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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for advice on how long my tank can safely go without my pressurized C02 system running?

It's a 10 gallon with a roughly 70% and growing carpet of HC (Dwarf baby tears) and some Micro swords. Obviously the HC can be a very C02 hungry species so Im uneasy about shutting off my system which is pressurized without a pricey solenoid/timer unit.

I have to leave home for 4 days for work and was wondering if it would be ok? My lights are on timers and i know my fish will be fine, but what about my precious HC?

I guess my only other option is to leave the C02 on a lower setting continuously. I use a hang on back penguin bio wheel filter so it does a good job of making surface agitation and keeping my tetras from oxygen deprivation.

I normally just manually turn the CO2 on each morning and off at night.

Any thoughts please?
 

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A biowheel is normally enough to ensure plenty of oxygen at night.

If you have time before your trip, you might try running the CO2 all night long, keep an eye on things, and see what happens. Chances are, unless you have the CO2 turned up beyond 30ppm and almost to the point of fish gasping, it'll be alright.

Otherwise, I'd do one of the following:

1) Put a cheap aerator and mechanical timer in to aerate the tank at night.
2) Turn off both CO2 and lights for the four days. Consider it a blackout, like the ones used to treat algae infestations. The plants may be set back a bit, but should quickly rebound.
 

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How is your CO2 being diffused? If with a powerhead, you can put the powerhead on a timer. Just leave the CO2 ON. As long as CO2 isn't effectively being dissolved, it would not accumulated. Of course, you can put an air stone and put the air pump on a timer too.
 

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All these seem like very reasonable suggestion. I just had some personal stuff come up last week and had to go about 6 days without my co2 system and I run EI dosing and a great deal of HO lighting on my 75gal. I just turned off half the lights and stopped dosing. The plants don't look much different and no issues with algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I use a ceramic type diffuser placed at the bottow of my tank. I think I will try a combination of some of your suggestions and turn down my CO2 to under 1 drop per second and turn half my lighting source off. I may also drop the tank water level another half inche to help with the waterfall effect coming out of my filter which really helps create lots of surface agitation and oxygen bubbles.

Since this is my first time growing HC and its actually doing pretty well I dont want to risk cutting the CO2 completely.

This plant seems like it relies on a CO2/Flourish Excel life support!
 
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