11-01-2008, 02:32 PM
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soft water, CO2, carbonate questions
Hi, folks. I'm relatively new to this sport and have a question. I've got a moderately planted 36 gallon tank with shrimps and fishies and whatnot. Out of anal-retention, I've got two AC 50 external filters on the back. Regular fine gravel bed. Currently 40 watts of full spectrum, but about to upgrade to 130. I haven't been fertilizing with anything other than fish waste until just recently. Nothing seems to be growing dramatically, so I'm in the process of upping the ante, plant-wise. More light. Fertilizer. And then of course, CO2. My standard tap water is awful and brown, so I use tap distilled H2O (science lab stuff), which is of course extremely soft. I just set up a DIY yeast CO2 generator/reactor. Two questions: 1) with so much water flow and surface agitation, am I going to vent off all my CO2 to the atmosphere, wasting all my efforts? 2) With such soft water, how badly will CO2 injection mess with my tank's pH? Will it do me any good to throw a bag of aragonite in a filter? My thinking is that it will slowly leach carbonate into the tank, particularly if pH drops (from its current 8.0) due to CO2 injection. After just one day with the reactor, pH is still right at 8.0.
Thanks for any and all thoughts...