adding co2 to established low light tank

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by fourmations, 6 Nov 2008.

  1. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    hi all

    i am about to set up a 100l with diy co2

    would there be any harm in testing out and getting used to the diy method
    using my established low light tank,

    its 54l, 24 x 12 x 12, with a 15w dennerle planty type t8 bulb
    it has inert sand and get a dose of tetra plantamin once a month

    the tank has 7 silvertip tetra and 3 otos
    with cobomba, sword, java moss, vallis, and an anubis
    also some redmoor root

    would the co2 alter level and harm the fish
    seeing as they are not used to it?

    many thanks

    4
     
  2. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Messages:
    569
    DIY CO2 would be great on that tank. If those plants are already growing, you should see an improvement in their growth/health.

    M
     
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    I dont see why adding co2 to an established tank is any different from adding it to a new tank :) so go right ahead. If the new tank is to be high light, it would be well worth testing it out first to make sure you can get the co2 levels in the new tank right. Low or unstable co2 combined with high light is a dangerous combination!

    Sam
     
  4. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Messages:
    569
    Also, when you say DIY, are you being strict with the term (eg, you have to build everything yourself), or do you just mean a yeast-based system?

    If you want an off the shelf yeast system, the hagen/nutrafin kit is a great introduction to introducing CO2 - all in one kit, and the diffuser ladder is super-efficient. Just watch out for dodgy/old packs of refills - it should start producing bubbles within an hour. If you prefer, do what I do with it and get some cheap bread yeast form the supermarket. Fill with sugar as per the instructions, add a pinch of baking powder and 1/4 to 1/3 of a teaspoon of the yeast.

    Although I'm really happy with my pressurised system with timer on my main tank, I still use yeast on my spares/growout tank - for the time cost of 15 mins every couple of weeks it's a great system!

    Good luck,

    Mark

    PS - should say that I haven't tried any of the other off the shelf kits, so this isn't a comparison - just to say that I've been very happy with the nutrafin kit, and it's quite cheap!
     
  5. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    thanks for the help guys

    i was going to try the soda bottle yeast arrangement
    but am open to suggestion, its my first attempt at c02

    the question about the safety of doing this relates to
    what i have read about c02 and ph crashes and ph crashes
    aren't good for the fishies at all!

    rgds and thanks again

    4
     
  6. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    To be honest, i get more and more sceptical about pH crashes. Not saying that they don't happen, but the whole 'you must have 4dKH in the tank to stop wild pH swings' is totally wrong. Have a read of this

    http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

    If you do EI, then the kH will get replenished every week which'll stop the KH dropping to zero which would be the critical point.

    Sam
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    No such thing as pH crashes. People have wipeouts or various other problems, pick up a pH test kit as it's the easiest one they have, see there's been a drop in pH and blame the pH drop as the cause and say they've had a pH crash. pH is a symptom of things not a cause IMHO. I run tanks with 0dKH and used pressurised, DIY and no CO2 with them and have never lost a fish because of a pH crash. I have run the pH down to low 4s too at times. My pH swings by 1 degree backwards and forwards each day when my CO2 goes on or off and the fish are breeding well.
     
  8. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    thanks all

    i have set up my brew!

    i used a 2l bottle with a 500ml separator bottle
    its going to an adjustable sucker mounted airstone i got with my eheim pump
    its working nicely and the airstone is creating a nice stream of tiny fizz

    the only trick is that (as expected) its going straight to the surface

    i tried to direct it to the filter intake slots
    i have a older rekord 6o and the slots where the water goes in are at the very top of the water level
    but its the smallest filter they have ever made and has very little pulling power
    so its not pulling the bubbles in

    if i could get an almost flat airstone snug to the filter body i could get the bubbles to run upwards
    and the filter would probably catch them then,

    the easiest way for me would be to just run the c02 line straight into the filter media on the juwel filter
    and hey presto it will go all the way though the filter, good/bad idea?

    whats the deal with directing to the filter i heard that it affects the impellor?

    regards

    4
     
  9. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I toyed with the idea of running CO2 into the filter on my Rio tank. I thought the best way would be to put a small airstone in the base of the pipe leading up towards the pump. All you'd have to do is make a hole in the plastic pump seat that fits onto the pipe and thread the CO2 line through and fit the airstone at the bottom. However I didn't do this as you will get CO2 building up in the fitting at the top and every so often large bubbles will go into the pump impellor and it will be noisy IMO.

