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Help me understand how to dial in my co2 :(

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by Jonathan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Junior Poster

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    This is my first planted tank. I've spent a month now trying to figure out pressurized co2 while its cycling. Its still not right. I'm sure of it. My plants don't pearl much. Mostly on water change day if that even counts. Today I've increased the flow with a power-head, and I'm wondering more and more about surface agitation. Maybe I have too much? Had too little? How do I know ?

    Before the power head I mostly had a yellow drop checker. No fish yet. But something tells me this yellow checker might not be an accurate measurement of my co2. Why would my plants pearl so much on water change day ? Is that any indication that co2 is not dissolving correctly in my tank and on this day they get the best co2 saturation from my tap ?

    I look forward to your wisdom! Help me understand how to dial in my co2.
     
  2. puopg

    puopg Guru Class Expert

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    Just b/c your plants don't pearl, does not mean they aren't healthy. The drop checker is not a very accurate method for checking CO2 as it can vary throughout the tank depending on flow. Measuring the KH and PH and using the table will provide more accurate measurements. As for surface agitation, if you have water breaking the surface, you may have too much. Just look for a nice ripple. powerhead is a good idea, itll help distribute co2 evenly around the tank. As far as pearling on WC day, you can readup on a thread here "why my plants seem to grow better on water change day".
     
  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan Junior Poster

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    I just realized im in the wrong sub forum.

    I thought pearling might be a good indication of balance. My dosing and water change routine is strict. My light is medium/high. My plants are growing and look healthy, but they still dont look like what i wish they would look like. I have a lot to work on.

    I have read the "why my plants seem to grow better on water change day" article, but I guess I'm still confused. I need re-read.

    I will have to read more about Measuring the KH and PH and using the table. What is the table ? I've read threads when Tom talked about known standards too. I will do some research.
     
    #3 Jonathan, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  4. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Google "Aquarium CO2 Table". You will need to know your kh and ph in order to use the table. I was relying on my drop checker and like many have reported, the drop checker was a few hours behind what was actually going on in the tank. My CO2 was high (55ppm or so), but luckily I didn't gas my fish;)
     
  5. Yo-han

    Yo-han Guru Class Expert

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    The CO2 table is even less accurate. According the table, my CO2 value would be 95 ppm. With accurate pH and KH test. My fish and shrimp are all fine.
     
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