Disposable fluval CO2.. nervous.. what else do I need? - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
Im not sure why I didnt think of that... I suppose many things were overwhelming outside of this tank, and that gave me tunnel vision. Now to find the worlds smallest valve, haha

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I do very detailed maintenance- just not twice a day... I basically trim/scape twice a week. I believe the fish would also appreciate me not digging into their habitat twice a day either. There is a line between planted care and fish care. I love my plants aesthetic and the design/growing process.... but at the same time breeding these guys to compliment the tank is ridiculously rewarding.



I think that valve is a good idea... I just have to find one that is small enough. I spend time with all my tanks throughout the day, so if I can find something suitable it has to be hella easier than when I was hooking up the bear of a canister filter/lily pipes.



Im going to look into the yeast idea as well... if nothing more it seems like a great experiment/project.

Yeast/Sugar CO2 is definitely a workable alternative. But probably not long term like others mentioned.



For my uses it's basic pluses are: ease of DIY setup and low pressures involved. It's easy to find sugar and yeast on weekends. Any seal-able water or soda bottle will suffice for minor amounts of CO2 supplementation. If you're not caught up in maintaining 30 ppm CO2 levels, and can find deals on sugar it works great for tanks 5 to 30 gallons.



It tends to not work so well with scintered glass diffusers where you need about 20+ pound pressure to diffuse with. I've always used it low pressure either into a powerhead directly which chops up the bubbles, or into a section of tubing between the filter media and the suction side of the powerhead to allow the CO2 to dissolve in a moving column of downward flowing water. Initial set up is a bit tricky using low pressure but the results are less CO2 misting and the filter media isn't subjected to lower oxygen and pH levels.


I also use in-tank sponge filters powered by powerheads, as HOB filters, depending on design, will disturb the water surface enough to lower CO2 levels. You can of course direct the CO2 into the throttling chamber of a AquaClear, tends to make a bit of noise.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #62 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:06 PM
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I don't understand why Barr would use such a simplistic methodology, especially since he was putting the outputs into a chart and there are several well established methodologies in the literature already.
No idea which methodologies you are referring, to my knowledge there is no 'easy' way without expensive equipment or tests to accurately measure CO2 levels in an aqaurium.

Tom Barr publshed something simple for hobbyists to use and reference, but the limitations are only understood and explained properly by some.

Even the approximation that 1ph drop is 30ppm may not be accurate depending upon what other unknowns are in the water and atmopsheric pressure and temperature. For all we know many people have 2ppm dissolved in their water not 3 and only 20ppm CO2 instead of 30 and yet their plants are doing fine.

I am setting up a new scape this week, my spiderwood drops the pH in the tank by 0.3. If I used the Barr chart, my kH is the same, the CO2 injection is the same, however my pH is different. Now according to the chart I'm supposed to have 94.6ppm CO2 in my tank, that is lethal for fish and of course completely overstated, I have the same amount of CO2 injected as I did before I put in the spiderwood.

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All he needed to do was cut and paste different formulas into his excel file.
Not sure what you mean by that, paste the formulas here you would use.

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There are a few things from your explanation that I either do not agree with or understand. The first is why you are putting so much weight on missing initial pH and GH.
I never said anything about gH anywhere(never wrote that term) it is irrelevant, the kH is what is important.

If you agree the chart is rubbish, and you measure your tank water after it has been degassed to capture pH, then you add CO2 to reach a target pH drop of 1 which could approximate 30ppm than we are finally on the same page.

Measuring kH is also not necessary, the approximation is reasonable as long as your kH is between 1 and 10.

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Could you expand on the logic of why the GH is important?
It isn't for calculating CO2. I think that confusion is that my original post referred to Carbonate Hardness (kH) or Hardness of Carbonates which if you just read hardness you might think I was referring to General Hardness(gH).

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post #63 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Her is where the tank stands now on May 16th (today)
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I have a bit of brown algae on my lily pipe and some of my plants... none on the glass, etc. Plants are growing at an exponential rate. I got the CO2 down to 1 bubble every 10 seconds. Laugh if you will... but Ill try increasing it ever so slightly in a bit. My drop checker is still emerald green- I figure something is better than nothing while I figure it out.


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post #64 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:39 PM
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No idea which methodologies you are referring, to my knowledge there is no 'easy' way without expensive equipment or tests to accurately measure CO2 levels in an aqaurium.

Tom Barr publshed something simple for hobbyists to use and reference, but the limitations are only understood and explained properly by some.

It isn't necessarily wrong but if you misapply and just read the values from the chart as is usually done you will be led to false conclusions.

Even the approximation that 1ph drop is 30ppm may not be accurate depending upon what other unknowns are in the water.

