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Decreasing c02 - observations

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Gerryd, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Fab,

    PAR on both my 57 and 75 is 50 mmoles max at substrate. iirc the 220 is approx 60-70 at substrate.
    I use leds on the 75 and t5 on the 57 and 220. All c02/high light periods are no more than 7 hours with much lower light before and after for viewing.

    The growth has NOT improved with the 220 but it has been great all along. Only the two smaller tanks have shown the dramatic plant growth improvement with much less c02.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fab,

    PAR on both my 57 and 75 is 50 mmoles max at substrate. iirc the 220 is approx 60-70 at substrate.
    I use leds on the 75 and t5 on the 57 and 220. All c02/high light periods are no more than 7 hours with much lower light before and after for viewing.

    The growth has NOT improved with the 220 but it has been great all along. Only the two smaller tanks have shown the dramatic plant growth improvement with much less c02.
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Gerry, I must have missed the fact you also have a 75gl tank. Do you have a wet/dry filter also? Do you dose full EI? Weekly 50% water change?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I have recently moved into EI and I am not getting good results... Actually worse than before when I dosed 3/4 less! Stunted plant growth, mostly at the tips, and more GDA, also my plants look darker... I don't like it. I don't have a PAR meter yet, but I am gonna have one soon, so I will give you more info, but I can tell you that I have 4 T8 bulbs on my tank that run for 8 hours a day.

    I have started yesterday increasing Co2 as Tom suggested, from 4bps to 5bps to reach PH 6.2 from 7.4 as my water would be without injection, but so far so bad :) I will keep this Co2 setting for the next 4 days, then I will decide what to do next.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Fab,

    Yes, I have wet/dry and cerges on all 3 tanks :) Use the same NW pump as well...

    Full EI but larger water change %, closer to 75-80% weekly.

    You may have more light than you think. Remember that once EI is ongoing, you should no longer have limiting conditions for these nutrients. However, you may now have a new minimum as the nutes are no longer limiting. Does this make sense?

    Even though you addressed the nutrient limitation (macros and micros) you may still be limited by c02 or some other requirement.

    It seems wierd to think you have more problems now, but as Tom states, Leibigs law predicts this.

    All limitations must be eliminated for proper plant growth. Some or most will not do it.
    Hope this helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Fab,

    Yes, I have wet/dry and cerges on all 3 tanks :) Use the same NW pump as well...

    Full EI but larger water change %, closer to 75-80% weekly.

    You may have more light than you think. Remember that once EI is ongoing, you should no longer have limiting conditions for these nutrients. However, you may now have a new minimum as the nutes are no longer limiting. Does this make sense?

    Even though you addressed the nutrient limitation (macros and micros) you may still be limited by c02 or some other requirement.

    It seems wierd to think you have more problems now, but as Tom states, Leibigs law predicts this.

    All limitations must be eliminated for proper plant growth. Some or most will not do it.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Gerry, I have posted more info about my tank and plants situation at the end of this thread:

    http://www.barrreport.com/showpost.php?p=121166

    But the fact is that I think to be at the end of my Co2 range tweaking. For sure, as soon as I put my hands on the Par meter (waiting for it!) I will know what's my exact light level, but it is anyway very strange I am seeing this kind of "worse" scenario since I moved into EI.
     
  5. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Add the fact that you stated that lowering Co2 gave you better results, I am beginning to feel a little lost here... Liebig's law doesn't make sense in this different kind of scenario, isn't it?
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    I would ignore this for the moment. Each tank is different.

    Again, I state that I was WAY OVERDOSING C02 in all of my tanks. I am now at a NORMAL rate for each tank.

    Also, it may take 2-4 weeks of adjusting before you really see better growth. Patience is also needed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would ignore this for the moment. Each tank is different.

    Again, I state that I was WAY OVERDOSING C02 in all of my tanks. I am now at a NORMAL rate for each tank.

    Also, it may take 2-4 weeks of adjusting before you really see better growth. Patience is also needed.
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Gerry, that comforts me. I am pretty concerned by both my plants health and my fish that seem a little "sleepy" due to this increase of Co2... I will keep you posted, and as soon as I get my Par meter, I will post my light values.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry, this is just an idea. I was discussing this with some members at GWAPA. A possible cause suggested by Kris Weinhold,
    Happy new year old salt. :friendly_wink:
     
  9. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Gerry, this is an interesting thread, I look forward to further reports from you.

