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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1st post, thx in advance!
I've had tanks for 8 years, just getting into CO2 injection. I used to live in Louisiana, with great water parameters, and had amazing plant growth w/o using CO2. Now living elsewhere with poor water quality I have tried everything to get good plant growth, all failing. Here's my setup:
75 gallon/ community fish.
Eco-complete substrate.
Matrix bio filtration media/Purigen in filter.
2 Rena Filstar XP canister filters w 2 vertical spray bars + 10" bubble wand.
RO water + minerals (equilibrium, acid buffer, akaline buffer).
Fennix 24/7[censored]v2 LED - w 49 PAR @ 21" deep. (On its 24 hr set program).
Co2 Art - 2 stage co2 injection, tank on 50psi & w intank diffuser.
EI Niloc G ferts (alternating days macro/micro).
50% water changes every 2 weeks.
Ok! Just added the CO2 a month ago, I have improved plant growth, but it's very leggy, not dense and w/o reddish hues. More importantly BBA has gone crazy! This seems like my CO2 levels are too low, right? My PH is 6.4, KH is 1, but my drop checker fluid is yellowish green, suggesting I have too much CO2. I know to aim for 30 CO2 level, but my PH/KH reading suggests more like 11. This would explain the BBA, but then what about the drop check fluid being yellowish? I don't know which way to go! Less lights, more CO2, add more acid/akaline buffer to water to raise pH, more surface agitation?
I'm lost. I'd appreciate any help/advise. Thanks again
(Side note: my fish do not yet seem stressed)
 

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I wouldn't go by the drop checker or some ph/KH chart. The most reliable way is to take a sample of your tank water and leave it sit for a couple of days, then check the ph. record this number. Then, at lights on, check the ph from your tank. You're aiming for a ph drop of 1 point from your stabilized sample.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response! I was worried I wouldn't get any advise. I have tested at noon & at night w the same results. I will absolutely try this.
 

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When I setup my 55 gallon I had issues getting near the correct co2 amount also.
My KH is 0-1 so my PH readings get lower than I can test accurately with a test kit, and my drop checker showed lime green despite my plants showing co2 deficiency for around a month of observation.
What I had to do is increase the co2 in tiny increments every few days until my fish showed stress, and then I backed off a couple increments to provide a buffer for the fish.

If you do this be sure to watch your fish closely between the increments to see if they show subtle signs they don't like the co2 level.
 

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Did your pH/kh/drop checker readings ever become accurate?
I change my drop checker fluid every 2 weeks. Through 4 different bottles of drop checker fluid it consistently shows lime green to yellowish.
I don't just look at the drop checker color though, I monitor Co2 by looking at my fish and how my plants are growing along with the color.

A good indicator that I've seen in my tank is that when the co2 levels are good, I get pearling even with very low par.
Thats only a little bit of an indicator though, the form of the stem plants and the health of the stems of the plants themselves are another. They start to get weak and mushy when they don't have enough co2 if all other things check out.
 
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