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Soil Volume Equivalent To Bottled Co2 Per Volume Of Water

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by James V Freeman, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. James V Freeman

    James V Freeman New Member

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    Is there a formula for roughly calculating the volume of soil per volume of water to reach optimum Co2 or carbon levels (how many cubic feet of Miracle Gro per 100 gallons of water for equivalent to desirable growth from bottled gas)? Also, is carbon from decay measurable in the same way a Co2 controller or chemical blue/green indicator reliably reads?

    I have a 600 gallon lushly planted outdoor pool with a bog filter that hosts cattail and dollar weed. To facilitate faster growth I sometimes run bottled gas, though a pain with leaks and refills, and sometimes Glutaraldehyde.
    Having reached a large volume of potting soil in seedling and mature plant pots, it occurred to me that the gradual decomposition of soil might hopefully be providing a rich enough supply of Co2 or carbon to eliminate the need for bottled gas. Additionally, my steady supply of decaying barley straw is adding to carbon level.

    In this South Florida sunlit, perpetual preservation dosed pool I have almost all algae to a minimum. Well water and rain refill pool, and I never do water changes.
     
  2. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Member

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    Not that I know of...but I reckon you'd need a very large amount of organic rich compost per gallon and I doubt you'd come anywhere near 30ppm Co2.
    Undoubtedly you'll get some CO2 from decomposing compost and that will sustain plants that require low/moderate CO2 levels, so it'd make good horticultural sense to just grow those.
    Further, once the compost has mineralised and become sediment it will no longer give off much in the way of CO2. This can take several months depending on organic content, temperature, O2 levels etc.
     
  3. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

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    Isn’t outdoor pond rely on aerial source of CO2? Pond plants are typically emphibian plants so one can enjoy the beauty from above. Fully submerged plants can only be appreciated in glass box, not in ponds unless one dives regularly to enjoy his hobby. From practical perspective, dirt substrate is hard to manage except for smaller tanks as aged dirt needs to be replaced with fresh dirt when nutrients run out.
     
  4. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Far as I know there is no way to accurately predict the amount or rate of CO2 being produced from a given mass of soil. The CO2 from soil comes mainly from bacterial activity and indirectly from carbohydrates and other C containing molecules. How much microbial available C is in gram of soil is not easy to determine at home. Furthermore, if you want to get CO2 from the available C you need oxygen, otherwise in anoxic environments you will mainly get CH4... So wasted C as far as plants are concerned.

    Another problem comes from the rate of production/release, there is no way to control it with soil.

    This being said, CO2 from microbial production does enhance plant growth in ponds. I've been able to grow easier plants like Echinodorus sp. successfully in ponds with about a 15 cm layer of mulm per 1000L. However there was continuous addition of organics from goldfish.
     
  5. James V Freeman

    James V Freeman New Member

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    Thanks for your responses. I'll just go with a much larger bottle than my old 5lb indoor tank setup when I purchase again. The pearling on seedlings and mature plants is evident everywhere in the pond when gas is on, and growth is faster.
     
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  6. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Sorry forgot about this part. Carbon itself no,but CO2 generated from decomposition will be the same as injected CO2. Thus can be measured by the same means. Yes if nutrients are non-limiting, CO2 addition will add greatly to plant growth and health. What method are you using for injection of CO2 in the pond ?
     
  7. James V Freeman

    James V Freeman New Member

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    Thank you for the clarification. Decay derived Co2 merits a separate experiment to extremes in an expendible smaller pool over the course of a year. I am using bottled Co2 with a Milwaukee regulator and my best guesstimation of 18 bubbles per second through a silicone hose and Ista propeller diffuser. Having to periodically open up the fragile housing to clean the ceramic ring is a pain. I limit the surface disturbance from filtration to the minimum possible. I wonder there is something better and more efficient that commercial aquatic nurseries use to deliver Co2 to immersed-only species. Terrestrial plant greenhouses sometimes use Co2 generators. I heard that the carbon brick dissolver gadget on the market is almost worthless.
     
  8. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Yes, there are many interesting things to test and so little time :). At least if you want to do them in a good in enough fashion to reach a conclusion with some level of confidence. In my mind there are all sort of sketches of setups that might work for ponds but cannot be done in aquariums for aesthetic/size reasons. Isn't the ISTA propeller diffuser just like a reactor ?

    If it is just like a ceramic disk, one thing that will improve the performance of the current system would be to capture the bubbles under an inverted plastic container with a large surface area. Not so large to cover a high % of the pond surface. Exposing water actively to the CO2 in the container ( such as a fountain) will further increase the performance. Maybe using a larger reactor powered by its own circulation pump ?
     
  9. James V Freeman

    James V Freeman New Member

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    I'll probably try a few more reactors, to experiment. Ista's in-line propeller reactor is pretty good and gets decent reviews. Might experiment with your plastic container idea.
     
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