I Need More Co2, Injected

zrickie

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75g, RO/DI water changes @ 50%, ATI programmable 8bulb t5's, 2 Fluval 406 filters with sponge, bio's, & crushed coral (used as a ph buffer, to increase PH value to get more co2 into system) for media. Home made reactor 4'long, 2" dia. PVC filled with bioballs. Water flow to reactor is from the out going water from filter. 20 pound co2 tank with regulator and solenoid. American Marine Pinpoint Controller running the co2 injection running 24/7 (due to the crushed coral) with a large air stone on at night by timer. 2 Drop checkers in both ends of tank.
About a 6 weeks ago, while I was out on business for 2 weeks, my co2 tank went empty on the wife and son. They were doing my daily doses, and feedings. Due to the imbalance my tank lost fish (due to PH being at 8. from the coral) and I have been working hard to clear all the ALGAE. Excel is a part of my dose, been using a lot of it here lately After cleaning filters adding more coral (that has melted away {topping off again}), Checking the calibration of the probe, that all seemed good. I can't seem to get my Co2 drops to show close to green/yellow, they show a very light shade of green but more blue, at the end of my light cycle, otherwise blue.
My PH is set for 6.7 +/- .2, KH is 5. So that puts me at near 30 per the charts, But I prefer my KH to be lower. My 24 hour water sample PH test show me to be aprox. 20ppm.The bubble counter is big heavy 4-5 bps. The controller cycles on at nearly 30-45 minutes apart. WHAT AM I MISSING. I want the drop checks to show green. The tank is heavily planted but not a jungle. I had to cut/trI'm a lot out, to remove the algae. Anybody with a green Co2 thump, your input would be really thoughtful.
 

Nick72

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No need to run CO2 when the lights are off.

Most people have the C02 come on 2 hours prior to lights on, and go off 1 hour before the lights turn off.

The key is to get a 1 point drop in PH by lights on.

Measure your PH just before the CO2 starts in the morning.

Measure your PH again as the lights come on.

If it's dropped 1 point then you're good.

I find my tank gains 0.1 PH per hour when my C02 goes off. Therefore taking 10 hours to regain the 1 point PH while the C02 is off.

This is why it's important to check your baseline PH in the morning.
 

Vishaquatics

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I have quite a lot of experience with Co2 systems on larger tanks including tanks up to 12 feet long and 220 gallons.

I've never used a buffer like crushed coral and I don't think it's necessary at all. It is also not necessary to run CO2 24/7. It's a waste of CO2.

I also do not use drop checkers.

For big tank CO2 diffusion, here's the general process:

1) You want to feed the CO2 into a reactor or very strong pump so that the Co2 can be chopped up into small bubbles.

2) The chopped up CO2 should be distributed via a circulation pump around the tank. Do NOT use a canister filter to deliver the Co2 around the tank because the flow is too variable to be consistent. The canister filter should be placed at one end of the tank and should be strong enough to deliver a fairly strong current to the other end of the tank without much obstruction.

3) The current should be quite strong and should cause a sway in plants all across the tank, especially the ones at the very end of the tank. The water should not be stagnant in any area and no dead spots should be formed in the tank. The flow shouldn't be so strong that the plants are being violently thrashed around, but it shouldn't be so weak that stagnant areas are formed or the plants barely move in the current.

4) Turn on CO2 one hour before lights on and turn it off one hour before lights turn off. Use a timer to do this. Don't use a pH probe because it can be problematic in buffered tanks.

5) How do you know if you're injecting enough CO2? You want to increase it slowly over the period of a few hours until the fish start to hyperventilate at the surface. As soon as this is observed, slightly lower the CO2 just a bump down every 20 minutes until the fish return to normal behavior. The borderline level between the fish being stressed and them being okay is the ideal CO2 level. If you're still getting algae after many weeks of proper fertilization and water changes, then your CO2 is not on point. At that point, you're either not injecting enough or the distribution is not enough. 4-5 bps is not much CO2 on a large tank. My 100 gallon runs a bubble count faster than I can comprehend. Hightech tanks need a lot of CO2
 

Nick72

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I'll explain why I have crushed coral in my filter, as it has little to nothing to do with CO2 injection.

My tap is KH 0, PH 7.4.

