Can't seem to get enough Co2?

jonny_ftm

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I'm sad to hear about you loosing the plants

It is very hard to maintain with no trouble an aquarium with a so dense vegetation like yours. It is very beautiful, but hard to maintain. The biggest problem is the dense vegetation makes it hard to have a significant waterflow everywhere. This makes dead spots of CO2. Injecting CO2 via two outlets could help

The other solution is to raise the light up to 12-15in above surface and lower vegetation density
 

Biollante

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I Agree With Jonny!

jonny_ftm;46033 said:
I'm sad to hear about you loosing the plants

It is very hard to maintain with no trouble an aquarium with a so dense vegetation like yours. It is very beautiful, but hard to maintain. The biggest problem is the dense vegetation makes it hard to have a significant waterflow everywhere. This makes dead spots of CO2. Injecting CO2 via two outlets could help

The other solution is to raise the light up to 12-15in above surface and lower vegetation density

Hi George,

I agree with Jonny and am sorry to hear of your plant losses. :(

You are a man after my own heart (if I had a heart); I love your tank and the dense vegetation. Much like a hedge the plant – plant completion is going to take place, blocking light, blocking nutrient flow, battling for position.

I believe Jonny is correct; the dense vegetation is the problem. Jonny offers one solution that I believe will help. Let me offer two others.

First, the one I do not care for cut back and rearrange the plants for better water flow. As with a densely grown hedge, it must be trimmed and/or rearranged in such a way that light and water can get to the lower portions.

Second, my favorite, add a pump (or use excess capacity) and take water from the front left side (as looking at it in the photos), that I assume is the ‘uphill’ side and push it through a spray bar a third of the way up at the back of the tank. I would use enough of a pump to allow for another spry bar running through the center bottom of the ‘hedge’. ;)

The use of ‘drip irrigation’ parts and tubing can allow for precise delivery to problem areas. If you were to replace your pumps with a sufficiently sized pressure rated pump, the use of mixing and flow eductors will really increase efficiency. I know they do not like eductors here, but for efficient mixing, movement and placement of water, I do not think they can be beat and ultimately a lot less expensive than the various vortex pumps. :cool:

Biollante
 

Squidly

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Hey kudos to all for your kind support!

Let me say that with regards to flow, the tank has a false back which runs as a trickle filter passing water on the return thru the AM1000 reactor (275gph). I also have a Rena XP3 which is attached to that spraybar (375pgh). Water flow goes from the left to right as you noted. Add to that (2) Koralia powerheads on each side of the tank, alternating the flow thru a wavemaker. Seems like I should have more than sufficient flow throughout the tank as all plants are swaying away. I am considering adding two more powerheads to the mix but hate to keep throwing money at this thing without getting quantifiable results. (I had also considered adding another XP3 in the reverse direction)

Adding spraybars, submerged pump et al. would require a total tank teardown. What you don't see behind all those plants is a nicely arranged wall using nearly 100lbs of mixed rock. Something I'm trying to avoid if I can. There really aren't any dead spots that I can see except perhaps within the holes in between the rocks where I tend to stick the plant stems (until those darn Cichlids rip them out). I don't think without some very elaborate system, that I can remedy that.

My tank prior to the photo was not so dense. Reading all about the benefits of stem plants and having a large ratio of biomass, I tried to really fill things up in the hopes that the plants would overtake the algae. Instead I seemed to have lost nearly all that I put in including hardy plants. Seems to me looking at the tank, that once the algae get on the leaves that's when the trouble begins. While the reactor is bubbling away madly, I just can't seem to get enough Co2 anywhere in the tank fast enough which I tend to think is a big contributor to the problem. Had I had more space in the sump, I would've opted for one of those needlewheel pumps but alas my options are limited so I'm going with the UP Atomizer and give that a go. If I could get things pearling away as I see in other photos, I would think this would help scrub the algae from the leaves keeping things in check.

Anyway, until the hanging kit gets installed and the new Co2 diffusors arrive, I don't want to even think about having to tear the thing apart. What irks me is that I see similar sized tanks in some of these contests running sometimes 4 80W T5's seemingly close to the surface and those tanks are flourishing and are arranged similiarly. That is why I have to think the Co2 is the issue. I also read somewhere that plants change their feeding habits (for lack of a true description) when dosing Excel so I'm wondering if I am confusing things by adding both Co2 and Excel causing further issues? Of course, all the recent die back and organic stuff must be accelerating the algae problem. My filters after only two weeks of use, were filled with brown matter and needed a through cleaning.
 

jonny_ftm

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Biollante;46053 said:
I believe Jonny is correct; the dense vegetation is the problem. Jonny offers one solution that I believe will help. Let me offer two others.

Most what I say, I learnt it here. I remember when I came here, my tank was an algae jungle. Then, with EI, it turned in plants jungle with same issues as George. Members like VaughnH and SuperColey1 helped me a lot convincing me to lower light and vegetation density. I'm so happy with it now.

