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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, I didn't know if I should put this in lighting or equipment, so I put it here instead, hope that is okay.

My question is, is there much benefit to turning co2 on an hour earlier than the lights?
I have 2 timers but one is weird and clicks and ticks all night and I'd like to stop using it on the tank I keep in my bedroom.
The logic behind getting co2 levels up before plants begin photosynthesis makes sense to me, but I don't imagine plants are at their full photosynthetic maximum for the given light as soon as the lights come on.
Is it more of an algae thing or is it for the plants?
If it is for algae, would it be better to run a lower bubble count 24/7?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Turning it on an hour before is pretty much just for the plants sake but I guess it doesn't hurt that it could help fight off the algae. Co2 itself doesn't keep away algae. The co2 is just helping your plants grow faster to out compete the algae. My tank runs 24/7 and I don't have a problem doing that and that way I have a good co2 level when the lights come on.
 

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Just run it with the lights....

24/7 co2 is ridiculous, unless it's diy or you're trying to prove some wrong point to yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting.
I think I saw that sewingalot was able to do some math and calculate that she actually was able to save co2 by running it 24/7.
Because it was running all the time she could run a much lower bubble rate constantly, and this helped her with BBA or something.
I don't have BBA, only rhizo or hair algae, I'm not sure.

I guess I'm fine with having them both go on and off at the same time, especially since my solenoid cuts off the co2 instantly with no delay.
Does anyone have an opinion on if plants reach their maximum demand for co2 as soon as the lights come on? Hoping Tom Barr will chime in here.
I just don't know if photosynthesis ramps up that quickly.
 

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Everyones method is different, you can save cc02 from one method to the other given that every tank is different. Finding the method that suits you best is the key. C02 concentrations change within 45 minutes. My solenoid kicks on at 9;15 am and off at 7 pm lights on at 10 am off at 9 pm. And my reactor holds enough c02 after the solenoid kicks off to supply until 8 pm. Plants dont really out compete nutrients for algae. Healthy plants and a balanced tank control algae would be a better term it can work where plants out compete but then you have limiting growth and less happy plants. Example: i had 120 ppm nitrates and probably 15 ppm phosphates with no algae c02 at 60ppm. Fish plants growing marvelously. I got my shrimp in and had to make a change, killed the c02 down to 35ppm and stopped dosing ferts. Theyve come down to 20 and 3. Plants are still happy but now i have an explosion of algae because my balance was lost. Now i have weeks of wiping and maintaining to do. All because i decided shrimp would be cool. Lesson. Balance is key

To specifically answer your question, the amount of light u add isnt like the sun, its wide open as soon as they turn on. Light controls the demand for c02. So the demand is as high as what the plants need given how much light you supply. So yes the demand is instant, and fairly high if u have medium to high light
 

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i run mine 24/7 on my 120g. i go through 10lbs in a month and I have a PH controller set at 6.2. its only $15 a month.. who cares? plants are LOVIN' it! its all about the plants :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Everyones method is different, you can save cc02 from one method to the other given that every tank is different. Finding the method that suits you best is the key. C02 concentrations change within 45 minutes. My solenoid kicks on at 9;15 am and off at 7 pm lights on at 10 am off at 9 pm. And my reactor holds enough c02 after the solenoid kicks off to supply until 8 pm. Plants dont really out compete nutrients for algae. Healthy plants and a balanced tank control algae would be a better term it can work where plants out compete but then you have limiting growth and less happy plants. Example: i had 120 ppm nitrates and probably 15 ppm phosphates with no algae c02 at 60ppm. Fish plants growing marvelously. I got my shrimp in and had to make a change, killed the c02 down to 35ppm and stopped dosing ferts. Theyve come down to 20 and 3. Plants are still happy but now i have an explosion of algae because my balance was lost. Now i have weeks of wiping and maintaining to do. All because i decided shrimp would be cool. Lesson. Balance is key

To specifically answer your question, the amount of light u add isnt like the sun, its wide open as soon as they turn on. Light controls the demand for c02. So the demand is as high as what the plants need given how much light you supply. So yes the demand is instant, and fairly high if u have medium to high light
Apparently my shrimp don't know that you're not supposed to dose with them in the tank :hihi:

Anyway, thanks for your answer. Do you think I should get another timer to get my co2 pumping before the lights turn on?
My drop checker stays green over night and is green when the lights come on.
 

