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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just set up a new tank with pressurised CO2. Tank size is 20G. I have a ceramic diffuser placed under the intake of a maxi jet 1200. I placed the power head in a way that current/micro bubbles travel in a circle around the tank.

I noticed that right before light/CO2 on, quite a bit of micro bubbles from last night is still swirling around the tank. Without the plant consuming the CO2 in the night, the drop checker is yellow right before light on. Once photo synthesis start the drop checker gets back to green.

This seems pretty inefficient and somewhat dangerous for the fauna. Add to that I am running at about 4 bps which seems high for a tank of this size. If I dial back the CO2 I risk getting algae and slowing growth. The most straight forward solution is to run air stone at night, but I wonder if I should look into reactor. Either options would need me to add/buy more stuffs, I am trying to keep it as simple as possible.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The CO2 turns on and off the at the same time, 8 hours a day.

Bubbles from pump cavitation don't turn the drop checker yellower than it is during photo period.

I hope we are not talking about how micro bubbles can stay in the water column. That is not the mystery here. If they rise to the top and pop then they are just plain bubbles, not micro bubbles. The mystery is, why won't the micro bubbles dissolve? If the water is too saturated from the CO2 to completely dissolve, then why won't the drop checker turn yellow during the CO2 injection? Certainly that is not the case. But assuming that is the case and drop checker is always late in its response, but 16 hours late?

I added an air stone at night for the interim, the drop checker does not turn yellow, but not enough to turn it blue. Micro bubbles is ever present whether CO2 is turned on or off. Air stone helped with gas exchange but don't completely get rid of the micro bubbles.


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A possibility-
Drop checker is late in its response, especially if it has a small neck.

When the lights go out the plants quit photosynthesis, so any CO2 in the water stays there, and any organic matter in the tank will continue decomposing and add more CO2. The drop checker responds to this.

I do not think the bubbles you see in the morning are CO2, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I cut down the CO2 to about 2 bps, at this rate, only the larger pore passes the CO2. Most of the micro bubbles are gone. I also run air stone throughout the day. Drop checker remains dark green from morning to night so far. Not a permanent solution. I am going make some changes the flow/CO2 and add a surface skimmer.

Earlier on I did a 100% water change, I also washed about 80% of the substrate. The next day I already got lots of surface film. The film keeps coming back after I removed it. This is before I added any plants and fish. It looks like there are significant decomposition going on in the substrate.


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set the co2 to start 1 hour before lights go on and stop it 1or 2 hours before light off.
you might help the plants to use the co2 more efficiently and you don't need to worry about changing any level in the co2 rate too drastically....
 

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set the co2 to start 1 hour before lights go on and stop it 1or 2 hours before light off.
you might help the plants to use the co2 more efficiently and you don't need to worry about changing any level in the co2 rate too drastically....
I have my CO2 turn on 30mins before lights on and CO2 off 30mins before light off.

I have had no issues at all with this arrangement and the plants are growing very well. Even the plants that were dying off before I injected CO2 have come back to life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, I have been doing more observation. I also swapped out the diffuser with an external CO2 reactor and a lily pipe as I got tired of the soda water look. I had too much flow, now I have too little I think. I installed a powered surface skimmer. I also measure pH at various times of the day. And I was able to make a few conclusions.

My substrate appears to give me lots of CO2. One night I forgot to turn on the surface skimmer. pH at light off is around 6.3, by the next morning I got a thick layer of surface film and pH is at 5.6. Turning on the surface skimmer for half a day returns my pH to about 6.4 (this is before I even turn on CO2).

The CO2 reactor seems a lot more efficient at dissolving CO2. Maintaining the same bps drives my pH down to 5.2 or so. It killed 2 shrimps and I strongly suspect it is responsible for making my only fish goes missing (can't find it any where, in tank and outside). It seems that to achieve a proper CO2 level I only need about 1/4 of the previous bps count.

That said, all my plants are a visibly less green, algaes are showing up, pearling is much less. Short term observation seems to suggest that my previous CO2 misting is superior to dissolving CO2. I dose EI, so it kinda rules out nutrient issue. Need more observation of course, but so much for don't fix it if it's not broken.
 
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