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Old 03-18-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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CO2 help!

Folks,
After my investment into injected CO2--I dont see any results. Bummer
BUT-I think I see the problem.
After 2 weeks of apprx 120 bpm-I cant seem to get my c02 above 12.

Question is -how do I increase my CO2 to 30ppm?

There is no surface turbulence from AC500 hanging filter
Airstone is removed weeks ago.

Powered Red Sea Reactor 500 for CO2 diffusion
2x65wX9 hrs compact lighting-yes I have algae!
Greg Watson Ferts
Eco complete substrate
PH-7.0
KH-4
Phosphates->10
Nitrates-40
Litely planted tank-

Thanks
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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Have you checked to make sure that you don't have any leaks in your system?

How are you measuring your pH and KH? Have you checked some water that's rested for 24hrs to ensure that you get about 3ppm CO2? Are you using a CO2 Drop Checker?

Might want to try a different diffusion method like the mist method to see if you get better results.

More plants would help the algae issue. Planting heavily from the start gives the plants a head start on the algae.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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Purr,
No leaks in system--
Measuring with Aqurium Pharm test kits
Not using drop checker?
Mist method?
Thanks
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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A drop checker is a small device that is filled with a KH reference solution and a couple drops of pH reagent. This is placed in the tank, and gives a constant visual check of CO2 levels. By selecting the proper KH you can determine at what level of CO2 the drop checker will turn Green indicating ideal CO2 levels. If your goal is 30ppm, you would use 4 dKH. Green indicates you are on target, Blue too low, and Yellow too high. With a dKH of 5 the drop checker would indicate Green at about 38ppm of CO2. The nice thing about this is that since you are using a KH reference solution there are not other factors that could be affecting the pH KH relationship. The solution should be changed about once a month.

The Mist Method involves using a glass diffuser or airstone to produce a fine mist of tiny CO2 bubbles, which is placed directly below a powerhead so that the bubbles are spread through the entire aquarium. This seems to be the most effective CO2 diffusion method at the moment.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:47 PM   #5
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I use mist method and I ensure you that it is very effective. Explosive growth provided good lighting and nutrients.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:18 PM   #6
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Folks,
Let me understand? I should have bought a simple glass diffuser and NOT have bought the Red Sea power reactor 500 with diffusing vortex?

Also--What if I shut off my filter during the day to minimize CO2 dissipation for surface turbulence?
Purrbox--I know Red Sea makes a co2 monitor--is that the dropper?
thanks
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:51 PM   #7
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How big is your aquarium? Is all the CO2 getting disolved in the Reactor, or does some bubble to the surface? You might need a little more circulation in the tank to get the CO2 evenly dispersed through the tank. A small powerhead near the reactor will help with this.

I've used the CO2 mist method myself, and found it to be too good. I recently had to remove it, and am running my CO2 to my XP2 instead, as the plants were just growing way too fast. I'm going to try and find a better way to inpliment the mist method so there's not too much clutter in the tank. With the mist method, you generally don't need to monitor the CO2 levels, as it gets the CO2 from the bubbles hitting the plant leaves. This seems to be much more effective than trying to keep your CO2 levels above 30ppm.

Another thing also, you can combine both methods as well. If you have a splitter for your regulator, or manifold, you can run one to the reactor, and set the other for the mist method. But I'd be cautious doing this so you don't raise the CO2 levels to dangerous levels for the fish.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:52 PM   #8
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Unless I missed it, I do not see any mention of tank size. It seems to me that if you can not get your co2 up to your target, one option is to add more. For example in my 29g I get by with +/- 2bps. In my 55g it takes +/- 4bps. Don't take those numbers as law either, experiment with your tank.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparKy697
Unless I missed it, I do not see any mention of tank size. It seems to me that if you can not get your co2 up to your target, one option is to add more. For example in my 29g I get by with +/- 2bps. In my 55g it takes +/- 4bps. Don't take those numbers as law either, experiment with your tank.
I completely agree. Also, no 2 tanks are alike. My 29G does great at 1bps, and my 75G at right around 2bps. Try experimenting with your bubble count, you might need a little higher bubble count.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:58 PM   #10
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I would advise against turning off your filter during the day. It could only lead to more and bigger problems, IMO. If you use a HOB filter, you might want to raise your water level as high as you can to limit agitation. Or, I saw a DIY project where someone built a channel out of PVC pipe to catch the water and "break it's fall", so to speak.

If your filter is a canister, aim your outlet down and away from the surface. I'm using an Filstar Xp3 aimed about 20 degrees below horizontal and my tanks surface is like glass.

Just my opinions. Hope it helps.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:14 PM   #11
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I found this pic on another site. Here's an interesting way to difuse CO2 into the water. He uses DIY CO2...

