Drop Checker takes forever to turn lime green

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by hongsit, 9 Nov 2019 at 1:38 PM.

  1. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Hi, I have a fairly new (2months) set up, Aquascaper 600 (100l) tank with Tropica soil and fairly well
    Planted.

    I have a pressurise CO2 system with dual stage regulator from Co2art with an in-line diffuser again from Co2art.

    Filter is Biomaster Thermo 350 rated at 1250lph (I think), with glass lily pipes inlet and outlet position on front right of the tank.

    Co2 drop checker is bottom front left side of the tank directly opposite the outlet.

    My Co2 comes on at 2am in the morning and at lights on at 1pm the drop checker is dark green! My bubble rate is high, prob 6bps. I can see the mist coming out of the outlet and see the fine bubbles being push around all over the tank.

    I have an additional power head at the rear left of the tank providing a circular flow around the tank. I’m pretty sure flow and distribution is not an issue.

    I’ve checked for leaks and as far as I’m aware there are none.

    I’ve checked the PH with a pen and it shows around 7.3 which aligns with the colour of the drop checker.

    I live in south London and water is hard, tank water is KH of 6degrees and PH around 7.6, 7.7 before Co2 switches on.

    KH out of the tap is around 9 and PH is around 7.9. I assume Tropica soil substrate softens the water a bit.

    So, how can this be, 10hrs of pumping Co2 at 6bps (way too fast to count) so could be more and drop checker still dark green at 1pm??

    Fish all fine and showing no signs of discomfort.

    So if it’s not a leak, what else can this be?

    I’m running out of ideas, is it just the water chemistry in my area that’s just causing causing a low amount of co2 to be dissolved in the water.

    Water out of the tap is high is nitrate and phosphate.

    Do I just accept the fact that it takes this long and in my case I should just leave co2 on 24/7?

    I’ll try switching over to in tank diffuser later on and see if that’s better but would appreciate some help/ideas.

    Note, it will eventually turn lime green but it takes pretty much the 1/2 day by which time it’s time to switch the co2 off.

    Thanks

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



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  2. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    At any BPS rate you will reach a maximum pH drop and [CO2] its all dependant on tank turnover, surface agitation any skimmers and the uptake of the plants the number off plants and the intensity of the lights so no two tanks even the same size are the same.

    Heres my BPS rate on my 500l


    BPS rates only give a an indication of CO2 being injected and the the amount - ie thay are scalar they have a direction but no size ;)

    The DC is dark green which isnt bad by any means, the best thing to do IMO/IMO is to do a pH profile taking the pH from just before CO2 on every 30mins till CO2 off, From this graph you will be able to see how long it takes to get your pH drop and if its stable from that point.

    Leaving it on 24/7 can be done with low BPS rates with corresponding low [CO2] but it is wasteful of CO2 and with higher [CO2] the [CO2] will increase at night as the plants dont uptake CO2 at night ( yes they give off CO2 at night but they also do that during the day also) and the [CO2] may become to high for the tanks inmates which may be fatal for them.

    Do like that DW you have :thumbup:
     
  3. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Thanks for the reply Zeus, currently it comes on at 2am so hard to take PH profile, but I guess I can take it from morning onwards.

    Can having too much flow cause more co2 to gas off? Im not talking about surface agitation but flow in general. I’m wondering if my extra power head is causing issues. I’ve switched it off for an hr or so and noticed a slight drop in PH, switched it back on, went out for a couple of hrs and noticed no change.

    I may switch it off overnight, leave everything else as is and see if there is an improvement.





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  4. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    It normally takes 2-3hours to get the pH drop and most folk have the CO2 coming on 2-3hrs before lights on.

    Fine tunning CO2 by D Wong is a great read also

    His Vid below explains why good surface agitation is good.



    But having good flow is the tank is the key to stable [CO2] and in the words of @ceg4048 our CO2 'Guru' is 'Flow is King in the CO2 injected tank' ;)
     
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  5. Jayefc1

    Jayefc1 Member

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    What temp is your tank running at as it is recommended for best co2 to disolve at 22 degrees i think inline defuser do take longer to get the ph drop and the dc green but 11hrs is a long time i also had to have the psi at 50 on the reg to get the new co2art inline defuser to get it coming through better just a couple of ideas to think about
    Cheers
    Jay
    Ps nice tank
     
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  6. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Hi, my tank temp is at 23 - 24 degrees. I think my psi is at 40psi, don’t think I can get it higher than that, the working pressure dial is fully open.

    I’ll have a read of the links provided, just did a water change and cleaned and refitted all the tubes and pipes. Will see how tomorrow goes. It was light green at 6pm, but only just.

