Co2 issues. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2020, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 issues.

Before I get to my question here is the general info.

Tank is 45g holding 40 gal of water after substrate/hardscape is taken into account.

Co2 is dual stage regulator running through a GLA co2 reactor via Sicce Whale 500 filter.

Substrate is UNS controsoil.

Dosing PPS at NilocG suggested levels.

Two chihiros a601s as lighting.

Tank pic attached from day 10, it’s day 12 currently.

The only inhabitants at the moment are 50 neocaridina and a ton of plants.

Here is my issue. I’m trying to nail the 1- 1.2 point ph drop. I took a bowl of water out of the tank 2 days ago to check degassed ph. Degassed pH showed 8.0 which is weird because when I checked it after leaving it out for 24 hrs last week it was at 6.6. Anyhow, I tested the in tank ph and it showed an insane 5.6. However, the drop checker is still showing lime green and hasn’t changed color in days (4 dKh solution from NilocG). I figure with an almost 2.5 point ph drop, the drop checker would have turned yellow at some point. The shrimp seem to be doing ok, but I’m not really sure as this is my first time with Neos. The only plants that are showing any distress really are the Ludwigia super red. They’re kind of orangish and veiny but still growing tall.

I guess my question, being my first high tech, is what do I need to do to get the co2 levels in check? I want everything balanced as far as co2/ferts/light. I’m kinda concerned because I felt like I wasn’t getting enough co2 in by time lights came on and then I see the huge ph drop. I basically need someone to hold my hand and walk me through this. How and what should I test to get a handle on this? Any tips? Thanks for your time and hope to get some help troubleshooting.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2020, 01:03 PM
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active soil tanks are tougher to gauge CO2 with the pH drop, because the pH is already dropped to the low 6's and 0 kH.

How are you testing pH?
What is your water source?
If using tapwater, what is your tapwater's degassed pH?


I would go off the drop checker, play around with the solenoid timer to have the drop checker go lime green, almost yellow, a few hours after the lights come on, and maintain that level until the lights go out. If you can't quite get it there, it's okay, just try and get it close. Work up to these levels slowly if you have livestock, if you do not, you are free to play around with CO2 to your hearts content.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 02:18 AM
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my suggestion would be to get a surface skimmer and forgo the drop checker. you want to be able to monitor co2 using pH as a proxy in real time, not what it was 2-3 hours ago.

(after a water change) i would:
1. run surface skimmer overnight (you can also raise your lily pipe). measure pH just before lights go on. this is your baseline pH.
2. begin co2 injection 2-3 hours before lights on at a determined rate. monitor pH every few minutes after the 2nd hour. make sure you have good surface agitation. tweak co2 onset time and bubble rate to get the pH you are shooting for. when dialed in, pH will reach targeted level relatively quickly (2.5 hours) and remain stable for the duration of the photoperiod (8 hours). 24/7 surface agitation and gaseous exchange are key.
3. check to see if your baseline pH is the same (or close to it) on subsequent days.
4. turn off co2 1 hour before lights go out.
5. keep dosing ferts

make changes slowly. it will take a day or two to get used to the surface skimmer. but once you dial it in watch plants explode.

you may want to go with a 6 hour photoperiod while tuning the system. fluctuating co2 levels and long duration lighting may lead to algae.

Last edited by moke; 04-30-2020 at 02:31 AM. Reason: `
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulstormTX View Post
Before I get to my question here is the general info.

Tank is 45g holding 40 gal of water after substrate/hardscape is taken into account.

Co2 is dual stage regulator running through a GLA co2 reactor via Sicce Whale 500 filter.

Substrate is UNS controsoil.

Dosing PPS at NilocG suggested levels.

Two chihiros a601s as lighting.

Tank pic attached from day 10, itís day 12 currently.

The only inhabitants at the moment are 50 neocaridina and a ton of plants.

Here is my issue. Iím trying to nail the 1- 1.2 point ph drop. I took a bowl of water out of the tank 2 days ago to check degassed ph. Degassed pH showed 8.0 which is weird because when I checked it after leaving it out for 24 hrs last week it was at 6.6. Anyhow, I tested the in tank ph and it showed an insane 5.6. However, the drop checker is still showing lime green and hasnít changed color in days (4 dKh solution from NilocG). I figure with an almost 2.5 point ph drop, the drop checker would have turned yellow at some point. The shrimp seem to be doing ok, but Iím not really sure as this is my first time with Neos. The only plants that are showing any distress really are the Ludwigia super red. Theyíre kind of orangish and veiny but still growing tall.

I guess my question, being my first high tech, is what do I need to do to get the co2 levels in check? I want everything balanced as far as co2/ferts/light. Iím kinda concerned because I felt like I wasnít getting enough co2 in by time lights came on and then I see the huge ph drop. I basically need someone to hold my hand and walk me through this. How and what should I test to get a handle on this? Any tips? Thanks for your time and hope to get some help troubleshooting.

Maybe your pH meter is flaky? When is the last time you calibrated it? Maybe try a different one.

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