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Re: Use of CO2 generators with Freshwater Aquariums

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  • fishlover_james_s
    Thanks for the info. I actually had wondered if the increase water/air interface with the overflow would dissipate the CO2 out of the water column. I also have
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 13 1:49 PM
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      Thanks for the info. I actually had wondered if the increase water/air interface with the overflow would dissipate the CO2 out of the water column. I also have the Bio-wheel on the hang-on penguin filter and this also increases the dissolved O2 in the water and likely removes CO2.
      I had thought about plumbing the CO2 into the sump near the pump so that the gas would be drawn-up the water return and into the main tank which would provide for a lot of contact time between the bubbles and the water. Had not thought about pump failure leading to overdosing into the main tank so this will solve that as well. Thanks!!!
      I may also try out the excel as well, but want to experiment with this first. I really don't like adding too many chemicals into my water, as I feel these aren't good for the live-stock.

      James S.

      --- In UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com, "Giancarlo Podio" <tuvy72@...> wrote:
      >
      > The day/night changes in CO2 levels is for the most part an exagerated theoretical problem that by now is only fueled by outdated websites and google results :-) Plants play a very small role in consumption of CO2 or the levels in your tank. The biggest "consumption" (loss) of CO2 is actually caused by gas exchanges and surface agitation. Plants represent a tiny percentage of CO2 consumption or loss in a tank and the majority of the CO2 we pump into the tank is only to maintain a certain concentration.
      >
      > With a constant pressurized setup running 24/7 we see on average around a 0.2 drop in PH overnight. If we instead turn off the CO2 at night, we see about a full point drop in PH... obviously the amount of change depends on target level and surface agitation, but generally speaking you will always see less of a change overnight if you continue to run CO2 non-stop. As for the DIY setup, the only issue is it starts strong at the start of the week and weakens as it ages, producing less and less CO2 each day. I simply push the airstone deeper as needed, this allows more contact time before the bubbles reach the surface thus dissolving more CO2 into the water. In larger tanks where you can run multiple bottles you simply alternate them so that a fresh bottle is added when the other bottle is around half of it's lifespan...
      >
      > Now in your case, you will have a different problem... your overflows and wet/dry filtration system will represent a huge loss of CO2 due to the large amounts of gas exchanges that these two devices generate. You will likely find that a DIY CO2 setup will likely not keep up with the loss of CO2 and even a pressurized setup will need to be cranked up so much that it becomes a waste and a hazard in the event something stops... for example if your return pump stops while you're out, your CO2 will keep cranking and raise CO2 levels beyond safe concentration. My gut feeling says that without switching to a canister setup, you would have better/easier results using Seachem Excel as this product is not effected by gas exchange rates. If not, you will need to really slow down the flow on the return pump so that gas exchanges are reduced to a minimum and pump the CO2 into the sump so that if the return pump stops, only the sump is effected by the rise in CO2 levels.
      >
      > Hope that helps
      > Giancarlo Podio
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com, "fishlover_james_s" <james_kristi@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Thanks Giancarlo for the information as I have enjoyed the past hour researching all of your information. I watched many of the YouTube videos from your site and think I will try this out this week. I do have a question.....With the DIY reactors do you have many PH swings with the lights are out??? I know with the more expensive models, you use a timer to turn the reactors on/off with the lighting cycles, but with the DIY bottle system it seems to run continuously.
      > > My Tank is a Oceanic 58 gal (L 36.5 x W 18.5 x H 21)with an in-tank overflow to my wet-dry filter. My WDF is 30 gal and has a mixture of bio-balls and polyfloss/sponges. I also have a 250 Bio-wheel filter on the upper tank for added filtration. My Ph stay's 7.0 with no ammonia, or nitrites, and with little nitrate. Temp 80(f). I feed on a timer twice per day into a feeding ring to limit wasted food.
      > > Plants include: Crinum calamistratum
      > > Amazon Sword
      > > Red Cabomba
      > > Bacopa
      > > (Did have Java Fern but it totally disintegrated)
      > >
      > > Fish: 2 Angels
      > > 2 Cory's
