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I just went pressurized a few days ago after only ever using diy co2 methods. Im using a up aqua inline atomizer as my diffusion method in a 55 gal tank. I run a split photoperiod 4 on - 4 off - 4 on, it works for me. I kick on the co2 30 min before the lights come on and turn it off 30 min before the lights go out. I was wonderng if anyone had done any experimenting with how long it takes for co2 levels rise to the desirable level and theb to drop back to normal after the co2 turns off? Im thinking of trying shorter burst like an hour on hour off or hour on half hour off etc etc but would like some input from those more experienced using co2. Would that be too much flucuationin water chemistry for the fish and/or plants? My purpose is to reduce stress on fish from too much co2 for prolonged periods of time, conserve co2, and to preserve the life of solenoids that run a little hot. Feel free to say anything you may have experienced or any opinions, concerns, questions or whatever. Thanks :)
 

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I see no need to do your test, but simple ph tests can give the answers. I see no stress on my fish for the entire photoperiod, but that is what I have it adjusted for. I pushed as far as I could and then backed off. I'm not sure how your tests will conserve CO2. I think whatever you gain for on time on your solenoid, you lose by switching it on and off so many times. Heat may kill them eventually, but switching them 2-4 times more than normal can't be too good. Seems like more stress, if stress is on your fish from the decline and rise of the ph.
 

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It is very hard to actually measure how long it takes for the CO2 ppm to build up or drop off. The change in pH lags the change in ppm of CO2 also, but monitoring pH is probably the best you can do. A good reason for not using your suggested on-off cycling is that it would be an invitation for algae to take over. Keeping the CO2 level steady, and the same day after day, during the lights on time is the best way to reduce the threat of BBA attacks.

Would a little computer cooling fan, blowing on the solenoid, reduce the temperature of it enough to be worth the effort?
 

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You can target a lower level of co2 (say 15 or 20 ppm) if you are worried about the fish. Doesn't sound like you have high light. It's more important to maintain consistent co2 than a high level of co2. My bet would be what you are doing will lead to large algae growth as a result of the fluctuating co2 levels. Algae adapt to changing water conditions much faster than plants.
 
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