    I can understand how if CO2 was being injected well over the amount required by plants it would be possible to dial it back down a bit without inducing BBA etc. I guess this is simply reducing the amount of "wiggle" room as it is referred to in Toms earliest articles regarding CO2.

    Has the temperature of the water in the tank changed much? Were you injecting a lot more because the water was warmer?

    Seems weird that plant growth has improved with reduced CO2. The only possible, probably far fetched, explanation I can come up with, if it is indeed CO2 related, is perhaps with so much CO2 around the plants became lazy and decided to rest? I know that some plants do rest, but surely not the types of plants you have though, grasses and stems???

    Another thing, have you changed CO2 supplier, refilled your bottle etc? I wondered long ago, and posted about it, as to exactly what is in our CO2 bottles...is it possible to get a 'diluted' CO2 charge due to poor filling equipment (I.e. regular air gets in the bottle too)? If the CO2 coming out of the bottle wasn't 100%, it makes sense that injection rates would go up.

    Is there a simple way of testing the CO2 gas right from the bottle, I guess not.

    Scott.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This curve could be for CO2 or light also, not just nutrients, they all are somewhat similar.

    You can see that the D range is huge compared to the the ranges.
    So lowing EI or lower CO2 that's way out there will have no effect on growth for most tanks.
    But for most people, they have too little CO2, not too much. Ferts with EI, the opposite is true.
    But they should not have a detrimental effect on plant growth, perhaps fish for CO2, but not ferts.

    Something else is up in those rare cases, and they are, by and large, RARE.

    CO2 is CO2 is most all cases, they do not dilute it.
    Gas is regulated here in the USA quite well and CO2 really is pretty much 99.99% CO2.






    http://s171.photobucket.com/user/plantbrain/media/Aquatic%20plants/Micro_Growth_Curve_Use.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This curve could be for CO2 or light also, not just nutrients, they all are somewhat similar.

    You can see that the D range is huge compared to the the ranges.
    So lowing EI or lower CO2 that's way out there will have no effect on growth for most tanks.
    But for most people, they have too little CO2, not too much. Ferts with EI, the opposite is true.
    But they should not have a detrimental effect on plant growth, perhaps fish for CO2, but not ferts.

    Something else is up in those rare cases, and they are, by and large, RARE.

    CO2 is CO2 is most all cases, they do not dilute it.
    Gas is regulated here in the USA quite well and CO2 really is pretty much 99.99% CO2.






    http://s171.photobucket.com/user/plantbrain/media/Aquatic%20plants/Micro_Growth_Curve_Use.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2
     
  12. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    What I meant Tom was is there a possibility it might be being diluted with normal air unintentionally when the bottle is being filled? For example, if the pump was faulty in some way pulling in not just CO2 from the suppliers large bottle but also a bit of regular air too?

    Just a thought, I mean, if what I am saying is a possibility it could explain what Gerry has observed could it not
     
  13. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    Air would not get in at any significant amount.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Here's a possible explanatory hypothesis for CO2 reduction:

    [​IMG]

    As long as the range stays inside those HA vs LA systems, the plant will do well, but if you bounce between them, then you'll pay for it.

    Basically stability is needed, it can be high, medium or low(say non CO2), but needs to be stable.
    Some plants will do well, and in many cases, some will do very poorly and die off.
    Try this with a fully planted stem tank and try and do a HC lawn in there without CO2.
    The stems will grow fine alone, same for the HC, but together, the other stem plants will rapidly remove the CO2.

    The Enzymes in the high affinity(HA) are much more efficient able to nab all the CO2 at even low levels, whereas the Low affinity(LA) systems are less efficient, but can take up more CO2 and use much less energy per molecule to do so.
    The other possible thing is simply having more/less Rubisco available for CO2 uptake, but plants will minimize the amount if it's non limiting, but will make MORE if things are mildly limiting.
    This works if things are done slowly and are stable already. Plants can also conserve carbon to some degree and concentrate it around enzyme sites. Hydrilla does this very effectively and C4 type plants/intermediates/CAM plants.

