Disposable fluval CO2.. nervous.. what else do I need? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Disposable fluval CO2.. nervous.. what else do I need?

CO2 help!
So with my 'Fall Bluffs Naturescape' I ended up adding the disposable fluval mini Pressurized 20g-CO2 Kit- 0.7 ounces. I opened it up just EVER so slightly (lowest it will go) and keep it on 24/7 as it doesnt have a timer, etc.



What is my next step?
Im reading till my eyes are bleeding!!!


What im looking for is: Medium light setting, CO2 at minimum. I just dont want to learn the hard way... again (low tech i have down to a science- now im adding in more variables to this specific tank). So I assume I need to figure out PAR with my LED's- but I dont even have a lighting schedule set as my lamp has so many settings and just got done cycling..



Please help- I will be forever grateful.


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Last edited by livebearerlove; 05-07-2019 at 08:29 PM. Reason: added blood..... quite literally.
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post #2 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:20 AM
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What is my next step?
Im reading till my eyes are bleeding!!!
This is always a good first step (though maybe without the eyes bleeding )


In terms of lighting, you may be able to find someone that already has taken PAR measurements for the Chihiro light.


For CO2, what you are doing is fine for now. If you want to (roughly) estimate your CO2 levels, you can always invest or DIY a drop checker and fill it with 4 dkH reference solution. The indicator (bromothymol blue) will turn an emerald green when you are in the ballpark of 30 ppm of CO2.
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post #3 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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What is my next step?
Im reading till my eyes are bleeding!!!
This is always a good first step (though maybe without the eyes bleeding )
In terms of lighting, you may be able to find someone that already has taken PAR measurements for the Chihiro light.
For CO2, what you are doing is fine for now. If you want to (roughly) estimate your CO2 levels, you can always invest or DIY a drop checker and fill it with 4 dkH reference solution. The indicator (bromothymol blue) will turn an emerald green when you are in the ballpark of 30 ppm of CO2.
Ok, so I read oodles of material. Head is spinning a bit....
I purchased a drop checker, ill install today.
So is it always 30ppm roughly?
I dont have a drop checker, just the diffuser (it says it counts bubbles, but it doesnt unless im doing it wrong... thanks Amazon, pff.)


Many things I read told me to purchase a PAR sensor, and that would determine my 'drops' and my ppm requirements. They are expensive... and I dont know if I would be able to decipher all the information without getting another university degree. HA



The calculator I found said: .2ppm dissolved, 35ppm recommended, .4-.7 bps (I also found other calculators that said similar https://aquariuminfo.org/co2calculator.html).

  • I guess if I get it to 30ppm- then do I really need to measure PAR?
  • Its manual... so I leave it on day and night as unscrewing the top part is a chore... I read somewhere that I should turn CO2 on 1 hour before my lights come on, and if I leave it on 24/7 then it could kill my fish? (I may be a aquascaper- but my fish are very rare and mean a lot to me... I breed hybrid endlers- im trying to perfect my 'Blue Dragon' endlers- so all my fry are like my children at this point).
  • Is it better to upgrade my system so I dont kill my fish by having in on at night?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-08-2019 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Fixed quotation
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post #4 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:22 PM
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To be safe I would take the diffuser out of the tank at night, at least for a while until you get a handle on things. As mentioned by @Darkblade48 the drop checker will give you a good visual reference that the co2 isn't at crazy levels by noting the color which should be green, not yellow. Many diffusers double as bubble counters. You can also just see how many bubbles are coming out by removing the diffuser from the tubing.


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post #5 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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To be safe I would take the diffuser out of the tank at night, at least for a while until you get a handle on things. As mentioned by @Darkblade48 the drop checker will give you a good visual reference that the co2 isn't at crazy levels by noting the color which should be green, not yellow. Many diffusers double as bubble counters. You can also just see how many bubbles are coming out by removing the diffuser from the tubing.
Thanks! I went back and read more info.... my Diffuser counts bubbles it says on Amazon 'JARDLI POLLEN GLASS DIFFUSER WITH BUBBLE COUNTER' I tried counting bubbles... but I dont see a single bubble after waiting 3 minutes. I took a video of how much is coming out:



Remove the difuser entirely? thats harder than just turning it off (I dont like to disturb my aquascape as much as possible).


This is the one I purchased:
Fluval Mini pressurized: (quoted) This Mini Pressurized CO2 Kit is ideal for small planted aquariums up to 15 gallons.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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post #6 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:09 PM
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You are getting things mixed up a Par meter is used to see how strong the lights are in a tank.
Watch George on how to set up an run a Co2 system.
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post #7 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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You are getting things mixed up a Par meter is used to see how strong the lights are in a tank.
Watch George on how to set up an run a Co2 system.
https://youtu.be/JZV73ojfQ_s
I understand what a PAR meter is... I had one many many years ago.

But isnt the amount of CO2 based on your lights?

More lights = more CO2 = more ferts? all dependent on plant demands?


