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Some algae and venturi questions

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by schwark, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. schwark

    schwark Junior Poster

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    I have a few questions about the type of algae I am getting. There are a few images of the algae and I'm wondering what kind it is and how to really get rid of it. I use the EI method of dosing, and I have 3 L of CO2 which my plants are pearling, but maybe the venturi is not strong enough... it is a venturi from the Red Sea CO2 kit. What size and brand would someone recommend for a 20 gallon tank and 3 L of CO2? Also, the little bubbles take a while to get to the top of the tank, but some still rise pretty quick. When you have a venturi, is this right? or is there something else you do?

    The light is around 7 hours 65 watts... Just let me know what I can do... thanks everyone!
     
  2. schwark

    schwark Junior Poster

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    Sorry, I forgot the images.

    IMG_4520.JPG

    IMG_4521.JPG

    IMG_4522.JPG

    IMG_4523.JPG
     
  3. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you are assuming that your CO2 is good and that circulation in the tank is also good then you with need to look at the other nutrients. You also have a lot of light over a 20 gal tank. What do you mean 3L of CO2? is this DIY or pressurized?
    65W on a 20 gal is driving it hard. So all nutrients will need to be kept up.
     
  4. schwark

    schwark Junior Poster

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    I have 3L DIY CO2. Sorry about that. I did the 24 hour PH test, and it raised by .4, which means less than 15 ppm, so could my venturi not be circulating enough CO2? Also, I know thats a lot of light, I keep it on only for 7 hours, and should I up my dosage on the nutrients. The bubbles rise decently quick to the top of the tank, but there are a lot of small ones as well... so I'm just wondering if its my venturi, or the CO2 not being in the water long enough. Some of the leaves are not doing well near the bottom of the tank by the roots of the plants, could this be the CO2 or nutrients, or is that more lighting? Also, is it possible for a lower wattage bulb in the fixture I have (coralife)? THanks for the help!
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Can you raise the light fixture a few inches? That would reduce the intensity considerably. I doubt that you have enough CO2 for the amount of light you have. Do you use a drop checker? It isn't exactly accurate, but it will tell you if you are way low on CO2.
     
  6. schwark

    schwark Junior Poster

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    I'm not sure if I can raise it anymore. I bought the stand legs which raised it up about 2 to 3 inches. What is the cheapest way I can do a pressurized CO2 system? I do not know much about them, but I know there are some small CO2 tanks about a foot high. If I just buy the tank, and then have a check valve with that and have that go straight to my venturi, would that work? I apologize for my ignorance on pressured CO2 systems. Thanks
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Pressurized CO2
    Every pressurized CO2 system has to use:
    1. CO2 tank containing liquid CO2
    2. Pressure regulator to reduce pressure to about 20 psi
    3. Needle valve to control flow of CO2 to a few bubbles per second

    We buy CO2 by the pound, and it is sold in pressurized tanks which contain mostly liquid CO2, with enough empty space to accommodate some CO2 gas. The pressure of the CO2 in the tank is about 700 psi at room temperature. Commonly available tank sizes are 5, 10, and 20 pound, with the weight referring to the quantity of liquid CO2 in them.

    We connect a pressure regulator to the shutoff valve on top of the CO2 tank by screwing it on, using a big wrench. A small nylon or fiber washer is used as a seal between the regulator fitting and the shutoff valve. The regulator usually has an adjustment knob which controls the output pressure of the regulator, so the CO2 gas flowing through the regulator has its pressure reduced from about 700 psi down to about 20 psi. Some regulators are preset to an output pressure, usually between 10 and 20 psi.

    To control how fast the CO2 flows from the regulator a needle valve is installed on the outlet of the regulator. That valve is adjusted to obtain the bubbles per second of CO2 that we want, usually from 1 to 5 bubbles per second.

    The flow from the needle valve can go directly to a reactor or a diffuser to inject the CO2 into the tank water, but three additional parts are very desirable:
    1. Check valve
    2. Solenoid valve
    3. Bubble counter

    A check valve installed after the needle valve will prevent water from flowing back from the aquarium to the regulator and ruining the regulator. Brass check valves are used for this because plastic ones will fail quickly.

    A solenoid valve, a valve that is open when powered by electricity and closed when not powered by electricity, will allow a timer to turn off the CO2 at night when it is not needed by the plants.

    A bubble counter, which is simply a container of water or other liquid, with the CO2 bubbled up through it so you can count the bubbles, may be used to visibly see how much CO2 is flowing to the aquarium.

    Most CO2 regulators sold for aquarium use are "all-in-one" devices - a complete assembly of a regulator, needle valve, solenoid valve, check valve, and bubble counter. This leaves you having to purchase only a CO2 tank.
     
  8. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    How often are you changing your co2 mix? 3 L may do it on a 20, but you need to change it at least weekly if not twice/week to keep production high enough, especially with your lighting. I used to use 1 tsp yeast:2 cups sugar in each of two 2L bottles on my 30g. Still not easy to keep going. If you don't invest in pressurized, start changing your yeast 2x/weekly (adding at least 2 tsp of yeast if you are using bread yeast) and reduce your lighting, it will be easier to maintain.
     
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