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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I have a 90 gallon tank that I have questions about how many bubbles per minute that I should have going through my bubble counter. Currently I am having about 1 bubble per 1.5 seconds which then goes into my CO2 Reactor 500. I don't see much pearling that you guys talk about. My ph swings daily. In the morning it is at 7.1 and then at night right when the lights turn off it is at 6.8. My kh stays steady at 3 degrees. I have my co2 system on a ph controller from milwauki instruments. I also have a red sea drop checker that stays constant bluish green. Oh one other thing I noticed yesterday on my co2 reactor is that I had the venturi valve on it's lowest setting all along. So I went ahead and moved it 3/4 of the way to the highest setting. Do you think that has an impact?
 

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All bubbles are different, but with that being said, 1.5 s/bubble sounds really low.

On the drop checker, I've found that you want to be more towards the yellow than the blue. Depending on where I put it in the tank, mine ranges from yellow to yellowish green.

I'm pretty new to planted tanks and CO2, so get more opinions than just mine.
 

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With a pH controller you can "theoretically" bump the bubble rates up quite high. My tanks have uncountable BPS(too fast) because the crappy needle valves I have shut off otherwise. This can be dangerous if the solenoid ever sticks as the tanks will be rapidly be poisoned. Try bumping up your BPS. In a 90g you will likely need something in the range of 4-5+ BPS.

Do you have the system on a timer? If so try turning it on earlier before lights on.
 

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What type of lighting and how much are you using?

I'm probably somewhere in the 5 bps range on a 75 gallon tank using a DIY reactor with some pretty decent surface agitation. I don't know about the Reactor 500 but as far as the drop checker you'd like a nice lime to almost yellow depending on what your fish can tolerate. I would gradually begin adding more CO2 while keeping a close watch on your fish. Be sure they're not gasping at the surface or just hanging around on the bottom, in other words acting "normally". If you begin to see pearling within two hours of lights on which becomes more vigorous as the day goes along and the fish are acting fine then I think you would be in a good place. Just keep in mind to add CO2 gradually. Be sure you have good circulation in your tank to distribute the CO2 and good surface movement to keep the water oxygenated.
 

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I have to run an almost steady stream of bubbles in my 90. I'm using a controller set to a pH of about 6.3. At that rate though the controller does shut of the CO2 at least a few times during the light cycle. I'd like to wean myself from the controller but I'm not home long enough to camp at the tank. I doubt the on-off cycling of the CO2 is the best way to keep CO2 levels steady.

SteveU
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still need help with this

My ph controller shuts off my co2 once or twice daily as the co2 drops my ph to 6.7. I don't want to hurt my fish so since my ph holds at 7.1 adding the co2 drops it to a level of 6.7. Any other suggestions on what I should do???
 

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I'd try lowering the pH setting on the controller some if you can be around to keep an eye on the fish. 7.1 to 6.7 isn't much or maybe better said might not be enough.

SteveU
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will try this week

Ok so I will try increasing the co2 bubbles slightly this week and we shall see what happens. The one question I stll have is since I am going to increase the co2 won't that shut off my ph controller quicker since co2 acts as an acid. Like I said before I am afraid of adjusting my ph controller because I don't want to have too much of a ph swing due to the health of the fish. Any thoughts anyone???
 

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You may find that you need to add more of a buffer so that the co2 doesn't impact your pH as much.

I'm not an expert, and relatively new to pressurized co2 so don't take this as gospel, but in my tank my water is naturally soft with little hardness. From the tap I see about 3 dKh and in mature tank water I see 0-1 dKh so I have to add some crushed coral to help with buffering. That raises my dKh to 4-5 which allows for more co2.

On my 29g tank which is pressurized I'm running about 2.5 bps, my drop checker is a nice lime green, and the fish are not impacted at all.
 
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