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Co2 recommendations - High light 125G

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by samh, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    I'm trying to determine the co2 requirements for my tank i've just reduced my light as recommended, now i'm just trying to determine the best way to get good co2 levels in the tank.

    Currently i have 3x54w HOT5 over a 480L/125G, where the lights are roughly 28" above the substrate.

    I have 2 up aqua reactors plumbed into 2217 eheim and an 800L/hr power head. with a 2215 on its own.
    Total of around 2200L/hr flow rate.

    My drop checkers are normally green to yellow
    and the co2 is controlled by a ph controller with the tank degassed the ph is 6.9 and the controller turns off at 6.3 which it reaches about 3-4 hours after lights on.

    I'm wondering how everyone else drives high co2 levels into their large tanks and whether this is enough to match the light?

    Sam
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Sam.

    It will be easier to manage if you go to 2 bulbs instead of 3....I wish you had a PAR meter to see what I mean..

    A needle wheel setup may work well here for your size tank. Let the filters do their thing and have the c02 separate...

    Please note that the controller will react to ANY changes in PH, and not all these changes are carbon based....so the controller can cycle on/off with no need resulting in flunctuating c02 levels...some folks have gotten away from controllers for this reason. I myself no longer use one...

    This is a bad thing generally and the plants will eventually suffer from it..
     
  3. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Cheers, I'm un-familiar with a co2 wheel...what is it? I've also heard about co2 misting?

    Sam
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Sam.

    I can dig up the post, but basically, you take a normal powerhead and cut the impeller blades. When c02 bubbles enter the powerhead, the impeller does an excellent job of chopping up the co2 and creating mist. Mist is just what it sounds like. Is c02 finely chopped so almost no bubbles remain.

    The powerhead also supplies some extra flow and the ability to direct the flow somewhat.

    Is an easy and effective way to introduce c02 to the tank and provide extra current to blow it around the tank at the same time.

    Some models already have a needle wheel impeller, but most brands you can snip with cutting pliers easily.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'm using 2 AM1000 reactors each driven by a 450 GPH pump on my 180. My starting point in the morning is 7,1 and I can bring it to 6,5 in 45 minutes. No reactor lag, no deficiencies and no algae. I'm using 250 Watts of T5, no reflectors.

    Seems like your CO2 has a lot of lag, needing hours to do the same.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    And to add ( i have a similar tank size ) 2200l/hour is not much flow. I currently have 2 Hydor Nano's (1600l/hour each) an Eheim 2080 (1700l/hour) and an Eheim 2250 (1000l/hour) Although i find the Eheim 2250 to be much more powerfull then the 2080 which drives my co2.
     
  8. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    I see, so, i might beef up the flow into the reactors then. i just bought a similar wavemaker to the hydor nano it's 1600l/hr and i found a 1000l/hr powerhead which should make it quicker this morning it went from 6.9 - 6.3 in around an hour and a half, i'm hoping this will improve the growth of P. stellata and L. Aromatica as they seem to be quite sensitive to high co2 demands. I'm now down to 3 t5 at around 38" from the substrate and it's made a difference definately as the plants don't seem to be charging so hard and pearling too much.
     
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    That's good progress, sounds a lot better. You will see that this will give you easier management of your tank. Don't care too much about pearling, that's badly overrated. Watch your plants closely over the next weeks with their development.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    These plants will respond dramatically to good CO2, or....poor CO2 if you are not adding enough.
    Otherwise, they are weedy easy to grow plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    I'm still looking to increase my co2 response? How do i go about increasing my co2 quality/response time? More flow into the reactors? I was looking at these ista brand co2 reactors as they say they're rated up to 2000L/hr it's called a max mix reactor.
    This is the link http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/plant-care-c02-units-fertiliser-hardware/ista-c02-equipment/cat_31.html

    I was thinking of using larger powerheads to run into the reactors or maybe using 3? What do ya think?