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If everything is healthy and balanced, there is no need to change unless ur desiring something different. However i prefer the timer system for mine. Thats all left up to u, i prefer higher c02 lvls during the day and none at night. U can find the same results with lower c02 lvls but constant day and night.. its up to ur desires. Maybe some plants prefer it one way or another. I dont think we could ever test for that because they seem to grow happy under both conditions. And yeah my shrimp dont mind 35 ppm c02 but i dont think they would have like the 60ppm that i previously had. They are less tolerant than most fish. Oh and they dont mind the ferts either but my tank is regrowing and EI dosing was skyrocketing my nitrates and other parameters. Ive let it tone down. Im not going to stop dosing, im just building up plant mass so i dont have 120 ppm nitrates with shrimp. I hear they dont like much above 40ppm and i dont need more than that anyways. 20-40 is more than acceptable
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If everything is healthy and balanced, there is no need to change unless ur desiring something different. However i prefer the timer system for mine. Thats all left up to u, i prefer higher c02 lvls during the day and none at night. U can find the same results with lower c02 lvls but constant day and night.. its up to ur desires. Maybe some plants prefer it one way or another. I dont think we could ever test for that because they seem to grow happy under both conditions. And yeah my shrimp dont mind 35 ppm c02 but i dont think they would have like the 60ppm that i previously had. They are less tolerant than most fish. Oh and they dont mind the ferts either but my tank is regrowing and EI dosing was skyrocketing my nitrates and other parameters. Ive let it tone down. Im not going to stop dosing, im just building up plant mass so i dont have 120 ppm nitrates with shrimp. I hear they dont like much above 40ppm and i dont need more than that anyways. 20-40 is more than acceptable
Ahh.. yes that all makes sense then.

My tank is actually maybe a month old and it's still getting settled in so I haven't really found a balance yet.
I'm gonna just see what on at the same time and off at the same time will do for me, they are on a timer but they are both on the same timer because my other one is too noisy.
I guess If I get issues I'll look into it more.
 

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For those of us without pH controllers, are there ever issues with shutting off co2 at night with regards to the fluctuations in pH? I know that there is some residual co2 entering the water via the plants' respiration, but I doubt this would be enough to maintain a stable pH overnight.
 

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Well stable ph isnt necessary.. i fluctuate between 7.6 and 6.6 from right before c02 on to c02 off.. daily.. i dont believe a ph controller is accurate. C02 fluctuates too quickly. Ive read that its better to set it slightly lower than where u actually want it to be. But i have no proof to back that up at the current moment.
Stable ph becomes necessary in none planted tanks where everything is already not balanced. My lfs is baffled by my ph change and how much fertilizer i add. Hes afraid his fish would die. I have to remind him that everyone with c02 tanks pretty much does the same. He loses fish with .2 degree ph changes... but he has no plants or c02 addition. No magnesium calcium or any of the other beneficial elements in his tanks... just a thought on ph
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea I don't think pH swings are a big deal if you have buffers.
Supposedly its changes in TDS that kill fish the most, some chemicals/materials are only soluble in water at certain pH and in those instances a pH swing could kill fish.
I think plants absorb a lot of things in our water.
That is not my area of expertise though, at all.
 

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I have 2 timers but one is weird and clicks and ticks all night and I'd like to stop using it on the tank I keep in my bedroom.
I've had considerable trouble with mechanical timers in the past. They're fine for some things, but it's probably clicking because your CO2 is turning on and off.

My advice would be to go buy a digital timer. They seem to be more reliable.
 

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Well stable ph isnt necessary..
Maybe not on smaller scale planted tanks, but Discus, Altums, and many other blackwater fish definitely need stable, acidic conditions to thrive. Now, whether or not the pH fluctuations overnight are enough to disrupt their biological functions, I can't say. But, my philosophy is that we should make our tanks as much like their habitat as possible; they shouldn't have to "tolerate" the conditions that we create in our aquaria.
 

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Maybe not on smaller scale planted tanks, but Discus, Altums, and many other blackwater fish definitely need stable, acidic conditions to thrive. Now, whether or not the pH fluctuations overnight are enough to disrupt their biological functions, I can't say. But, my philosophy is that we should make our tanks as much like their habitat as possible; they shouldn't have to "tolerate" the conditions that we create in our aquaria.
i'd totally agree with that... but if you have blackwater conditions and ph below 6 your probably not going to introduce c02 either, as there are very few plants that will grow past 6 if my memory serves me correct..

and im not saying there isn't Merritt to stable ph. i have just noticed mine changes a lot daily, and so do many other people with c02 injection. it was more an observation that c02 ph changes affect fish less than buffered ph changes..
 
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