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Worth using CO2 in Tanganyika Tank?

bjorn

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1 Dec 2010
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223
I've got a Tanganyika Tank tank and have added CO2 as I had a bottle and reactor lying around. However not sure it's worth using as it pushes down the PH.

I had a problem with bio decalcification (I think it's called) were the plants started produce a lot of white looking dust on the leaves. I lowered the light strength which seems to have taken care of that for now. However this was with a smaller amount of plants, and with several bulbs coming up and once everything gets going there will be a lot more biomass. Does that not mean I will have problems with decalcification again? The tank also have a sump which contains lots of floating plants to remove nitrates but it would also be removing a lot of CO2 due to the water splashing around.

I've chosen plants that are can handle hard water and (kind of) found in African rift lakes, i.e. I guess that's why they also use decalcification. I'm not worried about algae, in fact I rather have some than none at all since most of the fish eat it. Which is why I would like to increase the light strength but if I do the plants look bad.

So the question is, at the low level I inject Co2, does it actually make enough difference to be worth doing? Will it prevent decalcification or a pointless waste of Co2?

Tank details:

- Total volume 450L inc sump
- Sump with floating plants to remove nitrates (used floating as it doesn't need co2 in the water)
- Pump + Powerheads giving over 10x turnover.
- Chemical filtration with carbon, phosphate remover and purigen
- 100% RO water using Rift Lake Salt mix.

PH before CO2: 8.3
PH after adding CO2: 7.8
kh: 11
Alkalinity: 200ppm
Temp: 25c
Nitrate: 8ppm
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Phosphate: 0.10

Plants:
- Aponogeton crispus
- Nymphaea lotus
- Cyperus helferi
- Cladophora Sp (Marimo Moss)
- Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping' (but seems to be disintegrating)

0ACoftK.jpg
 

bjorn

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1 Dec 2010
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223
I've got it running at the moment, but not sure how to tell if it makes any difference, i guess i could crank up the light and see what happens.
 

Alexander

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30 Jan 2013
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Right.
Recently I watched an old BBC movie about Tanganyika fish and they perfectly displayed how fish is grazing on the algae fields. In worst case you will have at least something to feed your fish :). BTW, you didn't mention the fish you are to keep in your tank. In case of a good school, fish may produce enough CO2 for your plants to abandon decalcification, so there would be no need for injections.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I wouldn't use CO2, the water in Lake Tanganyika is more like the sea than most other fresh water on the planet, mainly because it has been a lake for 30,000,000 years. All the plants that grow in very carbonate rich lakes will naturally use carbonates in the water (because of HCO3- ~CO2 equilibrium), be calcified, and a lot of them (Chara etc) will actually use it for structural support like marine coralline algae would.

Plants like Najas, Vallisneria and Ceratophyllum are native to Lake Tanganyika, and will grow fine in very hard water.

cheers Darrel
 

bjorn

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1 Dec 2010
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Hi all,
I wouldn't use CO2, the water in Lake Tanganyika is more like the sea than most other fresh water on the planet, mainly because it has been a lake for 30,000,000 years. All the plants that grow in very carbonate rich lakes will naturally use carbonates in the water (because of HCO3- ~CO2 equilibrium), be calcified, and a lot of them (Chara etc) will actually use it for structural support like marine coralline algae would.

Plants like Najas, Vallisneria and Ceratophyllum are native to Lake Tanganyika, and will grow fine in very hard water.

cheers Darrel

I should rephrase my question.

Is there any benefit from adding a small amount of Co2, at the current rate with kh11 I'm injecting enough Co2 to reduce PH from 8.3 to 7.8. Or does it have to be more Co2 for any real benefit to plants? Is some Co2 better than none?. (I don't want to increase the CO2 or have to add more buffer).

But I do agree, to be true to lake Tanganyika there should be no Co2, but unfortunately calcification looks really bad on the plants I've choosen and I'd like to enjoy the view.. By the way both Nymphaea and types of Cyperus are found in the lake too.



Right.
Recently I watched an old BBC movie about Tanganyika fish and they perfectly displayed how fish is grazing on the algae fields. In worst case you will have at least something to feed your fish :). BTW, you didn't mention the fish you are to keep in your tank. In case of a good school, fish may produce enough CO2 for your plants to abandon decalcification, so there would be no need for injections.


Yes, it's actually nice not having to worry about algae or even encourage it's growth. Typical that I have very little when I need or want it.

Fish:

4x Eretmodus cyanostictus (goby cichlids)
4x Altolamprologus calvus "Black"
6x Paracyprichromis nigripinnis "neon blue"
2x Neolamprologus brevis (will add some more shellies soon)
12x Amano shrimp
30x Cherry shrimp (in sump)

IDoes Fish actually create a significant amount of Co2?
 

ale36

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16 Nov 2012
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226
Location
Stansted ,Essex
I should rephrase my question.
Fish:

4x Eretmodus cyanostictus (goby cichlids)
4x Altolamprologus calvus "Black"
6x Paracyprichromis nigripinnis "neon blue"
2x Neolamprologus brevis (will add some more shellies soon)
12x Amano shrimp
30x Cherry shrimp (in sump)

IDoes Fish actually create a significant amount of Co2?


Are the Shrimps for food? not 100% sure the amano shrims will survive a hungry Cichlid but i'm sure some one would either correct me or agree with me
 

bjorn

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Are the Shrimps for food? not 100% sure the amano shrims will survive a hungry Cichlid but i'm sure some one would either correct me or agree with me


The cherry shrimps are in the sump so fish can't get to them. When they spawn the tiny shrimp will be flushed into the main display tank and eaten or survive... don't mind either. The amano I'm only testing to see and hoping they will be too big for them to be seen as food. So far no casualties.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Are the Shrimps for food? not 100% sure the amano shrims will survive a hungry Cichlid
I think the Altolamprologus will pick them off.
4x Eretmodus cyanostictus (goby cichlids) 4x Altolamprologus calvus "Black" 6x Paracyprichromis nigripinnis "neon blue" 2x Neolamprologus brevis (will add some more shellies soon)
Now that is a nice fish list.
By the way both Nymphaea and types of Cyperus
They are, although they would both be emergent, so the CO2/HCO3- equilibrium doesn't effect them.
Is there any benefit from adding a small amount of Co2, at the current rate with kh11 I'm injecting enough Co2 to reduce PH from 8.3 to 7.8. Or does it have to be more Co2 for any real benefit to plants? Is some Co2 better than none?.
The plants will grow faster with CO2 if you add nutrients, even plants that use HCO3- will use CO2 if it is available, as they have to convert the HCO3 to CO2 before they can use it.

cheers Darrel
 

bjorn

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1 Dec 2010
Messages
223
Hi all,
I think the Altolamprologus will pick them off.
Now that is a nice fish list. They are, although they would both be emergent, so the CO2/HCO3- equilibrium doesn't effect them. The plants will grow faster with CO2 if you add nutrients, even plants that use HCO3- will use CO2 if it is available, as they have to convert the HCO3 to CO2 before they can use it.

cheers Darrel


I think you might be right about the Amanos, at least when the Altolamprologus gets older, still young and they do grow very slowly.

I think I will use a small amount of CO2 then, it's mainly to avoid the white dust on the leaves. I also got my kh and gh mixed up.. kh is actually 17, so should be having a decent affect even with little ph decrease. I already add nutrients, some TPN on a daily basis together with the Cichlid trace that I add.
 
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