has buffers dissolved in it which raise or lower the pH from 'theoretical'.

You would be better off just assuming 1 ph drop from your degassed tank water is ~30ppm and optimizing from there based on your plants and fish. If you are dropping to 6.2 from 7.4(assuming that is degassed for 48 hours) you can assume that you are close enough to 30ppm+ of CO2.
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post #24 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
We have a water softener/filtration- so that's prolly why. I keep forgetting my hubby spent a fortune hooking it all up when we built the new house.


note: I take back the melting plants I think it am just being OCD... now I see my tissue cultures are about 3 times the size! but the plants in back (the larger AR mini and bolbis, and the watersprite) seems to have the most issue. The outlet was blowing on them, so I moved it slightly.


QUESTION: so do I leave it on 24/7?

I hear very conflicting reviews that the swings are not good and then contrary that the CO2 at night will choke the fish.
completely off topic, but I couldn't bare to skip replying...your tank is GORGEOUS, livebearerlove!!

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post #25 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:42 AM
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The chart ignores your starting pH and assumes it is RODI water with enough carbonate to get the desired kH. In your case your starting 'theoretical pH' at kh=5 should be 7.7 to go to 6.7 would be a 1 ph drop and achieve 30ppm dissolved CO2.

The values in the chart are derived by using this formula:

3*kh*10^(7-ph)=[Co2]ppm

ph is the final ph after injection not the starting one or a difference.

The chart is useless for just about everyone because most municipal water has buffers dissolved in it which raise or lower the pH from 'theoretical'.

You would be better off just assuming 1 ph drop from your degassed tank water is ~30ppm and optimizing from there based on your plants and fish. If you are dropping to 6.2 from 7.4(assuming that is degassed for 48 hours) you can assume that you are close enough to 30ppm+ of CO2.

Which buffers are there in most folks drinking water that are not accounted for? The primary one that I would be concerned with is carbonate, which is certainly accounted for.
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post #26 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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completely off topic, but I couldn't bare to skip replying...your tank is GORGEOUS, livebearerlove!!
Thank you!

I made some minor changes yesterday, but its turning out very nicely.... cant wait for it to keep growing out. I need to trim that watersprite daily basically otherwise it shoots of roots at ever node that get brown and fuzzy.... I basically have buckets full of watersprite after just a couple weeks in the tank!
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post #27 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:16 PM
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Someday....someday MAYBE I will fall down the CO2 rabbit hole...but I do like low maintenance, lol!

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post #28 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:26 PM
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Which buffers are there in most folks drinking water that are not accounted for? The primary one that I would be concerned with is carbonate, which is certainly accounted for.
Borates, Silicates, Phosphates, excess Hydroxyl who knows. Most muncipal water is treated lye, ash or somethingelse basic to remove hardness and prevent pipe corrosion. If so it will be more basic(higher ph) than simply from carbonates.

That chart is worthless if your water pH doesn't match up perfectly with your kH which is most cases it won't.

Last edited by cl3537; 05-14-2019 at 02:29 PM. Reason: ...
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post #29 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:45 PM
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Borates, Silicates, Phosphates, excess Hydroxyl who knows. Most muncipal water is treated lye, ash or somethingelse basic to remove hardness and prevent pipe corrosion. If so it will be more basic(higher ph) than simply from carbonates.

That chart is worthless if your water pH doesn't match up perfectly with your kH which is most cases it won't.
Are we talking about the same chart?

I am talking about this one.



kH and pH are the Y and X axes, respectively, so I don't understand how they would need to match up perfectly. I also don't understand why the other components would be meaningful, since this is governed by the carbonic acid dissociation equilibrium with respect to pH. LeChatelier's Principle is pretty straightforward (for chemistry ).
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post #30 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:00 PM
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Are we talking about the same chart?

I am talking about this one.



kH and pH are the Y and X axes, respectively, so I don't understand how they would need to match up perfectly. I also don't understand why the other components would be meaningful, since this is governed by the carbonic acid dissociation equilibrium with respect to pH. LeChatelier's Principle is pretty straightforward (for chemistry ).
I think you fundamentally don't understand that chart, I was in your shoes 3 months ago so I'll try one more time to explain it. In my opinion(and many others) more people have been misled by that chart than it helped.

First as an approximation the chart assumes your starting pH degassed of your tank water has 3ppm CO2 in it and nothing else. Your water must nothing in it Carbonates for hardness which is difficult to know unless you use RODI. (This is the approximation that fails and makes the chart unuseable for most)

To give you some typical theoretical values for what your degassed pH (from your tap/tank before CO2 injection) should be in order for the chart to be accurate here are some:

kh=1 ph=7
kh=5 ph=7.7
kh=10 ph=8

Now lets look on that chart at each kH value for what your final pH(after CO2 injection) should be for exactly 30ppm of CO2.

kh=1 ph=6
kh=5 ph=6.7
kh=10 ph=7

Exactly a one point drop gives you 30ppm at all Kh values in the chart(which isn't accurate at low Kh but I won't get into that now).

The chart is calculated using the following formula 3*kh*10^(7-ph)=[Co2]ppm

I will reiterate again that the chart does not take into consideration your starting pH it assumes it based on 3ppm CO2 dissolved in water and no other hardness but Carbonates.


Now I will ask you a question based on the chart:

1) If you have kh=5 water and your pH is 7.2(not 7.7) and your pH drop is to 6.7 how much CO2 can you estimate you injected using the chart? (Do you think it is the same as a tank with starting ph of 7.7?).

2) How about my tank which has a degassed pH of 8.0 and a kh=5 and my pH drop is to 6.5 how much CO2 should I assume I injected into my tank from the chart?

If you can answer those two questions you have gone far beyond the simple calculations used to construct that chart.

You don't have to take my word for it perhaps @plantbrain (Tom Barr here) might explain or you can go on barrreport.com and he might reply.
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