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Hope this is the right section. Anyway I'm fairly new to all this and was hoping for some insight. While running CO2 I realize I have to ditch my air pumps hooked up to sponges. Now I was wondering about running power heads for circulation, mini power heads. Possibly much below surface. I realize I can run the CO2 right through the heads. At what level do you guys run your power heads and should I run them while doing CO2? That kinda thing. Will I be wasting C02? Thanks cheers

I setup my tank thinking I wouldn't do CO2 but changed my mind, I need the circulation now which I hope I can accomplish without agitating the surface so much and losing CO2. Should I move my spray bar to the bottom as well?
 

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I think it is fairly uncommon to run co2 with sponge filter?

Generally you want to have enough flow to move water to all corner. Simple flow test is to grab a short string with your tweezers and put it in your tank.

You might as well go cannister and do it properly. I do have an airstone in my tank that I run for a bit after photoperiod and co2 is off to clear out surface scum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a canister going. I might run the co2 through the power head if that would be good. Ill wait a few days on the purchase for more insight. The test idea is great, thank you
 

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Hope this is the right section. Anyway I'm fairly new to all this and was hoping for some insight. While running CO2 I realize I have to ditch my air pumps hooked up to sponges. Now I was wondering about running power heads for circulation, mini power heads. Possibly much below surface. I realize I can run the CO2 right through the heads. At what level do you guys run your power heads and should I run them while doing CO2? That kinda thing. Will I be wasting C02? Thanks cheers

I setup my tank thinking I wouldn't do CO2 but changed my mind, I need the circulation now which I hope I can accomplish without agitating the surface so much and losing CO2. Should I move my spray bar to the bottom as well?
I use air powered sponges with pressurized CO2 in a couple of propagation tanks , they are just ticking over not bubbling furiously and it probably does cause some out gassing . the tanks are not big (30"x12"x15" high )
I have multiple racks of 3 the 3 with co2 have Fluval Aqualife and plant led lights . they are for growing plants to use in fish shows . .
I would put the spray bar an inch or so below the water surface . I always have a small amount of surface movement . Some others do not feel that it is required .
 

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I'm a big fan of high flow and think some surface rippling is a positive thing. You may degas a little more CO2 but you get the added benefit of well oxygenated water and minimal surface film. For this reason I keep my filter outlet 1 inch below water line. When I say high flow I'm talking planted tank terms - the aim isn't turbulent flow, it's laminar flow that pushes CO2 enriched water around the tank to all corners and along the substrate for carpeting plants. High flow in your average planted tank means plants gently swaying, livestock comfortable with flow and not fighting the current.

Sponge filters add way too much surface agitation and may degas more CO2 than you can dissolve. I find a canister filter is best for injected CO2. I always choose filters that run 10x tank turnover per hour. Lots of water movement, lots of mechanical filtration (planted tanks need little biofiltration) and if it's too strong, I just jam more filter wool in the filter to slow it down a little. I've never needed additional powerheads etc with this method.
 

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I setup my tank thinking I wouldn't do CO2 but changed my mind, I need the circulation now which I hope I can accomplish without agitating the surface so much and losing CO2. Should I move my spray bar to the bottom as well?
Before switching to a sump, I used a canister filter along with a Hydor Evo set just below the surface to make ripples to keep the surface slick down. This had no measurable effect on CO2 usage or PH. I would not recommend a spray bar set too high as to create bubbles. Bubbles are used to off-gas CO2 in the absence of a PH controller.

Ripples good, bubbles bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot guys. My canister is a sunsun mini that doesnt turn the water over more than five times. I'll need the powerhead. It is what it is, until I invest in a better canister. Maybe I will only run one head strategically placed for now. So no bubbles is what I needed to know. Alright so it seems we are on track now. I could run maybe two powerheads in my 20 if they are not so powerful but I doubt that I will. Trying to keep my setup fairly low key for now.
 

