CO2 chart - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-24-2012, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
CO2 chart

Not sure if this chart has been posted for many years or not. I did not know how to find a nominal figure for the level of CO2 in my Aquarium. This chart was easy enough, and it showed me that adding a CO2 unit was not necessary for my tank . I do not know why the chart does not show in color. Read your KH on right side vertically, and compare with your PH across top of chart to find your CO2 Level


pH/hardness/PPM Co2

KH pH 6.0 6.2 6.4 6.6 6.8 7.0 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.8 8.0
0.5 15 9.5 6.0 3.8 2.4 1.5 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.23 0.15
1.0 30 19 12 8 4.8 3 1.9 1.2 0.8 0.5 0.3
1.5 45 28 18 11 7.1 4.5 2.8 1.8 1.1 0.7 0.45
2.0 60 38 24 15 9.5 6 3.8 2.4 1.5 1.0 0.6
2.5 75 47 30 19 12 7.5 4.7 3 1.9 1.2 0.75
3.0 90 57 36 23 14 9 5.7 3.6 2.3 1.4 0.9
3.5 105 68 42 26 17 10.5 6.6 4.2 2.6 1.7 1.0
4.0 120 75 48 30 19 12 7.6 4.8 3.0 1.9 1.2
5.0 150 95 60 38 24 15 9.5 6 3.8 2.4 1.5
6.0 180 114 72 45 29 18 11 7.2 4.5 2.9 1.8
8.0 240 151 96 60 38 24 15 9.6 6.0 3.8 2.4
10.0 300 189 119 75 48 30 19 12 7.5 4.8 3
15.0 450 284 179 113 71 45 28 18 11.3 7.1 4.5

Green = Good CO2 levels
10-25ppm
Good CO2 levels are also shown in BOLD.
Yellow = High CO2 levels
Over 25ppm
Levels over 25 can be harmful to your fish
White = Low CO2 levels
Less than 10ppm
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-25-2012, 03:39 PM
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This is really the wrong forum (did you mean to post in the reef section? Seems more useful to planted aquariums...) but I think this is the same chart and easier to read..

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post #3 of 18 Old 03-26-2012, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
That is it

Why would this be in the reef section, Is it not for all water chemistry?

Yes, that is the chart, I could not post it in color, and it came out bizarre, not as I copied, and pasted.

Thanks for posting the correct chart.

As I saw this chart, and have been using it to cross reference my PH & KH, my CO2 comes out just fine, so I would not need to add this CO2 unit, at this time.
My question was that I see many people just add on the additional CO2 unit without any actual account of what their CO2 readings are according to this chart.
Should we be using this chart to keep our relationship between PH & KH within the desired control ranges, so that we can control the statistical chemical process which includes our CO2.
Thanks again for your help, and the sharing of your knowledge.
Ron
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-26-2012, 05:39 PM
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The organisation of this forum can be a little odd at times, but look carefully under the banner when you post. I took a screenshot.. Look at the very bottom of my image to see what I'm talking about.



If you click on the main 'tropicalfishkeeping.com' banner at the top and go to the main forum, you can scroll down to the planted aquariums section and post it there. To save space, you can also (from the main forum page) scroll down to see who is online. The bold names are the moderators. If you pm them with a link to this topic, I'm sure they'll be more than happy to just move it for you.

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post #5 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 11:02 AM
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I moved this thread out of saltwater and over to here (freshwater aquarim plants).

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
Oh my?

When I started the thread, I thought it said "Water Chemistry". That is why I posted there, I didn't see salt water.

Byron thanks for moving it for us.
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Chart use for water chemistry

I figure that this chart is a basic law of water chemistry, correct. The relationship between KH / PH will always give off the shown level of CO2. It is then necessary for planted aquarium keepers to be testing KH , along with PH to know the actual level of CO2 in the tank, and if CO2 is to be added, or removed.

Is there any simple criteria that can be added that makes this chart fallible?

Wonder also if there is a continuation for the chart, to find the level of KH with PH, 8 and above that would lead to good levels of CO2. There is a systematic rhythm to the numbers, but I could not figure out the equation.
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Boscobear View Post
I figure that this chart is a basic law of water chemistry, correct. The relationship between KH / PH will always give off the shown level of CO2. It is then necessary for planted aquarium keepers to be testing KH , along with PH to know the actual level of CO2 in the tank, and if CO2 is to be added, or removed.

Is there any simple criteria that can be added that makes this chart fallible?

Wonder also if there is a continuation for the chart, to find the level of KH with PH, 8 and above that would lead to good levels of CO2. There is a systematic rhythm to the numbers, but I could not figure out the equation.
I frankly do not comprehend the logic of that chart. I have seen it elsewhere, and never fathomed how it could be reliable. I have tanks with KH below 1 and pH at 6 and 5 or lower, and I can assure you there is no CO2 at levels high enough to poison fish. Mine would be dead overnight if this were the case.

The other thing to remember is that most CO2 in an aquarium occurs from the breakdown of organics in the substrate. This chart cannot possibly take that into account, since every aquarium is different due to the number of fish, type of fish, size of the tank, amount of food, and whatever else.

If the aquarium has a normal fish stocking, there will be sufficient CO2 for the majority of plants.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
That is what I wanted to know

I found it hard to believe, the chart, but it was there. I did think that there has to be variables in the aquarium that contradict this mathematical charting theory. There is more to total water chemistry than two known figures equaling another one.
So how do we check, or test for a figure that will accurately read the level of CO2 in a confined container of water.
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 05:06 PM
That chart is not very reliable at least for in-tank water. It was popular one time but there are newer more accurate methods. Most these days use a drop checker. The drop checker uses the same basic understanding of KH and pH to gauge CO2, but without all the uncertainties. In a drop checker you use 4d KH solution usually made with baking soda and RO water. Then a few drops of pH reagent are added to the drop checker. This indicator solution is kept separate from tank water by an air pocket, however diffusion will keep the CO2 concentration in the drop checker and in the tank the same. The solution in the drop checker is standardized and nothing is going to effect its pH except the CO2. The pH indicator gauges the pH change in that blue=low, green=good, and yellow=high.

The issue with the chart is that CO2 is not the only thing that effect pH. Driftwood, substrates and even the cycling process will also have an effect on pH. You also can not distinguish one from the other. By using the chart you are assuming any and all pH change is due to CO2. If that is true then yes the chart is pretty accurate. However this is normally not the case with aquarium water.

Other thing with drop checkers is they are permanent monitors. You replace the solution every couple weeks. There is no testing or reading of charts. The drop checker is always in the tank and a simple glance can tell you its color.

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