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need some CO2 tips

This is a discussion on need some CO2 tips within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Um whats a CO2????...

Old 12-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #11
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Um whats a CO2????
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:05 PM   #12
It is carbon dioxide ... for the plants :)

fish4 all thanks for the explanation! that makes a lot more sense now. I will try it soon. :)
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #13
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Now i get it thanks. :D :D :D
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:55 PM   #14
Thanks again for the tips ... I'm stoked, I finally got my CO2 set up this weekend and it's working!! :D I have the air tube feeding into the intake of my power filter and I hear it chopping up the bubbles every now and then. I put my yeast/sugar bottle in a fish bucket with some warm water and a heater. Now I just have to sit back and wait for my tank to turn into a beautiful jungle of green....hopefully :)
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #15
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Wow this is all very complicated... Is CO2 absolutely necessary? I thought like air pumps helped with this? I know very little about plants but I would like to learn... After reading this thread I think it would be easier just to buy one of those CO2 things at my lfs... I was looking at it the other day... But if I just bought tabs where would I place them? Just right in the tank? Sorry about the stupid questions...
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:43 PM   #16
no those are very good questions :)

Is CO2 absolutely necessary?
I am no expert so maybe someone can correct me, but based on what I have been reading I think CO2 helps plants grow faster in high light or medium light tanks. If you have slow-growing, low-light tank then you probably wouldn't need it. Also Flourish Excel is an alternate way to give your plants carbon and you could try that with or without adding CO2.

My tank gets a ton of direct sunlight. Lots of light encourages more photosynthesis, and photosynthesis needs carbon dioxide. Some of my plants were running out of carbon dioxide and trying to get carbon from minerals in the water instead. which is called biogenic decalcification and it causes mineral deposits on the leaves which is not pretty. that is why I started adding Flourish Excel and CO2 to my tank, to get rid of the mineral deposits on my leaves. so far it is working.

I thought like air pumps helped with this?
Actually any kind of surface turbulence will cause CO2 to evaporate from the water (sort of like shaking soda)

After reading this thread I think it would be easier just to buy one of those CO2 things at my lfs...
Those can be good, then you won't have to deal with making it yourself, it is hard to make an airtight container. I actually caved in and bought a bottle with the airhose attachment so I don't have to mess with making an airtight seal. :)

if I just bought tabs where would I place them? Just right in the tank?
do you mean the Jungle Green Fizz Tabs? Those go in a container that sits outside the tank, the little container produces bubbles and it's connected to the tank by an air hose. Inside the tank is an upside-down plastic bowl where the bubbles can collect. That way the CO2 gas is always in contact with the water and it gradually dissolves.

You could mix and match actually - with one of each:
A) a way to produce CO2 (i.e., yeast/sugar bottle or fizz tabs),
B) an air tube to connect it to the tank, and
C) a way to dissolve the CO2 inside the tank (this can be the upside down bowl, a powerhead or filter to chop up the bubbles, a diffuser, or something else)
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:28 PM   #17
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That would cover it pretty much. I will add that CO2, regardless of your light levels will help plant growth. The normal amount of CO2 in water is about 3ppm. If you do NOT inject CO2 then you need surface agitation to both replenish oxygen AND CO2. The normal range that most shoot for in heavily planted tanks is over 30ppm but under 50ppm. Above 30ppm and a steady CO2 level is the key here. Fluctuating levels can be your worst enemy and actually cause some serious algae problems including Black Brush Algae and other nasty ones that are hard to get rid of. Why it does I don't know but when I did DIY CO2 my levels would fluctuate badly, especially in the winter, and I got the worst case of BBA I had ever seen.

I love Flourish Excel, it not only helps immensely with growth but you can spot treat any algae you have to kill the algae. The company won't admit it is an algaecide but trust me, it works extremely well.

Some will say anything over 2 w/g and you need it, some say 3 w/g, I say if you can set it up, then go for it. As for effectiveness, here is MHO about that:(in order of least to most effective).
Any tab reactor
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:05 AM   #18
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Lol this is all a lot of information to absorb. But I think I get the basics... I didn't realize how much went into the live plants It's a whole new ball game but I hope I can get better at this. Thanks so much for your reply! Yes I was talking about the jungle tabs... Lol okay I completely understand how the CO2 container functions... So is the air pump "evaporating CO2" Is kind of the same thing as the container and tablets "dissolving CO2"? I thought fish were complicated. I suppose it's pretty basic I'll just read up on it some more. I suppose my only question now is... Testing for CO2? I suppose it's another test kit I'm going to want to invest in? Thanks for your help!!! I hope my not fully understanding this isn't to painful. I know it's hurting my brain.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:37 AM   #19
If you already have a pH and kH test kit then you could figure out the CO2 level based on that. (assuming you don't add any water hardeners or softeners to your water.) I read about that here - it has a calculator too:

I am a little confused about the gas exchange thing ... I thought that using an air pump with regular air causes CO2 to leave the water. but fish4all says that the surface agitations helps to replenish CO2 and I will be the first to admit he has been doing this for a lot longer than I have :) fish4all how does that work? maybe does the air pump cause the CO2 concentration in the water to match whatever is the CO2 concentration of the air? so it would add CO2 if you have no CO2 in your water and remove it if you have a lot of CO2 in your water? i am just guessing but that would make sense to me.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #20
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Ah! Okay, I don't have a test kit for kH but I've been thinking about getting one. I know that it's not absolutely necessary but if I'm getting into the live plants it will be a good idea to invest in. Thank you for the link, I put it on my favorites. I'll be waiting to see what fish4all has to say. You have been a great help! Thank you!
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