But depends on what we like. A scape like George's is so beautiful, but will need much work and time investement to tweak it like you suggest. I fully agree with your suggestions Biollante. Flow to bring CO2 is the key here
 

jonny_ftm

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Tanks you see in contests are like in F1 circuits. They need much work and time to be as they look. Of course, CO2 is the key here. Lowering light makes it more easy to manage CO2, as light will trigger CO2 demands.

Keeping light as it is, will need you an optimitzed CO2 injection in fact, probably with 2 reactors/diffusers

Also, keep in mind that flow in tank should have one direction as outlet and one direction as inlet, this is to avoid turbulance and dead CO2 spots despite leaves moving
 

Philosophos

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Has anyone mentioned shade cloths or needle wheeled powerheads? Both are quick solutions for light and CO2 distribution issues.
 

Biollante

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My $US .02

Hi George, All,

I think Nipat gave an alternate method for reducing lighting. ;)

What Jonny said is very true regarding high light tanks, I have kept high light (high-energy) tanks, until recently, a whole bunch of them, but I have folks to assist me. :D The high light tanks are very demanding and get out of control very quickly.

Most of the competition tanks are developed for a very specific period, then torn down and restarted.

I am also aware even some of the best, I am thinking of the expensive Japanese guy here, have and have had algae problems and dense growth problems, but this is what he does for a living and has people working for him.

I suspect the physics of water flow through complex systems, might surprise many. What seem like monster flows, massive water turnover rates in our tanks, pale next to even the mildest flow in streams or lakes. Think what it would take to replicate a lazy, one-knot current through your tank.

Anyway my $US .02 :gw

Biollante
 

Squidly

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jonny_ftm;46063 said:
Also, keep in mind that flow in tank should have one direction as outlet and one direction as inlet, this is to avoid turbulance and dead CO2 spots despite leaves moving

My flow is setup to go from the right to left totalling about 700gph (less resitance from reactor). The 2 Koralia's are placed at opposite ends on a wavemaker alternating every 15 seconds with one on the left at the top of the tank against the flow (turbulance) and the one on the right at the lower bottom area (which is a dead spot) facing forward. The intake for the Rena located on the far left is pulling from the dead spot on that lower side of the tank. Due to the false back and 100lbs of rock, the tank probably has about 40-50g of water in all. The right side Koralia and Rena Spray bar are set to gently roll the surface water which improved the situation somewhat although I probably lost some Co2 in the equation.

I should think if sufficient Co2 were in the tank (and in a timely fashion), that the flow would get to all the plants. There is quite a bit of plant movement - at least where the light hits the plants. In between the rocks and at the back of the tank is probably a different story - but there is no light there either. That said, the outlet for the Co2 is about 5" from the surface which gets pushed to the left side of the tank by the Rena Spray bar. It may well be that the Co2 concentration never gets much to the bottom but if I had overall good saturation, I should think this wouldn't be a major problem. Perhaps the Rhinox 5000 will help with this but the Atomizer will be coming out through the spray bar near to the surface.

Both Tom and Nipat offered solutions (thanks!) to reduce the intensity of light which at the time, seemed my only option. Now having since purchased a hood and hanging kit (on the way), I should hopefully not have to worry about going that route. The light now is perhaps 4" higher than it was, but I'm still seeing quite a bit of algae if I don't keep on top of it regularly. Initially the Excel seemed to help a lot but with time, things seem to have reverted back. My tank in the beginning was very sparse and less flow (no XP3) and I had similar issues.

I can only hope once the light is raised and new Co2 diffusion methods put in play that things will come around. If those don't work, I will take the tank down and install the drip tubing and outlets as Biollante so kindly suggested.
 

Biollante

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Maybe It Is A Real Atomizer

jonny_ftm;46101 said:
Let us know please how things go with the Atomizer, compared to AM1000

Hi George,

I am also quite curious about the "atomizer" I keep seeing posts where people say they have ordered "The Atomizer," then nothing, we never hear from them again. :eek:

Biollante
 

jonny_ftm

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In the link in my signature, there's all my feedback on the Atomizer. It's doing a great job on my 12gal tank

However, I didn't install yet the 2nd Atomizer I got on my 60gal, in place of the actual AM1000
Looking to see if bubble count would decrease by switching to Atomizer while keeping same color on drop checker and having a good plant growth

So, quiet interested in seeing a comparison between the 2. There are some feedbacks on other forum in favor of the atomizer
 

Squidly

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Biollante;46108 said:
I am also quite curious about the "atomizer" I keep seeing posts where people say they have ordered "The Atomizer," then nothing, we never hear from them again. :eek:

Biollante

Hey I promise guys. PITA though if you ask me having to cut into the hose and all that. The guy confirmed they should last about a year if it matters. I'm trying the Rhinox also but the first two were defective so I'm waiting on that also but will leave feedback, albeit novice. So where are those confounded needle valves I ordered anyway?!

