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Yet another newbie CO2 Question :)

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Mikefish, May 11, 2009.

  1. Mikefish

    Mikefish Junior Poster

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    Would appreciate if someone with some experiance could cast a quick glance over my setup and offer any adivce / suggestions. I am getting average growth, with no pearling.

    Tank: Juwel Vision 260 - 250 / litres 66 gallons water
    Lighting: 2 x Juwel Hilite units each with 2 t5 54 w = 4 x 54w t5 with reflectors running on a timer 12 hours / day (10am - 10pm)
    Filtration: Juwel internal filter + eheim 2324 external filter.
    CO2: Pressuirsed 3 bubbles / sec approx to Red Sea Reactor 500 which spits out occasonal tiny bubbles, running on a solenoid with lights.
    Aeration: Running opposite lights on timer (10pm - 10am)
    Substrate: approx 4" deep very fine gravel over 1" JBL aquabasis over undergravel heater wire (deep susbstrate is for my Echinodorus) random placement of JBL fertiliser balls in substrate.

    Dosing: EI Lite... namely...
    60 – 80 Gallon Aquariums
    +/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 1 tsp GH Boost once a week (water change only) (I use Magnesium Chelate)
    +/- ¼ tsp (15ml) Trace 3x a week ( I use a product labelled Aquatic Chelated TE mix ... Contains trace elements: Iron, Manganese, Boron, Copper, Zinc, Molbdenum)
    + 6ml Seachem Excel daily via Eheim auto doser
    3.5tsp baking Soda on water chage day to lift dKH to 4.0

    I add the KNO3, KH2PO4 and Trace powders to approx 400ml tap water mix well then pour into tank

    I notice there is no Pottasium Sulphate in the EI mix, is ther enough K going in from the Pottasium Nitrate or should i add Some ?

    50% Water change on Saturday, dosing Sun, Tues, Thur

    Tap Water Ph 6.8, dKH 3.0

    PH Meter - Aqua one brand calibrated with neutral calibration solution, and correctly reports my tap water as 6.8 which is what the water company says it is.

    left co2 off for a day and monitored PH, stayed at 6.8 all day.

    With CO running...

    Ph in morning 7.1 ( before lights / CO2 on) dropping steadilly to 6.5 over approx 6 hours then holding there for rest of light period. color in my drop checker steadilly 'lightens from mid green to lighter green') duing daytime too.

    I understand the PH/dKH/CO2 formula is less than accurate when dosing Phosphtes but am I right in assumeing a drop in PH during daylight period can only be due to increase in CO2 levels ?

    Plants..
    Echinodorus... Ozelot, Red Special, Osiris, Hormanei Red, Bleheri (yes I know they will get huge and outgrow he tank, my last Osiris was pushing out 24" leaves)
    Saggitaria... Subulata, minima ?
    Glosso (just added some I have been growing emerged a week ago)
    Val sp. (spirilis ?)
    Hydrocotyle sp.
    Lilaeopsis (brasilensis ?)

    Fish
    6 small - med discus, 50 neon tetras, 8 sterbae corys and a single bristle nose cat.

    No significant algae issues as yet, and some plant growth but not exaclty rampant.. and no evidience of any pearling (other than when i trim back the val, then it bleeds bubbles from the cut)... Nice deep red coloration to the new hormanei and red special leaves.

    Any suggestions as to whats holding the plants back...

    Any thought on pros or cons of running a UV steriliser on the eheim outflow ?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Quick comments, run light no more than 10 hours, also, run only 2x 54 at any one time. Leave the tap water alone, do not adjust with baking soda.

    Gh booster is 50% K2SO4.

    Try 2x a week water changes, not 3.
    I think you'll be fine with 50% weekly after a while.

    Calibration of a pH meter requires 3 points, say 4 and 7 pH reference solutions, not just 7 alone.

    I'd use 2 canister filters and not use the internal filter, you cannot over do filtration really. I'd suggest a better CO2 reactor, say the AM 1000.

    Tweak CO2, and do so slowly, pH/KH drop checkers etc only get you somewhat close, and then you add little more each week to get optimal growth/pearling.

