Bought a CO2 Kit instead of a DIY

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by plug, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. plugWell Known MemberMember

    So I just was so fed up I went and purchased a Fluval CO2 kit and set it up
    I don't have the space for 2 litre bottles for a DIY so I opted for this instead...much more expensive, but had to be done

    So this is my first attempt with CO2, and I have a couple of questions

    As I understand it, I should shut the unit off at night, and plug in my bubbler and have it run at night. Is it about right to shut off the unit about an hour before turning off lights and starting up bubbler, so the remaining CO2 can be used up

    Also, is there any time lag when I turn the lights on again...should I turn lights on, bubbler off and CO2 unit on at the same time?
  2. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    It is a good idea to turn it off at night, that way the CO2 isn't going to waste or possibly create high levels of CO2. Turning the CO2 off an hour before the lights go out is fine, and then turn the CO2 on, and aerator off, an hour before the lights come on. This way the CO2 levels can build up before the lights come on. Running an airstone is up to you, it probably isn't a bad idea to do since it isn't going to hurt anything. I don't run an airstone, but my filters create enough disturbance to outgas the CO2 at night.

  3. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Which brings me to my next question
    I ahve an Eheim 2213 as my main filter
    I also run a small HOB Tetra Whisper which I use when needing to take seeded material for my med tank, as well as for extra filtration/circulation

    Now yesterday, my first day I set up my co2 unit, I shut off the HOB as I thought the turbulance would cause the co2 to leave the water quicker. I raised the water higher so it does not cause a falls effect and the water from the HOB goes into the tank with out splashing...although it does cause turbulence

    So in your case, your filters create turbulance to outgas the co2 at night...but what about the day time with the lighst on...won't that turbulence cause the co2 to outtake as well?

    sorry if this does not make sense but I am a little confused

  4. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    It is kinda hard for me to explain this, but I will try. While by filters create disturbance it is only through breaking the surface tension of the water increasing gas exchange. There isn't any splashing unless the water drops too low. Since the diffuser for the CO2 on mine is placed directly below the outlet, the CO2 rises close to the surface only to be forced back down increasing the contact time with the water. As soon as the system shuts off it takes roughly an hour or more to return to the normal pH.

    During the day with the plant uptake of CO2 and surface disturbance, the tank maintains a full 1.0 drop in pH showing me that the surface disturbance isn't too much or too little. Hopefully that didn't add to the confusion.

  5. plugWell Known MemberMember

    I think I may understand. So, my outtake from my HOB causes turbulance, but does not cause splashing (unless water drops below a certain point), and my outtake on my eheim cannister is not pointed towards the surface but is rather vertical and faces the the end of no worry there about then I have my co2 diffuser on the end of the tank where the outake for my eheim is as well as where my HOB is so if I leave my HOB on as the bubbles rise the turbulence will swirl them back down and around to keep the bubbles down as long as possible

    So I see that you have HOB filters as well, so I can leave mine on as long as the water level does not drop low so it splashes

    I will continue to run the airstone at night as I don't think it hurts...or at least I hope it does not hurt
  6. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    Yep, that is all correct. It would be fine to leave the HOB filter on there. In fact you could use it somewhere on the tank where the bubbles begin to rise after dispersing from the eheim outlet since that probably pushes the bubbles out far. For me it took a bit to get the bubbles dispersed though the tank completely, and it only works now because of the basic spraybar/diffusor on one filter. Since you have a canister filter, there are inline CO2 diffusors that a really efficient in keeping CO2 in contact with water. I believe member bankruptjojo has videos somewhere on here of a Green Leaf Aquariums inline diffusor, that is if you decide to change something in the future. The airstone won't hurt anything running at night, but it is the safe thing to do.
  7. plugWell Known MemberMember

    That sounds great

    Thanks for all the information...

    Just curious how long do you run your lights each day?
  8. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    No problem, I'm glad I could help. Right now my lights run for 8 hours a day, but having my lights on that long also entails a pretty good amount of upkeep.
  9. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Right I am looking at maybe 5 or 6 hours of lights as without timers it is difficult to do more as I am at work. I will have to experiment. I guess you still add ferts...I have aqua vitro envy as comprehensive is no longer carried at my LFS and will be adding about 3 times a week
  10. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    A planted tank is always changing and so is the balance. So, do what works for you and see if any problems come up that will require adjustment to suit the plants. I use to dose leafzone and comprehensive, but with the high light and CO2 my plants grow really fast requiring more fertilizers so nutrients weren't depleted. So, for 3 weeks now I have been EI dosing dry fertilizers daily with an amazing transformation in the plants. Even if you didn't begin for a while it is worth looking into dry fertilizers, since they are cheaper and off more flexibility.

    Anyway, back on track, dosing envy 3 times a week should help out with the plants along with the other ferts you use. Good luck with the future of your plants, it has turned into an addiction for me :).
  11. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks again for all your help
    I can see it turning into an addiction for me also

  12. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't bother running the airstone at night, it's unnecessary. The only reason you'd want to do that is if you had your co2 system running 24/7. Don't forget to get a drop checker with 4dkh reference solution so you can monitor your co2 level in the tank.
  13. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Then I can pretty well remove it and use the pump for something else if needed

    Yes I definitely need something to check the co2 levels
  14. plugWell Known MemberMember

    One other question that may seem silly

    If when co2 is being put in, the ph drops, and when it stops it rises

    is this not harmful to the fish?
  15. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    No, it's not. The 'stable' pH thing is way overblown in most cases. Most of the time when people talk about keeping a stable pH it is in regard to having sufficient buffers in the water to avoid a crash.

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