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    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
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The cutting edge of technology, or not.

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by Lefty, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Lefty

    Lefty Junior Poster

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    Hello!


    Sure, I would love a big 100 gallon tank with pressurized CO2 and all the trimmings, but alas, I'm poor. I currently dose my three small aquariums with Excel, but I'm not satisfied with the results. So I'm looking into an inexpensive paintball cylinder CO2 system. Sounds promising and maybe that would be a good fit for my meager budget.


    As I ponder all of that and poke my way around eBay, I have an impractical thought, as most of them seem to be, but a thought nonetheless, which in itself is encouraging. In nature, no artificially pressurized CO2 injection occurs. In nature there's no CO2 tanks, gauges, or needle valves, and the ambient air pressure found in nature is pretty much the same as it is in my lean-to hut. I assume that in the wild the CO2 gets picked up by flowing water's surface agitation. As it cascades over rocks, flows down small waterfalls, and circles in little eddies, it sucks up enough CO2 to support submerged plant life.


    As I visualize these meditative-quality images, I have to wonder, couldn't nature's process be cheaply duplicated in a scaled down version? Such as having a bucket with some mechanism in it, say like a rotating blender blade that breaks the water's surface. Where the water would get agitated in such a way that it would pick up CO2, just like the stream does way back up in paragraph B?


    Where that CO2 enriched water could, in my manically induced hypothetical design, be cycled through a planted aquarium, much to the delight of the little plants?


    Perhaps the water would get over aerated and harm the fish? Ok, then no fish. Who needs them? All they do is die anyway, and then you have little Jenny running over to the aquarium to say hi to her favorite little fish and it's bone dead. Ok, she will have many other birthday parties to recover from that. Sorry, I seem to have digressed a bit.


    While likely not practical, perhaps too noisy, all things considered, could that type of a system provide a sufficient supply of CO2 for plants?


    Thank you. I take no liability for this post.


    ~Lefty
     
  2. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    There's nothing wrong with aeration, it will generally be good for both plants and animals. The problem is that CO2 is only about 0.5% of the atmosphere. It's quite soluble in water, but at that low atmospheric concentration, when it dissolves into the water as much as it's going to, you'll only have about 3ppm. O2 will top out at 8-9ppm.


    Natural systems derive most of their carbon from elsewhere -- decaying organic matter, super-deep substrate, etc. These things are not so easy to replicate in a tiny glass box.
     
  3. Lefty

    Lefty Junior Poster

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    Hey Christophe, and thanks for your reply and the good information you provided.


    My subsequent research revealed that most of the plants that we use in our aquariums, when found in their natural habitat grow emerged. i.e., they grow half in, and half out of the water. The consequence of them growing in an emergent state is that they are also able to assimilate CO2 directly from our atmosphere, rather than solely from their water supply.


    The CO2 level in our atmosphere, where they measure it in Hawaii, is approximately 400 ppm, (likely the ppm is relative to elevation). So it must be that the properties of water, good old H2O, do not allow water to easily retain CO2 the way that air does. Perhaps a good analogy would be that water treats CO2 like oil. It floats to the top, but unlike Oil, since CO2 is a gas it simply disperses out into the air.


    Since CO2 will simply "out-gas", and considering that the make-up of our air contains only 5% CO2, it would be necessary for optimal plant health to artificially inject pure CO2 into our aquarium water, and properly regulate the flow of that CO2 to achieve a consistent amount of it, V.S. simply blasting "air" into the water, where the concentration of CO2 gas in plain air is obviously far less than pure CO2. Simply aerating water doesn't allow the water to achieve enough CO2 for it to be useful in providing optimal growth and health of our plants. So when trying to sustain totally submerged plants, we have to continuously "super charge" the aquarium water with CO2 during daylight hours in order to get the levels of CO2 high enough to sustain healthy plant life in a submerged state.


    Now back to figuring out how to do wireless electricity. :)


    ~Lefty
     
  4. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I would not suggest paintball and would instead suggest searching for bargain deals for used CO2 tank.


    with paintball also you will need a regulator but paintball does not last as long and it's pin valve goes bad quickly which means spending for a new tank. And it won't last you as long anyways.


    Get a used CO2 tank and old used regulator, 2 stage if you can. Needle valve are expensive but a good needle valve will help you, more so when you have a single stage regulator.
     
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