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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Im new to the forum but not to the hobby, just wanna say hi but do have a quicky question..
Do you guys from the UK know where i can get a good cheapish Co2 flow meter?
I need it to be ok but always on a budget..
Want to measure actual ccm rather than using a bubble counter all the time, dont think its reliable enough and with the drop checker delay.. thought it may make my life easier to control co2..
Hope you guys can help..
Im in the UK if you need to know..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou for the reply, confused... Ok so if im getting this right i asked if anyone knew of a uk supplier of a good co2 flow metre.
Im guessing this is the alternative, use a ph controller to control my ph + / - thus controlling the co2 solonoid! am i right? so when the ph adjusts, the ph controller turns the solonoid on and off when required..
 

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Yes sir. I would think you can get a PH controller with no problem. I use the Milwaukee MC-122 and am happy with it. Well, the probe is an ugly flourescent green so it stands out like a sore thumb. Conceal it behind rock or wood, plants.
 

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Hi all,

Im new to the forum but not to the hobby, just wanna say hi but do have a quicky question..
Do you guys from the UK know where i can get a good cheapish Co2 flow meter?
I need it to be ok but always on a budget..
Want to measure actual ccm rather than using a bubble counter all the time, dont think its reliable enough and with the drop checker delay.. thought it may make my life easier to control co2..
Hope you guys can help..
Im in the UK if you need to know..
There are few flowmeters that are useable for " our" co2 rates
And none that are really inexpensive.

See that for estimates of the flowmeter "scale" you need..
If you have your own metering valve you can just get the "tube"

30cc/min lower limit may not be low enough for your setup.. ???
The "usual" one
Dwyer Flow Meter, # RMA-151-SSV, with a scale of 10-50 CC/Minute.
Most that venture down this road scavenge off flea bay.. Me included..;)
Rota-meter or flow-meter.. same thing

sort of a "universal" one..
DWYER RMA-34-SSV RATE-MASTER WATER FLOW METER 0-300CC/MIN 1/8IN D607383: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
Though at 20-300cc/min a bit coarse..

RMA-33-SSV is better but apparently not common..

"Technically" the valve should be on the outlet side of the meter tube.. sooo if you find "top mounted" it is more ideal..
RMA-150-TMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thankyou for the replies, electronic, sounds interesting but probably not for me at that price. The ph controller from co2 supermarket (UK) sounds more like it, however still expensive..

As the original Post states i was looking for a flowmeter.. but may look to go down the ph controller route..need to get this co2 dialled in..
Ive been doing some readings today with my Ph, not quite there yet but looks like it could be going in the right direction for a .1 drop..

08.26 PH 7.33
10.35 PH 7.04
16.04 PH 6.81
18.46 PH 6.79

and the days not done yet, am i looking for this .1 drop to over the whole day or before lights on, when they go off, or the last reading at the point when the lights go off.
I mean my co2 comes on 2 hours before the lights come on, so am i taking readings before they come on and up until they go off and during that period i look for a .1 drop in PH..
This is my tank
Plant Flower Leaf Terrestrial plant Vegetation


Think im wrong, it needs to drop before the lights come on, by how much? if my ph was 7.3 to start with , does that mean i have to get it to drop to 6.3 before light come on??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes and i found the reef tank so much easier than this planted freshwater malarcy...Its rediculously hard.. Also had a nice sump with that one where everything sat in and controllers gallore. But back then i lived in a reasonably soft water area..
Ok so thanks for the reply, however im now wanting to know the answer to the ph drop question...
Can i ask another, is this a USA base forum or UK? becuase everything links to USA websites and everythings in dollars..lol Just asking..
 

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Yes and i found the reef tank so much easier than this planted freshwater malarcy...Its rediculously hard.. Also had a nice sump with that one where everything sat in and controllers gallore. But back then i lived in a reasonably soft water area..
Ok so thanks for the reply, however im now wanting to know the answer to the ph drop question...
Can i ask another, is this a USA base forum or UK? becuase everything links to USA websites and everythings in dollars..lol Just asking..
I would say this forum has more US users but we do have users from around the globe. And personally I have friends in the hobby from too many countries to count. The hobby is the same no matter where you are. The plants don't know the difference.

Getting CO2 and pH drop optimized is tricky. It takes some time and effort to get it right, but is well worth the trouble. It can save you countless hours chasing other theories on how to fix problems.

You will hear many people say there is a magical one point drop. With most high tech tanks full of stems it's better to be at 1.2 to 1.4. Depends on how the fish react.

And most don't understand how to get a fully degassed sample. They think their pH in the morning is the same as fully degassed. It's not. Tanks do not fully degas overnight.

Best is to leave a sample out for about three days. It takes that long to fully degas. Then start testing pH every fours or so until it stabilizes, hopefully with a calibrated probe. That reading should correlate to your dKH. Unless something is affecting pH most times you will see about 3 to 4 ppm CO2 when it comes to equilibrium with the atmosphere.

