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What power head size?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by daviesri, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. daviesri

    daviesri Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have had problems where my CO2 was not affecting the pH of my tank even though I had 2 bubbles per second. My pH would never get below 7.4. Someone told me that I had to much filtration on my tank and that was what was causing it (I have a 72 gallon bowfront and I was running a Ehiem 2215 and 2217).
    I turned off the 2215 and now my pH is at 6.3 which makes me happy. I would like to get a little more water movement by getting a power head since I had to turn of the one filter. Do I need one rated for 70 plus gallons or would a smaller size be better. I appreciate anyones input.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't understand why shutting down one of the filters helped the CO2 issue, unless it was disturbing the water surface too much. A powerhead would do the same unless you carefully aim the flow so it only lightly moves the surface water. The size of the powerhead is not determined by the rated size - that is referring to using the powerhead for it's original purpose, to drive an undergravel filter. Go by the gallons per hour number instead. I use a 120 gph powerhead in my 45 gallon tank and it moves the water very well for me, so I suspect a 200 gph unit would be adequate for circulating your water.
     
  3. daviesri

    daviesri Lifetime Charter Member
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    They said that the turbulence in both filters would over airate the water. I had no surface movement at all with both filters running. I actually ran an aerator at night to break the slime on top of the water at night that built up due to a lack of surface movement.
    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. Russ

    Russ Guest

    Just for another perspective, I use a Rio Mini 50 in my 75g and consider it plenty.

    FWI, how do you have your Eheim return configured - can't you use that as a way to get the right amount of flow w/o adding a power head?
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Use one for the surface movement, and the other filter for blasting the CO2 ricj water into the plant beds.

    You just need to mix the water , you likely have enough surfce movement.
    Be careful not to reduce the water surface movement down, your fish will gasp in the morning.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. daviesri

    daviesri Lifetime Charter Member
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    Are you saying to just gut the 2215 so there is nothing in it and use it as a reactor. All I had in it before was sponges.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, sorry, I did not say that right.

    Use both the Cansiter filters, no power head.

    Have one add surface moevment, have one blast the CO2 down into the tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. daviesri

    daviesri Lifetime Charter Member
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    I turned on the other filter and it was putting a very light ripple across the surface of the water to help keep the film from building up. My ph went up to 7.3 and I am running 2 bubbles per second (Was around 6.8-6.9 with only the one filter). I pointed the outlet down so it did not disturb the surface and the ph still stayed up. I have turned off the secondary filter and the ph is down to 6.9. If I just run the one filter and a powerhead, is this going to push the ph back up again? This is starting to drive me nuts.
     
  9. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It looks like you aren't using enough CO2, just for starters. Even with surface movement you should get a bigger drop in pH with the CO2. Have you tried figuring out how much CO2 is dissolved in the water?

    Another idea is to use one of the in-tank pH measuring devices, converted to a CO2 measuring device. For details, see: DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art
     
  10. daviesri

    daviesri Lifetime Charter Member
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    With a pH of 6.9 and KH of 9.0 it looks like my fish should be stressing since CO2 should be 33.991. Yet they all look very content swimming at all levels of the tank. I am measuring the CO2 with a Milwaukee ph 600 meter and KH with an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit. I also checked both with one of the strips and got pretty much the same readings. How does one reduce the KH?
     
  11. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    You want more CO2 in the tank, just add more. pH and KH are just measurements used to determine the amount of CO2 in the water and nothing else. So, add more CO2 and watch the plants and critters carefully but do the increment of CO2 slowly.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think we have all gone thru this experience. We measure KH and pH and the charts say we have, as in my case, 120 ppm of CO2, so we carefully watch the fish, but are afraid to add more or even leave it so high as it is. But, it cannot possibly be that high. The explanation is that the KH/pH/CO2 equation that is used to generate those tables only works if the water contains no source of alkalinity other than carbonates and no other source of acidity other than carbonic acid. And, our aquarium water rarely fits that specification. That means we just can't determine the ppm of CO2 using those charts.

    Using the "drop checker" device eliminates that problem, by using distilled water, which has no source of alkalinity or acidity in it, and adding just sodium bicarbonate to gain a KH or 4 degrees. Then we establlish an equillibrium state between that water and the water in the tank so both have the same ppm of CO2 - that is done by the air gap connecting the two masses of water. Now, when we measure the pH of the water in the "drop checker", done with the indicator solution in it, we can use the KH/pH/CO2 table to accurately find how much CO2 is in that water, which is the same as is in the tank water. We can do it accurately, because the indicator is clearly green when it is green, and green means pH of 6.6, which gives 30 ppm of CO2 when the water KH is 4 degrees. I figure the margin of error for the 30 ppm reading is from 25 to 40 ppm, which is very good for such a measurement.

    The problem with just slowly increasing CO2 bubble rate is that you have to be alert to signs the fish are distressed, the fish can become acclimated to higher than normal ppm of CO2 when you slowly increase it, and if you start doing this with a very low ppm of CO2 you can easily interpret normal fish behavior as a sign of distress and stop way before getting enouth CO2 in the water. I say this because I have done all of thes things. I lost a large group of my fish once by not watchng them carefully enough. I stayed at a very low ppm of CO2 once when I was just sure I had too much CO2, so I imagined some signs of distress. Then, when I finally got the drop checker working, and its color was yellow - meaning 70+ ppm of CO2, I laughed but looked at the fish, and all of them were gasping at the water surface. I dropped the bubble rate very quickly, and shut off the CO2 so the ppm would drop. I was just lucky not to lose more fish.

    Sorry for being so long winded. It is only because I am very sold on the "drop checker" method for keeping track of the CO2.
     
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