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any side effects to too much co2?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by osnapitseric, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    I just got my drop check in. It says i have too much CO2. Plants and live animals in the tank seems to be doing fine. Should i leave it or should i reduce the CO2? Are there any side effects to too much co2?
     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    What are you using inside the drop checker. How close is it to the CO2 source (diffuser)

    Basically it doesn't matter what the DC says if the fish are fine!!! They will react before toxic levels much like we feel uncomfortable if it is too hot for us. We aren't in too much danger but head for the shade. The fish will head for the surface well before toxic levels are reached.

    AC
     
  3. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    i hate to say this but i HATE drop checkers... its green for some... yellow for others... the census is "hey if its yellow but the fish or fine forget about it." I guess my best advice if you already have the thing, do what super said, if the fish are ok and the plants are pearling your good. If the fish are ok and the plants are not pearling crank the co2 up.

    I would love to hear the reason why it works for some and not others. My feeling is that the 4dkh gets its say 30ppm and goes green, but your water is say 15dkh so its no were near 40ppm. I think it would be better if you could buy reference solution in a range from say 4-16 so that your dropper’s dkh can match the tanks dkh uninhibited.
     
  4. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    They don't work for some and not for others. lol

    If used with 4dKH and bromo blue they work for everyone.

    It is just then down to moving it around the tank or having several.

    For example 1 of mine may result in:
    yellow - fish at the top
    Green - fish happy
    Blue - BBA starting

    Your fish may be fine but the DC reads yellow. That may well be a difference of positioning etc.

    The DC will only tell you the approx ppm of wherever it is situated just as a Ph controller setup will control the CO2 judging by the Ph of the area it's probe is.

    Therefore with 1 DC move it around the tank every few days and check the readings in several areas. or get a couple like I have.

    I have 1 on the right wall 14" (as the crow flies;)) from the diffuser and in the flow of bubbles. This one will be a very light green bordering yellow.

    The other is on the left hand side approx 35" from the diffuser and this one is normally a mid greenish colour.

    If I put on right next to the diffuser it would more than likely be a very obvious yellow. Some people think their light green is yellow whereas I have seen yellow and dead fish with my own eyes in this very tank a long time ago and I can tell you it is as vivid as the exclamation mark I have put in the title of this post;)

    AC
     
  5. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    :) well mine is across the tank in the same corner as the output of the inline reactor so its in the least turbulent spot and close to the substrate. Its dark yellow all day and the fish are happy, and plants are pearling, about 9bps, if i lower it to say 3-4 i get green but no pearling, fish are still fine, bba starting back up... so what could be the reason for my readings?
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Don't expect too much from a drop checker. At best they tell you that the CO2 concentration where it is located is in the range of about 20-45 ppm. But, they only do that if the CO2 concentration at that location is stable, and you wait at least two hours after it is stable. Then, you need to be able to distinguish the various shades of greens and yellow greens accurately enough to judge the color.

    Before we had drop checkers to use, many of us were unable to tell if we had 5 ppm or 50 ppm of CO2 anywhere in the tank. In my experience I struggled with having closer to 5 ppm than 30, because the pH/KH/CO2 table said I had 70 ppm, and I was sure my fish were screaming in agony if I even touched the bubble rate. At least with a drop checker we can get somewhat near 30 ppm and say with a little confidence that, at the drop checker location, there is a lot more than 5 ppm of CO2. We can now confidently slowly raise the bubble rate, watching the fish every half hour or so for serious distress, and looking for some pearling of the plants, until we have close to the maximum of CO2 that our tank can tolerate.

    But, then there is the water circulation and the water surface rippling to be concerned with. And, who knows, maybe next month someone will determine that we need to have good Feng Shui to really get it right.
     
  7. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    :rolleyes: That was last month. lol
     
  8. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    thanks for all the advice some of my plants are growing like weeds while others aren't, i'll will move the DC around weekly to survey the co2 concentration around my tank. I have place the DC roughly 3" under the surface.

    I've been reading that everyone can pearl in their aquarium, has to do with water chemistry? I would love to learn how to make my plants pearl. Suggestions?
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Get more O into the water.

    Pearling happens when the water is full up with O and then the O coming out from the plants shows as bubbles. prior to pearling the plants are still releasing the O but it is going into the water.

    AC
     
  10. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    would adding a additional powerhead do the trick? In addition i should also add more co2 to counter the extra water movement?
     
  11. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Thats what a lot of us have been moving into over recent times. The powerheads of choice at the mo are the Tunze/Koralia types that are supposed to be used as part of wave machines for marine setups.

    We use them because they have huge throughput without the huge force of a standard powerhead.

    The powerhead doesn't necessarily mean the water surface will be turbulent. That depends on where oyu put it. I personally have mine near the surface purposefully causing turbulence and also have my lily slightly visible above the water to keep a good ripple whilst upping the CO2 very slightly to counter.

    AC
     
  12. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    well, whats funny is that i have a fluval fx5 in a 60g almost at full blast for a while now and i don't get pearling. The tank has a lot of current, its blowing my taller plants to one side almost hahaha. I can't imagine anymore current. Any other suggestions?

    BTW: one thing i failed to mention is that even with too much CO2, is that even if your fish is not gasping for air, observe the breathing of the fish. If you see them breathing rapidly or hard, might need to turn down the CO2. I just noticed that with my fish.
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not convinced that you can judge your CO2 by checking how fast the fish breathe. I used to be very sensitive to that too, but much later, after adding a drop checker, I found that I had only around 5 ppm of CO2 in the water when I was sure the fish were in trouble. If you keep the water surface rippling, so the ripples cover the tank surface, you are establishing a condition where there is less CO2 near the surface than down in the lower areas of the tank. Distressed fish will move towards the surface when they have too much CO2 down in the tank. Eventually they will all be right at the surface. And, I sometimes see the fish lose color when they are in distress, so that is the other "reliable" indicator. (Loss of color can be from lots of different problems the fish are experiencing, not just CO2)
     
  14. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    good info, but still the fact that a fish breathing hard/rapidly does mean that they are in some discomfort right? And to only eliminate what had caused them to not act normal, i've slimmed it down to CO2 and heat. Currently i'm treating them cause of ich. So my guesses are heat or CO2, might be a combination of both. As soon as the treatment is done (estimating by the end of this week) i'll return the heat back to normal and observe their breathing.
     
  15. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    nothing to do with the meds you are adding then ;)

    AC
     
  16. osnapitseric

    osnapitseric Junior Poster

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    no meds added besides salt.
     
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