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New to CO2 and have questions:

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by nursie, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. nursie

    nursie Lifetime Members
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    I finally have my 75 gallon tank set up, filled and planted. Now I'm trying to get the CO2 going. My brother in law who assured me he oculd fill my 5 lb tank gave it back with 1 lb in it :rolleyes: so that's what I'm working with. I have the setup from Milwakee with the 2 gauges, soleniod and bubble counter. It came with a glass "Japanese style" diffuser. Got that all set up..in the tank.

    I'm not entirely sure what to look for as far as water parameters. How do I tell what the CO2 level in the water is? SOme people I have ask have said to start "low" and adjust up til your plants look "happy". Folks trying to be helpful, but I think it's more than that. This mornign the one fish I have in the gank was darting toward the surface at intervals, which I interperted as a sight not enough O2 in the tank, and was unable to net him to transfer to another tank. My one cherry shrimp is hanging around the waterline too. I upped the level of my spray bar to increase surface agitation. Maybe I picked the wrong pieces and put it too deep in the tank?? not sure.


    We tried to adjust the CO2 to 1 buuble/sec..but no matter what we set it at, it dwindles off to nothing after a while. WHat is the cause of this? The cheesey glass diffuser? Is the gauge set-up bad? What am I doing wrong?

    Advice...guestions...is there more info I need to post? let me know! Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: New to CO2 and have questions:

    Well first thing what you described about your fish going to the surface... and your shrimp at the water line IMO is a sure sign that CO2 is to high for your critters. Becareful you dont want to harm anyone! If you see that you'll want to turn your CO2 down and it really helps to throw an air stone or two in to get that excess gas out to help relieve your fish.

    But back onto your other questions... your bubble rate just sort of falling off to nothing sounds just like a problem I had when I first set up canned gas.... What do you have the working pressure set at? I run mine around 25 or 30 PSI, lower than 25 PSI and I get the same thing you described, though I have a different regulator I think this is probably your problem, go ahead and turn your working pressure up to around 25 if its not up there and see if that sloves your problem.

    As far as knowing how much CO2 to put it, there is nothing for sure on this and it is the cause of problem for lots of us. The advice you got starting low and working up until your plants are happy is good.... but its hard to know just what that means exactly. There are charts and such but often they are of no use at all. My advice would be to start around 2--3 BPS and see where that brings your PH down to. Keep an eye on the fish.... and slowly... SLOWLY add a little bit more give it a few hours.... see how fish are doing.... etc. keep doing this, it will probably take several days, maybe even a week depending on how careful you are with it. But go until you notice your fish are stressed out. Thats going to be to much CO2, but check your PH when you see the fish stressed.... then back off a little bit, your going to want to get about a .1-.2 raise in PH from backing off the CO2 once you see fish stress.... that should generally give you more than enough gas for plants, and not to much for the fish.
     
  3. nursie

    nursie Lifetime Members
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    Re: New to CO2 and have questions:

    Well I shut things off yesterday, raised the level of my spraybar to increase surface agitation, and let things calm down. Shrimpie is back to cleaning plants and the loach looks much happier. What you say to do with the pressure is the opposite of what the gauge company said to do, but hey..it wasn't working, so I did what you said and it worked! Had it on all evening, and stayed steady. I did shut off overnight. I didin't want to start things up and leave for work this am, so I waited until I got home this evening to work on it. Much better. I suppose now I need to get more timers. :rolleyes:
    Thanks for the advice.


    Now another problem: I have noticed that the waterflow is reduced from what I'd expected for an XP3, probably due to the inline UV sterilizer. I don't see much circulation on the other side of the tank. I had a used powerhead, but can't figure our how to get it to hang on the side of the tank right so I'm gonna sell it off, and will get something else.
    Any sugestions? I'm not fond of hang on tank filters, I don't like the noise. What about a newer powerhead with a sponge filter, or a smaler fluval in tank filter? ANd if I did, could I run the CO2 into that for dispersal? Or should I just move the diffuser over under the spraybar like I think I have read is the optimal placement location? Mine is int he middle of the tank now.

    BTW...I can see new growth after just what little I've done...COOL! Now to get the hang of it and run it all the time during the day.

    I have seen mention where people run an air pump at night...is that a good idea?
    Once I get the plants going, I have bosemani rainbow fish and clown loaches to move in. (Yes..the shrimp will be relocated. He has friends coming)
     
  4. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: New to CO2 and have questions:

    Like you I have a 75 gallon also.... Im running an ehiem 2217 and really it provides a good amount of circulation but I have it turned down a bit and I use a small power head inside of the tank to target a specific.

    Personally instead of going out and spending the money on another filter of some sort I would just add a small power head in there, they have suction cups so you can really mount them anywhere on the glass you want and some are very small. Im using one that is intended for use of those little table top fountions, its under 2" square and puts out a lot of flow for such a little thing. I have seen similar sized ones at bigalsonline.com
     
  5. nursie

    nursie Lifetime Members
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    Re: New to CO2 and have questions:

    I have a used penguin powerhead that I've spent just about all my brainpower trying to figure out how to make the bracket system work. I'm giving up..I'm going to sell it at our fish club auction, someone with undergravel filter tubes probably will be glad to get it.
    I'm eyeing the eheim aquaballs. Glad to know I'm on the right track. Maybe I'll get bitten by the eheim bug afterall..lol.
    Thanks for your help!
     
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