adding CO2 system to tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by ashBO4yuh, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. a

    ashBO4yuh New Member Member

    I was thinking about adding a DIY CO2 system to my tank. I've tried to research it the best I can, and am still unsure of things. I just wanted to know if there was anything I should be aware of before hand. Such as, change in water parameters, tempatures affecting it, should I turn off my airstone, how many CO2/yeast reactors should I use for my tank (55g)?...If I think of anything else, I'll add it here in this post. Thanks for anyone's help:)
     
  2. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Adding co2 gas will lower the PH of the tank. How much depends on the KH of the water. The higher the KH the more resistant it is to PH swings. The plants produce co2 at night & that lowers the PH even further. The extra co2 produced by the plants at night lowers the PH even further & PH swings can result. To reduce the size of these PH swings it is best to run an airstone at night only. That will cause extra surface disturbance & allow some of the extra co2 to gas off & help keep the PH more stable. External temperature does effect how quickly the reaction takes place inside the yeast generator. The higher the temperature the faster the reaction takes place & the more co2 is produced. To help keep co2 production more constant it is a good idea to have the yeast generator in a bucket of water with a cheap aquarium heater to keep the temp stable. For a 55gal tank I recommend you use two yeast generators to produce enough co2 to really make a difference. When using two generators, it is best to alternate when you make a new mixture. As in make one yeast mix one week & then the next yeast mix the next week & so on. That will help keep co2 levels more consistant. You might only need to make a new mix every 2-3 weeks. It really depends on what yeast recipe you use & what temperature you keep the mixture at.

    You may ind some usefull info in these other threads:
    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/diy-do-yourself/67022-diy-co2-question.html
    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/diy-do-yourself/65589-diy-co2-dummies-photos-please.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  3. N

    Neji Valued Member Member

    I learned that using C02, you have to have a filter that doesn't make the water at the top ripple too much because that will do something to the C02 I can't remember what exactly it does, but it doesn't allow the C02 work very well in the tank. Some have the power filters that suck water through a tube and then the filtered water out another tube at the bottom or near the bottom of the tank. That way the C02 can work that way. The people at the LFS told me about it :) So be careful!
     




  4. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    Surface disturbance will cause gas levels to even out between the aquarium and the surrounding air. This means that if you add CO2 to the aquarium, and then you have a lot of disturbance, the excess CO2 will bleed off into the air until the levels are averaged out again.

    As far as the pH drop at night goes, there are people who worry about this, and people who don't. Both seem to be successful. I think that it would be beneficial to at least monitor your pH throughout a 48 hour period, see how far the pH shifts, and decide whether or not it's something you are concerned about.
     
  5. N

    Neji Valued Member Member

    I see. So what do you use for testing the pH levels? I bought the liquid testing kit that I only use to test the oxygen levels in my tank though.
     
  6. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    pH test kits are usually pretty easy to find, and are pretty cheap (it's an easy test to do. It's a common experiment in science classes, and even in many kids' chemistry sets)
     
  7. N

    Neji Valued Member Member

    Ah I see. Although the Oxygen test kit cost me about $36 Nuevo Soles (PEN) which is pretty much $14 in Canadian dollars... do you know if pet stores usually sell things that are a lot more expensive than they normally cost?
     
  8. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Oxygen test kit!!!! WHY???

    Do you mean CO2 test kit?
     
  9. N

    Neji Valued Member Member

    Nope not CO2 test kits. I test the oxygen in the water since sometimes my fish come up to the top and gasp for air so I'm a bit concerned about their well beings.
     
  10. funkman262

    funkman262 Well Known Member Member

    I feed my CO2 tubing through the intake of my Marineland Emperor 280 (HOB)and it works very well. With 2 generators, my pH dropped from 7.5 to 6.6 so I ended up removing one of the generators so the CO2 levels don't get deadly for the fish.

    Just to speak for myself, I haven't noticed ANY difference in pH right before lights out and right before the lights turn back on. I've also tweaked my system to stay at the lower end of the recommended CO2 levels (~10-15 ppm) in case if for some reason the CO2 levels do rise a bit.

    Now I don't know if I was just lucky in that I had no problems with leaks, it was easy to get the CO2 levels right where I wanted it, I had no problems using a HOB filter, and the pH hasn't fluctuated since I started the system but these results are probably not typical. I monitored my pH like a madman the first week to get an idea of how the generators would affect the pH and CO2 levels so I knew everything would be safe when I decided to put the fish back in the tank. It's important to monitor the pH levels and also keep watch of the fish gill rate. Here's a good link to read a bit more about CO2 in planted tanks:

     
     
  11. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Your probably not experiencing a noticeable dop in PH overnight because -
    1: You don't have enough plants to produce enough co2 at night to drop the PH
    2: You have a high KH which helps keep the PH more stable
    3: You are running an airstone at night to create extra surface disturbance & dissipate the co2 the plants are producing at night
    4: The extra surface disturbance created by your filter helps keep the numbers stable. (Depending on the type of HOB) Some have lots of surface disturbance, some have virtually none.

    Any which way it doesn't really matter. You have increased your co2 levels & have a stable PH. That's all that really matters.
     




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