help? co2 issue

Discussion in 'Plant CO2' started by bryanmc1988, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. bryanmc1988New MemberMember

    well i was my aquascrape to start growing fast but i'm new to co2 and not sure what it will do or help me with my plants

    also i have cherry shrimps in my tank... will to much co2 kill them? or if anyco2 will kill them.... i'll be doing the diy co2 mixture style.

    also if i put a control value on the co2 airline and close it, will the bottle burst after a while from the peruser?
  2. psalm18.2

    psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    What size tank, what plants, what lighting do you have? What do you mean by control valve?
  3. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    +1 psalm.

    It's also worth noting that CO2 is not the only contributor.

    Depending on the setup (low-light low-tech through to high-light high-tech), CO2 supplementation may not be required.

    The type of plants will dictate the type of setup, and what supplementation may be required.

    To reduce/avoid the potential for algae outbreaks, you need to balance Light/CO2/Nutrients (fertilisers and NPK supplements).

    Some comments regarding DIY CO2 (From experience) - be sure to keep a steady level of CO2 in the system - fluctuations in CO2 can induce Black Beard Algae. It pays to have two bottles to interchange.

    A bubble counter is strongly recommended to monitor flow of CO2 into the aquarium.

    Also be aware that whilst during the day (lights on), plants convert CO2 into O2, but at night (lights off), plants do not process the CO2 (photosynthesis cannot occur without light), and actually expel CO2, increasing the CO2 concentration. I run an air pump at night to minimise the CO2 fluctuations, and to put O2 back into the water column.

    Also keep in mind that CO2 fluctuations will also bring about pH fluctuations from night to day. Depending on the setup, a pH regulator may be required.

    All that said, this is all largely dependant on the type of plants you wish to keep.

    So let's start at the beginning with the equipment you currently have, and the plants you wish to keep.

  4. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    It sounds like you have a DIY system. You cannot add a valve to stop the gas flow without having an explosion.

    To control CO2 run an oxygen/airline overnight while the lights are off.

    To estimate CO2 absorption compare its effect on pH. Begin with adding tank water to a bucket with an airline. Test pH 24 hours later. This is the actual tank pH.

    30PPM of CO2, the ideal level for most planted tanks, will drop the pH 1 degree so long as your KH and GH are both at least 4 degrees. For example my tank water is 7.2, so my pH goal is 6.2 degrees in pH.

    Hope this helps.

  5. OP

    bryanmc1988New MemberMember

    i'm using it on a 15 gal shrimp tank... right now i just have java moss and some other plants they are very low tec plants they dont need much light but i was hopping the co2 might boot its grow rate by 10x

    i'm no sure what kind of light i have but they are plant light ... not sure the watts or anything but hey work fine for me
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2012
  6. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Given the size of the tank, and inahibtants (shrimp), you may very well have a CO2 deficiency.

    But please remember that low-tech/low-light plants also tend to be slow-growing. So sometimes no matter what you do, the growth rate won't increase.

    Given the size of the tank, it might be worth considering Seachem Excel as a carbon (CO2) source, along with some fertilising with Seachem Flourish Comprehensive.

    DIY CO2 is a bit of an art to get right, and IME, is a bit hit and miss. There are many factors that contribute to the effectiveness of DIY CO2, one being ambient temperature.

    DIY CO2 relies on a constant temperture to maintain the reaction, and can often "die out" or take a while for the reaction to start.

    I have found that Seachem Excel is easier to manage and control, but that's just my experience.

    Not trying to convince you from going the DIY path, but for a smaller tank like yours, it may be easier.

    And - I don't think it'll hurt the shrimp, as long as you don't overdose! (be it DIY or Excel)
  7. cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    If you stop gas flow, can you add a valve, and will it not explode, or will it explode no matter what?
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    If you add a pressure release valve, it won't explode.

    DIY CO2 is a reaction, that once started, can't be stopped. It's a fermentation process that continues until sugar is used, or the yeast runs out.

    So, if you put a valve in, the pressure will continue to build in the container until you release it.

    A pressure release valve works like a radiator cap. It won't open until there's enough pressure to push open the spring/valve in it.
  9. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    These release valves are designed to work under a certain amount of pressure. DIY soda bottles are very low pressure systems that are not designed to support the back pressure required for a release valve. At least not one I've found.

    Attempts to stop the release of gas from a DIY set up can cause the system to explode. I have experienced my own DIY set up exploding because the check valve to installed backwards. Enough pressure builds up and the DIY system will have a point of failure.
  10. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Aquarium Plants/Plant CO2 section of the forum.


  11. OP

    bryanmc1988New MemberMember

    thanks for moving didnt know where to add it...

    back on topic...

    so at night i should just let the co2 runn out of the water? wont my room smell?
  12. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    I keep the CO2 line in the tank. Just add an airline to keep the gas from building up.
  13. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    +1 catsma.

    CO2 doesn't stay in the water column for very long. (In the same manner that it doesn't take long for a can of soda to go 'flat')

    I run my airline at night, just to help offset the extra CO2. The airline helps to create more surface movement, which gets the CO2 out quicker. The pump goes off during the day, because I won't the CO2 to stay in the water as long as possible.
  14. OP

    bryanmc1988New MemberMember

    ok i see... one question is why am i getting white hair algae right now with the lights running only 5 hours a day with no co2 and the only thing in the tank is java moss and some other plants and 10 cherry shrimps nothing more... there is not extra food in the water

    ph is around 7.6
    a/N/N is at 0
    temp is at 76
    there is a rena xp2 running on my tank
    tank size is 15 gal

    so with algae already building without co2... does that mean i should not use co2?
  15. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Sounds like staghorn algae. It is caused by too little CO2 and a shortage of macros.

    What ferts are you dosing? What plants do you have? What kind of lighting? How many hours? Do you know how much CO2 is getting into your tank?
  16. OP

    bryanmc1988New MemberMember

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