    Be careful, watch plants and fish, Discus particularly. This is why you do this slowly...........if you are also adding Excel, not more likelyhood of algae while you do this.

    Dosing seesm a bit rich, I'd do about :

    1/2 teaspoon KNO3
    1/8th of the PO4
    15 mls of traces
    3/4 tsp Gh booster.

    Leave Tap alone

    Calibrate the pH meter, do not rely on it, but rather, watch plants and fish, and then use the pH meter as a relative gauge.

    Be slow and patient with CO2 adjustment.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Mikefish

    Mikefish Junior Poster

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    Hi Tom.

    Thanks for the prompt reply, much appreciated.

    Have cut the lighting back per your reccomendation.

    Not doing 3 water changes a week, just the one. doing dosing 3 times a week.

    Will stop adding baking soda, was doing so because i used to get KH crashing in aprtevious planted setup, but I understand now from reading youe site that was due to insufficient CO2 causing plants to extract it from the KH.

    Wasn't awear the meter needed calibrating for more than 1 point, will get myself some 4.0 reference and check the calibration.

    AM 1000 = Aqua Medic 1000 external reactor ? i presume you mean to hook it up to the eheim filter ?
    http://www.aquaristikshop.com/cgi-bin/neu/webshop.pl?f=NR&c=368809&t=temartic_e

    You obviously don't feel that the PH fluctuation during the day is an issue, I was a little concerned about it dropping to 6.5 and that adding more CO2 would push it down even further... How low would you consider going, or does it not matter if the change is over the course of a few hours ?

    re GH Booster... the prepared products (seachem etc) are very expensive here in New Zealand (if I can even find them) can i make my own with...

    Pottasium Sulphate
    Magnesium Chelate (or I can get magnesium nitrate)
    Calcium Chelate (or I can get Calcium nitrate)
    all of which i can get from a hydroponics supplier locally (I allready have the Magnesium Chelate and Pottasium sulphate)

    and if so can you suggest %age of each to add ?
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    Hopefully I've got this right....

    Some recent threads here suggest that osmotic shock vs. pH changes are the problem. Adding CO2 to the water does not alter what's in the water so the pH change caused by the CO2 is not too much of an issue. What I've read suggests that going from a high pH/alkaline/hardness water to or from a low pH/acidic/hardness water is where you run into the trouble. This is very similar to what happens when you sit in the tub too long. You end up all wrinkly due to the different osmotic pressures and such. Now picture fish gills doing that and you begin to see where this can be a major problem.

    Since adding CO2 doesn't change those water parameters your fish aren't as affected so long as the amount of CO2 in the water doesn't interfere with them breathing.

    -
    S
     
  5. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    See this thread where I raised your questionning
    http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/5613-adding-calcium-magnesium-my-water.html

    Never got a "physical math formula" to answer it though. Anyhow, through my testing, what I read in other forums and on Seachem site, this is the math that seems to give the results you're looking for: I quoted my last post from the link above:

    Now, you can play with the powders to adjust your needs. You can use fertilator to convert in tsp.

    Just note that K2SO4 won't add any GH or KH, just potassium and sulfate. You can dose 5ppm additional potassium with macro to be on the safe side and provide additional K to what's already supplied by KNO3 and KH2PO4
     
  6. Mikefish

    Mikefish Junior Poster

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    Thanks all for the input.

    Have cut back on the light and ferts as suggested, and have ordered the AM1000 as advised.
    Most plants are still growing well, especially the glosso which is expanding nicely. Only disaster has been the lilaeopsis which never took and has all but died out.
    Still no sign of pearling, but no major algae problems either a little bit of green spot and a smattering of staghorn is all to date.

    Am slowly removing old leaves as new ones grow in to the new conditions.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Add excel in the meantime and until the tank looks pretty filled in and nice.

    This will help.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Mikefish

    Mikefish Junior Poster

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    Am adding 6ml daily before lights come on. 6ml enough for 60 gllons ?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    30 mls is the daily dosing for Excel for a 60 Gal, 5mls per 10 Gal.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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