      > > 1 Pleco
      > > 3 cichlid babies (had four but one is missing)
      > >
      > > James S.
      > >
      > > --- In UniQuaria@, "Giancarlo Podio" <tuvy72@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hello James, I run CO2 in most of my planted tanks and many of those I setup for others. There's a couple different ways to approach this topic and it is very important to understand the "balance" of nutrients compared to lighting and some of the impacts CO2 will have on a tank, specially one that is currently "happy" (balanced) without it!
      > > >
      > > > CO2 plays a huge role in plant growth, in particular speed of growth. Light however is the ultimate dictator of speed of growth, and all nutrients need to be available in quantities sufficient to sustain the speed of growth that is dictated by the amount of lighting. Any time lighting is too much for the available nutrients in the tank, even when only one nutrients becomes limited, problems usually arise, either in the form of poor plant growth or algae related problems. As we increase lighting, the plants increase their growth rate and uptake rate of all nutrients. CO2 is particularly difficult to absorb under water and thus is usually amongst the first of the nutrients that become limiting when we go over a certain wattage per gallon of water (WPG). Most agree around 2~3WPG being the dividing line between "must have" and "optional" when it comes to CO2.
      > > >
      > > > Your tank by the sounds of it seems balanced enough that no big issues are present. Adding CO2 in gas form can certainly help, it can not only speed up growth but also allow you to grow some plants that don't do quite as well without the addition of CO2. However, the faster growth rate will change the amount of nutrients the plants require, most likely forcing you to start integrating more fertilizers than you do today, specially macros such as nitrates. I have had some beautiful low-light aquascapes which were very easy for the person to maintain and were practically ruined by the addition of CO2, not because of the CO2, but because the person did not follow through with the entire protocol. It will be more work initially, then once you have figured out the requirements of the tank it will be no more or less work than it is today, perhaps just shorter times between prunings.
      > > >
      > > > DIY CO2 (yeast/sugar mix) is fine for tanks such as yours which don't "need" CO2, it is not as stable as pressurized setups and therefore doesn't perform quite as well in high light setups where CO2 is more critical. It is cheap and will require you to make a new mix once a week, it only takes a couple minutes to do so. Know that it will effect PH and that you should likely aim for a concentration around 15ppm. You can easily measure CO2 levels by cross referencing KH and PH on the following chart:
      > > > http://www.gpodio.com/co2_chart.asp
      > > >
      > > > Seachem Excel is a liquid product that can also be used to provide additional CO2 in the tank. It provides an organic form of carbon and therefore does not interfere with PH nor can we test for it, we simply add it daily or every other day at the recommended dose. I mention it because in tanks that don't really "need" CO2, it is a great alternative as it does not speed up the growth rate as much as CO2 gas, however does improve the quality of growth. As a nice "side effect", this product also has an algaecide-like effect on algae, specially when dosed at double the daily dose (never double the "initial" dose on the instructions). In smaller tanks it's reasonably affordable and I often use it either alone or in conjunction with CO2 gas. In larger tanks the costs are a little exagerated however...
      > > >
      > > > For some more info on pressurized and DIY setups, these articles may be of interest:
      > > > http://www.gpodio.com/diy_co2.asp
      > > > http://www.gpodio.com/co2_setup.asp
      > > >
      > > > Hope that helps, keep us up to date on what you decide to try!
      > > > Giancarlo Podio, LMD
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com, "fishlover_james_s" <james_kristi@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I thought I'd start a new topic on the use of CO2 generators for a planted Freshwater tank. What is everyone's experience with these and are they necessary. I've kept freshwater plants for the past few years without using anything but the fish waste and an occasional fertilizer tablet as food along with VHO lighting without much issue. Sure I'm not having all the growth that some of the tanks on the web exhibit, but that is less work with the pruning.
      > > > > However....after reading a few articles regarding making a yeast/sugar CO2 generator, I've thought about trying one just to see if there's difference in my plant growth. Any thoughts, suggestions, opinions?????
      > > > >
      > > > > James S.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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