New corner tank

B4M

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Yes, Pressurised CO2 from fire extinguisher. The ballast for the lights does include the ability to reduce output by 30%. So down to 175 watts if needed.

Ceg4048- With pressureised CO2, drop counter green, and switching to EI do you still see problems? While I research EI and order dry ferts should I increase liquid feed? Tropica recommend 5ml per 50L per week so 25ml per week or 3.5ml daily. I doubled this to 7ml, should I go higher?

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B4M
 

Joecoral

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While using high CO2 and high ferts you can grow the plants without algae with so much light, its also making things harder for yourself
The plants will grow faster, require more trimming/maintenance, and you will go through ferts/CO2 (as the high light increases the plant's demands) so it will cost more
 

ceg4048

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Yes, as Joe says you can be very successful with pressurized CO2 and high levels of nutrients but why live on the edge of extinction? Why not lower your lighting and figure out how to grow plants without the sword hanging over your head? On your opening posts you showed images of algae while you had much lower lighting than you do now. So this means that you should figure out the other aspects of plant husbandry that contribute to an algae free environment such as maintenance, flow, CO2 and so forth before accelerating the tank with photon torpedoes.

I would lower the light as much as possible, double the current dosages and keep the tank as clean as possible with large water changes. Even after you start dosing EI you need to continue this practice of cleanliness. After a while you will get a feel for your tank and you can increase the lighting for a few hours a day, working your way up to your megawattage. This takes time though, and algae are unforgiving. As I recall, the hare won the race and the rabbit was left in the dust... ;)

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ceg4048

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Joecoral said:
ceg4048 said:
As I recall, the hare won the race and the rabbit was left in the dust... ;)

Cheers,

I thought the tortoise won? :p

Yeah, that's it. The tortoise :oops: One should not multitask when quoting parables...

Cheers,
 

B4M

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OK, I'll wind down the output and up the dosing. Good job I didn't go for the 400W unit then eh ;)

B4M
 

B4M

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I'm running lights at 175W and I've increased the CO2 to 2-3 bps and increased the liquid dosing.
Dry ferts from AE arrived this morning. I only ordered yesterday lunch time; great service. I think I'll use up the last of my liquid fert while I do more reading. My nitrate has always been on the high side; it's usually about 40ppm before water change and 20ppm after. I had assumed this was because of the plus in the TPN+ and my plants weren't mature enough to use at the rate added. I assume I would reduce the KNO3 dosage if nitrate started to creep higher?

On Sunday I added a second CO2 tester. I was finding the drop checker hard to read so opted for a permanent tester with a white centre. I cleaned and filled them both on Sunday using 4dKH solution and following the instructions.
I've found that the drop checker turns green when the tester is still blue. Can you suggest any reason why they wouldn't read the same given that they are placed next to each other (same flow)?
Based on this I measured the KH and PH to try to calculate the ppm from this chart. I have soft water with a KH of only 25ppm and my PH read 6 (was 6.4 before I increased CO2 rate). I'm assuming that my KH is 2.5 on the X axis but there is no line for a PH of 6. However with such soft water I would need a low PH to achieve CO2 of 30ppm. i.e. if my PH was 6.7 I would only have 15ppm CO2.

co2table7zgvw6.gif


So what do I need to do? Add some buffers to increase the KH so I can obtain 30ppm at a higher PH? If so what type do you recommend?

Thanks,

B4M
 

B4M

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ceg4048

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B4M said:
...25ppm KH is 1.4 degrees and with a PH of 6 this gives 42 ppm CO2 so I'm way off the chart on the previous post. I'll go and turn my CO2 back down and try to figure why the new permanent tester isn't turning green never mind yellow.
It's not clear which tester you are using and/or which water is being used in the tester. Where did you measure a KH of 1.4? and a pH of 6? was this the tank water? If so then you need to ignore it. The only pH or kH readings that would matter are that of the dropchecker. In fact, the dropchecker should be filled with 4 dkh water. This could easily explain why your drop checker is blue. The parameters of water in the dropchecker are completely different than that of the tank water. As explained in the dropchecker article these are separate for the reason of excluding the acidic contamination of the tank water. The reason for referencing Chuck's chart was to show the relationship between pH/KH/CO2, however this relationship is not present in your tank water, only in the isolated sample of distilled/RO water in the dropchecker. You need to add more CO2 not decrease it.

B4M said:
My nitrate has always been on the high side; it's usually about 40ppm before water change and 20ppm after. I had assumed this was because of the plus in the TPN+ and my plants weren't mature enough to use at the rate added. I assume I would reduce the KNO3 dosage if nitrate started to creep higher?
High nitrates in a planted tank is good news. You need to forget about trying to reduce this value. In fact you need to stop testing for it period. Fretting about nitrate creeping is only going to cause you more grief.

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B4M

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ceg4048 said:
Where did you measure a KH of 1.4? and a pH of 6? was this the tank water? If so then you need to ignore it.

