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Based on pH. the CO2 in my tank varies from 10 ppm in the morning to 35 ppm at night. Right now I'm using the same timer as the lights, bit I'm thinking of using a separate timer due to the lag needed to get the levels up, maybe as much as 4-6 hours prior to lights on/off. Using the same timer, I have high levels for half the night, and low levels for half the day.
 

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I do something to that extend. I have two sets of lights, and combined the CO2 with the one that comes on later and goes out earlier ("Main lights").

I am not too concerned with providing the optimal level when the lights come on... but I think it is good to turn them off a little earlier so the CO2 level goes down before the lights go out completely.

I guess you could get this really scientific, if you measure pH at certain times of the day and optimize the CO2 on and off times. Well I prefer to err on the low side, choking fishies isn't fun.
 

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The lag is definitely not 4/6 hours. Try 1 hour to start, and test co2 right when lights come on to see if it is up to where you want it.
 

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I have a 2 hours lag before my lights come on...I try to hit 30 ppm when both banks of lights come on (first one on at about 9 am second one about 11 am). Co2 shuts off at 6 pm...lights off at 8 (co2 stays around 45 ppm...then dissipates during the night to about 20+).
 

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IMO, if you have hard water, it's better just to let the CO2 run 24/7 because it will take too long to crank it up if you tie it into your light timer. I tried hooking it into the light timer and found it took several hours before it hit 30+ppm after lights on. My kh is around 10.
 
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