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Am I still outgassing somewhere?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by TexasRock, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    OK, in order for me to get my pH from 7.3-7.4 (tank water that has sat out for 24 hours) down to 6.3 I have to have a pretty stream of CO2 going to my reactor. I thought it was my reactor and I disconnected it and ran the CO2 directly to my return pump and used the misting method for two days as a test. However, I still had to have a ton of CO2 going to the pump in order to get a decent drop in pH.

    My tank is 100 gallons and it has a hang on overflow box with a modified durso pipe in it to decrease turbulance, water fall and noise. The return line goes into a 100 micron filter sock in my sump which acts as my particulate filter... then it gets pumped back into my tank. My reactor is ran by its own seperate Mag 3 pump.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    The CO2 mist method doesn't work by being efficient in its use of CO2. It works by making tiny bubbles of CO2 available to the plant leaves. You could have enough CO2, using the mist, without having 30 ppm dissolved CO2 in the water. My CO2 mist on a 29 gallon tank uses a lot of CO2 also, but the fish don't seem to mind, the BBA mostly stays away, and the plants pearl like mad and grow rapidly.

    If you want to find out what is causing the reactor supplied CO2 to be low, try shutting down the HOB filter for a few hours and see if the pH drops a lot. If not, you can assume the filter is not the problem.
     
  3. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Its not a HOB filter... its the overflow box to my sump. I will try stopping the pump later and seeing if that does anything.

    My plants grow pretty well, I'm not sure if I would consider it rapidly and I don't get pearling on my plants... maybe a pearl or two in the whole tank...

    I have recently changed my fert dosing according to what Tom told me, but it has only been a few days since the change.

    Keith
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Sorry, I used the wrong nomenclature for your sump. But, that brings up another question: In reef tanks a sump is almost a necessity, or so I have been told. But, in planted tanks they are not at all necessary. In fact you can have a highly successful planted tank without even an external filter, just using a simple sponge filter on a powerhead. So, why do people, including you, of course, use sumps? It seems to me that the more equipment you use, the more areas where problems can develop.

    I am wondering also if the same is true of our, including me, attachment to high light intensity, CO2, heavy fertilizing, etc. isn't also counter productive. I feel I am learning a lot by playing with that type of "high tech" tank, but the problems it introduces can interfere with my enjoyment of my tank too. I strongly suspect that within a year or two at the most I will switch to a 2 watt per gallon, or less tank, and for sure I wont have a sump, nor probably an external filter.

    Pardon my rant, please.
     
  5. davej

    davej Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    I too have a sump, the main reason I keep it is so that everything is hidden below and not in the tank. Less to detract from viewing the plants.
     
  6. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Yup, my sump is a great place for all accessories to keep them out of the tank. I could go out and buy a XP3 to put on the tank... but that would limit my possibilities. ... say if I want to use an internal reactor... I can drop it in my sump.

    Plus, I have a Mag 7.5 on my tank... I like the circulation. I would have to get 2 XP3's to match the output and circulation.

    I don't mind the sump, I was just wondering how to get better CO2 usage.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    No, that's no rant, that's the truth for you as well as many folks.
    Ask George Booth his opinion on this issue.

    As you age in this hobby, you evolve.
    Generally many end up with a few non CO2 or low light CO2 tanks.

    I still keep two high light tanks for obvious reasons,
    I want to test and know fast if something works.
    Rapid assessment.

    But unless you test, love to prune a lot, why put yourself into that much trouble?


    Regards,
    Tom Barr

    113F today in Davis, and another cooker tomorrow.
    That's 45C for the rest of you.
    Tanks are at 97F.
    Fish, shrimp and plants all seem fine.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Sump: if you can cover or plug up any holes in the Bio tower, do that.
    Feed the output from the CO2 reactor directly into the return line.
    Good even diffusion of return water is critical.
    High flow rates through the CO2 reactor will help the tank achieve a good CO2 ppm level much faster.

    Say you have a tank with 200gph through the reactor and it takes 6 hrs to get good CO2, then you have a 600GPH pump, this should about 1/2 the time or so, or about 3 hours.

    If you also have good even flow from the main pump, this will increase the mixing as well.

    Larger tanks tend to do better with multiple small CO2 reactors in the tank/diffuser disc etc rather than one big reactor diffuser stone.

    Getting even co2 dissolution is a very real issue with larger tanks and an issue that's often over looked and seldom, if ever discussed outside my nagging.

    Think about this a bit first and think about various ways to make the CO2 mix and dissolve the most evenly that you can in the tank and what might reduce the time to get a good CO2 ppm.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Yeah, there is no bio tower... I pulled the bio balls, drip plate, etc... all the bio tower holds now is a 100 micron sock that acts as my filter media... it is a 30 gallon sump and I have ~20 gallons in it ...

    My return pipe from my sump goes up and then splits into 4 sections with each outlet spaced evenly along the 5 foot back wall of the tank. This ensures I get a good dispersement of CO2 and no 'dead zones'. I can see the tiny CO2 micro bubbles any where I look in the tank, so I know it works. I'll take a picture of my setup and post it on here...

    Keith
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Then it'll be more flow through the CO2 reactor that will help.

    If you shut it off at night, try turning it on 30-60 m in before the lights come on, reduce the lighting if possible also.
    Add some Excel to knock out the algae that's there if trimming alone does not do it and the other changes.
    SAE's tend to be good as well as amanos

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Tom,

    Is there a good source for true SAE's? I don't want to end up with flying foxes... those are worthless at eating algae.

    Keith
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I still outgassing somewhere?

    Teach yourself to look for the differences and have the LFS's etc try and get them.

    I have no info on on line sources really.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. davej

    davej Junior Poster

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