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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago I swapped to the GLA reactor. The morning after installing it (~12 hours) I wake up and notice immediate pearling. My co2 turns on an hour before the lights. The drop checker is still dark because I'm not really getting full co2 dissolution while it is not fully filled with water.

Yesterday I cleaned my canister which causes the reactor to drain as I lose siphon. It takes a good 24 hours to fully fill with water and empty the o2 after being first set up. This morning I wake up and again immediate pearling, drop checker is dark green. I can't tell if I am still getting a bit of a soda effect while the reactor is filling up. But again my plants are pearling earlier than they ever do. It usually takes until the afternoon to see this. The co2/timing is calibrated so that it's about 30ppm when the lights turn on.

What causes this pearling while the reactor is filling vs when it isn't? it seems as though my pearling is much more intense while this reactor attempts to fill the last 10%.
 

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does it only happen after the reactor has been drained? if not, then you are in a good place with co2. but if so maybe it has something to do with pressure in the reactor resulting in greater dissolution.

btw, drop checkers are blue cause that's what your co2 concentration WAS 2-3 hours earlier, before your co2 injection starts. really can't rely on them to dial in co2 because of this lag and difficulty of matching colors to values.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it only seems to occur after draining. If you know something that is more accurate than calibrated 4dkh I would be happy to use it. As I understand there are many variables in play with pH that can actually give you an inaccurate reading where well, 4dkh is calibrated. I haven't changed my co2 output. It is set to 30ppm based on a drop checker, pH, and my fish's reactivity. I only notice this change when I lost the siphon from cleaning my filter.

If greater dissolution due to less water were true I would expect reactors to be a lot smaller.
 

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Measuring pH drop from degassed to peak injection has been a more accurate way for me. Take a water sample and let it sit for 24 hours, take a pH, then pH your tank, while injected, if it shows a 1 to 1.5pH drop from degassed, you are there.
Here's another way as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Measuring pH drop from degassed to peak injection has been a more accurate way for me. Take a water sample and let it sit for 24 hours, take a pH, then pH your tank, while injected, if it shows a 1 to 1.5pH drop from degassed, you are there.
Here's another way as well.

Already done it. But it's not very accurate for me.
 

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user guides for co2 should start recommending a pH pen instead of a drop checker. you are looking for about a 1pt drop in pH, from your baseline pH. optimizing co2 involves a relatively quick rise to 30ppm by the time lights come on and remaining relatively stable throughout the photoperiod. it is a balance between that which is injected, plant use, and off-gassing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
user guides for co2 should start recommending a pH pen instead of a drop checker. you are looking for about a 1pt drop in pH, from your baseline pH. optimizing co2 involves a relatively quick rise to 30ppm by the time lights come on and remaining relatively stable throughout the photoperiod. it is a balance between that which is injected, plant use, and off-gassing.
Not sure we are on the same page, so I'll just copy and paste it directly.

It is set to 30ppm based on a drop checker, pH, and my fish's reactivity. I only notice this change when I lost the siphon from cleaning my filter.


So I left two cups of tap out for 24 hours. Aerated one. The aerated cup is 7.94. The regular cup is 8.58. My tank is reading 6.25 so this looks to be somewhat in line with what I should be expecting.
Already done it.


Either way. My reactor is full now so this will have to wait until the next canister cleaning.
 

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how do you measure your pH? with api or other brands that you have to match colors with values? this is inherently inaccurate. and the tests themselves are flawed. a calibrated pH pen/monitor will give precise readings, some down to 2 decimals.

with respect to your reactor emptying due to canister cleaning, have your considered installing quick disonnect valves on the input and output of the reactor to keep it from emptying while you clean your filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how do you measure your pH? with api or other brands that you have to match colors with values? this is inherently inaccurate. and the tests themselves are flawed. a calibrated pH pen/monitor will give precise readings, some down to 2 decimals.

with respect to your reactor emptying due to canister cleaning, have your considered installing quick disonnect valves on the input and output of the reactor to keep it from emptying while you clean your filter?
I have a calibrated pH pen, API kits, test strips. The canister actually emptying is no issue for me. It is usually 90% filled by the time the co2 comes on the next day and only occurs when cleaning the canister. It's filled again and pearling activity has returned to normal. Just wish I knew why it seems like my plants are pearling so much more intensely afterward. I do get a bit of visible co2 (soda pop effect) while it fills that last 10% so I am wondering if that is related somehow.
 

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so you are seeing what appears to be co2 mist during the last 10%? co2 mist is thought to promote greater growth. an inline co2 diffuser might help if you can stand micro bubbles everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so you are seeing what appears to be co2 mist during the last 10%? co2 mist is thought to promote greater growth. an inline co2 diffuser might help if you can stand micro bubbles everywhere.
Yes. I have heard this argument as well. I actually started with the diffuser and recently swapped it to this reactor. My thinking is that the reactor pushing smaller microscopic bubbles actually has increased surface area but I have not found anything definitive yet. My whole setup is a Fluval 407 to the GLA reactor with a set of stainless lily's with the surface skimmer. I'm not particularly in love with these pipes so I am all ears to suggestions.


1032989


1032990
 

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Check the PH when this extra pearling is happening vs normal, at the same time of the day. If CO2 is higher (lower PH) then for some reason you are getting better co2 dissolution during this time.

If CO2 levels are the same then its probably something to do with the o2 content. The higher the o2 content in the water column the more visible pearling will be, heavy pearling after a water change for example. The strong turbulence inside the reactor when its partially full of air may be oxygenating the water to some degree.

Also when you clean the canister the skimmer works better. The skimmer adds a lot of O2 to the system. As time goes by and the canister gets dirty, flow decreases which means the skimmer isnt adding as much O2. So when you clean the canister you automatically raise the O2 levels. If it was solely due to this you'd see the effect for more than just a day, but its another factor contributing to a sudden O2 increase during this time

Those are just some thoughts, its an interesting mystery!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Check the PH when this extra pearling is happening vs normal, at the same time of the day. If its higher (lower PH) then for some reason you are getting better co2 dissolution during this time.
aha! my drug plant dealer! 😄 Yes, this is a great idea, I will do it next time. However, my drop checker was darker green indicating that my co2 levels "should" be lower as I usually wake up and it's near lime.
 
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