My tank is KH 1. PH 7.4 before C02, PH 6.5 with CO2.

Although my PH has been rock solid, a KH this low means I could get a PH crash at any moment.

The crushed coral is inert at PH 7 and above.

But if my PH turns acidic PH <7, then the crushed coral should help buffer to avoid a major PH crash.

I had the crushed coral in my canister long before I started using CO2.

I'm guessing my crushed coral is now interfering with the PH drop I'm getting from the CO2. I've certainly noticed that the coral in my canister is depleting now that I'm using CO2. I now have to top it up once a month, where as before it never changed.

zrickie - I'm still trying to understand what your using the crushed coral for. You say your PH is 8. Crushed Coral will not push your PH much higher than 7, as once the water is neutral or alkaline the coral is not depleting. With a KH 5 and PH 8 I don't see what the crushed coral is doing for you.
 
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zrickie

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To Nick72: My PH went up to 7.8-8. When my Co2 tank went empty after the 2 weeks that I was not there. 6.7 ph is my current goal for a target (+/-.2). And using KH at 5 till I can get more Co2 into the system. I have never paid any mind to how long it has taken the ph to rise after 7. but it has went past 7.0 several times with this coral that I use. And that is using RO/DI water. So this coral does cause the water to rise past 7.0ph
 
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zrickie

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Vishaquatics said:
I have quite a lot of experience with Co2 systems on larger tanks including tanks up to 12 feet long and 220 gallons.

I've never used a buffer like crushed coral and I don't think it's necessary at all. It is also not necessary to run CO2 24/7. It's a waste of CO2.

I also do not use drop checkers.

For big tank CO2 diffusion, here's the general process:

1) You want to feed the CO2 into a reactor or very strong pump so that the Co2 can be chopped up into small bubbles.

2) The chopped up CO2 should be distributed via a circulation pump around the tank. Do NOT use a canister filter to deliver the Co2 around the tank because the flow is too variable to be consistent. The canister filter should be placed at one end of the tank and should be strong enough to deliver a fairly strong current to the other end of the tank without much obstruction.

3) The current should be quite strong and should cause a sway in plants all across the tank, especially the ones at the very end of the tank. The water should not be stagnant in any area and no dead spots should be formed in the tank. The flow shouldn't be so strong that the plants are being violently thrashed around, but it shouldn't be so weak that stagnant areas are formed or the plants barely move in the current.

4) Turn on CO2 one hour before lights on and turn it off one hour before lights turn off. Use a timer to do this. Don't use a pH probe because it can be problematic in buffered tanks.

5) How do you know if you're injecting enough CO2? You want to increase it slowly over the period of a few hours until the fish start to hyperventilate at the surface. As soon as this is observed, slightly lower the CO2 just a bump down every 20 minutes until the fish return to normal behavior. The borderline level between the fish being stressed and them being okay is the ideal CO2 level. If you're still getting algae after many weeks of proper fertilization and water changes, then your CO2 is not on point. At that point, you're either not injecting enough or the distribution is not enough. 4-5 bps is not much CO2 on a large tank. My 100 gallon runs a bubble count faster than I can comprehend. Hightech tanks need a lot of CO2
 

Vishaquatics

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I still don't understand the issue. There is no problem with the pH dipping well below 7 into the low 6 range. Most fish can handle it quite easily. Bonus if you have tetras, they like softer water anyways
 
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zrickie

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Once you have reached your so called (Co2) point , what is your PH at ? I feel that if I was to disconnect my controller(or solenoid powered on), and go only on a manual mode with a timer, that my PH will have to be lower than my low programed point of 6.5. And as far as my bubble counter these are big fat bubbles(a lot of bubble) rather than the smaller diameter bubbles seen, when the needle is set lower. I will give that a try this weekend. (I lost my Discus, Clown Loaches, and most all the Harleguin rasbora's. Cory's and Bristlenose made the 7.8 ph change, when the Co2 tank went empty)
 

Nick72

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If your baseline PH without C02 is 7.8 then you want your with CO2 PH to be 6.8.

PH 6.6 at a push.

Any lower than that and you risk killing your fish.

I'd suggest turning you C02 off for 12 hours (over night) then take a baseline reading of your PH without C02.
 

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