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Size of tank will be one of several critical factors to change the answer. Large tanks without good CO2 diffusion may be nearly impossible to overdose. Small tanks with good diffusion and not much loss of CO2 may make it very easy.
Best to have a stable tank setup and a slow but steady CO2 input that you slowly adjust upward while watching for any stressed fish. I recently almost gassed all my fish in a 125 gallon and still am not quite sure how it happened so I would say it can be very easy at times.
 

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I gassed everything in one of my 75gal tanks when I first started using CO2.That taught me never to make big adjustments to the bubble rate unless I can monitor the tank for a couple hours
 

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Size of tank will be one of several critical factors to change the answer. Large tanks without good CO2 diffusion may be nearly impossible to overdose. Small tanks with good diffusion and not much loss of CO2 may make it very easy.
Best to have a stable tank setup and a slow but steady CO2 input that you slowly adjust upward while watching for any stressed fish. I recently almost gassed all my fish in a 125 gallon and still am not quite sure how it happened so I would say it can be very easy at times.
So this is what I personally have trouble with. What is a good CO2 bubble rate? I have about 40-50 plants that I just planted a couple weeks back. I've been running 1bps 24/7. I also have a 125 gallon tank. So what is a good bubbles per sec for a tank that size? What do you run? Just FYI, I am running a DIY system using citric acid and baking soda with a ladder diffuser.
 

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So this is what I personally have trouble with. What is a good CO2 bubble rate? I have about 40-50 plants that I just planted a couple weeks back. I've been running 1bps 24/7. I also have a 125 gallon tank. So what is a good bubbles per sec for a tank that size? What do you run? Just FYI, I am running a DIY system using citric acid and baking soda with a ladder diffuser.
With even a moderate number of plants, Would expect an adequate CO2 flow to be way too fast to count. In my 125, I never reached anything that most of the group would call fully planted and there is more of a stream than bubbles.
But then that also needs some background info. I use a Grigg's style reactor which gives me no bubbles coming out in the tank so I feel it does a really good job at getting the CO2 actually in the water rather than blowing tiny bubbles in which almost immediately drift to the top and out. So that can be one major difference between what I find and other tanks. Two is that I use canister filters and do not have any major splashing, just a ripple so there is not as much loss of CO2 from splash like one might have with a HOB filter or sump. The amount of calcium in the water from my massive limestone pile is apt to skew the results.
So I get back to my basic idea that I can't use the charts to say I have XX PPM CO2, I can kind of/ sort of look at the drop checker color but that is a judgement call so I'm not sure there. The one thing that seems to be truly reliable is how much effect the CO2 has on the fish. That is my limiting factor and it is also the most important point to me as I'm a primary fish guy that raises plants to make the fish look good. If I were a plant guy that raised fish, I would have a different outlook?
That leaves me going very slow and being very cautious with my fish and as I go along, I hope the plants prosper also.
So far, it has worked to a level that suits me very well.
 

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With even a moderate number of plants, Would expect an adequate CO2 flow to be way too fast to count. In my 125, I never reached anything that most of the group would call fully planted and there is more of a stream than bubbles.
But then that also needs some background info. I use a Grigg's style reactor which gives me no bubbles coming out in the tank so I feel it does a really good job at getting the CO2 actually in the water rather than blowing tiny bubbles in which almost immediately drift to the top and out. So that can be one major difference between what I find and other tanks. Two is that I use canister filters and do not have any major splashing, just a ripple so there is not as much loss of CO2 from splash like one might have with a HOB filter or sump. The amount of calcium in the water from my massive limestone pile is apt to skew the results.
So I get back to my basic idea that I can't use the charts to say I have XX PPM CO2, I can kind of/ sort of look at the drop checker color but that is a judgement call so I'm not sure there. The one thing that seems to be truly reliable is how much effect the CO2 has on the fish. That is my limiting factor and it is also the most important point to me as I'm a primary fish guy that raises plants to make the fish look good. If I were a plant guy that raised fish, I would have a different outlook?
That leaves me going very slow and being very cautious with my fish and as I go along, I hope the plants prosper also.
So far, it has worked to a level that suits me very well.
Ok thanks for the reply. I'm also a fish guy adding plants to look nice. If you reach close to the maximum for the tolerance of the fish, aren't they I'm discomfort?

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Running DIY on a 125 is probably not going to give you good working co2, let alone gas anything. For that size tank you really have to go pressurized.
Yes I have read a lot in that and am trying not to spend more at this point in time if I can. I am thinking of doubling up on the diy bottles and increasing the bps rate but I agree that eventually I will need a pressurized system.

My plants are growing well though but not sure if that is just the natural growth of it.
 

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There is a fine line at some point of being too much so that the fish are stressed and not being enough to make the plants grow well. Part of that is to watch the fish and when they show stress, back off just a bit. That is where the bubble counter, even though running too fast to count, can still be helpful. You can see a big stream versus a smaller stream. If you have a good solid needle valve, you can just turn it a tiny fraction to relieve the stress. Some use the much more expensive vernier handles on needle valves but I've never found the need for my use.
Another thought is that different fish and different plants will act different. That may be where you are close to right. If the plants are going okay to suit, you might say fine and call it good. If you see more growth needed as time goes by, perhaps you need more. But that gets over into the "art" of the game and I'm not there.
I'm more like the guy on a unicycle. I just try to keep it upright and headed in the right direction but it takes lots of adjusting! Some plants make it and some don't but that is a good place for my fish breeding to help. I have too much store credit much of the time so buying plants with the credit seems less expensive. Fooling myself, perhaps?
 

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I recently almost gassed all my fish in a 125 gallon and still am not quite sure how it happened so I would say it can be very easy at times.
Was this after an adjustment you made or something? I'm asking because I'm setting up a 90g that will eventually have adult discus and the fact that so many have dealt with gassing or have come close is a bit alarming.
 

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I'm with you on the concern, I'm working the plants and CO2 far less now due to those concerns. I love my fish and like my plants so if one has to go it will be the plants! I'm working on keeping both but then this does shake me. This is the original posting from back a few months.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-general-planted-tank-discussion/1000122-co2-warning.html

Still not worked out what may have happened for sure. Possible that it was a small slip in what I did that I thought was no big deal. It could have been bigger than I thought at the time.
At the time I posted, I had no idea but after some more time and thought, there is one theory that I might believe. While changing things and doing the water change, I found a defective check valve. No big thing to surprise me as check valves are a frequent failure. I keep a bag of them on hand for that reason. One idea of the cause "might" be the way I changed the valve and cleared the water which had backed up into the line.
I use a reactor and that lets water pressure from the tank creep back into the lines. As the check valves begin to fail, I normally notice this before it reaches any of the equipment I want protected from the water (needle valve, solenoid and reg?) But in this case while changing out the check valve, I let the water fill the tubing most of the way. I normally clamp the tube. So the simple thing was to just let the CO2 flow and push the water back into the reactor.
Possible that amount of CO2 extra was enough to push my fish over the limit even though I had just changed 50% of the water?
Don't know, can't say, just a thought that may work -- or not.
 
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