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Old 02-23-2005, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foma2000
malkor, unless black udder already has a kh test kit, there going to have to go buy a test kit anyways. so if your going to get a test kit, why not get one that measures exactly what your dealing with to make things easier.
and exess co2 can cause algea blooms.
Because a Kh test kit is needed to know your Kh levels, which are important. Why limit yourself to what you can test by buying a CO2 test kit, when you'd still need a Kh test kit for other reasons.

Please cite evidence where excessive CO2 causes algae. Website links are fine.
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:29 PM   #12
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I will defer to jsoong as to the effects of phosphate buffering on pH measurements. I do, however, have a few words to add on CO2 levels supposedly influencing algal growth. In my plant-only grow-out tank I've experimented with very high levels of CO2 (via pressurized injection) to see if they have any noticeable effect on plant growth rates. My conclusion is that growth rate gains end at around 30-35 ppm CO2. Anything beyond that appears to have little effect at all on the flora in the tank and is essentially wasted. I have never had an algae outbreak due to excessive CO2, and I've run it up 70-80 ppm to replicate the natural environment of some of the Cryptocorynes I keep. IME almost every algae outbreak can be ascribed to a macronutrient imbalance, most often nitrates.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:21 PM   #13
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well i know that 1 day after i put in the co2 i had a massive ph swing and a rather large algea bloom, i hadn't had one sence the cycle.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:33 PM   #14
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k. so i did alot of reading. (spent about an hour) and i must say i was incorect in my asumption that co2 can cause algea blooms. . in other words i was very wrong. sory malkore. i just asumed that because i had an algea bloom right after the c02 rise that the co2 caused it. thank you for teaching me a wise lesson about doing reading.
but im still sticking to the fact that its better to just get a co2 test kit, if your injecting co2. you can always reverse the chart and use ph and co2 to find kh. then youll know the kh and a more acurate view of the co2.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:58 PM   #15
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You can't really "reverse the chart" .... unless you can have a way of directly measuring CO2 - which I don't think the CO2 kits can do.

You can get a pretty good estimate of KH if you can measure pH accurately in water equlibrated with room air (the CO2 level is known in that case). Actually, measuring CO2 level in room air equlibrated water is a pretty good way of seeing how accurate your tests are. If you get screwy results <as Black Udder seems to be getting>, then something is amiss.

BTW - I am not sure if the 2 ppm of PO4 will account for all the CO2 level discrepency we saw, 2 ppm PO4 vs 90 of KH seems a bit low to account for a 5 fold error in CO2 level. It is possible that there are other buffers present, or that there are errors in measuring the pH or KH.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:46 PM   #16
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As far as PO4 being an issue, one of the kits that are suggested with a planted tank is a PO4 test kit.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:04 AM   #17
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Also, even if CO2 kit does actually measure CO2...it won't help you in non-CO2 injected tanks. Normal levels for CO2 are about 2-3ppm...regardless of pH or Kh...thus reversing the chart won't tell you squat.

You can do as you like Foma...but I stand by my advice that a pH and Kh test kit are the smarter route.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:15 AM   #18
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It doesn't require phosphates to interfere with KH test kits. Any other acid, such as fulvic, humic, or nitric acids will be titrated giving false high KH readings...this is why using peat filtered water won't allow accurate CO2 level determinations. CO2 test kits are even worse. Common CO2 test kits, such as LaMotte's, uses a base (sodium hydroxide) to neutralize all the acid in the test water sample. This assumes all the acid is carbonic acid from CO2. Anyway, sodium hydroxide is added until all the acid(s) are neutralized and the pH is raised to 8.3 which is signaled by the color change of phenolphthalein. So you can see that the CO2 test kit is more susceptible to interference than the KH test kit...any acid or base already present in the sample with be "counted" as CO2. Collecting and performing the test itself can also cause some of the CO2 to "outgas" and not reflect a "true" CO2 reading. The nomographic method is more accurate (using the pH and KH)...a point the LaMotte clearly makes is that the CO2 test kit they sell is for "field" estimates only and that the nomographic method is suggested for greater accuracy. Note also that is takes a lot of phosphate to effect KH test kit interference...at least 20 ppm to distort CO2 levels significantly. As always with CO2 injection, let your plants and fish be the true measurements of CO2. Never place too much faith in any test kit reading.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:14 AM   #19
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Thanks for the detailed description of the process Steve. It helps to really understand what's going on beyond a simple color change in a solution. Always appreciated
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:01 AM   #20
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Ok...did some tests just now:

KH registers 1 now (1 drop turns blue, 1 more drop turns yellow) From Tap = 17
GH registered 7 drops (125.3 ppm) From Tap
PH might be 7.3-7.4 (I did the high PH test for giggles and it's an amber) From Tank
The normal PH registers light blue
KH from the tank registers 4 drops or 71.6
This would yield a possible level of CO2 of around 4.8
Phosphates from the tank and the tap were both less than 1ppm

Does this sound more in line?

I must say all this information is both overwhelming but fascinating to read.

DIY CO2 is assembled now...new light is in place (96w pc) and filter is the fluval 4 plus (internal filter).
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