This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Co2 in a large tank, 300 gallon along with all sorts of other newbie issues

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by easttech, May 9, 2013.

  1. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    I sent this as a private message to some memebers as well, my apologies for any duplication and for answers that have probably been address somewhere in this forum.

    I am currently starting a 300 gallon planted tank which I hope once settled will hold Discus and Tetras. Currently I am just trying to get my lighting, ph, plantings and co2 settled in. I currently have a large LED light that came with the tank and I think is more than powerful enough and luckily at a lower wattage. It has 6500 white, dark blue, blue and red and the intensity of each is adjustable. For now lighting is not my problem. My biggest problem is trying to get my ph to come down. It comes out of the tap at 7, if let to sit will go to 7.5 in 24 hours. My tank on the other hand is at 8.3 and I cannot get it to come down. Was hoping co2 would do that which is my real question. Just thought I would give some background. As for the Ph I believe it is the eco complete substrate that is causing the hopefully temporary elevation. I have checked everything else and that is all that is left and there does appear to be similar complaints on the net regarding this. In any case I am 4 weeks into this process, have done significant water changes and it remains elevated. I have read this can last 4-6 weeks and with time and water changes it will settle down, I hope.

    On to the co2. I currently have a sump which is about 20' away and downstairs in my basement, using overflows in each corner of my tank. I have a Americn Marine Regulator w/needle valve, a Aqua Medic 1000 Co2 reactor, bubble counter , drop checker and a 5 lb tank. What I am trying to figure out is what should be my bps/bpm count be, at that rate how long will my tank last, should I get a bigger one? I am currently, (only 1 day into having the whole setup) at 3bps, I cannot get my ph to drop at all, and no sign of any change on my drop checker. I have lowered my returns into the sump to reduce splashing, I put covers on the sump. I currently have the reactor in my return section of the sump along with my UV. The pump supplying the reactor is a 200 gph.

    The tank was cycled with some larger fish for 3 weeks along with some cycling product for which I cant remember the name along with a large piece of sponge from my LFS which I placed in the sump. Btw, I am not running a wet dry sump. I have return feeds at both ends, as low as I can get them to reduce splashing, feeds into 4 100 micron socks 2 on each end that are submersed in water and bio balls, feed through sponges into the return chamber. I digitally monitor ph in both the sump and tank. I currently have the c02 on a timer for daytime use only and not sure if I wil use the ph control feature on my Apex, I wanted to get the hang of this manually first. I have an assortment of swords and other plants currently in the 25-30 count, nothing crazy at the moment. I have a bunch of Otto's, Amano's, few corys and clown loaches that somehow are able to survive my high ph.

    More detailed water conditions of my tank are; 8.3ph, with a GH of 180 ppm and KH of 80 ppm, Nitrates go between 5-20 ppm, given all my water changes it remains pretty low. I was thinking of adding a non salt method of water softening to my tap. Suggestions and advice on that as well.

    Advice and suggestions welcome.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Hi,

    I just read your pm. IMO an am1000 is too small for such a large tank. I would use two at least if you want to use this method.

    That said, I would investigate either a larger diy reactor or a nw pump in sump along with a cerges type mixer to reduce the mist output to the tank.

    I could not supply my old 180 with an am1000 and boy did I try. The hose diameter is simply too small to get much flow through it.
     
  3. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Thats not good news. The Aqua Medic lists it as supporting up to 500 gallons. What kind of co2 consumption were you going through with a large tank?
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Advertising is optimistic is all I can say....I use 5 lbs of c02 every 2-3 weeks. I am NOT a good candidate to follow in terms of c02 usage....

    I have now a 20# and 2 10# as spares so I don;t have to refill as often.

    Please note that a large drop in the overflows/wiers themselves can cause c02 loss....
     
  5. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Thanks, agreed on the advertising. So I am thinking even cranking up my co2 I am going to come up short. You think it would be better to go with a single larger tank and Tee into to reactors, or add another tank and reactor as a single setup. Yes I can almost see my co2 being lost at the overflows. I think I will end upsames as you, not a good candidate for co2 usage.

    Do you think I should post this in another thread as well regarding the water issues?

    Thanks Gerry!
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    The issue is efficiency of the c02 diffusion method and to size it correctly. I use c02 in both my tanks, but does not come 'easy', as in 'oh I use 2-3 bps and all is perfect'....

