Thinking About Starting Co2

Discussion in 'Plant CO2' started by acjag, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. acjagNew MemberMember

    I'm thinking of trying co2 and since I'm new at this I'm hesitant to run out and dump a pile of money on a pressurized system so I've been looking into DYI but have come to the conclusion that short term (initial start) it's cheap but long term will have cost more over time because it doesn't last long and new mixtures add up quick. While looking into using co2 there's discussion of ph swings, measuring kh vs ph, it's all is confusing but after reading multiple threads I'm starting to make some sense of it I think. Here's a question to some who have lots of experience. PH is whether water is alkaline based or acid based, Kh is the waters ability to hold Ph steady, Gh is a measure of how much of earth minerals are in the water. So if I have no fish to worry about and only want plants and start to inject co2, PH swings wouldn't be such a big deal so long as a didn't create a tank of acid, correct. If co2 is shut off at night then turn on during the day and there's good circulation and no fish to gas out and I'm just giving an acceptable amount during the day then there would be really no reason to measure kh/ph or co2 level, correct? Now if i do have fish and want co2 injection but keep it on the low end, let say around 20 ppm, shutting co2 off at night, good circulation at night to help provide oxygen production, my plants would still benefit even at 20 ppm, chances of ph swings and harming fish shouldn't be present or problem correct? Over time when i'm comfortable with co2 I'll bump the level to 30 ppm for optimum growth. Running a strong wave maker/circulatory constantly day or night should help correct?
     
  2. -Mak-

    -Mak-Well Known MemberMember

    PH swings won't be an issue even with fish. The CO2 creates carbonic acid yes, but this doesn't actually change anything with KH/GH so it doesn't affect the osmoregulation of fish. Without fish correct there's not much reason to measure parameters, but at a certain point, I'd imagine if CO2 is over injected, it's probably going to have little effect on plants and is just more wasteful. I use a drop checker to maintain around 30 ppm on my plant-only tank.

    Good circulation is both a day and night thing, it's constant. People will tell you to have less surface agitation to prevent CO2 from off gassing, but this is only good for gassing fish. See it like this: CO2 is constantly being injected. Tiny amounts are being off gassed due to low surface agitation. The CO2 will then build up to dangerous levels, and have no way of escaping - because there's little agitation.

    This is a fantastic and very informative video on this topic:


    This youtuber also has some other really great and inspirational videos on planted tanks if you want to check them out :)
     
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