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Old 11-19-2004, 12:46 PM   #1
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too much CO2?

The tank below (20 gal) is now cycled. Water parameters are:
Nitrite ~ 0
Total ammonia ~ 0
6 dKH
10 dGH
ph ~ 7.0
CO2 ~ 19 mg/l

The tank is going to house my Green Spotted Puffers (for awhile). The pH was at ~8.2 pretty steadily for like a week. Then I added DIY CO2 injectionfor the plants, and it seems the pH has dropped to around 7 now. My question is: is this harmful, besides being lower than the puffers prefer? I am gonna step down the CO2 operation, using just 1 bottle instead of 2. So, is it okay to introduce the fish, or should I try to increase the pH first?

Also, the puffers will be traveling about 1 hour from their current home. Any tips on doing this successfully, besides keeping them in seperate pails?(I will be using 5 gallon buckets...)
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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Hmmmm it appears that no one cares about my CO2 levels, or just doesn't want to offer their opinion. Oh well, it IS friday! How about this question: when I first set up my tank, in order to get my KH above zero initially, and also to raise my unusually low pH (~6) the LFS suggested I add a mixture of acidity buffer and alkalinity buffer. The dosage prescribed was supposed to raise the KH by 3 degrees. It certainly worked, seeing as how I now have 6 dKH. BUT, the pH is now a little low (the buffer addition helped get the pH up around 8) I am wondering:

a) what is going on with this buffer stuff, chemically speaking?
b) will I ever need to do this again to my water (ie. water changes)?
c) I am glad that I was able to get that KH on the charts, but was it worth 10 bucks?
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:39 PM   #3
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Perhaps if you ask this question on the planted section you would get more response

IMO the least amount of chemicals you add to a tank, the better off. PH and KH chemical buffers are boguss and cause to many flucuations that are harmful to fish.

Yes, you will have to add the buffer chemicals everytime you do a WC to keep the KH up.

A far better way to raise KH is to add some crushed coral to your filter. It's far more stable, easier, cheaper in the long run. It's kind of trial and error. Add a little coral, wait a day or two and test your KH. If it's still low, add a little more and repeat the process till you get your KH where you want it. You generally want atleast a KH of 3 or more to keep PH swings/crashes down.

Phos and Nitra are two very important things that must be tested regularly in a planted tank. You'll want to keep your Phos/Nitra at 1:10. Shoot for Phos 1, Nitra 10. If you continue to run 0 Nitra, your going to have an algae bloom. Especially since your injecting CO2.

Personally, I'd hold off on adding Puffers or any fish for that matter till you get a basic understanding of water chemstry and get your tank para's stablized.

Whats your tap water para's after standing for 24hrs?

HTH

I'm not familiar with puffers, but are'nt most of them brackish? If the species of Puffer your considering is brackish. Make sure you research the plant species you have first. The majority of aquarium plants do'nt like a lot of salt and will slowly die.
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Old 11-20-2004, 01:28 AM   #4
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Having a stable ph is usually more importent than a suggested optimum. One co2 bottle should be plenty for your tank. As the mixture declines, your ph will slowly go up, so test often and replace the mixture as needed. I would stay away from up this and down chemicals, they usually cause wild swings in your water chemestry. As Mojotroll suggested, using coral or rock with a limestone base will up your hardness slowly and naturally. I assume your tank is planted, so are they brackish water plants, as puffers are brackish fish, what tank mates have you considered ?
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:30 AM   #5
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If you take a look at the pic up top, the tank currently has a pile of dead coral and live rock (collected at various oceans.) I thought that this would help raise pH and stabilize, which it might in the long run. The tank is freshwater at the moment (that is what the puffers are currently used to), but it will be adjusted to sg 1.005 eventually. The plants I chose are java fern, anubias nana, and dwarf sag (maybe some valis. later)
Mojo Troll: "you'll want to keep your Phos/Nitra at 1:10. Shoot for Phos 1, Nitra 10" I assume here you speakk of phosphorus and nitrogen: Can you buy phospohorus testing kits, and how expensive are they? Also, is the majority of nitrogen going to be in the form of nitrates? My current testing kit only tests total ammonia, it does not have a seperate nitrate testing kit. I'm sure once the fish get in there I will be able to maintain a nitrate reading of 10 ~ they are messy eaters and generally dirty fish
As far as tank mates, I probably won't have any! I thought about some knight gobies, but I really dont' think that there is room in the tank! Are there any good brackish bottom-dwellers that would clean up a bit of mess (ie. uneaten food, etc.)?
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:09 PM   #6
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My first suggestion is to quit with the alkalinity/acid buffers. It sounds like your normal tap water is 3dKh? that's the minimum needed for safe CO2 injection. Easiest way to raise Kh is plain baking soda. I don't have the ratio written down, but if you wanted to raise Kh, stick to this cheaper alternative. With a dkH of 3, I'd expect rested tap pH to be in the low/mid 7 range...maybe 7.4.
As was already stated, a stable pH of 7.4 would be fine for most fish species.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:49 PM   #7
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Coral will raise the hardness. But crushed coral in the filter will do a better job, as the surface area is much greater.
Just wondering. If you raise the salinity, won't it affect the plants (kill them), negating the need for CO2?
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:50 AM   #8
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The final sg for this tank is to be 1.005. I realize this won't work for the puffers as adults, but by then I will have aquired a larger tank.
The KH of my tapwater is 0!!!! I don't remember what he pH was, have to check later. Reasoning for buffers was to get kH above 3 or 4. (stupid city water.. )
Thx for replies, might try crushed coral in filter.
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