    That is all I mean...

    You need to address multiple areas in your setup for c02 loss: the wiers and the sump. You also need an efficient and sufficient sized reactor or nw pump or disc(s) to get where you need to be. A lot depends on the amount of light provided that drives c02 demand. Large tanks and c02 can be done, but can provide more challenges as well as consume more c02 in general, simply due to the size of the tank.

    You want to try and target APPROX a full 1 point drop in ph from whatever the normal value is. You want to reach it within 30 min with whatever method you use for c02.

    That said, this is just a starting point and all must be adjusted over time for each tank is different.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,689
    Likes Received:
    703
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    I'd say a 20lb tank is required, the sump that's 20' away is like a client's tank I take care of.
    His tank is a 220 Gallon.

    We added an automated water change system on it and had a plumber come in and add a drain next to the sump and then a hot/cold water line.
    This is attached to a float value in the sump. the tap water has a 4"x20" carbon block water filter that treats the tap prior to entering the sump. A small pump drains the sump for 30 minutes each day, so about 10% water change a day.

    Float valve refills the water.

    I added a small pump (Rio 1000 or 1100 etc) that shoots water and I feed the CO2 into this pump's suction side.
    This goes into a 4"x20" empty water filter housing(removes the microbubbles) and then the outflow from this heads to the return pump suction side to main tank.
    You can add a pair of bulkreef supply dosing pumps(72$ each) and put them on a timer and then autodose ferts, have water changes automated.

    This way you tweak just the CO2 mostly, and prune the tank once in awhile.

    Pretty easy.

    You can change the overflow, by making sure you use 2-3 stand drain pipes, all with a valve to adjust the flows.
    One does not do so well. You need two or more, one is run full blast, while the other you tweak, the 3rd is in case one of the others clogs for any reason.
     
  8. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    I also have an easy auto top off and water change. I have well water that is hard but at about 7.0 and I have a cold only water feeding a 30 gallon holding tank with a float switch, it then feeds the sump for auto top off through another float switch. I also have a redirect drain valve off my return sump pump for water changes and another main valve on the 30 gallon holding tank for a quick water change. I can change 5% in 5 mins with a couple of valve changes. I say 7% becuase even though the tank is 300, with the sump and another 20' each way of 2" pipe I'm guessing adds another 100 gallons. Wait 30 mins and I can change another 7% and so on as needed.

    I will have to work on the overflows, dosing pumps, maybe add another co2 reactor and get a 20lb tank.

    Tom, should I put this post somewhere else as well to get some comments on my current tank ph issues and water softening questions?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,689
    Likes Received:
    703
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    All this says is the well water has some CO2, maybe 10 ppm or so.
    Do not worry about the pH of the tap.

    For now, target about 6.4 for a pH and keep it there. It really should never go below this, so if it takes 1-2 hours to come down to 6.4, that's fine.
    Gerry addressed the CO2 issue in the prior post, re read that.

    Do not even bother using the Drop checker, use the pH meter instead.
    Keep a close eye on it throughout the day and see where you are as far as a relative pH target, say 6.5 to 6.4 range.
    This is where you want to be.

    I'd use about 300-500 gph pump for the filter housing reactor, The 4x20" size will remove all the bubbles easily, this will improve water clarity.

    You might consider adding a Pur flow canister filter , a two tier stack with a single 75-100 sf Ft 20 micron cartridge right after the sump. I think those are 1.5" in/outlet ports.
    GH/KH sound fine.

    If you wanted to soften the water, I think a vinegar drip in the holding reservoir for warming the tap might work well.
    Vinegar will destroy KH, is cheap and will break down fairly easily. Dosing pump added and then at least 2-4 hours to mix. Then it can be slowly added for replacement tank water.
    Cheap and fairly safe.

    So:

    Dosing pumps(you'll need 3)
    Cartridge 4 x 20 " clear filter housing and about 18" long pipe for the "out" on the inside of the filter.
    A larger CO2 reactor pump
    20lb tanks(get 2 of them).
    A pair of 5 gallon buckets with lids for dosing fert reservoirs.

    Cartridge filter? Up to you.
    I'd likely not mess with it, the filter socks should do the job there.

