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CO2 O2 exchange with a Sponge filter

This is a discussion on CO2 O2 exchange with a Sponge filter within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> As my livestock population reaches max I can see where CO2 would no longer be necessary, but until then, how much is needed? The ...

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CO2 O2 exchange with a Sponge filter
Old 01-31-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
 
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As my livestock population reaches max I can see where CO2 would no longer be necessary, but until then, how much is needed?
The answer to this sort of depends on how much you might require, i.e., what is your ultimate goal in plant growth. Pardon me if what follows is already known to you; but I am one who believes that understanding the processes and how things work is extremely important in order to be able to decide if this or that is or isn't worth it.

Plants require adequate light--intensity and duration--and 17 nutrients in order to photosynthesize which is how they grow. If any of these is lacking, photosynthesis slows and may even cease. Aquatic plants have very little control over photosynthesis; they will photosynthesize to the max, which is up to the point where something is no longer available. Adding CO2 will have very limited improvement in plant growth if the light is not increased to balance and the other nutrients are similarly not increased to balance.

There is a lot more natural CO2 in a fish tank than many realize, and most of it comes from the bacteria, not the fish; just as bacteria are the largest consumers of oxygen, not the fish and plants. If CO2 balances the other 16 nutrients and the light is adequate, the plants will photosynthesize.

I have maintained plants in an aquarium with no fish, and no CO2 diffusion [I also am not one who adds CO2 because I prefer a simpler more natural system], and the plants remained healthy, though they did not increase as rapidly as they do in the fish tanks. The point here is that there is a lot of CO2 in even this sort of tank. Adding it means increasing the light and other nutrients proportionally, which may or may not have a benefit in your case. Which brings us back to the initial pint, what your goal may be.

One comment on CO2 at night--don't. There is absolutely no benefit to adding CO2 during darkness, as it can only be detrimental to fish and plants. It is not going to be "stored" in the tank, it will drive out oxygen (if CO2 comes in, oxygen goes out, and vice versa), and cause problems for the fish, bacteria and eventually plants.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
 
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multiple bottles

Ive seen the multi bottle approach. that seems reasonable. using the Jolly Ranchers, my CO2 production ends (or drasticly reduces) very near the end of my light cycle each day. Currently, my CO2 bubbles into my canister filter for maximum water time prior to surfacing.

as for why, everything I have read suggests that plants need more than fish can offer. and visa versa, fish need more O2 than plants can provide in the artifical aquarim enviornment.

Do you not use CO2? what about ferts?
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:24 PM   #13
 
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everything I have read suggests that plants need more than fish can offer. and visa versa, fish need more O2 than plants can provide in the artifical aquarim enviornment.
This statement is very inaccurate and misleading [not blaming you, I know you are stating what others have said]. As for plants needing CO2, as I said previously, it is but one nutrient they need to photosynthesize, and it is present in every aquarium to some extent. What you want from your plants will determine if you can let nature do its thing or you need to add CO2.

If you look at the photos of my tanks under "Aquariums" below my name on the left, you will (I think) see very good and vigorous plant growth. I do not use CO2, never have and never will because I have good healthy plant growth without it and that is my goal. Those who want plants to grow rapidly, flower, reproduce, etc., may need CO2 (and increase everything else) to achieve that.

As for oxygen, in a balanced aquarium this will never be an issue. If the fish are overstocked however, it could be. My 115g has some 130-140 fish in it, and over 15+ years I have never had problems with oxygen deficiency for the fish. I also have minimal water movement with little or no surface disturbance to further reduce the exchange of gasses.

Quote:
Do you not use CO2? what about ferts?
I answered the CO2 question above. Yes, I add liquid fertilizer weekly; if I didn't I would not have such good plant growth as the required nutrients would not otherwise be available. I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, it is to my knowledge the only preparation available that contains all nutrients [except oxygen, hydrogen and carbon which come from the biological processes in the aquarium]. Once or twice a week supplies what is needed in my systems to balance the light (which is also minimal) and CO2.

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Old 01-31-2011, 05:13 PM   #14
 
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As for oxygen, in a balanced aquarium this will never be an issue. If the fish are overstocked however, it scould be. My 115g has some 130-140 fish in it, and over 15+ years I have never had problems with oxygen deficiency for the fish. I also have minimal water movement with little or no surface disturbance to further reduce the exchange of gasses..
thats NUTS! how many you got now? lol
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:56 PM   #15
 
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thats NUTS! how many you got now? lol
They die of old age usually.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:44 PM   #16
 
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Wow. I've also been dosing w excel. Maby that's doing the work I thought my yeasties were. I may remove the bottle for a week and see what happens. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:02 PM   #17
 
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Wow. I've also been dosing w excel. Maby that's doing the work I thought my yeasties were. I may remove the bottle for a week and see what happens. Thanks!
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As regulars here know, i am not a fan of Excel or any carbon supplement. Same reasoning as previously--using carbon sets up a higher level of balance with the light and nutrients. I like to keep it simple so there is less to go wrong.

What is your light (be specific)? And are you adding any ferts? Both these are critical regardless of all else.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:30 PM   #18
 
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Twin 48 watt t12 6500K timed for 10 hours in a shop light suspended over the tank. Fluval 305 with carbon and peat, hydrosponge III with a bubbler. Dose weekly with Seachem excel and daily with diy CO2.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:10 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by sk8rvendz View Post
Twin 48 watt t12 6500K timed for 10 hours in a shop light suspended over the tank. Fluval 305 with carbon and peat, hydrosponge III with a bubbler. Dose weekly with Seachem excel and daily with diy CO2.
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What jumps out at me right away is that you were not adding any of the other essential nutrients, the minerals. Again that balance. Now that you are stopping the carbon (both), I would recommend a good balanced fert like Flourish Comprehensive if you can find it, or if not then Nutrafin's Plant-Gro liquid. The Flourish is better, and you use so little (1 tsp once or maybe twice a week for 60g) it is less expensive long-term.

Light sounds OK. I'm not aware of T12 tubes in 48w so I assume this is 48w total, so two 24w tubes? T12 lose their effectiveness within 6 months although most of us used to let them go a year before replacing. The T8 (narrower) are better in this respect, some say they last 2-3 years. Manufacturers are moving to T8 because they are more energy-efficient. 6500K is perfect spectrum.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:56 PM   #20
 
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plant food

my last bottle of fert was nutrafin plant gro. I ran out and bought the excel from a recommendation. Ive not seen the other Florish you mentioned. I may be mistaken on the wattage; web light shops list them at 40W giving me 80 total.

thanks again for your info. Im slowly learning that my "experts" at the local box stores know more about selling than about product.

I like your concept of simple and least intrusive fishkeeping.
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