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when to turn co2 on

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by brad, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    I always turn my co2 on when I get up in the morning and turn my lights on 30 mins later. I was wondering what a good amount of time would be between the co2 and lights.
    Thanks
    Brad
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I turn the CO2 on with the lights personally, the CO2 is not depleted for the first hour or so at ambient levels, so by then there's plenty of CO2 being added.

    You can turn it off 30-60 minute till the end if you want.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I do usually turn it off before the lights go out. Depends on the accumulation.(which can vary from one day to the next :confused: )

    Are the levels high enough to keep BBA from spreading if I only turn it on at the same time as my lights?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    If you maintain about 30ppm for the entire day length(excludding a 30-60 lull at the start), then the BBA should not spread. If not, then you still need more CO2 and allow the tank to settle if you just recently redid things without doing a water changes right afterwards.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. aussietanker

    aussietanker Junior Poster

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    Just a further clarification on this issue from the more experienced members please....

    i have a pressurized CO2 system on my 32 US Gallon tank ....i have a solenoid which i am not using at the moment ..

    i have been considering whether or not to invest in a pH controller ... here in AU they are very expensive ... most seem to be around $600 - $700 .....

    will a pH controller really be of great benefit or of only marginal benefit to my plants ..... or ..... will i get just the same results for my plants if i was to start using the solenoid to switch the CO2 on approx 1 hour before the lights come on ... and then to switch the CO2 off approx 1 hour before the lights go off at night?

    at the moment i am running the CO2 24/7 .... but i am worried about the pH swing for the fish ...... and also wonder whether the plants would do better with a "rest" from CO2 concentrations at some point during the 24 hour cycle ..

    what is an acceptable swing in pH in a tank ... mine varies from a low of 6.4 - 7.4 ... it seems a very wide swing to me ...

    the tank also seems to be suffering from some sort of algae attack ..... i don't know what sort of algae it is ... it seems to slowly spread over the tank substrate , plants and rocks etc ... i pick it all out when i do a water change each week .. it takes ages to clean it up ... but i usually get most of it out ... it's kind of a bright green ... it's almost slimy ... or jelly like .... and forms a thin cover over the leaves of the plants and rocks etc .... it's not a severe attack as i can pick most of it out each week ... it kind of sticks together so that picking up one little bit often results in quite a bit coming away from whatever it's stuck on ... but it is still a pain in the butt .... sorry i don't have a digital camera at the moment so i hope someone is able to recognise this stuff from my description ... i will try to borrow a camera if needed ....

    could the spread of this stuff be connected with having the CO2 on all the time ... ie the light and co2 is also feeding the algae?


    ps ... i hope that Mr Barr is real better real soon ..... best wishes for a speedy recovery from sydney australia ....
     
  6. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I have a pH controller and I can tell you it doesn't do anything for plant "health", you can have very healthy plants without it. At $600-$700, save your money! I would turn the CO2 off at nigh using your solenoid, don't worry about the pH swing, I have been doing this for a while without any adverse effects.

    The algae you are describing sounds like BGA (Blue Green Algae) which is actually a type of bacteria. Do a search for possible remedies, you can either do a black out for a few days or use Erythromycin to get rid of it, but it will come back if you haven't found the cause. Low nitrates in a tank is one of the causes to look for.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I can afford any pH device I want as well as for my clients, I do not use them and have had issues with them in the past.

    pH is not the issue regarding fish health, the KH/GH is.
    pH varies up to 2-4 units in heavily vegetated shallow lakes, every day.
    Fish do well.

    Adding CO2 is not the same as adding baking soda(this can kill fish) a full pH unit.

    Here is the death blow regarding pH swings being bad for fish(any fish or plants or invert): what happens when you do a large water change every week?

    My tap water pH is always much different than my tank water pH, most folks have a difference of 1 full pH unit, about the max amount CO2 will do at the levels we add it. I typically change 50-80% weekly.
    Fish love it.

    Been doing this with CO2 for 15 years.

    You do not need CO2 at night, there is no use for it.
    It might be conveinent (sat feeding it into the filter intake), but other than that, there is no use for adding CO2 at night.

    pH swings have no impact on biota from CO2 differences.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I recently upgraded to a controller and love it - and i sure didn't pay $600-$700 (AUS or USD). Ebay has them for less than $100 (shipped): http://cgi.ebay.com/SMART-SMS122-pH-CONTROLLER-NEW_W0QQitemZ7728485585QQcategoryZ3212QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    In the past I had significant problems with maintaining a good CO2 level: before I had the controller, my pH would go up to the low 7s for days and I wouldn't know it (problems with the reactor, too much flow in the overflow, any wierd thing of the week, etc...).

    While others have opinions and experiences (and I respect those), the reasons I like mine so much are:
    1) Keeps the pH down where I want it - and I monitor my kH weekly and haven't had a problem since
    2) I have the controller's meter mounted in an out-of-the-way, yet externally viewable location so I can SEE at a glance what the pH is... and I do this daily now.

    Guessing with a bromothymol test kit (and I am not color blind) just never gave me the peace of mind I have now by just glancing at the meter... That peace of mind I guess is what I was willing to pay for.

    In the end it is a matter of preferences (And a little cash). And, I sleep better now ;).

    - Jeff
     
  9. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    I took some water quality classes at the Shedd (in Chicago) years ago when I lived and breathed Discus .

    What I was told was that pH shock itself was a myth - it was poor water quality and what happens to the stuff in the water when the pH changes. (The inistructor joked: "Do you think fish in the amazon gets out a test kit before leaving the main river and heading up an acidic stream?")

    For example:

    * Nitrite at high levels is OK in pHs over 7 - but swing it down fast below 7 and you kill your fish with nitric acid.

    * Toxicity of ammonia at high leves reduces exponentially in pHs below 7 - swing the pH northward of 7 though and blammo - it becomes exponentially toxic.

    (Nitrate has little effect in the swing of pH)

    As long as your levels of ammonia or nitrite are near zero a pH swing is no big deal.

    After taking that class I stopped the "drip" method of moving my fish around. I would move discus from 7.6 pH grow-out tanks (with no amm/nitrite) to 4.5-5.0 breeder tanks and back again by just scooping them from one tank and dropping them into the other with no problems - never lost a fish that way (and this was back when discus were $100+ each).

    - Jeff
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    Well, I'm glad the Shedd agrees with me:)
    Nice place BTW, use to live 45 min away, went often when I lived and breathed all things Salt, wood and Rift.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: when to turn co2 on

    Have you been following me (I'm in CA too now)?

    ;)

    - Jeff
     
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