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General CO2 Question ...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by MediaOne, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    So I got my kH 4 calibration fluid in the mail and redid my drop checker. I will keep it running at the nice green color.

    I had been running my pH at 6.2 with a kH of 5 (i'm letting this fall to 3) before I redid my drop checker. Obviously because of the pH being so low the checker went to yellow within a couple hours. It was at that point that I reprogrammed the controller (recalibrated yesterday) to maintain a 6.6 set point.

    Now it is the next day ... and the pH of the tank is 6.6 .... I am sure it won't add any CO2 now ... do I need to worry about it?

    It seems to me that I will be running at a lower CO2 amount now ... but the animals were not affected before ... so what is better?

    Any input appreciated ...
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Don't use the controller. The pH of the tank water is not a concern. Instead, use the drop checker, with 4dKH water in it, to adjust your CO2 bubble rate until the color of the fluid in it is green. Don't expect it to react quickly, because it doesn't. Just increase the bubble rate slightly, wait a couple of hours and check the color. If is is still blue to blue green, increase the bubble rate a bit more and repeat. After a couple of days of doing this you should have a good idea about what bubble rate gives you the green color, and that is the bubble rate to use, if you want to run the tank at near maximum CO2 concentration. If you want to use the controller, use it as a pH indicator for the tank water, just to read the pH, not control it. Run the solenoid with a timer so the CO2 comes on about an hour before the lights come on, and goes off about an hour before the lights go off.
     
  3. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    I will try that then ...

    Thank you,

    Jeff
     
  4. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    Status report!

    Things are going well... I am only two days in to the adjustment... but I am amazed at just how much CO2 my system needs. I am very excited to see how things play out over the next few weeks.

    One thing I wouldn't mind improving is my CO2 diffuser. I have one of those BYOB? or something? (glass & ceramic diffuser).... and it seems a little small for the amount of CO2 my tank needs.

    What do you guys recommend instead?

    I am definitely over 5 bubbles per second...
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    How many bubbles per second of CO2 a tank needs to reach about 30 ppm depends on a lot of things, including how you disolve the CO2 in the water, what water circulation you have, if you have any splashing going on at the surface, etc. If the goal is to minimize the usage of CO2, a good external reactor is probably the best way to do that. If the goal is to get the best plant growth, a CO2 mist system is probably the best way, but at the cost of using more CO2. In between those are all of the other methods for getting CO2 in the water. You have to decide for yourself what is important, such as how much equipment you want in the tank, how important it is to save CO2, if you have room for an external reactor, etc.
     
  6. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    Given the cost of CO2.... I am not too worried about using a little more to help achieve faster growth rates.

    Now that you know that...

    Which CO2 ceramic diffuser will work better, given my current CO2 consumption? I mentioned previously that I feel mine is not quite adequate (bubbles are large).

    Should I use a larger ceramic diffuser?
    Any brand that works better than the others?

    My goal is more of a mist than a stream of bubbles.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Regards!
     
  7. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    anyone?

    If I'm understanding this correctly... it seems as though an inline reactor would serve me better?

    Please advise,

    Thanks in advance!
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It is very hard for me to say what the "best" way to introduce CO2 is. It just depends on too many thing, primarily what your desires are. If you want to keep equipment out of the tank, an external reactor does that. If you don't like the water to be filled with tiny bubbles most of the time, CO2 mist isn't for you. If you want the best possible plant growth, CO2 mist is the way for you to go. If you want an elegant looking disc-type diffuser vs. something clunky, you pick based on that. If you like watching equipment doing its job in the tank, a Barr internal venturi reactor can be the best. And, on and on. Any of them can be effective. If you don't like DIY projects, a commercial device is best. Etc.
     
  9. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    Okay great!

    Thanks for your input/feedback.

    Have a good weekend,

    Media1
     
  10. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    you know ... the more I think about an inline reactor and the idea of having no bubbles in the tank... the more I am attracted to the idea. I would love to see only the pearling from plants.

    Anyone have specific brand recommendations?

    Regards,
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    DIY PVC tube reactor= cost 10$ works as well as any.

    See the links and search DIY External cO2 reactor, Ghori has a nice little pic "how to".

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Aqua Medic Reaktor 1000 ? Most of the Co2 reactors commonly sold are kinda half baked. My biggest gripe with the Reaktor 1000 is the 16mm barbs as they significantly limit the flow rate, and we are all about that ! :p

    Still, as OTC units go it may be the best value ?

    Seriously Though, Gas reaction chambers are relatively simple devices to construct. "It's a Tube" W/ an input and output barb, 1 gas input fitting, and 1 bleeder valve, and filled with whatever bio-ball design that flips yer skirt up ! :p As designs go, this is a pretty homogenous concept. Turn Em upside down and they all look alike. The only apparent differences would appear to be the cost, and quality.

    If you simpley want a bolt on unit I cast my vote for the AM Reaktor 1000.

    That being said I would caution that while dissolved Co2 reactors are "Economically" efficient. Most higher plants make more efficient use of Gaseous (Misting) of Co2. While I personally prefer that the display not look like Club Soda. Being a benevolent custodian I do bow to the wishes of my plants and contribute as much mist as I can possibly stand to look at ! :eek: I am generally rewarded with increased Growth, Color, and Texture in the overall vital appearance of the plants. :cool: HTH. Prof M
     
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