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Old 02-22-2005, 02:23 AM   #1
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Can I OD on DIY CO2?

I'm planning on a DIY (dual 2 liter variety) for my 46g FW tank. I have a fair amount of plants and have a 96w pc light for the tank.

Is it possible to put too much CO2 in the tank with a DIY setup in a tank of 46g?

I've read several faqs on CO2 use, but haven't seen much past setup. What should I do to monitor the levels and make sure my fish don't suffer any harm from the CO2.

The DIY kit I'm using is the one at:
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html
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2 Bristlenose Plecos; 1 Angel; 3 Rafael Cat;
1 plattys; 6 Tetras (2 black skirt 2 serpae, 2 blueberry); 1 Pictus Cat; 1 clown loach;
2 mollies (1 spotted & 1 black); 1 Zebra Danio; 2 Oto; 1 golden wonder killie; 2 Kuhlii loach; 2 SAE; 1 bumblebee cat; 2 upsidedown cats; 2 golden algae eaters
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:28 AM   #2
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you can defenatly overdose on c02. it happend to me the day after i instaled my diy co2. what happened was i got a major ph drop. drop of almost 1 point, then two days later i had a small algea bloom. but im pritty shure it happend because i didn't have any plants to take care of the c02. befor you install it you should get a co2 test kit to monitor how much it puts into the tank. DON'T get the tetratest co2 test kit. it sucks. its cheeper but it sucks.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:56 AM   #3
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Any recommendations for kits? I found one from RedSea, but that's the only one so far (CO2/Iron for $19.00).
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46g planted
2 Bristlenose Plecos; 1 Angel; 3 Rafael Cat;
1 plattys; 6 Tetras (2 black skirt 2 serpae, 2 blueberry); 1 Pictus Cat; 1 clown loach;
2 mollies (1 spotted & 1 black); 1 Zebra Danio; 2 Oto; 1 golden wonder killie; 2 Kuhlii loach; 2 SAE; 1 bumblebee cat; 2 upsidedown cats; 2 golden algae eaters
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:24 AM   #4
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You don't need a CO2 test kit, just a KH test kit and a PH test kit. Then find the concentration on this chart:

http://www.floridadriftwood.com/page.asp?id=16

Someone jump in if I'm wrong, but as I understand it it's very difficult to "OD" DIY CO2 on a tank that size.
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Old 02-22-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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First off, make sure you read this about CO2 injection: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

I don't think you've thoroughly researched CO2 injection, or you'd know about the Kh/pH chart used to measure CO2 levels.

Injecting CO2 doesn't cause algae either...in fact, it prevents it. Its also possible to inject too much CO2 using DIY, even on a 46 gallon tank. However as long as your Kh is over 3degrees, it's a slim chance of putting too much CO2 in. Fish can tolerate much higher levels of CO2 than what teh plants need. Plants don't need much more than 30ppm of CO2...I've had fish in 85ppm of CO2 and none suffered any ill effects, however that didn't make the plants grow any better.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:46 PM   #6
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I have read several articles (the one you mentioned included) but the biological aspects of fish care (chemical balances, etc.) are new to me, so I'm trying to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row before I go injecting any CO2.

When it's all new, it's hard to know what's important and what's not. I believe I skimmed the page you referenced because I was looking for construction info at the time. Now I'm past that and into the implementation mode. It's definately more helpful for that phase.

I'll check the chart and grab a KH test if that should suffice and start reading.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I can't talk about megabytes and megahertz all day long, but I'm pretty quiet when it comes to PH/KH
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46g planted
2 Bristlenose Plecos; 1 Angel; 3 Rafael Cat;
1 plattys; 6 Tetras (2 black skirt 2 serpae, 2 blueberry); 1 Pictus Cat; 1 clown loach;
2 mollies (1 spotted & 1 black); 1 Zebra Danio; 2 Oto; 1 golden wonder killie; 2 Kuhlii loach; 2 SAE; 1 bumblebee cat; 2 upsidedown cats; 2 golden algae eaters
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:34 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:01 AM   #8
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Ok...more reading... purchased KH test.

Looks like it's 5 drops (using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals). That translates to 89.5 ppm KH.

I have no real idea on PH - it's between 7-7.2, but that's a big swing. The tank has been setup for over a year and it's running well now, so I know whatever the PH is, it's consistent. Problem is, that if I'm going to inject CO2, then PH of 7.0 means i'm getting 15ppm of CO2 (which has to be bogus) and even 7.2 is around 9.5. The lighting is not that strong (40w - but expect the 96w to show up tomorrow).

Question is - would it be worthwhile to invest $30 in a Hanna digital ph tester? That should deliver a more accurate result of ph, right?

Also, I do have 1-2ppm of phosphates in the tank which I believe will skew the KH test.

Suggestions, thoughts? I know you guys answer these questions a million times (I've been going thru the history).

Thanks so much for your input.
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46g planted
2 Bristlenose Plecos; 1 Angel; 3 Rafael Cat;
1 plattys; 6 Tetras (2 black skirt 2 serpae, 2 blueberry); 1 Pictus Cat; 1 clown loach;
2 mollies (1 spotted & 1 black); 1 Zebra Danio; 2 Oto; 1 golden wonder killie; 2 Kuhlii loach; 2 SAE; 1 bumblebee cat; 2 upsidedown cats; 2 golden algae eaters
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:51 AM   #9
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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.
If I understand it correctly, all the CO2 kits on the market only measure CO2 indirectly, using KH & pH (They might call it something else in the kit, to make it more appealing, but it is just KH & pH yoiu are getting). So there is no need to buy one of those expensive kits .... unless there exists a kit that directly measures CO2.
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Old 02-23-2005, 02:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black udder
Also, I do have 1-2ppm of phosphates in the tank which I believe will skew the KH test.
You have KH of 90 & pH of 7.0 without any added CO2? That would translate to a CO2 of 15ppm. Clearly impossible with room air CO2 of 3ppm.

Your problem is not with the pH test ... but the phosphate. All those CO2/KH/pH tables assumes you have no other buffers apart from HCO3. When you add in a second buffer (PO4), you invalidate the whole equation & can no longer trust the CO2 reading from the charts (or from the run of the mill CO2 test kits either).


We had a thread going about this 2nd buffer problem.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=43891
Some one suggests simply estimating CO2 on pH change alone. There are lots of pitfalls with this approach .... I would wait for someone with actual experience dealing with the same buffer combinations as yours to chime in....
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