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Old 03-18-2007, 10:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffz
Folks,
Let me understand? I should have bought a simple glass diffuser and NOT have bought the Red Sea power reactor 500 with diffusing vortex?
Both are perfectly valid methods. Sometimes one method will work better with a certain tank than a second, even though the second may work perfectly fine in a different tank in the same house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffz
Also--What if I shut off my filter during the day to minimize CO2 dissipation for surface turbulence?
As others have mentioned I wouldn't do this. Circulation is important to keep the CO2 distributed throughout the tank. Plus it will kill off whatever bacteria colony is going in the filter which could result in Ammonia and Nitrite spikes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffz
Purrbox--I know Red Sea makes a co2 monitor--is that the dropper?
thanks
If you're referring to the Red Sea CO2 Indicator, this is the same thing. I just picked three for my tanks, but haven't had a chance to get the KH reference solution together yet.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:01 PM   #13
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Folks,
To answer your excellent questions:
Tank size is 55gal
No gas escaping from bottom of reactor unless I really turn up co2

Ok--I turned filter back on!
Guy at LFS has same setup as me in a 110gal (1 red sea power reactor 500-Except he has canister filter. He has beautiful pearling growth.
Question--Is anyone one running a hang on filter and having the same issues as me?
If its just my filter--and not really the diffuser-I'll upgrade to canister.
I think I'll look into the Rena XP2 XP3? canister filter for the 55 gal? Limit surface agitation and still have water movement?
Or should I pull the reactor and try a simple glass diffuser?
Ugh--getting closer.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:23 PM   #14
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If you decide on a canister, I recommend the XP3. Could try the glass diffuser with the powerhead. My only concern would be getting the CO2 mist across the 4ft tank. I use a splitter on my 75G with a CO2 output on each end. Before I try anything else, if I were you, I'd try to get a little more circulation and see if you can reduce any surface aggitation at the HOB by raising the water level, if possible.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:28 AM   #15
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I use a Rena XP2 and build a PVC DIY inline reactor, I seem to get my CO2 levels to stay consistent even with a yeast method CO2 system.
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:40 AM   #16
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I have a slightly unusual view on the surface agitation. I believe that surface agitation itself is not a bad thing. Since you are using a pressurized system, turning up the rate a little to compensate for lost co2 due to the agitation, it's not a big deal.

The reason surface agitation is good IMO is that it still allows o2 to be taken in by the water in the tank. Yes you lose a little co2 but more important is the fact that you are helping to keep the o2 levels up. Not to mention that slight agitation helps to keep the "scum" from forming on the surface of the tank.

High levels of co2 alone is not necessarily a bad thing, but high co2 with low o2 can be quite a different issue all together.

FWIW I use an in line reactor ( diy) on an XP3 for a 55 gallon tank. While testing, I have been able to achieve 80ppm co2 ( or at least that is what my calculations say based on pH and KH). This was done with the spraybar on the back of the tank. The holes are aimed toward the surface at a 45 deg angle. This gives me a rolling effect in the tank where the water travels across the top and down the front. Algae has not been a problem so far. Oh, 260 Watts of cf lighting too.

Don't be afraid to experiment!
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:36 AM   #17
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Folks,
Sparky's theory sounds correct. I still would like to know who else besides me has a hang on filter? Nobody has stepped forward! Maybe im a relic?
I do like the no movement with a canister filter. The fish seem to "float" through the water.
Any recomendations on where to buy the XP3?
I'll experiment in stages-
First-upgrade filter
Second-split co2 line and add glass diffuser with red sea reactor
Third- Invite Rich or Brian who live close over for an aquarium shattering show!
Peace
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Third- Invite Rich or Brian who live close over for an aquarium shattering show!
Let's hope that it does not come to this

As far as where to buy a canister filter, I can offer info on how I got mine. If you go to the Petsmart website and find the filter you would like to buy, just print the page that has the info and price on it. The last time I looked, I think they wanted around 120.00 for an XP3 on line and 80.00 for an XP2. Take that printed ad and go to a local store and ask them to pricematch with their web site. The in store price in my area is $179.00 and $104.00! So far I have not heard of them refusing.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:34 PM   #19
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thanks,
Let the sparks fly!!
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparKy697
The reason surface agitation is good IMO is that it still allows o2 to be taken in by the water in the tank. Yes you lose a little co2 but more important is the fact that you are helping to keep the o2 levels up. Not to mention that slight agitation helps to keep the "scum" from forming on the surface of the tank.
In a high light/CO2/fert tank, you will have a ton of O2 in the water. Pearling is the oversaturation of O2 in the water column. If you are agitating the water surface, then you are allowing O2 to be removed from the tank and not adding it.

The problem with too much O2 is it makes it hard to dissolve additional CO2.

I would agitate the surface inorder to remove the O2 thus allow for more CO2 to be added to the water column.
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