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Confused about CO2/EI

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Gilles, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    So i am confused about CO2.

    I did everything you said i should do (this sounds strange but bear with me):
    - Dimmed the lights (went from 6 tubes to 2 over time)
    - Upped the CO2 (installed a CO2 egg to monitor the CO2 levels)
    - Increased the flow*

    I even double checked my dosing regime (i am using dosing pumps):
    - Currently i am adding 15ppm NO3 3x a week and 8ppm PO4 3x a week;
    - Decreased my Seachem Flourish Excel dose from 20ml daily (2.5x dose) to 1x dose (huge improvement in my Blyxa)
    - Increased my micro dosing; CSM+B according to EI
    - Increased my ferro dosing; 0.2 ppm of FE2 (Ferrous Gluconate) /day

    *) I currently have 2 Hydor Nano's (1600l/hour each) an Eheim 2080 (1700l/hour) and an Eheim 2250 (1000l/hour). I now have the Sera CO2 Active Reactor 500 connected to my Eheim 2080, so that is not outputting as much as it should.

    So here is the thing;
    Tank is doing great. No algue (besides on the glass) and flow is (in my eyes) abundant. However, my plants flourish, but don't grow as nice as they used to do.

    Plans in particular which i am having problems with are:
    - Blyxa Vietti (now 2 weeks in my tank)
    - Pogostemon Erectum (now 2 weeks in my tank)
    - Ludwigia Inclinata var. Pantanal (2 months in my tank)
    - Rotala Walichi (not getting not mutch growing in 2 weeks)

    So the plants did not die, but they also did not grow enough (in my eyes) in 2 weeks. What are your thoughts, without any pictures yet? I'll clean my tank in a few hours and post the layout pic.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Here's where you no longer reply on the test and start using your eyes and watch the plants.
    I do not think it matters, but not likely required to add 8ppm PO4 3x a week, I add 5 ppm which is pretty heavy.

    You noted a large improvement in some plants adding Excel.
    What does this tell you?
    How accurate do you think the CO2 egg test is? What error range does it have?

    Pantanal and wallichii are good CO2 indicators.
    Much better than any test might be.

    Algae likely went away mostly due to less light.
    But the CO2 is still an issue.

    In the past, perhaps things were limited due to PO4 or N etc.......maybe Fe even...........now everything is CO2.

    I would carefully and slowly adjust the CO2 up, wait for a week or so, then adjust it up a tiny bit more.
    A few adjustments like this should help =>>> Make sure to make careful observation of the plants and fish whenever adjusting.
    clean filters so that filtration and flow rates are good(this prevents low O2 which is not good for the fish when combined with high CO2)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    That's the best advice you can get.

    Regards,
    Dutchy
     
  4. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Small correction;
    "You noted a large improvement in some plants adding Excel."

    should read:
    "I noted a large improvement in some plants when i went back to the original dose of Excel, instead of the double dose."
    Especially the blyxa japonica is much taller and bushier now.

    Anyway...

    You told me in PM that 5ppm PO4 was enough, 3x a week. So at first i added 15ppm NO3 and 5ppm PO4 just like you advised.

    I lowered my nitrates. Why?
    My Blyxa Aubertii is huge; as in. it has leaves of over 60cm in length and it is bright green, vey beautifull. Since the leaves cover the surface of my tank a bit, and flow is virtually none there; i got a outbreak of green algue. Very small (in diameter) but long hair algue. This is (by my knowledge) is a sign of to much nitrates. I replanted this plant in a place where it gets more flow. Now it goes better but the end of the leaves still die (just like valisneria has.. you know what i mean).

    Besides that, my Sunset Hygro (Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig') lost almost all its coloration in the leaves; (it went from pink to green). Various sites speak about the fact that lower nitrates cause the coloration to become more apparant, some say it is the iron; others say it is the phosphate. Anyway, i want it to be a little bit more just for colors but i don't want to be N limiting on this.

    The heads of my L. Pantanal are bright red, but small, very small.

    The Pogostemon Erectum is growing, but not fast. In fact the plant grows so little that the 4th leaves from the top are a bit covered in green algue.

    So that is why i increased phosphates (by approx. 2ppm), and decreased nitrates (by 2ppm) at the same time... Maybe this wasn't a good idea?

    Anyway; corrections in my observations are welcome.

    Drop checker fluid is Lab grade stuff 4DKH.
     
    #4 Gilles, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  5. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Then why don''t I have green algae with 40 ppm of NO3?

    That's still lmiting. Three times as much is better.
    CO2, CO2, CO2.
    As long it's non limiting it doesn't make any difference to have 10, 20 or 40 ppm

    So what does this tell you? Can you tell me if your CO2 level is 20, 25, 30 or whatsoever and how reliable that reading is? And then even more important: How do you know your current level is enough for your plants, independent from the actual ppm level?