I am setting up a new scape this week, my spiderwood drops the pH in the tank by 0.3. If I used the Barr chart, my kH is the same, the CO2 injection is the same, however my pH is different. Now according to the chart I'm supposed to have 94.6ppm CO2 in my tank, that is lethal for fish and of course completely overstated, I have the same amount of CO2 injected as I did before I put in the spiderwood.



Not sure what you mean by that, paste the formulas here you would use.

There is an online calculator that cites three different methodologies to calculating dissolved CO2 as a function of pH and kH. There are citations with (broken) links to the papers. If the link doesn't get you there, Google will. They have done the work with the expensive equipment.

https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...LevelFresh.php

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I never said anything about gH anywhere(never wrote that term) it is irrelevant, the kH is what is important.

If you agree the chart is rubbish, and you measure your tank water after it has been degassed to capture pH, then you add CO2 to reach a target pH drop of 1 which could approximate 30ppm than we are finally on the same page.

Measuring kH is also not necessary, the approximation is reasonable as long as your kH is between 1 and 10.



It isn't for calculating CO2.


Temperature affects the equilibrium and the CO2/O2 solubility but you are not measuring that, only the endpoint.
You had mentioned other water hardness needed to be considered, so I likely assumed that's where you were thinking.

The temperature will certainly affect the amount of dissolved gas, but that wasn't the point.

Either way, check out the calculator that I linked. I only played with it enough to see that it was different than the Barr chart and to read some of the most current reference.. I am not certain of his algorithm, but I was going to reverse engineer it a bit when I get the chance. The reverse engineering in Excel is probably less time consuming that digesting the complete paper. It would be nice to have a semi-reliable tool available for those of us with a kH north of 10.

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post #65 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:25 PM
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There is an online calculator that cites three different methodologies to calculating dissolved CO2 as a function of pH and kH. there are citation with (broken) links to the papers. If the link doesn't get you there, Google will. They have done the work with the expensive equipment.
I don't see the link, however, there is no "expensive lab equipment" that someonelse has that will give some 'perfect formula' to tell you about calculating CO2 for your high kH water.

Lamotte uses Phenolphthalein and titrates with alkali(NaOH(?)) to determine CO2 in their kit http://www.lamotte.com/en/aquarium-f...297-dr-01.html , if your lab is setup for it you could try that, its a better method as any equation will ever be. You will have two equilibrium constants to deal with and two equivalence points to get back to your current pH.




However you are still left with a ton of unknowns so why bother. pH won't drop much till you get past the first carbonate/bicarb equivalence point, so with high kH maybe shoot for 0.7ph drop and see how your plants and fish react.

Quote:
You had mentioned other water hardness needed to be considered
Kh is equivalents of carbonate hardness. Other buffers (borates, silicates, phosphates, organic acids and basis) create 'hardness' and will affect pH and the measurement of kH 'equivalent carbonate hardness'.

I was not talking about Calcium, Magnesium and other ions measured in general hardness(gh) they have negligible impact on pH, they are far too weak bases to affect the equilibrium.

Best of luck hopefully someone learned to avoid the Tom Barr chart and calculators and why from my posts.
You can also read why from Dennis Wong https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...co2-level.html
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post #66 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:37 PM
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...
Best of luck hopefully someone learned to avoid the Tom Barr chart and calculators and why from my posts.
....
If you want to keep bashing Tom Barr just start a new thread and be upfront about it. We should definitely follow your advise over Tom Barr's based on your extensive experience and results.


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post #67 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:37 PM
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I don't see the link, however, there is no "expensive lab equipment" that someonelse has that will give some 'perfect formula' to tell you about calculating CO2 for your high kH water.

Lamotte uses Phenolphthalein and titrates with alkali(NaOH(?)) to determine CO2 in their kit http://www.lamotte.com/en/aquarium-f...297-dr-01.html , if your lab is setup for it you could try that, its a better method as any equation will ever be. You will have two equilibrium constants to deal with and two equivalence points to get back to your current pH.




However you are still left with a ton of unknowns so why bother. pH won't drop much till you get past the first carbonate/bicarb equivalence point, so with high kH maybe shoot for 0.7ph drop and see how your plants and fish react.



Kh is equivalents of carbonate hardness. Other buffers (borates, silicates, phosphates, organic acids and basis) create 'hardness' and will affect pH and the measurement of kH 'equivalent carbonate hardness'.

I was not talking about Calcium, Magnesium and other ions measured in general hardness(gh) they have negligible impact on pH, they are far too weak bases to affect the equilibrium.