    You still get growth, but not as much since things are limiting.
    Bouncing between those Ha and La systems can cause a big old mess though.
    It's a lot of molecules to change and switch over vs say N, Fe uptake or K+ uptake enzymes.

    O2 might play some role and bacteria as well.
    Like fish, bacteria are (most species in our tanks) respiring........so they need to give off CO2 and take up O2. CO2 at high levels will NOT displace O2, but........it may make it harder for bacteria and microinverts to grow and go after waste products.
    There may be some link there.
     
  15. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry's situation after reducing CO2, (BGA inactivity) while keeping the same EI doses, light, etc., tells me how we still don't have a firm understanding of BGA. In most cases adding nitrate is a successful strategy. The Redfield ratio, etc., but Gerry's situation would suggest it's more complicated then a ratio.

    I think the O2 and bacteria hypothesis makes a good case for better growth and less algae. I came across this article recently supporting the O2 concept, http://www.prirodni-akvarium.cz/en/index.php?id=en_algaeTOC
     
    #35 Tug, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2014
  16. Tiago Nicolau

    Tiago Nicolau Member

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    So for optimal levels of O2 we have to play with more than surface ripple? adding liquid O2 on bigger tanks?
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Thanks, good link/post.

    I agree with what Jeffery suggest.
    I think it's tough to say Organics, because, well, there are so many.
    COD and ADA, well, I have to agree 100% with Jeffery about that.

    Tannins for example or peat= contribute a high amount of organics, but there's no correlation with algae or BBA etc and tannins.
    Non CO2 tanks are also very high in TOC and yet lack algae, less than CO2 enriched tanks.

    Jeffery stated:
    "Even the people that hark how bad organics are probably can't give specific value ranges (if anyone can, please let us know!).'

    Certainly, one of my main bitches about the fear mongering crowd.

    Karel:
    "When performing chemical analyzes, we found that the concentrations of nitrates and phosphates in turbid tanks full of algae is almost zero. On the contrary, the tanks, which [in comparison with aquariums in downright poor condition] exhibited up to ten times higher concentration of these substances, had crystal clear water with beautiful plants."

    Certainly true in some cases, but not all.
    There's little pattern in natural systems where aquatic plants exist, clearly plants have higher nutrient demands overall than algae, but there's not much support for this.

    "We explain these differences by the different intensity of microbial mineralization in different tanks. Sufficiently intense mineralization is running only at certain optimal conditions. This includes in particular sufficient amount of oxygen in the water and in the sediment, suitable pH and the presence of certain substances (microelements, vitamins, easily degradable energy-rich organic substrates)."

    This I strongly agree with and frequent water changes that often mitigate new tank set up issues and new soils, general issues with algae etc.
    A good rational for why water changes are a good thing, but in SOME tanks, they are not needed and can be avoided for long time frames.
    If the plants are actively growing WELL, then they are adding good/ample O2 to the sediments.
    I do not think pH has much bearing here. KH perhaps, but not pH.
    The main point is that the loading rate of organic loads are stable and not too high(less is best), this will foster a stable well O2 supplied bacterial community, and along with good plant care, water changes, that rounds out things.

    Gerry's tank:
    Large water changes
    Large filter, cleaned often
    Plant biomass= low and easy to care for carpeting plant that does not slough much leaves and biomass, large aggressive stable root system that's rarely disturbed much except around the edges here or there.
    Excellent O2, hence my past comments about using a wet/dry vs a canister filter.


    So if you agree with much of the above link, which I do, I'd suggest:

    Wet/dry filters,
    Water changes(more the better)
    Dosing and sediment ferts
    Algae eaters.

    This is in line with those comments and ideas.

    Then you have more wiggle room for CO2, light etc.

    But Gerry also is caring more for his tank and more motivated than the past also, and is getting results.
    There's something to be said for that also.
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Well, I want to thank everyone for their comments and replies. Tug, thanks for the link....

    I wanted to provide a lengthy update as the decreasing experiment has ended :)

    Summary of facts:

    57 gal tank - poor growth, constant BGA, etc.
    75 gal tank - same as above
    220 gal tank - doing very well at start of the experiment
    All 3 tanks had very high bubble rates and psi of 18 on the regulator.
    I replaced the twin canisters on the 75 at some point in the period for a wet.dry approx. 3 weeks ago iirc.

