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Discussion Starter #1
I recently set up a CO2 system for my tank, measuring the levels using a drop checker and pH test. Apparently a 7.0 pH will mean I have 30ppm CO2. KH is 10-11

The trouble is that whenever I seem to get near that 7.0 pH the puffers seem like the CO2 has taken a toll on them. Maybe it is a placebo but I swear they look like they are breathing more heavily and are a bit sluggish. So after I see the puffers acting like this I turn the CO2 down a bit - Where is the line between safe environment for the fish and healthy plants? Should I only be concerned about the fish if they are really breathing heavy or gasping at the surface? Is it normal for dwarf puffers to show some gill movement or should the mouth and gill area be still? Maybe I am overthinking all of this but the CO2 levels constantly fluctuating from me adjusting it loads is starting to cause a bit of algae lol!
 

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Make sure you have some amount of surface ripple going on. No movement at water surface = your fish get stressed out more by the same amount of CO2. "But, doesn't that allow my CO2 to gas out faster?" Yes, to some degree, but your water can have higher levels of CO2 before it stresses the fish
 

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There is this guy named oscarlloydjohn who's puffers got stressed by high CO2 levels.... ;)

Point is if your fish are stressing that is THE most important fact....

On a serious note: Max CO2 levels up to (any) fish stress is never really needed (personal opinion)...

https://plantedtankworld.com/2014/0...assed-your-fish-co2-emergency-help-aftermath/
I must agree. The whole crank the CO2 until your fish gasp and then back it off a bit seems unnecessary and inconsiderate of the fish. I can understand it happening accidentally but to do it intentionally is a little much.
 

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I must agree. The whole crank the CO2 until your fish gasp and then back it off a bit seems unnecessary and inconsiderate of the fish. I can understand it happening accidentally but to do it intentionally is a little much.
I agree. The margin of error is too narrow. What if your regulator, timer or light is off a little and you risk gassing fish to death.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
+1. Surface agitation will create more oxygen. You can have more CO2 and more oxygen.



And how are you measuring your pH??



If using test kit, very unreliable. Invest in pH meter and calibration fluid it's well worth the investment.


Measuring using an API test kit - It's not the best

The trouble is that I'm not even cranking the CO2 up. The puffers seem affected by it even at "safe" levels (above 7.0pH)
 

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I think there's something to the "puffers being more sensitive" theory, too. There are lots of reports online of puffers doing just fine in full EI/CO2 tanks, BUT there are also reports like this one that mirror what you are experiencing. It appears that SOME puffers really don't like CO2
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think there's something to the "puffers being more sensitive" theory, too. There are lots of reports online of puffers doing just fine in full EI/CO2 tanks, BUT there are also reports like this one that mirror what you are experiencing. It appears that SOME puffers really don't like CO2


I think that may be the case :( Maybe I'll shoot for 20ppm instead
 
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