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CO2 Theory

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Frank Lawler, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Have never been able to return my tank to the high growth, no algae condition of it's first two years with Aquasoil and DIY CO2. Now have Eco-Complete and pressurized CO2 (2 bubbles/sec in mineral oil bubble counter solution), with a glass diffuser directly underneath the outflow from a HOB filter. Drop checker shows green and ph drops at least 1/2 pt during photoperiod. I dose N,P,K and traces, with P at 1.0 ppm and N at 20-30 ppm, yet growth is slow (especially wisteria), and severe algae problems have led me to raise my 55 watt CF bulb an additional 3". Before switching to an internal CO2 reactor, I would like to better understand how I might still have a problem with C02 limitation, even though I am adding much more that with the former DIY setup. Things are clearly out of balance (even a little Fe causes an algae spike).
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Questions, Always Questions With This One!

    Hi Frank,

    I am not sure this is about CO2 theory, as it is something going on with your tank.

    I have a tank with wisteria going wild without CO2 along with what I consider nice algae growth.

    Can you tell us about your tank and about the algae?:confused:

    Biollante
     
  3. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    About the tank, only things I haven't mentioned are photoperiod, 7 hrs, and bioload, about 20 tetras. GDA and BGA, or cynobacteria, are the usual problems. Maintenance consists of weekly gravel vacuuming, filter rinse, diffuser cleaning, and anywhere from a 5 to 15 gal water change. Other plants are Java Fern, Rotola Macranda (red at the top only), and Parrot's Feather, which is growing well.
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I too have a low tech non CO2 tank with wisteria growing quite well and no algae. This tank requires little to no maintenance. I do not clean the filter often, bioload is small: 3 bumble bee gobies, 3 killies and an unknown number of shrimp and snails. 20 gallon with 24W T5HO and eheim 2215. I mention these things for comparison.

    Maybe the frequent filter rinsing is harming the filtration bacteria, in essence causing a weekly cycle...I find stability the most important factor. Vacuuming gravel, stirring up the substrate, cleaning the filter so regularly, and other things like that may actually be disrupting things and preventing the tank from striking a balance.

    There is actually quite a bit missing from your tank descriptions. What is the volume of the tank? size of the filter ie flow rate? How are you determining your nutrient levels? Dosing routine? Pictures of tank and issues also help with diagnosis. :encouragement:
     
  5. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Sorry, volume is 29 gal. The HOB is an Elite 35, which I have adjusted to low for best downward flow on C(2 diffusser and also to minimize surface disturbance. P and N levels are determined with an API test kit. Dosing routine is N,P,K and micros every other day using my own solutions made from distilled water and AquariumFertilizer products. Here are some pictures, which seem to make the tank look better than it does "in person":[attachment=1017:name]

    100_1956.jpg

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    100_1961.jpg
     
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