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Thanks a lot guys. My canister is a sunsun mini that doesnt turn the water over more than five times. I'll need the powerhead. It is what it is, until I invest in a better canister. Maybe I will only run one head strategically placed for now. So no bubbles is what I needed to know. Alright so it seems we are on track now. I could run maybe two powerheads in my 20 if they are not so powerful but I doubt that I will. Trying to keep my setup fairly low key for now.
Definitely no big deal if you don't run a cansiter and use a powerhead instead. The filter isn't really for biofiltration in a planted tank, just for mechanical filtration and flow. Achieving flow with a powerhead is just as good, only this means you need to have another piece of equipment in your display tank which takes up space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yeah Ill tuck the head in there and be over it. Im trying to scape here but I've already added some betta toys and what not for once this 15 is cycled and I find a nice white one with the flares behind the eyes. I've seen him but didnt want to keep the poor guy cooped up in this little nano I have under my bed. The 20 is going to be a jungle based on the amount of plants I've amassed and will be picking up. Function over aesthetics to a point. Mini canister in both tanks (15 and 20) and will add the powerheads whilst running CO2. Cool. This still ties into CO2, so I'm not veering too far from the thread... Crushed coral (possibly mixed with something) as substrate to be a stable buffer while running the CO2 in my 20? Aiming for hard water for various reasons so the CO2 will also interfere with this objective.
 

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Crushed coral is good for increasing KH & GH. In your average planted tank 3-6KH and 6-8GH is about right. KH helps to avoid wild pH swings when injecting CO2, so a minimum of 3KH is general recommended for this purpose. It only takes a small amount of CC to raise KH and GH to appropriate levels in my case, my tap water is 0-1KH and 2GH. I add a small handful of CC to the filter to raise these values.

CC will only raise pH, KH and GH to a point so it may not be suitable for maintaining high values..

Bettas may not like too much flow... they struggle to swim against strong flow and get a bit worn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Crushed coral is good for increasing KH & GH. In your average planted tank 3-6KH and 6-8GH is about right. KH helps to avoid wild pH swings when injecting CO2, so a minimum of 3KH is general recommended for this purpose. It only takes a small amount of CC to raise KH and GH to appropriate levels in my case, my tap water is 0-1KH and 2GH. I add a small handful of CC to the filter to raise these values.

CC will only raise pH, KH and GH to a point so it may not be suitable for maintaining high values..

Bettas may not like too much flow... they struggle to swim against strong flow and get a bit worn out.
Im looking at a rio powerhead for the 15 (betta) that does only 80 gph. OK maybe I will just do eco complete and just add cc to the filter like you say.
 

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Do note that over time,the crushed coral in the filter will become covered with mulm/,dirt/,bacteria, and become less effective as buffer.
Will need to replace it with new ever so often. (month or two maybe)
 

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I agree that CC loses its effectiveness after a while Roadmaster but I disagree that you need to replace every 1-2 months. I've found replacement annually to be more than sufficient for maintaining set values.

Maybe it depends on how high you want to keep hardness and pH perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Settled for some cichlid gravel guys. My options were limited based on stock and I can't order anything because I need to rescape this weekend. Should be good. People say eco complete is garbage anyway. Figured I would grab whatever was available.
 

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I agree that CC loses its effectiveness after a while Roadmaster but I disagree that you need to replace every 1-2 months. I've found replacement annually to be more than sufficient for maintaining set values.

Maybe it depends on how high you want to keep hardness and pH perhaps?
Different strokes for different folk's.
Much depend's on what GH your trying to achieve, and how much you need to achieve it.
Also how dirty the Crushed Coral get's, which one can note while cleaning filter, assuming they do it regularly.
In any event,the cichlid sand the OP has chosen would I think provide more stable/sustained water values.(GH)
Would not maybe be something I would then attempt to keep species that prefer soft water in, but that's just me.
 

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Given that it takes 1-2 months before CC loses its effectiveness in your case, I think you're seeing the effect of biofilm buildup on the CC surface slowing release of bicarbonates etc. Try a weak bleach dip (usual bleach process for new plants) and see if the CC is 'recharged'.

I'm not sure what levels your targeting etc, but in my case I'm adjusting soft tapwater (0KH/2GH) to around 5KH/8GH. Mildish increases. Could be that biofilm doesn't effect me much, given the low targets..
 

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I have been running a 75g heavily planted tank using CO2 and only using a sponge filter being driven by the powerhead. I do not get the surface bubbles, I get better flow through the sponge, and excellent distribution of the CO2.

I have the powerhead upside down with the sponge on top of it. The output is directed to the upper corner opposite of the filter. I then run my CO2 line into the center of the sponge filter (I just threaded down the center column of the sponge filter). My CO2 line has a small piece of bamboo stuffed in it to create smaller bubbles. The powerhead then further pulverizes the CO2 bubbles to a very fine mist, almost invisible. It is incredibly quite and very cheap/efficient and requires almost no maintenance!

Ben
 
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