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CO2 chart

This is a discussion on CO2 chart within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I need to get an CO2 indicator, only because I just need to know, and it's another source of information about the water. They ...

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
 
Thanks for that information

I need to get an CO2 indicator, only because I just need to know, and it's another source of information about the water. They are not real expensive either. The CO2 System now that's a whole other story. It makes my mind spin a bit, but I will have a better understanding when I see a physical formulation, a concoction for sight, and can place a number onto the unknown. This indicator works similar to my Weather Globe Barometer Glass.
Adding CO2 to aquaria is new to me. Thanks to everyone for their help. Now I need to comprehend if I actually need to have one of these CO2 Systems added to my aquarium
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boscobear View Post
I need to get an CO2 indicator, only because I just need to know, and it's another source of information about the water. They are not real expensive either. The CO2 System now that's a whole other story. It makes my mind spin a bit, but I will have a better understanding when I see a physical formulation, a concoction for sight, and can place a number onto the unknown. This indicator works similar to my Weather Globe Barometer Glass.
Adding CO2 to aquaria is new to me. Thanks to everyone for their help. Now I need to comprehend if I actually need to have one of these CO2 Systems added to my aquarium
This is the first time the matter of adding CO2 has come up in this thread, so I'll offer some thoughts. I'm assuming you want a planted aquarium with fish.

The majority of aquarium plants will do very well without adding CO2. Plants need 17 nutrients in the presence of sufficient light intensity to photosynthesize. This has to be balanced, meaning that the light intensity and duration must be balanced with the availability of all nutrients in order for plants to photosynthesize. You can establish this balance at many different levels, from low (what we term natural or low-tech) up to high (high-tech). Along the way there are many levels possible, depending upon many factors such as water volume and fish load (number and species), plant species, feeding, water parameters, etc.

There is a lot of CO2 produced naturally in a biologically balanced and established aquarium, far more than many initially realize. I never bother with trying to measure it, because after 20 years of running successful heavily-planted tanks without adding any CO2 I know it is there. You may not need to add any, but this somewhat depends upon your system (those factors mentioned above) and what you want in the end. As I said initially, the majority of aquarium plants will grow fine in a natural system. On the other end, if you want to propagate plants or grow some of the more difficult to cultivate species and have them flower and so forth, you may need to go to a high-tech method. Which means CO2 diffusion, more light, and more frequent dosing of other nutrients, all to balance.

Mikaila has both methods running, if memory serves me. I am strictly natural. It all depends upon what you want from the tank, and if you are prepared to invest a bit more money and time initially and long-term.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:41 PM   #13
 
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CO2 in water forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), which dissociates into H+ and bicarbonate (HCO3-), which itself dissociates into H+ and carbonate (CO3--).

Total dissolved carbonate species is the sum of H2CO3, HCO3-, and CO3-- and the percentage of each is dependent on pH.

I believe this is what this chart shows. The 'CO2 Concentration' is actually H2CO3 and 'degrees KH' is combined HCO3- and CO3-- (in reality, below pH 10 there is only HCO3- and only CO3-- above pH 10), though the numbers aren't exactly as what I've seen elsewhere. Converting the degrees KH to ppm or mg/L and only looking at one row (the table is a arithmetic progression showing higher concentrations, but the ratios at each pH level stay the same) helps to see the percentages of the different species at the different pH levels. At about pH 6, roughly 65% is H2CO3 and 35% KH, 50/50 around 6.3, and 20% H2CO3/80% KH at neutral. There is no H2CO3 above 8.3 or so. On the chart, the amount of total carbonate species is not the same for each pH level. The % of KH relative to H2CO3 increases with pH, and since the chart shows a fixed KH concentration, the total decreases with increasing pH.

I think the chart only applies to a closed system where no CO2 is gained or lost, either from or to the atmosphere or through biological processes, but I'm not sure. Regardless, as Byron mentioned, we know from experience and observation that the chart does not appear to be applicable to what actually occurs in an aquarium.

Here is the data depicted graphically:
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #14
 
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too late to edit, but should say that that graph was obtained online, saw it on several sites, don't know where it originated
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:44 AM   #15
 
Understanding CO2

Thanks for the kind responses. Yes, I have plants, a good amount of them too. They are all growing, since I have never grown anything under water, I can only guess that they are growing OK.
Some trouble arose from what seemed to be a bacterial bloom. I stopped adding the liquid fertilizer, and went to a pill type of fertilizer that is pushed under the substrate near each plant. I also added Oxygen via a long aerating air stone. The cloudy water is now gone. It was probably too much liquid fertilizer feeding the bacteria. I think it is also still there, though not as much that I can see, but in a minute portion, ready to bloom or, grow out with the correct additions to the water.
I also have added lower illumination lighting now, grow lights. 2 - 48" T8 32 W. Floramax, and 2 - 18" T8 Floramax, to cover the entire 6 foot length of the aquarium. I had regular daylight bulbs, but they were so bright, and the fish naturally live in low light conditions. It is all about the fish, and not to make it brighter for me to see them.

