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Old 08-27-2008, 07:09 AM   #1
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Strange CO2 and KH/PH relationship question

Hey this is not the typical question about how the KH/PH relationship works as I kinda understand that.

Here's the thing, my plants are not doing that great and I'm having some algae. Now I think the algae got kick started by ammonia, and prob low nitrates.

Now my PH in my tap water is ~7.5 best I can tell from both high and low range PH test. And after sitting out the PH is 8.0. Now I had talked about this before and someone told me the reason this happens is that there is likely CO2 in the water in the pipes and it off gasses.

I have a GH/KH test kit but for the life of me cannot locate it. I tested once right when I got it and both GH/KH were ~20 IIRC and if I did it correct(the 1st drop counts also correct?)

I know that CO2 fluctuations can occur from tap water from what I've read and there is info that says lower tech/non CO2 injected tanks may be better to not do as many water changes due to this.
Measuring CO2 levels in a Planted Tank

Now the reason I'm asking is because my plants seem OK some days I thought and other days look bad(like I'm going crazy). Now Like I said I'm getting algae.

Last couple days notes: 55G tank(lets talk about Rotala rotundifolia mainly)
8/22: plants not looking great, rotala leaning sideways, so after lights out, cleaned algae that I could get off driftwood and did a WC, think it was 10G
8/23: Algae coming back, rotala leaning, see small new growths on it, like new plants shooting up, while the main plant leans.
8/24:24hr blackout
8/25: Cleaned algae, Did a 12G WC 4hrs before lights come on to give time to off gass(I thought). At the end of light period Rotala sticking straight up and pink on ends more then ever before and pearling more than ever. I was amazed at how much changed in 8hrs of lighting and a 24hr blackout the day before. No algae pearling on driftwood, thinking I have got it going.
8/26: Plants not looking great, rotala sideways again after lighting and algae started appearing on driftwood again, it is pearling so I see lots of bubbles on the wood then if left for a couple days it will be covered.

Looking at the charts for PH/KH, it seems that assuming my KH is the same in the tank than I should have ~4ppm CO2.

Is is possible for me to have 10ppm(or more) of CO2 in the water straight from my tap??

Also if I do a water change I have crazy bubbles all over even with lights out and after hours. SO is this whats going on or am I crazy?

I also know that phosphates can throw off the KH/PH chart for CO2, I ordered a test kit for this so hopefully that will shed more light.

Just had to vent
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:29 AM   #2
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that plant needs med. to high light doesnt it?
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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medium from what I've read
http://plantgeek.net/plantguide_view...d=186&filter=3
http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/profiles/p75017.htm
http://www.myfishtank.net/reviews/sh...1/cat/21/page/
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:41 AM   #4
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so you have good light but not enough co2?
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:44 AM   #5
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Well I deff dont have enough CO2 b/c I'm not injecting any, lol(yes I'm a rebel). I dont expect the plants to love it or flourish like an injected tank. I have ~2wpg of average lighting

I'm more asking if its actually possible to have 10ppm CO2 in tap water straight out of the pipe because that is what I believe I have by the chart, how my PH changes while sitting out/in tank and what I am seeing from my plants.

I can repeat the test but I dont think the CO2 fluctuations are going to help my algae situation any, lol. I'm pretty sure this is exactly whats happening as because more than one day I have seen the plants perk up, then 1 day later they are looking not good. At this point I guess I need to stop doing WC's and I'm sure I have enough ferts at this point. I want to just going to leave it alone, but this algae is going to kick my butt if I dont do something about it, also I really want to do a water change when removing the algae b/c its slimy and falls apart so its going to float around w/o a water change. I'm very frustrated at the moment.



The only plant that has made good improvements through this has been Nymphoides sp. 'Taiwan'. It seems to not care about the CO2 fluctuations. The other plants are greatly affected b it(also the algae).
http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_viewer.php?id=274
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:49 AM   #6
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yeah not sure but could be higher right out of the tap but will drop once in the tank . why not put diy co2 in there?
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Well at this point I'm getting just as much fluctuation as I would prob have with DIY CO2 so it wouldn't matter, lol. But I prob would be better off with the CO2. I'm going to not do any WC's for awhile and see what happens.

I read people say its harder to dissolve CO2 in harder water, but after looking at the charts that seems just the opposite.

I dont have any yeast, and I was planning this to be a lower tech/maintenance tank(less dosing, slower growth, ect..). At this point its deff Not


OK lights have been on for ~1hr, the driftwood algae is starting to pearl already, this stuff is nuts!!!
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:17 AM   #8
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if theres fish in the tank and no co2 you might not even need to dose fertz
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #9
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there was only 1 male Endler and No nitrates. I now have only a few fish in there 4 Male Endlers, 2 Oto's, and 3 RCS. They are in there to hopefully eat some of the algae, I'm not feeding them or planning to so the Endlers will have to learn to like algae.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #10
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the water changes are helping you ..the co2 rises plants do better ..the next day low co2 med light high nutrients the algae is happy and bubbling. yeah good fish for algae eating should help get under control
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