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Just a lonely betta for now.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I heard a 'hiss' near my aquarium late morning. I checked the aquarium, and nothing seemed amiss. My diy co2 system (citric acid & baking soda) looked fine. The bubble counter looked fine. I shrugged and went about my day. A little after noon I happened to walk by my aquarium, and ALL of my neon tetras were at the surface (my betta was, too, but I'm less concerned with him) and my diffuser was going CRAZY spewing out bubbles. I immediately turned off the co2 valve and glanced at the drop checker. It was a light neon green when it's usually more of a bluish-forest green around that time of day.

I did a quick ~30-40% water change.

The neon tetras stopped their surfacing behavior, but should I still be concerned that they may die from the 2-3 hours of gassing?

I also have neocaridina shrimp in there. They seemed 'sluggish' pre-water change, but seem to be picking at algae and doing their usual thing now. How worried should I be of the huge co2 swing and super quick (treated hard tap water) water change? I'm very new to keeping shrimp, so I'm especially concerned for them.

I don't know why the co2 went crazy. I didn't mess with the valve, and it's been chugging on fine with steady bps until this morning's mishap. I won't be opening up the valve until tomorrow morning when I'm sure the co2 levels have stabilized, and I have time to sit and monitor the bubbles.

Any advice or things to watch out for would appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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My usual go-to when I get a little high on the CO2 is to change 30-40% of the water, but leave the filter running when I do. The filter outlet will splash on the surface, and create a ton of turbulence to help offgas the CO2. Add that to the water change, and it's usually fixed pretty quickly.
 

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I have never had luck getting consistent CO2 output from a citric acid/baking soda setup. It is just super inconsistent and it's either too much or too little CO2, and I gave up since I didn't want to kill the fish, after a few too many incidents like yours. I feel like it's good for minimal CO2 supplementation, but anything close to threshold CO2 injection I wouldn't trust.

I switched to a legit regulator and canister -- it's set and forget, no more fiddling every day.
 

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Just a lonely betta for now.
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never had luck getting consistent CO2 output from a citric acid/baking soda setup. It is just super inconsistent and it's either too much or too little CO2, and I gave up since I didn't want to kill the fish, after a few too many incidents like yours. I feel like it's good for minimal CO2 supplementation, but anything close to threshold CO2 injection I wouldn't trust.

I switched to a legit regulator and canister -- it's set and forget, no more fiddling every day.
I don't know why it went haywire, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on it for sure. The plan is to upgrade to a legit pressurized co2 system ... eventually. Most likely after we move to a new place which is hopefully before the end of the year.

The stream was steady today, and the fish and shrimp are doing fine. Hopefully no more mishaps!
 
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