    Thanks again


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  7. Andrew Butler

    Andrew Butler Member

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    Something which just cropped into my head was to ask which side of the filter do you have the diffuser on - flow or return? *just to clarify flow is water from the aquarium to the filter and return is water on the way back to the aquarium. Although I'm sure that wouldn't make that big of a difference.
    I've read that the filter skimmer type inlets are not ideal for CO2 injected aquariums although I've never experience that problem myself.
    Can I ask why did you opt for the extra powerhead?
    Maybe worth having a play around with your return lily pipe as it looks to be creating a small divot to the soil in the front left corner which will only get worse as time goes on assuming it's been caused by the filter - trust me! ;)
    Most important is not to let it frustrate you as it then turns this hobby from something you enjoy into a stress which isn't good. :)
     
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  8. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Hi, the diffuser is on the return pipe.

    Initially I wasn’t seeing many of the mist around the rear right so added the extra power head, it’s an Ehiem surface skimmer upside down without the skimmer bit.
    It’s only rated at 350l/h but it improved the circular flow. But to be honest I’m not sure I need it, so I’ve switched it off for the time being.

    Yes I’m not sure if the lily pipe caused the divot or me waving my hand over the substrate whilst doing a water change. I’ve fixed that now and see if it happens again.

    If the flow did cause that divot, does that mean it’s too strong, or outlet positioned badly ie pointing slightly downwards?

    Thanks


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  9. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Just checked and the outlet flow is causing the divot so I had to had to straighten the pipe so the outlet is vertical, see picture.

    So not much of a difference, midnight the PH was around 7.55 according to my pen and now it’s 7.3 and drop check is dark green, nearly 9hrs to drop 0.25.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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  10. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    So I’ve raised the lily pipe to give me surface agitation and increased my co2, following the advice from the video above. Following Zeus advice that I need to forget about what everyone else’s bps, I’ve ramped mine up to About 10bps. Current ph is 7.25. I’ll check readings in 30min and 1hr.
     
  11. Jayefc1

    Jayefc1 Member

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    Its all trial and error mate you will get there did you turn your temp.down a little too
    Cheers
    Jay
     
  12. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Hiya, I left it around 23.5 but will try turning it down to 22 a bit later.


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  13. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

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    Soapy water is good for checking leaks on pipe joints and I would purchase some new drop checker solution.

    Paul
     
  14. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    You have lots of buffer in your water and that's the core of your problems with pH.
     
  15. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Just checked with soapy water again, no leaks spotted.
    In terms of PH I’m using a PH pen and that pretty much correlates to the colour, obviously drop checker is delayed.



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  16. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    So I’ve just measured the PH, 6.95 or there abouts, so about 7.35 to 6.95 in about 2hrs. But the bubble counter is just a stream as I did increase it a bit when my initial ramp up resulted in no change between two readings after an initial ph drop.

    Is this something I’ve just got to live with? Or just a really paranoid thought, is my co2 gas a bit dodgy? It’s from Adamsgas and it’s a replacement bottle after the initial one they delivered ran out in a few days (3.15kg) bottle.




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  17. Andrew Butler

    Andrew Butler Member

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    That's a good start :thumbup:
    Again :thumbup: - just see how it goes over the next few days/week. If you find you have the problem still then it's maybe time to think about how water is returned from your filter, spraybar is always a great way but a little unsightly maybe. As @Zeus. says completely ignore what anyone else says about BPS.
    All that said this doesn't sound right, using that much CO2 on a tank that size just can't be right. Unsure which diffuser you have but checking assembly etc is a good idea in my opinion and maybe the first thing to do before anything else, assuming your CO2 gas is correct. :crazy:
     
  18. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Think we can safely say you have leak somewhere,

    CO2 used data base gives a rough idea on how long it should last and its more than 3.5 days
     
  19. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Thanks all for your replies. My PH is now at 6.75, maybe a bit less, but that’s after 14hrs of injecting co2, starting position is around PH 7.6. This is varying rates of co2 with the last 4-5 hrs with the bps as a stream. Drop checker is light green with a yellow tint.

    I’m start to suspect my co2 gas isn’t right as my diffuser is new and seems to be working with my tank water like 7up.

    However, next two things to try is another bottle of co2, I’ll get a fire extinguisher from eBay and then see how that goes, I’ll then change to in tank diffuser.

    My filter is new and flow out of that seems ok, strong enough to make a divot in my soil at the opposite end.

    Thanks


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  20. hongsit

    hongsit Member

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    Hi, yeah definitely, but they replaced that one, although they seemed to not believe me, so I’m hoping they supplied me with a genuine co2 bottle, I might be paranoid but that’s my current thinking at the moment. My co2 setup seems to be more aligned to a 500l tank, not 100l :(


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