Thanks again
 

Squidly

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Well I received the 12/16mm UP Atomizer from HK. I was under the impression when I purchased the item that it would work with the Rena XP3 3/4" OD x 5/8" ID hose. Turns out it was a closer fit to the 1/2" OD x 3/8" ID hose I had but the OD was too large and wouldn't fit under the compression ring. While I could've used hose clamps, I didn't want to risk having the plastic nipples busting off. I discovered that the hose that came with the Vortex diatom filter had a OD that (barely) fit and sacraficed it for this purpose.

Not sure if the Atomizer unit alone would work or be strong enough to replace the reactor, I installed it in front of the reactor and removed the Co2 feed from the Am1000 reactor to test. Initially I was impressed since I longer longer saw bubbles inside the reactor water column and thought the unit must really be diffusing well. (I pondered then whether the bubbles flowing into the reactor were too large to be diffused due to the length of AM1000)

At first light, I checked the drop checker and found it dark green which wasn't right. I then went about hooking up the bubble counter which had otherwise been useless before (too many bubbles to count) to see if any Co2 was getting past the Atomizer. As I suspected, not a single bubble was getting past it so I presume the unit either to be defective or clogged. This after two Rhinox diffusers I'd ordered were defective. The first unit had a nipple that was too small to hold the Co2 line snug while the second had a crack in the white diffuser material on the side. I'm ready to try those membrane diffusors from Drs. Foster and Smith?

After all this I started thinking about the reactor again and wondered if it really needed to be longer to compress the amount of Co2 I have to put out? I'm still waiting for a replacement Rhinox 5000 but am running out of options otherwise. I could add another reactor to the Rena XP3 outflow, but don't want to lose the throughput since I'm already taxing the pump on the trickle filter with the AM1000. Maybe I should just make/buy a DIY reactor with 5/8" nipples and run it off the Rena while removing the AM1000 from the trickle return?

I should??? have enough flow (what is enough?) through my aquarium to require a single source of Co2, providing that source could put out enough. I'd given some thoughts to the idea about running drip tubing, but I think one would find this wouldn't work since the gas would tend to flow out the first opening it could find. From what I read or could find, it seems reactors are the way to go, but maybe the AM1000 3/8" in/out flow really isn't wide enough for larger tanks?

Argh...
 

jonny_ftm

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The Atomizer needs very high pressure on your regulator, about 2.1 bars (30 psi)
I think there is your issue with the atomizer
 

Squidly

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I was running about 12PSI. I upped it to 30 as you recommended and it worked - for about 15 seconds before clogging again. I'm ordering a replacement but it will take a month in all... Now to figure out how to hang the light fixture higher since the cable kit arrived
 

jonny_ftm

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30psi is on a very low pressure external filter (180gph). On high pressure filters, you need more psi. Just increase it until you get a stable CO2. Once it works, the device is really worth it.
Also, at so high pressures, make sure you have no leaks on your CO2 loop that will shut the atomizer down and waste your CO2
 

Squidly

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I'm confused? Should I be running a higher PSI with the AM1000 and my 100g (less 100lb rock and subtrate) tank? I understand of course that the membrane on the atomizer needs more pressure to work but am I not using enough PSI on my tank currently? If so, perhaps that is the problem?
 

jonny_ftm

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The AM1000, on my 2078 Eheim filter (475gph) needs about 2 bars (29 psi) to be consistent. The Atomizer on just a 185gph needs 30psi (2.1 bars)

Reports say that pressure could be insane with it on high flow filters. Just push pressure until it works consistently. As gas will accumulate in the CO2 chamber of the Atomizer, pressure will increase, yielding to the increase of needed pressure compared to the initial setting. It can explain why it works for some mn before stopping. The pressure in chambre just increased above what you set on the regulator. You have to increase pressure progressively until it works consistently on all day
 

Squidly

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With regards to the AM1000 alone, I need to raise the PSI to around 29PSI???

I think I am getting enough gas released at 12PSI as best as I can tell since there are bubbles like mad swirling around in there currently. What do you mean by 'consistent'? I can raise the PSI if needed, I just don't understand why I would need to on the AM1000 reactor since there seems to plenty of Co2 getting to it already.

With regards to the Atomizier, I can understand raising the PSI due to the membrane being harder to push the gas through and consistent in this case, would mean providing regular Co2 amounts and eliminating any blocking etc.
 

jonny_ftm

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Ok for the AM1000, maybe my pump is stronger or my security valves having more resistance. If you have enough bubbles, then of course, no need to increase it

For the Atomizer, by consistent, I mean a stable bubble count through the day and from day to day. You need to find the pressure that will make it work for your pump. Now, also check again and again if you have no leaks