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Specific directions for CO2, light and tank flow needed

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by jonny_ftm, May 25, 2009.

  1. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Since I'm multiplying questions on the forum on many posts, I began to discover that the all is turning around CO2 and light when we do EI. Sounds simple, but actually this CO2 stuff is killing me. So I chose to start this thread and continue here the debate instead of multiplying topics, hoping for a better overall advice/clarifications in my confused mind now.

    I used to have a PH controller that I threw away once my faulty PH probe killed my snails, shrimps and one fish.

    Since then, I was advised to focus on plants growth and a drop checker.

    My tank looked like this first with EI:
    [​IMG]

    Than, I was concerned by very fast growig rates and my Alternanthera reineckii aspect:
    [​IMG]

    And my P. Helferi going to teh top despite intense light:
    [​IMG]


    Two days ago, I followed the advices of some of the gurus here, I lowered my lighting from 4x54W T5 (10 hours) on my 40-60 gal to 2x54W at 12in height still with a 3h burst of 4x54W.

    The problem is that since I begun focusin on CO2, I can't find a way to solve it

    I invested in an AM 1000 inline with filter outlet. It runs fine and CO2 doesn't accumulate in the top. The outlet is directed from right side of tank to left side against front glass
    I also have two 80gph recirculation pumps on the right. One of them is aimed to the surface and provokes slight water moves on surface, but really a few, no big waves at all.

    Now my questions are:
    - What about using this burst 3h period, should I completely forget it?
    - My drop checker turns dark green quickely once CO2 is off by night and I need to start it 5h before light to get a lime green 2-3h after lights are on. How can I improve my CO2?
    - I tried using a Nanostream Tunze 6055 pumpe. A powerhead type pump with output controlled from 1,000 to 5,500 l/h (264 to 1,453 USgal./h). The problem is that it makes a tornado even at 264gph in my heavily planted tank and plants really curve strongly. Also I fear the water surface movements provoqued will even worsen CO2 loose. How do you setup such pumps in a planted tank to avoid all this movement

    Hopefully with lower lighting these issues will be solved in few days, but still wondering why my CO2 could take so much to act and how to use my Nanostream to replace my two small recirculation pumps


    Many thanks for any advice on my issues.

    really this CO2 thing is eating my brain
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    The drop checker its self takes time to react. Only fill it up 1/2 way; increased surface area and reduced volume will speed the reaction time up. It probably loses color fast because co2 will gas out of the solution in the drop checker faster than it will build up.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi and thank you for the tip,

    It is nearing the 4 weeks recommended period to change reagent. I'll change it and add half volume as you recommend. Also, I'll use it as a guide, not an absolute rule, like VaughnH suggested in another thread

    What about my other questions:
    - light burst of 3h period: can plants really benefit from it?
    - Using a powerhead/Coralia like pump (264 to 1,453 USgal./h) in my 40-60 gal tank? How do you achieve it. It bends all my plants, water surface is broken all parts and the gravel moved

    Thansks again for helping me
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not sure on the light burst. For the pump you may be able to put some prefilter material in there to slow down the flow a bit more. You have plenty of flow but you really only need all the plants moving a bit to accomplish what you need. Based on the water surface comment you will never get your CO2 amounts up. If you do a search on "Surface Ripple" there are some decent photos on what is recommended. Hopefully your spelling is better than mine when you search. :)

    -
    S
     
  5. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    jonny_ftm, I'll be keeping an eye on your new thread, as I too have been having issues (check out my really long thread on stem plants that were rotting).

    I followed Tom's advice and so far things are looking better, but I'm not there yet. It looks like it was CO2 all along (although I was convinced it was otherwise).

    I have taken photos of my tanks over the years and when I go back and look at my non-CO2 tanks they look *better* than my CO2 tanks!!

