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ok, 1st planted tank, 75 gal, high light, where do i start with the co2. how many bpm? what test kit can i get for co2 measuring ?i don't want to trust the charts i see at this time as i don't yet know whats coming out the tap and i may need to bump up the hardness for the fish, when they get added
 

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Start the bubble count at 1 or 2 bps, and then watch for your plants to pearl. If by the end of the day there is no pearling going on, increase it by another bubble per second. try doing a search within this forum or on google for co2 Drop Checker, this is what most people use to determine their level of co2 being dispersed throughout the tank.

I am also very new to pressurized, so if I am wrong (which i may be) please correct me.
 

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Use a drop checker to test the CO2 level. They are pretty cheap on ebay; use 4 dKH water and add a few drops of pH reagent (if you've got an API test kit, it's just the pH test solution liquid) or get a drop checker that comes with reagent.
Green is about 30 PPM CO2, blue is less, yellow is too much.

BPM varies a lot. The design of the bubble counter dictates the bubble size, but about 2/second is a good starting point.

If you have an effective diffuser then you don't need as much.
 

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the bubble per second thing is tricky since bubble size vary. For me, 5-7 bubble(medium size)/sec will produce 30ppm CO2 in a 75G. So, a drop checker is better for getting a readout. The red sea drop checker is good and cheap too.
 

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I'm dosing with excel, and most of the bubbles start pouring off the plants about 2-3 hours into the lighting cycle. I wonder if the dirtiness of the goldfish has something to do with it.

How do you guys handle ph changes from Co2 injection? Do you just use buffers?
 

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drop checker ordered. now, if i need to bump up the hardness, just use baking soda or soda ash?if i bump up the hardness will i need more co2 input?
Use Baking Soda, it buffers without raising the PH too much.

Soda ash raises PH, but does not buffer. I use that in the pool to raise PH without raising alkalinity.

I used baking soda to raise my KH and had to also increase the bubble rate. I'm presently running 100 bpm in a 90. Drop checker is green.
 

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I'm pretty sure soda ash raises alkalinity and buffers as well, just at higher pH than baking soda. Saltwater reef tanks use soda ash all the time for alkalinity. Soda ash will raise pH more than baking soda, so unless your pH is too low, baking soda would be better.
 

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Basically, there isn't really a test kit. There are a few tools to give you a ballpark. You can go off of PH. You can go off a drop checker with the proper solution, you can watch your fish and your plants.

In the end, you have to realize you are basically never really going to know how much co2 you have. I have found myself chasing the right color on my drop checker, watching my plants diligantly and my fish behavior. I found that as long as your plants do well and you are algae free, it doesn't really matter. I use my drop checker for reference still but everything does better after I just left everything alone.
 

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my ph is fine. both baking soda and soda ash will raise the ph. from my reef training, if you bake the baking soda it will not raise the ph
You are just dead wrong on that statement. Soda ash has a pH of about 11 while baking soda has a pH of about 8.2. Baking the baking soda turns it into soda ash so you will get a higher pH using baked baking soda.
 

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Lots of people used baked baking soda in the reef to convert it to soda ash as an effective way to maintain pH. It really depends on your system. Nothing wrong with using soda ash if you need the pH bump.
 

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drop checker ordered. now, if i need to bump up the hardness, just use baking soda or soda ash?if i bump up the hardness will i need more co2 input?
I can't see any reason you'll need to raise your KH. Most of the plants do better with lower KH water and maintaining a consistent KH is important for the fish so it just seems much easier, IMO, to go with the KH you have instead of adjusting it.
 
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