That is the way I understood it.
Edit: That video doesnt answer my question... If I wanted a full large CO2 system, then OK. But im using what I have, and trying to ensure it works the way I want before I upgrade.

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post #8 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:16 PM
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...

Remove the difuser entirely? thats harder than just turning it off (I dont like to disturb my aquascape as much as possible).
I don't mean take it off the tubing. I just mean remove the diffuser from the tank and let it run outside of the tank. With those small disposable systems it's very hard to find the same output once you turn it on/off.

Also, easy way to get tubing off the diffuser is to push the tubing straight up toward the glass stem and then pull straight down. Don't twist or bend it because you will probably break the glass stem.
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post #9 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:29 PM
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Using the recommendation from the above video of 1 bubble per second per 100 liters and doing a little converting, you would want about 1 bubble every 2 seconds.

From what I understand (I don't run CO2 yet) is that the disposable systems aren't terribly reliable or cost effective.
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post #10 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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The indicator (bromothymol blue) will turn an emerald green when you are in the ballpark of 30 ppm of CO2.
Ok... so drop checker is in with liquid.


The CO2 is on the lowest setting possible... getting that lowest setting is quite the feat as its less than 1mm of a turn. That doesnt do anything to the indicator (dark blue after 4 hours). But the plants are COVERED in bubbles.



  • Could it be because I have a higher pH in my tank? I read the below on a website.
  • Should I increase the CO2 till its green? to get to the amount I need is very hard with this manual turning system... very difficult for those of us with arthritis (a fraction of a milliliter at a time with a itty bitty metal dial). I thihnk this will become a nightmare turning it on and off each day and waiting 2 hours between fraction turns. Will any solenoid valve and timer work with this small system so I can turn it off at night?or should I just upgrade to a bigger one?


'Drop checkers don’t actually monitor CO2, they monitor pH. When you add CO2 (an acidic gas) into your tank, it reduces the pH. When your drop checker is showing blue, it’s telling you the pH is around 8 (far too high for plants). As you inject CO2 your drop checker will change colour (assuming you’re injecting enough CO2). The solution will begin to look a bit more green. When it hits a nice shade of green it means your pH is about 6.8 and your CO2 levels are 30ppm (parts per million). Green is the ideal colour to aim for and what you need to strive for.'

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post #11 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:04 PM
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Ok... so drop checker is in with liquid.


The CO2 is on the lowest setting possible... getting that lowest setting is quite the feat as its less than 1mm of a turn. That doesnt do anything to the indicator (dark blue after 4 hours). But the plants are COVERED in bubbles.



  • Could it be because I have a higher pH in my tank? I read the below on a website.
  • Should I increase the CO2 till its green? to get to the amount I need is very hard with this manual turning system... very difficult for those of us with arthritis (a fraction of a milliliter at a time with a itty bitty metal dial). I thihnk this will become a nightmare turning it on and off each day and waiting 2 hours between fraction turns. Will any solenoid valve and timer work with this small system so I can turn it off at night?or should I just upgrade to a bigger one?


'Drop checkers don’t actually monitor CO2, they monitor pH. When you add CO2 (an acidic gas) into your tank, it reduces the pH. When your drop checker is showing blue, it’s telling you the pH is around 8 (far too high for plants). As you inject CO2 your drop checker will change colour (assuming you’re injecting enough CO2). The solution will begin to look a bit more green. When it hits a nice shade of green it means your pH is about 6.8 and your CO2 levels are 30ppm (parts per million). Green is the ideal colour to aim for and what you need to strive for.'

Are you running local tap water? What is your normal pH and kH? If it is anything like mine, you will want to shoot for a pH of 7.3-7.4.


“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” -Jules Verne
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post #12 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Are you running local tap water? What is your normal pH and kH? If it is anything like mine, you will want to shoot for a pH of 7.3-7.4.

The tank uses tap, and my stone is the decorah shale from outside. I was OK with the pH being 7.6- 7.8 (I tested my tap, and the decorah shale in the water prior to designing the tank. I could use a ph down... but I would rather not get into that drama. hmmm


I definitely have melted plants (AR mini especially) and some brown even edges on some leaves with some brown algae on plants (especially water sprite). Never had that before... My other tanks are all low tech, heavily planted...
Here Parameters:
pH: 7.6
GH: 6
KH 5
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20ppm
Phosphate .25-.5 (I cant tell)

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post #13 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:43 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.


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post #14 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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Ok, your pH and KH are much lower than mine. If you are being conservative on CO2, I think you'd want to add it until your pH drops down to the 6.8 to 7.0 range.

My tap in Inver Grove Heights is 8.2 to 8.4 for pH and 15 to 17 for KH.

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Ok, your pH and KH are much lower than mine. If you are being conservative on CO2, I think you'd want to add it until your pH drops down to the 6.8 to 7.0 range.

My tap in Inver Grove Heights is 8.2 to 8.4 for pH and 15 to 17 for KH.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

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.
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