    Vinegar softening? Again, up to you, a KH of 4.5 is fine and dandy for 99% of any goal you might possibly have.
    I'd not mess with it.

    I'd not use the pH control function, I'd just watch with a calibrated pH meter and watch carefully.






    On to the co2. I currently have a sump which is about 20' away and downstairs in my basement, using overflows in each corner of my tank. I have a Americn Marine Regulator w/needle valve, a Aqua Medic 1000 Co2 reactor, bubble counter , drop checker and a 5 lb tank. What I am trying to figure out is what should be my bps/bpm count be, at that rate how long will my tank last, should I get a bigger one? I am currently, (only 1 day into having the whole setup) at 3bps, I cannot get my ph to drop at all, and no sign of any change on my drop checker. I have lowered my returns into the sump to reduce splashing, I put covers on the sump. I currently have the reactor in my return section of the sump along with my UV. The pump supplying the reactor is a 200 gph.

    The tank was cycled with some larger fish for 3 weeks along with some cycling product for which I cant remember the name along with a large piece of sponge from my LFS which I placed in the sump. Btw, I am not running a wet dry sump. I have return feeds at both ends, as low as I can get them to reduce splashing, feeds into 4 100 micron socks 2 on each end that are submersed in water and bio balls, feed through sponges into the return chamber. I digitally monitor ph in both the sump and tank. I currently have the c02 on a timer for daytime use only and not sure if I wil use the ph control feature on my Apex, I wanted to get the hang of this manually first. I have an assortment of swords and other plants currently in the 25-30 count, nothing crazy at the moment. I have a bunch of Otto's, Amano's, few corys and clown loaches that somehow are able to survive my high ph.

    More detailed water conditions of my tank are; 8.3ph, with a GH of 180 ppm and KH of 80 ppm, Nitrates go between 5-20 ppm, given all my water changes it remains pretty low. I was thinking of adding a non salt method of water softening to my tap. Suggestions and advice on that as well.

    Advice and suggestions welcome.[/QUOTE]
     
  10. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    For now, target about 6.4 for a pH and keep it there. It really should never go below this, so if it takes 1-2 hours to come down to 6.4, that's fine.
    Gerry addressed the CO2 issue in the prior post, re read that.

    QUestion for both you and Gerry.

    Gerry you mentioned getting to your target Ph within 30 mins If my memory is correct. Tom you mention getting to your target in 1-2 hours.
    I assume you both mean from where it rose to over the night time period? What do your tanks got to at night? Is it ok for fish to take a drop in ph of over 1 in a matter of best case 2 hours? Not sure if you remember in my post I currently have a bit of a ph problem in that out of the tap its a nice 7.0, but due to issues I believe with my substrate I get to 8.3 in my tank currently, and this is where I am at in the morning, Best case thus far with my co2 system and losses I am getting it to about 7.2. I can push this harder and I will once I have some back up tanks and I can also make the changes you both suggested to help with better diffusion, but I do worry about what would end up being almost a full 2 point drop in ph. Can fish deal with that?

    Thanks guys for having some patience with me.
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Hi,

    It is a hardness drop/increase that will cause fish issues. Anyone using c02 is sending their fish to a daily change of almost a full point. If this were an issue, noone would use c02....

    Yes, the 30-90 timeframe to ramp up to 'max' c02 is from the point just prior to c02 on. This rampup time is why many of us turn c02 on that X interval prior to lights on so that c02 is better when photosynthesis begins to increase....

    Experimentation is key. Just keep any eye on your fish and critters, and plant health will tell you the rest...

    Remember that Tom thinks the rise in your tap ph over time is due to c02 in situ. So, you are not really going from 8.3 to 6.4 but from 7.0 to 6.4 or 6.3. Make sense?

    Slow and easy does it with c02. It is a killer and most everyone (including myself) have gassed fish.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,689
    Likes Received:
    703
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    His degassed tap is at about 7.5, so a drop of 1 full pH unit will yield about 30 ppm.

    So 6.5 target.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,689
    Likes Received:
    703
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    On a 300 Gallon tank, a 1 hour time from when the CO2 comes on, till it hits 6.5 pH is about right.
    Some folks get away with longer times, some less, you need to fiddle and tweak, this is 90% of the ferts/light/CO2 issue.
    Tweak to get things good with the CO2.