    I'm still not seeing super dramatic results...definately not weed like growth in the pogo or aromatica.

    Any tips on how to upgrade?
    Cheers
    Sam
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Upgrading to have less lag can done by more reactor surface, higher flow through the reactor or a higher flow of CO2. If you have a pH controlled system, it's easy to just turn open the CO2 flow more. The pH reactor will compensate. If your current setup is maxxed out, you'll have to think about upgrading the hardware. Thinking big is the right attitude here.

    Of course you could run the reactor with a separate pump, because they take a lot of capacity from your filter system. I don't have experience with the suggested reactor though.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    I'm down to 2 t5 fluro's, and have increased the flow but after a couple of weeks not much improvement,i'm still waiting for my wavemaker powerhead to boost it further. Would General hardness be a big problem if my water is hard?

    Sam
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Your plants need up to two weeks to adapt to changing circumstances, like less light. But what kind of an improvement are you looking for? Faster growth happens with more light, but this will make it hard for you to keep up with the CO2 demand. By lowering the light, that becomes easier, but slows growth down. It's a trade-off, but a good one. Less frequent maintainance and less algae.

    If you want to improve on plants quality and quantative wise, think CO2 first, second and third. Then think about problems with nutrients and other parameters.

    Every water parameter can cause problems when excessive, KH, GH etc. Depends of the actual values.

    You started the topic a week ago. Maybe you just need some patience.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  15. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    +1

    Make a change and resist temptation to fiddle for a good couple of weeks. Take a photo of the tank pre-change, wait a couple of weeks, take another photo. Repeat. ;-)
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You should see fairly quick responses of the plants if it's solely a CO2 issue for most species, might take a week etc..but in good shape, you can easily tell if something is not right.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. waj8

    waj8 Junior Poster

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    I am not grasping the problem. Doesn't the dropchecker indicate plenty of CO2? If lag is a problem due to the CO2 being shut off when lights are off why not just start the CO2 a couple of hours before lights on?
     
  18. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Yes i do this but turning on the co2 too early before lights on could stress the fish.

    I'm trying out the ista band co2 reactor and it comes with 2 impellers n top of eachother, one with standard blades the other with comb like blades which chop up the bubbles while water pushes the normal blades. I'm ore trying to become more efficient with co2 injection, simply opening the needles wheels more may solve the problem but it won't make it more efficient as i'll use up co2 quicker.

    What are the specs of the AM1000?

    Sam
     
  19. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I couldn't agree more with what Gerryd mentioned earlier regarding the keeping of filtration and CO2 systems seperate. They are both such important systems that keeping them seperate is the way to go. If you have the systems combined, as the filtration blocks up over time, which of course it will, this is in turn going to have and impact on CO2.

    First thing I would do is work on seperating the filtration and CO2 systems.

    Quickest and easiest thing you could do is build a needle wheel impellor, as Tom has shown, place it down the back corner of thank and systematically increase the CO2 supply to it until the plants start to take off.

    Set and forget the lights (2 tubes seems fine to me too). Set and forget the nutrient dosing (full EI).

    Focus on CO2.

    The needle wheel isn't the most efficient in terms of CO2 usage, you'll find yourself re-filling the bottle more often, but at least it will get you up and running and show you what good plant growth looks like.

    You can then swap out the needle wheel for something like an AM1000 + dedicated pump if you want to later on.

    Scott.
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Sam,

    If going with a reactor, I would just build one myself based on Tom's specs if you have access to basic pvc and some fittings...$20 usd and you are done. Run it with about 400-500 gph (overpower it and use a ball valve to control flow) and you should be good to go.

    Maybe even combine methods. Needle wheels are quick and easy and also add more flow. Combine it with a reactor.

    I had the A1000 on my 180 and could never get it to produce enough... The issue is the small tube size does not allow sufficient flow through the reactor.

    I use a needle wheel now and I was using a mazzei.

    C02 leaves the water quickly so the direction and dwell time of the c02 in the water is also very important.
     
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