    I use a good glass diffuser at the opposite end of the tank and have a Koralia pump above to help improve the circulation and distribute the CO2 more evenly.
     
  10. Tresbling

    Tresbling Member

    Messages:
    49
    I used to pipe the CO2 into my internal filter directly under the impeller, no airstone. It worked a treat, smashing up the bubbles so small they didnt really float and got mixed around the tank. The only noise was a small fizz every 10 seconds as the bubble hit the impeller.
    Now ive switched to an external so I can't do that, and the distribution from a nano diffuser is rubbish in comparison. :mad:
     
  11. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    Re: adding co2 to established low light tank - algae bloom

    hi all

    i have my co2 homebrew in my tank since my last post on this thread
    but i have had quite an algae bloom

    i just put in the co2 and am not monitoring it at all, i have no test kit for proper ph
    just the regular ph that comes in the api master kit

    i have a heavy carpet towards the front of the tank which was forming anyway
    buy also now have a very fine one that has engulfed the new growth "crowns" on my cobomba
    and has sent off 2" long legs to my roots!

    any thoughts on how to proceed on this

    rgds
    4
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Without photos or a better description it's difficult to analyze your situation. What do you mean by "...i have a heavy carpet towards the front of the tank which was forming anyway..."? Is this meant to infer that you have a carpet of algae or does it mean you have carpet plants? There are many types of algae and each is associated with a different combination of causal factors. If we guess wrongly then we would send you off on a wild goose chase and only serve to make your situation worse. Why don't you check JamesC's Algae Guide and compare what you have to the identification he has listed there? He also explains the root causes so you will have a good idea.

    Also, "just putting in the co2 and...not monitoring it at all" is like getting on the bus and not monitoring what bus it is or where it's headed. You're very likely to end up at an uncomfortable and unwanted destination. Free clues are available by monitoring CO2 MEASUREMENT USING A DROP CHECKER

    Cheers,
     
  13. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    thanks for the links ceg
    i will do some homework on it

    regards

    4
     
  14. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    hi guys

    i am cutting my teeth with a diy co2 system in my 54l while I setup my 100l planted
    although i am already sold on a pressurized!

    the 54l is low light and some low light plants that have been there a few months
    (15w over anubias, swords, cobomba, and twisted vallis)

    i have just tested my ph and am getting 6.4
    its was 7.8 two days ago!

    i put in a diy co2 system which has dwindled in the last few days
    i reset the yeast mix last night and it was running fairly strong
    so i decided to unhook it at lights out and reconnect this morning

    i have now taken it out altogether until i get some advice
    there is a lot said about crashes but his sort of drop cant be good for my fish surely

    unfortunately i have no planty products, only a lonely bottle of tetra plantamin
    and no ph adjusters, i also only have the standard ph test from the api kit

    what will i do in the short term for the fishies? i know gradual ph changes are far less stressful
    if is take the co2 out altogether will the ph rocket, should i reintroduce it in the morning

    i have had a lot of blanket algae recently if that means anything

    many thanks

    4
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    fourmations,
    You really need to stop worrying about pH drops because they are totally irrelevant. Neither fish nor plants care about ph drops. CO2 dissolves in water to form Carbonic acid so the pH is supposed to drop. Have you not read the CO2 article? Have you ever seen a fish die from a pH drop? Such a thing doesn't exist. How were the fish when the pH was 6.4? Did they all die? You are simply creating more problems and more complications for yourself. I can assure you that the more you worry about pH the more problems you will have. You would do well to get over the whole concept of pH and to move on.

    If you have a lot of blanket algae it's because you have a lot of plant malnutrition. When you decide to feed your plants macronutrients as instructed in the EI dosing article these problems will go away as well. Did you not read JamesC's algae guide as instructed?

    Whatever it is that you are reading that causes you to worry about pH and that's telling you to only dose a trace elements product like plantamin, well you'll need to stop reading, because the more of that you read the more problems you seem to be having.

    Cheers,
     
  16. fourmations

    fourmations Member

    Messages:
    201
    hi ceg

    Youre right I didnt read up the sugesstions (but have now)
    sorry, i am reading up on all sorts of forums but need to stay in one place
    as there is conflicting advice all over the place

    I think I will root myself here and avoid confusing myself further
    the articles here are excellent anyway

    rgds

    4
     

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