    Focus here more than any other place.

    We add CO2 for one reason: to make the plants grow better/without CO2 competition, no other reason.

    pH has nothing to do with fish health, CO2 is not a salt and it's not alkalinity/KH. It has no influence on fish osmotic balance.
    You will only have a pH difference of 1.0 once you get things running right.

    I drop 1.2-1.4 units in some of my tanks, but I've bred fish in both of those tanks curiously:)
    I never add CO2 at night, there's no need to do so and it only causes long term chronic issues for respiration stress on fish.
    Adding CO2 during the day does also, but only for 8 hours and only when the O2 from good plant growth is also higher, off setting such stresses.

    Water changes also change the pH in about 15 minutes or less during a refill, I can go a full point of pH, fish love it.

    pH change can be an issue in other types of aquaria, but this is a myth in planted tanks, since we use CO2.
     
  14. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Amazed that the difference between refilling a 5lb @$17 and a 20lb at $24 and a 30lb at $32, makes no sense for me I think to use a 5lb. local here in Connecticut they offer either a rental on the tank $45 a year regardless of size or roughly $200 to buy (cheaper to buy on the net).

    I made one small change to my setup and that was placing my sump feed to the reactor in my return chamber (cleaner water) and the reactor and output in the bio ball section of my sump after the (2) 100 micron polishing socks, this then returns the co2 enriched water into a chamber that will aslo force it through another body of water and then a large sponge. May help with the diffusion, too early to tell.

    I am currently at a pretty high bubble count and will I am sure blow through this 5 lb tank and I am still only getting my ph to 7.5 with a large swing at night up to 8.3 so I may have to run at night until I get my substarte stabilized. So, I am now considering probably in steps to see how it improves, first increasing the size of the sump feed to the reactor, currently at 200gph to maybe 400. After getting the larger co2 tank I can increase the co2 rate and then last resort adding another reactor and sump pump if needed to get to my target of 6.8 ph. If and when I do this I am thinking of using the same tank/regulator/needle valve/bubble counter and then adding a manifold to feed the 2nd reactor. Does this sound reasonable? What considerations should I take into aaccount when adding the manifold? Do I need a needle valve on each with bubble counter?

    Thanks to your help and poking around on the net I am getting more comfortable, but dont want to become complacent. This could all go terribly wrong quite easily.

    John
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,689
    Likes Received:
    703
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    You need to shop around for gas tanks, a 20lb tank should run about 80-120$, look at fire extingusher places, check local plant folks etc.

    I'd buy 2 of them, so you always have a spare to swap out, keep the 5lb tank also, those should be 30-50$ to buy etc.

    You need a larger reactor, period.
    Adding more flow to a AM 1000 is not going to do it.

    Your target is not 6.8, it is 6.5.

    For each supply of CO2, you simply need a T and then another needle valve.
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    I just purchased a used/filled 20# for $120 usd. works really well. I went to a place that does fire equipment, soda and beer, etc. Folks come in with paintball, etc.
     
  17. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    I really dont have the time for DIY reactor, the more I think about it I am leaning on a manifold feeding two Aqua medic 1000's (buying another one) with each having 400 gph pumps. Does anyone know of a large enough reactor that I could buy for what I need.

    Gerry, you had mentioned that know matter how hard you tried you could not get the 1000 to adequately supply your 180. I have not really pushed wide open my co2 supply to see where it would take me, but it sounds like it will not gt me there or I will just be using way too much co2? I just got a 30 lb tank.
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    How about a nw pump or two for c02?

    AS Tom stated already, the am1000 is not going to do it for you. Unless you use 3-4 of them but not worth it to me. Just my 2 cents of course. Do what YOU want and feel comfortable with. Experience is a great teacher....
     
  19. easttech

    easttech Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
    Absolutley experience is a great teacher which is why I value your opinions. Sorry what does a nw pump or 2 for co2 mean? I am willing to just buy one bigger reactor, tell me where and I will buy it. I already bit on false advertising of the Aqua Medic supposedly being able to serve a 500 gallon tank. I dont mind spending the money to get what is right, better than spending more multiple times on equipment that is never going to work. So, if you were in my shoes what would you do? I do not have time for a DIY reactor, but will buy one if I knew what to buy?

    Thanks again guys!
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:54 PM
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice