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Old 11-01-2002, 08:29 PM   #1
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water parameters

hi - setting up my first tank and have a problem (maybe)
i set up a 65gal, planning on a heavyly planted tank. got 190watts of light
(110-compact flour. and 2x40watt flour.) put in 2 diy co2 reactors and a ehime 2217 filter.
haven't put the plants in yet. the water, at start had a kh of 70 and gh of 135. the ph was 7.6 (city water). once the co2 was running for a few days, the ph went down to 7.2 - which according to my chart means i had a level of 13-14 of co2 (a little low but getting close to what it should be).
everthing was going the way i thought it should.

now the problem
i put a few alage eaters in, since i found out the the plants were going to come for 2-3 weeks and i don't want a alage problem. i turned on the pump (overnight). the next morning
i got the following readings, kh of 90 and a ph of 7.6. now i understand that the o2 surface movement vents co2 BUT SO MUCH and what happened to the kh?
once i get it planted and add more fish, will running the pump at night just get rid of all the co2? NOW what i don't know is how to get the co2 levels up
any advice would be appreciated

darcy
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:57 AM   #2
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By pump are you referring to a Power Head. If so and you are running it at the top causing turbulence, This raises the oxygen levels in the tank which will drop the Co2 rapidly, As far as the GH, KH goes we never really tested for this in our plant tanks so I really can't answer to that one.
If you continue to use the power head at the surface it will continue to drop the Co2 levels. Is there any reason you are doing this. My son uses a Small power Head once in awhile just to clear the film off the surface that the Co2 will create. He uses a Fluval 304 with a spray bar pointing down to move the water around slightly as the plants don't really need high flow. Just a word of caution as you have found when the Co2 levels drop the pH will rise rapidly and could shock your fish.
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Old 11-02-2002, 06:13 AM   #3
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CO2

One thing you may also have to do is cut off the CO2 at night since plants do not use CO2 at night when the lights are out. They actually produce CO2 and use O2. Will post more later...gotta get to work .
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Old 11-02-2002, 09:02 AM   #4
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by pump i mean a air pump hooked to a air stone laying on the bottom

the ehime's bar is about 1 1/2" below the surface flowing sideways, so there is no surface turbulence except when the air pump is turned on, then of course the bubbles raising pop on the surface

i turned the pump off last night and measured the ph when i got up, 7.5 which is about the speed it lowered originally.

turning the co2 off would be a pain as they are just yeast and sugar bottles and they are going to vent regardless (its leave them on or vent them to the outside during the night.

i just can't figure out what to do, other people have plants and must run an air pump, how do they keep the co2 levels up?

will the plants produce enough co2 during the night to stop this huge loss?

i was told to turn the air on high at night and the plants will thank me (as well as the fish)
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:44 AM   #5
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We do not run an air pump in any of our plant tanks.

We find it isn't really needed, My sons 55 gal. is in the Photo gallery
Under Responder 503, My wifes 29 will be posted with a new plant site (online) we just tried. The 55 is using a Carbo plus Co2 generator & the 29 we are trying two different types of liquid Co2. We will post later on those two when we know more about them
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:17 PM   #6
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I'm not an expert yet, but trying like mad to get the hang of this plant tank thing also.

The C02 will NOT cause anyproblems running all night, leave it on once you have plants.

Quote:
i just can't figure out what to do, other people have plants and must run an air pump, how do they keep the co2 levels up?
No air stone in planted tanks, it drives off the Co2 pretty rapidly. In all my reading, nobody uses aeration in plant tanks, the plants produce enough oxygen during the day to keep themselves and the fish happy overnight, no problem.

OK, I read a bit further, did you say you dont have any plants yet? If that is the case, get rid of the Co2 untill you plant. It serves no purpose unless there are plants to utilize it.

About the Kh, what's your substrate? Any rocks in the tank? If you use the wrong kinds, they will raise your kh pretty drastically.
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Old 11-02-2002, 03:02 PM   #7
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i was told that he plants would like (grow better) if you gave them o2 during the night as well as the fish

i had set up the tank with the theory of planting, then cycleing, then fish
but since my friend will not be coming down (free plants) until end nov. i thought i had better put a few alega eaters in (i allready cycled the tank the first time he delayed coming.
you are 100% right about the co2 but i can't turn them off and it wont hurt anything to let them run on (it's throw them away or let them run)
i was very careful about rocks and driftwood, lava rock, pet. wood and some quartzs - the wood was found and COMPLETELY cleaned by boiling then once dried put in the oven for 6 hours at 250. it was also beached for several years since it was in the water.
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:39 PM   #8
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C02

The only problem you may have with leaving the C02 on at night is that the C02 levels may rise too high. Of course, running the air will keep that from happening but may cause pH problems due to the drastic changes in C02 concentrations. I know that most of the C02 systems come with a solenoid that is connected to the light timer so that the C02 can cut off when the lights do. Plants take in 02 and give off C02 at night as no photosynthesis is taking place. One reason to try to keep C02 levels as level as possible is, as you have already noticed, the pH and kH swings that result from different levels. A certain amount of the water in the tank will combine with a very small amount of the C02 (like .7% I think) to form carbonic acid. This then binds with the calcium and magnesium to form carbonates and bicarbonates thus increasing carbonate hardness. When the C02 level is too low, some plants can assimilate C02 from the carbonates that are dissolved in the water resulting in a rise in pH. This is one reason it is not recommended to use an airstone. You may have to experiment with the size of the yeast reactors until you find the right balance. I realize this isn't much practical help, but with so many variables, it's hard to make it an exact science.
Logan J
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