Best of luck hopefully someone learned to avoid the Tom Barr chart and calculators and why from my posts.
You can also read why from Dennis Wong https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...co2-level.html
Fixed above post to add link

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post #68 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:11 AM
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Wasn't it explained earlier in this thread that the needle valve is very touchy for adjustment? The OP wasn't wanting to have to painstakingly have to reset the flow every morning. This is a simple inexpensive flow regulator IIRC and cannot be put on a solenoid and timer.


If one adjusts their CO2 flow to very slow bubble counts, yes, in fact you can run a CO2 system 24/7.



I did it for 3 years back in the 1990's with sugar yeast systems, on a couple plant tanks that I was trimming monthly and bringing in the trimmings to our club's meeting's auctions.
+1 I agree.

These small systems are designed to be low pressure, slow rates, and to be left on. Many people run nano tanks probably the majority who actually use CO2 run it 24/7.

Rarely would someone pay $300 for co2 tank, quality regulator, quality solenoid, diffusor, for a small little 5G or 10G.

You could use a splitter with two airline tubing control valves https://www.amazon.com/Pawfly-Aquari...gateway&sr=8-5 but that is silly to me why bother going through all the trouble, just adjust the bubble rate to low and keep it on 24/7, measure the pH drop at night with lights off after many hours to get the max drop and adjust to less if necessary.

I can get 9 months to a year out of a 5lb tank running CO2 24/7 in my 17 gallon, CO2 waste is hardly a cost issue in such small tanks, nor is gassing fish with such good o2 exchange.

The experienced Aquascaper at my go to store was incredulous when I mentioned people wanting to use a solenoid for a nano tank.

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post #69 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 11:33 AM
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I don't think anyone is suggesting a $300 system, but one could get set up with a smaller system for under $100. I was eyeballing a setup (paintball) on FB marketplace this morning that was less than 70.

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post #70 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:22 PM
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I don't think anyone is suggesting a $300 system, but one could get set up with a smaller system for under $100. I was eyeballing a setup (paintball) on FB marketplace this morning that was less than 70.

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Yep, the vast majority of pressurized co2 users spend around $100-$150 on a complete system. I have used systems in this price range for years without issue. There was never a question about the disposable system being difficult to adjust that's why I recommended taking the diffuser out at night instead of turning off/on all the time. It's always risky to run co2 24/7 especially in a small tank where things can go bad really fast.
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post #71 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 03:21 PM
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Thumbs down Quality 'Paintball' System

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I don't think anyone is suggesting a $300 system, but one could get set up with a smaller system for under $100. I was eyeballing a setup (paintball) on FB marketplace this morning that was less than 70.

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So then provide a link to all the parts you would use I'd like to see what you could build for $100 USD. Tank, Solenoid, Regulator, Diffusor.
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post #72 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 03:28 PM
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So then provide a link to all the parts you would use I'd like to see what you could build for $100 USD. Tank, Solenoid, Regulator, Diffusor.
Ok, Mr demanding. Here's a setup for sale locally. I'm sure you'll hate it, but I think most would say it is on par at least with a disposable system and it has a solenoid.

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post #73 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 03:43 PM
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Fixed above post to add link
https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...LevelFresh.php

A freshwater CO2 calculator, hidden on someones reef page, not exactly easy to find and for good reason.
Millero 2002 https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliograp...illero0201.pdf

Page 1711 "Contributions from Organic Acids are assumed to be negligible."

I can tell you in my system with Tannins(Tannic Acid) from spiderwood all these calculation methods just on that point alone would overestimate the amount by 75%.

Even that calculator(all methods) with the pH drop from Tannins ignored, overestimates my CO2 levels by a factor of 1.5 - 3X.
You can look up discussion on The Krib on these calculation methods, outdated, and inaccurate as mentioned in the discussion commentary.
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post #74 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 03:46 PM
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I can look up message board discussions that refute peer reviewed publications? Solid idea.

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post #75 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:00 PM
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Ok, Mr demanding. Here's a setup for sale locally. I'm sure you'll hate it, but I think most would say it is on par at least with a disposable system and it has a solenoid.

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I asked for links to all the parts preferably NEW, which you didn't provide.

I am in Canada and the cheapest NEW 5lb CO2 tank(w/shipping) was $80.
So if you are going to link to rock bottom used prices from your neighbourhood that is hardly fair.

This isn't for me its for the OP and anyone reading this who might try to cobble together a 'cheap' system.

I know why it isn't dangerous to run 24/7 CO2 in a nano tank at low pressure and bubble rate. Small tanks off gas CO2 and oxygenate the water more quickly, high surface area to volume.






its for the OP, as you claim this is a better option than running CO2 24/7.
I don't know it it is or if it isn't, wit
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