    That's what Tom means with: "Now watch your plants". You are still restricting yourself too much with numbers. My advice to you is: Don't think. Don't assume. Just follow Tom's advice. That's the way I learned how to do it. Read his post again and act.

    It will work ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
    #5 dutchy, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  6. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    p.s. about the algue; i know it is flow. There was no to little flow there, so that could have caused it.

    One thing i am doing to improve my co2 is this; I bought 2 UP Aqua CO2 diffusors and i am planning on splitting my co2 line, so that CO2 will:
    a) not be going through a reactor anymore (= more flow from my main pump)
    b) means i will be injecting CO2 in 2 places, not just one (= better spread of co2 throughout the tank)

    I'll post some pics tomorrow (before and after, since I am replacing the hygrophila difformis for the Hygrophila Balsamica)
     
  7. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Splitting your CO2 line will result in one diffusor working, the other not. To do that you need a dual regulator.

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  8. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Crap. Do they sell them in the Netherlands?
     
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I haven't seen them so far. Check CL's post here "dual stage regulators" There might be some useful links.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  10. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    dual regulator as in: 2 outlets, or 2 stages? How can i see if it is a dual stage?
     
  11. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    One outlet that splits to two with two regulator valves.
     
  12. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Or try something like this. GLA is selling them on this side of the pond now. Since they're external and pressure driven (>30psi), one reg. would be all you need for two.

    [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  13. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    :confused:he would still need 2 regulators
     
  14. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Don't think so. The CO2 stages up outside the permeable inner tube and penetrates into the water flow inside. One CO2 source at the required pressure could be split and the same pressure would be present at each unit. One regulator, one solenoid, one needle valve, and one bubble counter. The in-tank Atomizers GLA has now would need two separate sources but I don't think these would.

    But check with GLA to be sure.

    Pat
     
  15. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Those are the ones i bought.
     
  16. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Even if they needed to be at the same level due to internal pressure, you could mount them at the same height side by side and still deliver to opposite sides of the tank.

    Try using a straight edge to reference the tops of the bodies (not the tops of the nuts)and keep them as close to the top of the water as possible. If one seems to take preference over the other, raise the non-working unit till you see even operation from both. The one pitfall would be if the height adjustment is very picky, then you'll need a two outlet manifold, another needle valve and bubble counter all working off the same reg and solenoid.

    Pat
     
  17. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    2 outlet or 2 stage? I am a bit confused here ;)

    For instance: Option "a"
    http://cgi.ebay.nl/NEW-Tesuco-CO2-Dual-Outlet-Regulator-for-Home-Brew-Beer-/290492162520?pt=AU_Breweriana&hash=item43a2aea1d8
    (if i am not mistaken... this needs 2 solenoids, if i want to shut off my co2 at night or want to use a ph controller)

    Or option "b"
    http://cgi.ebay.nl/AIRCO-CONCOA-2-Stage-CO2-Regulator-806-9451-CGA-320-/370462778988?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56414d666c
    (if i am not mistaken... i can add 1 solenoid (screw on) and after that solenoid a splitter (with 2 needle valves) to go to each side, right?)

    Or option "c"
    Just use my own regulator, Attach an 6011 Solenoid valve to it, and to that, connect this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2-way-Brass-CO2-Diffuser-Splitter-Solenoid-Regulator-/250399148389?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a4cf3c965
    Only thing i need is to figure out what part i should use between my current regulator and the 6011 (i probably need 2)
    [regulator] --> [part hex connector?] --> 6011 --> [part hex connector?] --> [splitter]
     
    #17 Gilles, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  18. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Two outlet. Your option "c" should work.

    A two "stage" regulator is used to give better control of the output pressure and prevents pressure related problem like end-of-tank-dump.

    Go Here to learn all you ever wanted to know about them {And then Some}.

    Pat
     
  19. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    been there, done that. there are always small differences which makes the CO2 escape on one side more or less faster than the other. But you're welcome to try it yourself of course.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  20. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    So i have bought this CO2 regulator (2nd hand in the local fish store). This is surely 1-stage only.
    [​IMG]

    The advantage of this one is that (a) has a led and (b) it has a solenoid built into it (and i have warranty).

    So all i need right now (if i am correct) is:
    a) attach a 90 degrees elbow instead of the current co2 nipple (silver dome in the middle, between the blue led and the power adapter)

    b) attach the splitter like this:
    [​IMG]

    And i should be done for controlling 1 tank, on 2 places with CO2 right?


    So for the bubble counter, you suggest using mineral oil. Is that thesame stuff as liquid petroleum or baby oil without added chemicals?
     
    #20 Gilles, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
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