History;
I purchased, from a Craig List seller, a 125 gallon tank, stand, filter, lights, R/O system with 75 gallon holding tank, andyes, a few boxes of aquarium stuff. It was a terrific deal for the basic equipment. I also inherited their fish, all are fully grown in size, a part of the deal.
5 beautiful Discus, 9 Angelfish, 3 albino cories, 2 bronze cories, 1 upside down catfish, and a small neon, who was eaten two months ago. I loaded everything on my truck, the large pebble gravel, and old water, and the one filter, a marineland 300 biowheel.
I hurried home, and set up the aquarium in our predetermined location. Added all the old large stone gravel, and the old water. If I had only known about this web site before all of this happened. You can guess what I have been doing, replacing the chunky gravel with small grained substrate, replacing the under sized filtration with a Eheim 2180 thermal canister, adding live plants, and more appropriate lighting. Learning how to make large frequent water change easily. So far, that is where I am in the reconstruction phase. It has been an accelerated learning curve. I have the lives of these fish in my hands. From the last two paragraphs you can see why there are no photographs, yet.
The charts explain to me the chemical process of the aquarium water. I agree that they are not accurate, because of all the alternative options within the biological system that our fish live in. Quantum's chart shows the change of acidic water, H2CO3 as the PH rises, and adds in the base HCO3- H + bicarbonate, to lead to alkaline water. These must be laws of chemistry. When we add in all the other things we place into the aquarium, this chart does not show the interaction with all these variables, but is still accurate to the basic laws of chemistry.
To help add to the quality of life of my fish I am always looking to see what is needed to make, and keep their water quality improving. I do two 50% WC's each week. Right now my thought is I could use a diatom type filtration. I had the same one that is still for sale today, 35 years ago, can't find it. I was turned to the fact that maybe I need to have a better handle on the CO2 , and that is why I started this thread. At my age, I may not have 15 or 20 years left to gain that experience, and make that judgement.
Without all the fine people sharing their valuable knowledge on TFK, would my fish still be alive? Would they have this better quality of life? I doubt it, and I wonder how frustrated I would be, without all of you. Thank you
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #16
 
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I remember now, the other thread from a couple months back.

I would not do anything re the CO2. You are better with a natural system. You will have more than enough CO2 in that tank.

I would have stayed with the "daylight" tubes though, and using floating plants deals with the brightness. However, what you have will likely suffice if you prefer that hue.

Whether or not fertilizers are needed depnds upon many things. Substrate fertilizers are fine for substrate-rooted plants like swords. But any non-substrate plants won't benefit, and a complete liquid may be advisable. Again, depends upon several factors.

More info on the cloudiness will be needed before we can address that, if it is an issue.

Byron.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:28 PM   #17
 
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depending on what liquid fert you were using, it shouldn't have been causing a bacterial bloom.. Ferts that are too rich in iron can sometimes cause photosynthetic bacteria to bloom, but they usually have a greenish tint.

Also, I have what looks like a bacterial bloom in my hardwater tanks (ph 7.4) relatively often.. I believe it's just calcium un-dissolving (sorry forgot the term) from the water column. An airstone used for a couple days on a low setting usually makes it go away, and then I remove the airstone. It only happens in my super-low tech tank that runs without a filter. (just light and heater)
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:04 PM   #18
 
What do I do to make it go away

The bacteria bloom was bad. Then 2 weeks ago, as I stated in other posts above, I added the oxygen aerator, and stopped the liquid fertilizer. I have been using what is called "Total Liquid" "Super Concentrate", one drop per 5 gallons of water, twice a week, as directed. Sold by Aquariumplants.com, as their own brand.
The tank, and fish load is listed in above post. My water test perimeters have been steady, and I keep records of all tests. I have been testing every other day, a few time I have skip to two days.
PH 6.4 - 6.6 I have pretty good control of this by the mixing of R/O & tap
Ammonia 0.0 at most I have seen in weeks is .25
NO2 0.0
NO3 0.0 TO .5
KH 2 DKH
GH 40 - 53 ppm
Plants, total around 40, all small, 1/2 planted the end of February, the rest planted March 17th.
Lights, duration 12 - 14 hours, I'm home all day, and I'm staring into the water at night watching all the action. I have the back glass open to let light in, the tank is in front of a large window, with a northern view of a lake,fish think they're in the lake, LOL, there is never any direct sun. I have a beautiful 3D rock background made for this tank, the wife does not like it, so it is sitting in the back room.
One other possible show stopper, I removed the HOB Marineland 300 biowheel on March 17th. I keep a journal. The bacterial bloom was already getting worse before I removed the HOB. I did this to allowed the Eheim 2180 to take full responsibility of filtration. My thinking was the biowheel was guilty of some of the additional bacteria.
To confess, the water has never been real clear, always had that cloud, some where. If you look end to end we always see the cloudiness , not as much anymore through the front to back. There has never been a green tint to the water, some algae, but nothing to write about. Right now the water is the best since the initial January set up, but end to end, you still see cloudy water. Do I expect to much? I just want good clean water for the fish.
I have an itch to buy this Vortex Diatom XL. If I can survive, rid myself of the cloud, even the minor cloudiness, I have other stuff to buy for the home,& lawn, before the diatom for the aquarium.
Part of the hobby, buying more stuff, cool stuff. It's very addicting.
The light bulbs, should I do a combo light, one grow light, one daylight bulb?
Thanks for the help
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