CO2 virgin

nickyc

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24 Sep 2007
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My first big planted tank is coming along quite nicely but my plants are growing quite slowly, so I decided to set up my CO2 today. I ran a Red Sea CO2 test which gave a reading of 24 but have to be honest and say I don't really know if that's good or bad, so I started doing a bit of searching. I found this site and the handy little calculator which cofirms that the test was pretty accuate - my pH is 6.7 and KH 5. They seem to be saying I don't need any CO2 adding as it could be harmful to my fish. Is this right??

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Themuleous

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

If you are adding CO2 and getting a reading of around 24ish then you are probably going ok, co2 stability is more important than the actual co2 level.

Have you heard of the 4dKH and pH drop checker check for Co2? Basically you have water of exactly 4dKH in a drop checker and this turns green when you have around 30ppm, if it goes slightly yellow you have to much, slightly blue and you've got too little co2.

Sam
 

nry

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You can't test for CO2 and get accurate results - you have to add it then test (after waiting at least 2 hours between tests). I think you are saying you tested for CO2 before you started adding it?
 

nickyc

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That's right nry, I tested before adding to see what my starting point is.

Sam - that drop checker sounds like a useful piece of kit - where do I get one of those?!

I'll test again at different points in the day and see how stable the levels are - it's useful to know that stablity is key. I'm still just astounded that the results didn't say my tank needed lots more!
 

GreenNeedle

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If you tested before you added CO2 there is absolutely no way there is 24ppm in the tank. A failing of the chart way of checking Im afraid.

Drop checker is the way forward.

Andy
 

nickyc

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It's very confusing!! :oops: I read this article at the weekend which seemed to say that a drop checker is not so different from measuring pH and i've got a digital pH monitor on the tank. That said, I'll get one if you think it's the way foward and get to understand the fluctuations before I set up the system.

I'm adding some extra lights next weekend so I guess CO2 deficiency could become an issue very fast :?
 

GreenNeedle

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The drop checker does only measure Ph.

The differenc is it measures the Ph of a known solution (4dKH) which means that if we know 4 dKH is naturally *ph then if changes to *ph we know what CO2 has entered the solution.

If you were to do it with tank water in the drop checker you would be doing the same as the chart.

The 4dKH will not change over the 2-3 weeks you keep it in there, so the Ph change in colour is a 'known' change giving us an easy visual display of what our CO2 is doing.

Andy
 

nickyc

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Thanks Andy! I get it. Will get one ordered and monitor. I can set the CO2 up after I fit the new lights :p
 

nickyc

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Thanks both for the advice - I'd read that article at the weekend. Will get a drop checker sorted and post back when I've got a better reading! Thanks again
 
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