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Just Set Up Co2...now What?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Shane Wilson, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    Hello all!

    So I just set up co2 on my 40 breeder for the first time. What should I watch out for now? I've been keeping an eye on the fish and none are showing signs of gassing so far.

    My dkh is 4 and my pH yesterday at the peak dropped to 6.6-6.8 - down from 7.4 (according to API test kit, ordered a digital meter that should be here tomorrow).

    I have the co2 kick on two hours before lights on and off one hour before lights off. The air pump with two stones kicks on when the light turns off and kicks off when co2 comes on.

    Should the drop checker be fully green before the lights turn on?
     
  2. Mike k

    Mike k Member

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    Yes, it should be green


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I would just target a 1.0pH drop @ minimum when lights come on.
    Degas a sample of tank water and test with new pH pen, airstone for 30 minutes and test.
    This will determine your highest pH, test tank 2 hours into photoperiod to determine the lowest pH.
    If plants are pearling, meaning O2 saturation is high I'd skip the airstones for the night.
    Why degas the tank if all is well and waste CO2 for the next day???

    Just to add I run CO2 until lights off, what the hey!
     
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  4. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    Well, my biggest concern right now is my livestock. I don't want to start killing fish and inverts.
     
  5. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Typically 1.0pH drop does not stress live stock.
    If pearling occurs during CO2 injection O2 content is saturated, a good sign for sure.

    I support Cory's and blue dream shrimp in a 1.4pH drop environment with no issues.
    It is planted as heavily as possible though and pearlorama all evening long!
     
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  6. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    Here’s a silly question, how can I tell the difference between pearling and adhered co2 bubbles?
     
  7. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Hi Shane,

    if you are using an atomizer, it would be hard to distinguish bubbles while the atomizer is running. If you stop the CO2 some bubbles should continue to rise to the surface. What is trapped under the leaf is impossible to differentiate but one can assume by the position of the leaf in the tank.

    I would not worry about the livestock at a green drop-checker. Mine adjusted well to a yellow one. Increase slowly and watch fish behaviour change. Sometimes they are able to adjust to live in higher CO2 conc., just need some time.
     
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  8. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    Thank you! I’ll keep that in mind. Being new to the co2 game, I’ve heard so many horror stories of people going at it full blast and gassing all of their fish, so I’m trying to take it as slow as my patience allows.
     
  9. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    So the pH pen arrived today. I promptly calibrated it specific to the directions. Measured the water I use @7.4 pH (this aligns perfectly with the API test kit). Measured tank water with co2 running since 10 AM (it is now almost 5 PM) @ 6.1 pH. So I’m going to not adjust for the time being and see how things progress. I’m going to measure the pH of the tank once more in the morning around 5:45 AM, this will be after co2 has been turned off for nearly 12 hours and air stones have been running for nearly 11 hours.

    Bump: tested the water this morning before heading out to work, it read @ 7.5, which according to the instructions is normal for water above 75 degrees. So I’d say it’s the same as the tap water I use to do water changes. That gives me about a 1.2-1.3 drop in pH with 4 dkh in the water, corresponding the graph with the drop checker, both seem to be giving an accurate ballpark of 25-35 ppm of co2 in the water.

    So far the fish haven’t been showing any stress, and I think the rams are actually starting to show breeding behavior.

    My next question is about adding livestock. I have some rummy nose and black neon tetras in QT right now. In the past, my QT and main tank had the same parameters so I’d just transfer them easy peasy, but with the co2 causing the pH to swing, can I do the same thing or do I have to say drip acclimate?


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    #9 Shane Wilson, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  10. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    The pH difference itself will not cause great stress to the fish, not as much as osmotic changes due to KH, GH changes. I don't know about others, but I have increased success if I do not add any CO2 the day I add the fish and slow CO2 input for a few day after the new fish are added. Then increase it slowly while monitoring the new fish.

    The fish can adapt to higher CO2 levels, but before reaching a planted tank they probably always stayed in low CO2 waters. So smaller steps always their bodies to adapt to the new conditions.
     
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  11. Shane Wilson

    Shane Wilson New Member

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    Thank you for the tip!

    I’ll just set it on a different schedule for the solenoid to not fully saturate for the first couple of days. All other parameters are kept close to, if not exactly the same. For the reason of making it easier to transfer fish to and from QT.
     
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