You also want to keep CO2 levels as stable as possible. Most don't realize that changes in plant mass and surface agitation can affect levels. Needle valves can drift. Tap dKH can change with the seasons. Just saying if I see anything wonky in my tank my first instinct is to double/triple check CO2. If it's not right all the other stuff you try will have less impact. Tom Barr has been saying this for years, and he's right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great reply thankyou,
I kind of need this in simple terms to what i need to do..if i undertstand it right,
Take a sample, leave it out for 3 or 4 days.. This will give me a dkh reading, am i testing the sample every hour or the tank?
Ohh i forgot to say i use RO water as my tap water is rediculously hard here..and then i reminerlise it..
That probably changes things a bit ..
Sorry forgot to tell you that..
So talk to me as if i was new to the hobby,
Instruct me what i need to do from the start to get these readings..
1. Take a smaple out and leave it for a few days, then test with a calibrated ph meter..
2?
3?
You guys are going to think im a bit daft but i need to know what prder to do things in...
Paul
 
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Great reply thankyou,
I kind of need this in simple terms to what i need to do..if i undertstand it right,
Take a sample, leave it out for 3 or 4 days.. This will give me a dkh reading, am i testing the sample every hour or the tank?
Ohh i forgot to say i use RO water as my tap water is rediculously hard here..and then i reminerlise it..
That probably changes things a bit ..
Sorry forgot to tell you that..
So talk to me as if i was new to the hobby,
Instruct me what i need to do from the start to get these readings..
1. Take a smaple out and leave it for a few days, then test with a calibrated ph meter..
2?
3?
You guys are going to think im a bit daft but i need to know what prder to do things in...
Paul
Just degassing it for 24 hours should be fine. Put an airstone in it to make it quicker
 

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Great reply thankyou,
I kind of need this in simple terms to what i need to do..if i undertstand it right,
Take a sample, leave it out for 3 or 4 days.. This will give me a dkh reading, am i testing the sample every hour or the tank?
Ohh i forgot to say i use RO water as my tap water is rediculously hard here..and then i reminerlise it..
That probably changes things a bit ..
Sorry forgot to tell you that..
So talk to me as if i was new to the hobby,
Instruct me what i need to do from the start to get these readings..
1. Take a smaple out and leave it for a few days, then test with a calibrated ph meter..
2?
3?
You guys are going to think im a bit daft but i need to know what prder to do things in...
Paul
LOL OK I got it! When I get a reef guy I usually go to short hand.:D

RO changes things a bit. How are you remineralizing? Are you adding any carbonates (K2CO3, KHCO3). If so, how much and to what levels?

And curious what is your substrate? That can also affect dKH.

Leave the sample out in a glass for three days. Then begin testing the pH of the sample about every three or four hours. You want to see if the pH is still rising or has stabilized. Once you get a couple of readings that remain the same you are there.

The dKH of the sample won't change, just the pH.

The good news is that since you are using RO water you can keep your dKH levels very stable (assuming inert substrate). This makes it much easier to keep pH levels stable over time.

Since I don't know anything else about your tank, it's hard to say how critical getting CO2 optimized is. The more light, the more fast growing flowery stems, the denser the planting the more impact it has. Lower light tanks with medium growers and less plant density can get by with less.

If you would like to get more involved in the community consider starting a journal. I can tell you that a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to helping someone with a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ok ill perhaps start a journal, i do have a picture in about 3 or 4 posts back up.. click on thumbnail..
I am running Fluval stratum as my substate, i dont know why i thought i had a signature that had everything in it...
Although i cant see it now..Ill check..
Your be lucky with the short hand, my memory is failing and it was a few years ago i successfully kept a large marine tank.
You'll have to forgive me but i am really good at putting ikea furniture together, give me the instructions and i can accomplish anything...
Struggling to grow the basics, monty carlo carpet etc.
Now i know that ole, father christmas may be bringing me a couple of upgrades, a nice stainless steel intake and outlet with skimmer, and a Resin add on for my RO..making it 4 stage..fingers crossed.🎅 however i know that having nice gear doesnt mean a nice blaanced tank..
So i will get there, my current tank isnt that bad i just want to get the balance right..and im not sure if im there..Ill include another pic for you if it will show up..
Thankyou for being patient with me..

Plant Flower Leaf Terrestrial plant Vegetation
Plant Flower Leaf Terrestrial plant Vegetation
 
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So what I see is a tank that is mostly full of slower easy growers like ferns with a few stems and a few ground cover plants.

The ferns have got BBA around many of the edges. You will hear lots of different arguments about the cause of BBA.

In my opinion it's almost always related to organics in the system and plant health. To reduce organics perform large regular water changes, keep gravel clean and vacuumed, clean filters often, don't over feed fish, and remove any dead or decaying plant matter (leaves heavily covered in BBA are not coming back). In short provide uber clean conditions.

BBA will usually attack weak plants. This can be related to poor fertilization or poor CO2.

Other things that exacerbate BBA are too much flow and too much light in relation to the type of plants and general plant mass.

IMO one of the keys to a successful planted tank is to define your goals. Do you want a tank full of slow growing lower light plants? Or a high light tank full of flowery stems? They are different animals, and they require different amounts of light, ferts, and CO2. Each of those should be tailored to the types of plants you want to grow.

One of the best things you can do is find tanks that demonstrate success in a style similar to what you have in mind. Then study their methods. Pay attention to the mix of plants, the amount of light, fertilization, CO2, maintenance, etc. And don't be afraid to reach out to people. I have found the planted tank community to be full of folks who are happy to share their experience and methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So i read somewhere that fluval stratum shouldnt really be vacummed as such, am i right, perhaps just a hint of suction above it maybe?
Well it seems ive jumped in head first and not really thought about plants..
If this were your tank guys and girls what would you be doing? get rid of certain plants? start over? lol
Think i would like alovely carpet of monty carlo, moss etc... does that answer my own question then.
 
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All substrate should be lightly vacuumed.

And if you uproot a large grouping, that area should get a more thorough vacuuming as detritus builds up there. That's all part of keeping uber clean conditions.

As to plants, you want plants that have similar needs. Monte Carlo can form a nice carpet, but needs high light and good CO2 to get there. Moss doesn't need much of anything.

There are a wide variety of plants out there and they do best in a wide variety conditions. One of the tricks of a planted tank is to find plants that like the soup you are serving.
 
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