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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing about 2 bubbles per second. How do I know CO2 is actually reaching the tank? I don't have a drop checker yet, so I can't test it.

I've seen videos where you can see the CO2 bubbles stick on plants. I don't see that.

I've also seen videos where your water looks like carbonated soda - while there are some tiny bubbles, it's pretty sparse.

Any ideas?
 

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You should see micro bubbles coming out of your filters output spray bar. If you used the stock 2217 spray bar, its possible some CO2 is getting mixed with the water before they enter the tank.

The bubbles on the plants is generated by the plant and called pearling.

Is your working pressure at least at 35psi? Try turning your bubble count way up for a few seconds and see if you notice an increase coming out of the filter.
 

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My working pressure is 30psi as recommended by GLA. Should I turn it up a little bit?


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Also I'm seeing little pops on my surface water - like a carbonated drink. Assuming that's the co2? Is the stock spray bar on eheim 2217 sufficient with the GLA inline?


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I use the GLA Atomic inline diffuser with an Eheim 2217 on a 55g. I have the pressure set at 35 psi, and the bubbles in my bubble counter are too fast to count. With those settings, I get lots of microbubbles coming out of my spraybar. I have the holes on the spray bar angled slightly downward so that the microbubbles get blown down through all levels of the tank. I run the CO2 for 8 hours a day beginning two hours before the lights turn on. My drop checker turns almost (but not quite) yellow during peak hours.
 

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Are some bubbles so small, it looks like dust?

Another question: assuming I get the right amount of CO2, how long does it take before I start seeing results for algae removal? Is it pretty immediate (day or two)? Or is it more like a week? Just trying to figure out how often I should "adjust" to CO2 levels.
 

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Another question: assuming I get the right amount of CO2, how long does it take before I start seeing results for algae removal? Is it pretty immediate (day or two)? Or is it more like a week? Just trying to figure out how often I should "adjust" to CO2 levels.
It doesn't exactly work like that. Your goal should just be keeping up with the demand of CO2 from your light. Doing this encourages healthy plant growth and healthy plants are less likely to be covered in algae. Once you get the CO2 adjusted for the most part you leave it alone.

If you have algae now the best thing to do is manual removal of the affected areas and watch it from there. Not knowing what your light time is you may also need to adjust down and start adding ferts if not already.

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Are some bubbles so small, it looks like dust?
Yes, I get bubbles of various sizes coming out of the spraybar. Even the biggest ones are pretty small. And the smallest ones are so small that you have to look really hard just to be able to see them.

Another question: assuming I get the right amount of CO2, how long does it take before I start seeing results for algae removal? Is it pretty immediate (day or two)? Or is it more like a week? Just trying to figure out how often I should "adjust" to CO2 levels.
Depends on what kind of algae you have. Different kinds of algae require different removal strategies. Like jrman said, often the best way to start is to remove as much as you can manually.

As for CO2, most people will tell you that you want as much CO2 as possible without harming your fish. Start at 2 bubbles/sec. Then increase it a little bit every other day, paying close attention to your fish. And just keep increasing it every other day until you see your fish start acting weird, then turn it back down a little. That's the advice I've been given over and over again by many people. However, I've never actually tried it. Instead, I've just been going according to my drop checker. The lighter the green, the better.
 

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It doesn't exactly work like that. Your goal should just be keeping up with the demand of CO2 from your light. Doing this encourages healthy plant growth and healthy plants are less likely to be covered in algae. Once you get the CO2 adjusted for the most part you leave it alone.

If you have algae now the best thing to do is manual removal of the affected areas and watch it from there. Not knowing what your light time is you may also need to adjust down and start adding ferts if not already.
+1 on that^
Increase co2 at very small increments. When oxygen decreases and co2 increases the fish will rise to the surface of the tank. When that happens, decrease co2 with the needle valve at very small increments until the fish act normal. At that point you're at the max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do your fish always swim at the surface of the tank?
No - only if it's feeding time. Otherwise, they mostly dwell on the bottom.

I added a drop checker - it's green, so I'm assuming I'm at a good level of CO2?

Algae continues to grow though... should I keep increasing CO2 until I reach yellow (and then turn it down a bit)? I hate this hair algae... it's covering up most of my HC. :(
 
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