Correct. These are tank water readings. I appreciate that the CO2/KH/PH relationship may not be accurate as carbonate may not be the only buffer present. But for the well being of the fish I'm not sure they should be ignored.
When I increased the CO2 it did reduce the tank PH from 6.4 to 6. I would be conserned about adding yet more CO2.

ceg4048 said:
It's not clear which tester you are using
I was using both the glass drop checker and the permenant CO2 tester (similar to that in your tutorial), with one above the other. Both filled with 4dKH and indicator added per instructions. Glass drop checker is green Perm CO2 tester is blue.

ceg4048 said:
High nitrates in a planted tank is good news.
Within reason right? If they start to reach 100ppm then the fish will suffer so I'll keep an eye on the reading when I start EI.
 

ceg4048

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B4M said:
ceg4048 said:
Where did you measure a KH of 1.4? and a pH of 6? was this the tank water? If so then you need to ignore it.
Correct. These are tank water readings. I appreciate that the CO2/KH/PH relationship may not be accurate as carbonate may not be the only buffer present. But for the well being of the fish I'm not sure they should be ignored.
When I increased the CO2 it did reduce the tank PH from 6.4 to 6. I would be conserned about adding yet more CO2.
Yes, they can absolutely be safely ignored. What must be considered when adding CO2 has to do only with CO2 toxicity not pH or KH stability.

B4M said:
ceg4048 said:
It's not clear which tester you are using
I was using both the glass drop checker and the permenant CO2 tester (similar to that in your tutorial), with one above the other. Both filled with 4dKH and indicator added per instructions. Glass drop checker is green Perm CO2 tester is blue.
It's not clear to me why both dropcheckers would behave differently if there were both filled with 4 dkh water and both had drops of Bromo blue added to them. Possibly if one was mounted in a way such that it blocks the water entry way of the other this might have an effect. Try putting more separating between them.

B4M said:
ceg4048 said:
High nitrates in a planted tank is good news.
Within reason right? If they start to reach 100ppm then the fish will suffer so I'll keep an eye on the reading when I start EI.
No, you can be completely unreasonable when it comes to nitrates. I've run tanks with nitrate levels approaching 100ppm and have had no difficulty with fish whatsoever. The only negative effects have been tiresome growth rates. Nitrates have a very low toxicity. It's the ammonia and nitrite that the nitrates start off as that is toxic. In any case I doubt you will reach 100ppm. Another reason I advise against test kits is that they lie ferociously. The minute you believe them and start to panic in response to their false readings is the moment your troubles really start. Ignore your nitrate readings and worry only about keeping your tank clean with massive and frequent water changes, removal of dead leaves and removal of debris and detritus.

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Fred Dulley

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The chart only works if the KH value in the tank is only influenced by the water and no other buffers. Otherwise it's flawed.
 

ceg4048

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Actually, the situation is that the relationship only works when Carbonic acid is the only acid in the water. What corrupts the readings taken from tank water is not other sources of carbonates but other sources of acid. Other acids affect the pH thereby giving false high readings for pH. When you then use use this pH value in the chart it shows a higher than actual CO2 readings. This is why we separate the water sample in the dropchecker and use distilled or RO water adjusted to a known KH. It doesn't really matter what KH the water is adjusted to as long as we know what that value is, because that is the value we would use when looking it up on the chart or when using it in the equation. What must be absolute is that there are no other acids in the dropchecker's water. This is the sole reason for using distilled or RO water. Then we know that the pH will be driven strictly by acid due to CO2 in solution and will not be driven by other acids which are always present in the tank water or tap water.

It does not matter how carbonates get there. As long as we know what the quantity is. CO3 is CO3 and HCO3 is HCO3 no matter the source, they will have the same effect. Different acids however change the relationship because we cannot separate how much of the pH reading is due to Carbonic acid and how much of it is due to other acids.

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B4M

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ceg4048 said:
Yes, they can absolutely be safely ignored. What must be considered when adding CO2 has to do only with CO2 toxicity not pH or KH stability.

I think we're in agreement but have crossed lines. CO2 toxicity and dangerously low PH are two separate issues.
I could have a PH of 6 and CO2 of 10ppm, CO2 toxicity wouldn't be a problem but the low PH in the tank water could be.
A PH of 6 is below the recommended/prefered level for many fish and I've read that invertibrates may not be able to harden their shells in acidic water.
I think I need to raise my PH and KH with buffer (baking soda?) before increasing CO2.

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ceg4048

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B4M,
Ask any discus breeder, Dwarf chiclid or tetra breeder about how low pH can safely drop in a tropical tank. My tank water routinely drops to or below 6 with no ill effects. In fact many species breed only when the pH drops to 5 and even down to 3. Central and South American fish live in highly acidic waters. There is no danger when dropping below a pH of 6. CO2 toxicity causes low blood pH. That is the reason for the toxicity and is a completely different story. Water pH can be ignored, except for breeding purposes when it actually needs to be lowered.

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B4M said:
I think I need to raise my PH and KH with buffer (baking soda?) before increasing CO2.
Apparently not, there was a thread either here or on the Barr report which unfortunately I can not find. It would seem that CO2 induced PH drop is not the same as acid induced or worse still GH induced ph drop. If your ph is OK for the fish before the CO2 comes on, they won't mind where it drops to while it is on (so long as you don't gas them). PH is an indicator, because it is effected by so many variables. GH, KH and TDS are much more likely to stress your fish if not right.

Nice looking tank, by the way. :D
 

B4M

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ceg4048 said:
There is no danger when dropping below a pH of 6
Hmm, interesting. Seems to contradict the school of thought that says low PH with little buffer capacity (low KH) leaves a tank vulnerable to PH crashes. Many people also state that a PH of between 6.5 and 7.5 is ideal unless keeping specialist fish.

Ray said:
Nice looking tank, by the way
Thank-you for the encouragement :D

B4M
 

ceg4048

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Yes, that's just it. That is the same school which preaches that nitrates and phosphates cause algae and are bad for fish... :wideyed:

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