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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My c02 turns on 30 minutes before my lights. I was under the impression that after about an hour or two of c02, my dropper checker would turn from blue to limey green and would stay that way for the duration of the photoperiod. Well, that is not what is happening, this is…

1st hour: blue
2nd hour: light blue
3rd hour: dark green
4th hour: green
5th hour: light green
6th hour: almost yellow

Is this normal? My drop checker is on the opposite side of the tank and is placed very low (inch or so from substrate). I am running about 3bps (Atomic in-line bubble counter).

Stats:
Tank: 20 Long
Filtration: 2 Aquaclear 30’s on full (tank filled to brim)
Circulation: Sicce Nano Powerhead 160gph (over diffusor)
Light: Finnex Planted + 24/7 (set to MAX for 6 ½ hours a day)
Ferts: Targeted EI with double dose glut daily
C02: GLA PRO 1 with Intense Atomic Diffusor
Substrate: Fluorite
 

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It could mean 1 of 2 things.

1. you have poor flow/circulation in the tank. The CO2 is not reaching the drop checker so it takes a long time to change as the area with the drop checker isn't getting exposed to the CO2.

2. You don't have enough CO2. You are just not putting enough CO2 in the tank so it takes 6 hours to build up to the correct concentration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually considered both suggestions you stated before posting, but I kind of ruled them out…


1. The tank has 2 Aquaclear 30’s on opposite ends of the tank. That wasn’t enough flow, so I added a 160gph Sicce powerhead about 3 inches over the atomic diffuser. Micro bubbles blow throughout the length of the tank and actually hit the exterior of the checker itself. I doubt it’s a lack flow. I have a total of 460gph. My filters are clean.

2. I know all bubble counters are different but I am running a pretty common one (Atomic) at 3bps which is feel is already pretty high. Right before the solenoid kicks in, the checker is almost pure yellow. So, I don’t think increasing the C02 is a good idea.

Could my drop check be place too low? Maybe I should turn my c02 on and off earlier?
 

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Well without running water level right up to nearly the rim,the aquaclear's could be working to off gas more of the CO2 than you would like with the strong rippling effect, or water fall effect if water level is blow the lip of filter discharge back into the tank by very much.
Might would work to fix this if it is so or..turn gas on an hour before light's or..two hour's before light's.
Would want to do this while I was there to observe the fishes reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I literally have the tank filled to the brim. There is zero splashing as the outflow is slightly LOWER than the tank water level. Even the rippling effect is minimal.

Could the height vs the length of the tank be an issue? I have 3 inches of substrate and my atomic diffuser is about an inch above it. So the diffuser is only about 8-9 inches from the surface.
 

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Drop checkers do not change color quickly. This is kinda the norm. They aren't really menat for instant updates unfortunately, more of a visual cue to let you know you did hit the mark you are looking for.

If you want something more instant you'd be better of using a pH probe or pen to take readings and keep an eye on our pH drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I totally get that there is a lag but I thought after a few hours it would level out. But I see a gradual change from blue to yellow over 6 hours and I am worried about varying co2 levels. I was also considering increasing my photoperiod to 7 hours which would mean an extra half hour of co2. At 6 hours I am in the yellow and I am worried about gassing my fish.
 

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I totally get that there is a lag but I thought after a few hours it would level out. But I see a gradual change from blue to yellow over 6 hours and I am worried about varying co2 levels. I was also considering increasing my photoperiod to 7 hours which would mean an extra half hour of co2. At 6 hours I am in the yellow and I am worried about gassing my fish.
Well blue drop checker indicates not enough CO2 at the beginning of photo period when light energy suddenly put's plant's metabolisim's into high gear depending on light energy/intensity.(CO2 especially critical at beginning of photo period)
I would want to start CO2 on it's own timer, to come on one hour before light's come on so that more CO2 is available right at beginning when photosynthesis begin's or within the hour after light's on = Yellow/green in drop checker.
This way ,plant's are maybe not struggling under light energy while waiting for the CO2 level to become sufficient toward's the end of photo period as it is now.
As mentioned ,drop checker only tell's you what CO2 level's were maybe an hour or two ago.
Yes it is easy to gas the fish,but with your presence, you can note any discomfort and dial back or increase the CO2 in small increment's.
If fishes show discomfort with increase in CO2,then you can also increase surface agitation which will allow more CO2 to be injected and also increase Oxygen a bit.
Good flow to all area's of the tank is good idea so that the gas reaches all area's.
I personally think starting the gas a little earlier will bring the result's you want.
Don't think extending the light period alone,will do it.
My two cent's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, I wasn't clear. The increased photoperiod will correspond with an increase in the length of time the co2 is on. My photoperiod will be 3pm-10pm. So I will have my c02 run from 2pm-9pm. I will probably reduce my bps to about 2.5.
 
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