    But that's because I'm doing it wrong.... ;-)
     
  6. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I'll keep the light burst since I saw on ukaps that it is still very recommended with good results as an in-between low/high light to still have a not too slow plant growth. I also won't like to lower my luminaire because at 12in it really simplified my life when doing regular tank maintenance. So, it will be a try and see


    For CO2, it seems good coloration now from begining of light period till 3h after lights are off. So, I'll keep it that way for now and watch plants. I'm also projecting to get rid off the AM1000 and give the myst way a try

    I'll feed back in few weeks with results, or sooner if questions rise

    Thank you again for your help
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might consider the dual venturi DIY type reactor modification to the AM 1000.

    there is a ble3ed valve at the top, you can connect that with air line to a suction side of an intake/powerhead etc, this will atomize the gas as it builds up.

    Since you can take the AM1000 apart, you can add a 3-4cm long piece of air line on the inside of the bleed valve, this way the unit will degas and atomize the CO2 once it builds up to 3-4 cm.

    So it will dissolve 100%, then after the gas starts to build up, then it will start misting.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom, I'll search to find the mod you're talking about
    I never get even 1cm gas build up in the AM1000. I'm surprised since the bubbles hit the surface without decreasing significantely in size.
    I'm even questionning my self if the AM1000 top is really CO2 proof sealed?

    I use 105 bubble/mn. Is it rather high/low for a tank like mine with the vegetation in my first photo?

    Indeed, all plants seem to grow for now, except the Alternanthera that's having a bad time with its leaves as I show above. Even decreasing the light didn't solve the problem. I still see new leaves decaying. I also have no algae issues except the BHA self limited on the wood
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    True for most I think.

    I went after every other thing beside CO2 myself.
    That is how I know, as well as many here and elsewhere.

    It's not quite as simple as that, but CO2 is not as simple as we like to assume it is.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Jonny_ftm,

    The AM1000 mod is ez.

    Take the quick route to see how you like it by:

    1. Connect some airline or c02 tubing to the top of the bleed valve. This is at the top of the reactor opposite the c02 intake tubing.
    2. Connect the OTHER end of the tubing to the INTAKE of the pump that is powering the reactor.

    I had the same reactor and just this mod worked well. I had a large sponge covering the reactor pump intake, so I just stuck the c02 tubing in the sponge as close to the intake as possible.

    This then takes any c02 gas and runs it back through the pump and back to the reactor.

    BTW, I also never got any gas build up with mine either.....
     
  11. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Gerry for the directions,

    I run it actually inline with the canister, so can't really cycle it back to the reactor. But I could run the bleeding valve tube into one of my small 80gph powerheads inside the tank. I could add a needle wheel mod to the power head to get a myst of the non diluted CO2 that bleeds from the AM1000

    Do you think it is feasable?
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Jonny_ftm,

    Yes, it would work, but only when gas is in the chamber. You will get a steady stream of water if no gas in the reactor, at least I did when I did this mod.

    Nice idea............

    Or, you could also SPLIT the c02, one to the reactor and one to a needle wheel pump............and then run the venturi mod to the powerhead as well.
     
  13. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, many thanks for the help,

    I'll start with the bleeding hose. It will avoid me definately to bleed the reactor after waterchange. Also, as the bubbles don't dissolve immeadiately, I should get a good part into the powerhead for a mist

    I'll give all this a try and let you know

    Many thanks again
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can see there are many different options here for bleeding off or amplification of the mist and CO2.

    I think it's good to sit back and think and tinker around with the options.
    I do.

    I try several methods to get and learn experience from each. This allows me to see the trade offs of each CO2 method, application etc, pitfalls, benefits etc.

    This way, given the extreme importance of CO2, I'm much better able to help others who might not have just disc..........or just a CO2 reactor tube or or or..........

    Much better to try out all this with CO2, than to fiddle with PO4 testing.........and much more productive when helping others and much better results on my own and other folk's tanks.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom for the help,

    Yes, I'll think at it wisely

    For now, I'm increasing CO2/water flow to get a good drop check color/good plants growth and healthy fish

    Than, I'll experiment this myst mod on the AM 1000

    Seems passionating. I have time since the plants over all are doing very fine since I decreased light as I was advised here
     

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