    I reduced c02 in the 2 smaller tanks and basically started from bubble rate 1 :) This was an act of desperation as I had tried many things in the interim.

    I reduced c02 in the 220, simply to see if I could maintain the same excellent results with LESS C02. That is all.

    The last reduction was the PSI rate from 18 to 13 on all 3 tanks.

    Results:

    57 and 75 - growth was pretty good, but I increased c02 2-3 ticks on the vernier on both tanks and growth is much better. Fish (the few I have) show no signs of stress. Growth in the 57 was excellent and the 75 was vastly improved. Both continue to do well and I may tweak for another month or so. We will see.

    220 - approx. 3 weeks after the PSI reduction, I noticed BBA on the tips of some belem and a tuft or two on the rocks. Brown patches began to appear in the belem. However, new growth to replace culls, was fine, albeit much slower to spread and grow. I immediately did the following:

    1. Reverted back to previous PSI rate.
    2. Did an extra 80% water change every week.
    3. Immediately trimmed the HG down and removed all the bad tips.

    That stopped the BBA in it's tracks. I increased 2-3 ticks on the vernier over the next 1-2 weeks. I made sure I dosed EI daily, knowing the ADA is now 6 months old. I did 2x water changes weekly.

    The effect on the hg was immediate. The color started to return to the bad patches and no new algae grew. The hg got taller again and better looking all over.

    I then increased PAR quite a bit to spur growth and that has responded well. Bad patches are almost gone, grass grew much taller, and the spread has regained the previous speed.

    I have also improved/increased flow in the last 2 weeks and that has also helped I think.

    I feel really good that I was able to calmly and effectively regain the upper hand.

    I found out that whatever my bubble rate is, is what I need, which is really what I was trying to find out.

    The reduced c02 worked for the 2 smaller tanks but I was way overinjecting. The 220 did okay with a SMALL reduction, but not a big one. The rate on this is just a bit lower than before.

    So, I learned a lot and gained a lot of confidence in my ability to handle these issues and get back on track.

    I will post some pics/vid in a week or so when the grass has regenerated all over...

    The mini-pellia Tom sent over is now on many rocks and I have good hopes for how this will look. I also used a bit of fissidens and will see how that goes.

    Thanks much again for all the info/replies.

    Later!
     
    #38 Gerryd, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2014
  19. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Wonderful report and wonderful results Gerry! Your posted experience is a real treat. Thank you!
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    He Tom,
    Yes, I have always done 75% as I figured, 'why not while I am there?'. I do keep the filters clean. much easier IMO/IME with wet/drys. I can see when the sump level reduces more than normal evaporation, that the pad is dirty or something else is up.

    The HG belem is a great plant. When I had the manzy scape, the overflow teeth and presponges had to be cleaned all the time. Not so with hg. Never sheds and trims up easily. Once it settled in it has been rock solid. As Tom states, it is never touched really either.

    I have to say that I started with canisters on all 3 tank, and in all cases, things improved greatly once switched to wet/drys on all 3.

    This is true in some ways but I know I spent lots of time on the tanks b4 too :) I also have more experience now as well and there is a lot to be said for that, too lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    He Tom,
    Yes, I have always done 75% as I figured, 'why not while I am there?'. I do keep the filters clean. much easier IMO/IME with wet/drys. I can see when the sump level reduces more than normal evaporation, that the pad is dirty or something else is up.

    The HG belem is a great plant. When I had the manzy scape, the overflow teeth and presponges had to be cleaned all the time. Not so with hg. Never sheds and trims up easily. Once it settled in it has been rock solid. As Tom states, it is never touched really either.

    I have to say that I started with canisters on all 3 tank, and in all cases, things improved greatly once switched to wet/drys on all 3.

    This is true in some ways but I know I spent lots of time on the tanks b4 too :) I also have more experience now as well and there is a lot to be said for that, too lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Fab,

    That is very kind and I hope you got something out of it. It helps me a lot to post and this serves as a diary of sorts fo me. Plus, I get the knowledge from other posters.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Fab,

    That is very kind and I hope you got something out of it. It helps me a lot to post and this serves as a diary of sorts fo me. Plus, I get the knowledge from other posters.
     
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