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Question about CO2 system

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Question about CO2 system
Old 07-31-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
 
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Got it! I'm going to go ahead and remove the lace rock (only $14 down the drain) and I'll go buy the Malaysian wood. I do have that African Mopai wood (however you say/spell that) but the wood you mention does sound better. Sounds like tannins are minimual. I'll keep you posted on my results!

Gwen
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #12
 
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Got it! I'm going to go ahead and remove the lace rock (only $14 down the drain) and I'll go buy the Malaysian wood. I do have that African Mopai wood (however you say/spell that) but the wood you mention does sound better. Sounds like tannins are minimual. I'll keep you posted on my results!

Gwen
I will not use Mopani wood again, after I killed some fish with the fungus. It does not always carry the toxic fungus, but it does sometimes, and that is too much for me. The "Malaysian Driftwood" as they are calling the very dark brown wood is good in my view. I have lots of it. It tends to be packaged as small, medium and large and price varies. Sometimes you can get chunks with nice tunneling, almost like someone has bored tunnels through it, but it is naturally that way. Ideal for loaches, catfish, woodcats--fish that appreciate a nice tunnel for their home spot. My kubotai locahes have each chosen "their" tunnel and that is where they sleep at night.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
 
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I will not use Mopani wood again, after I killed some fish with the fungus. It does not always carry the toxic fungus, but it does sometimes, and that is too much for me. The "Malaysian Driftwood" as they are calling the very dark brown wood is good in my view. I have lots of it. It tends to be packaged as small, medium and large and price varies. Sometimes you can get chunks with nice tunneling, almost like someone has bored tunnels through it, but it is naturally that way. Ideal for loaches, catfish, woodcats--fish that appreciate a nice tunnel for their home spot. My kubotai locahes have each chosen "their" tunnel and that is where they sleep at night.

I agree with you. I did buy 2 pieces of the Malaysian wood today. I do have one piece of that Mopani wood, with a few java ferns on it, but I do have to watch it. It has gotten that white cottony thing on it when I first had it in the tank. I read on the internet it was nothing to worry about, and that snails will eat it. Sure enough, my snail did. But if it ever comes back, I'll throw it. Also, I think it has way more tannins than the Malaysian wood, but I'll soon find out about the Malaysian wood, as it's going in my tank. The lace rock has been taken out too. This should all help me with keeping the ph where the RO water is, which is good for Cardinals and German Rams.

Gwen
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:13 PM   #14
 
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I agree with you. I did buy 2 pieces of the Malaysian wood today. I do have one piece of that Mopani wood, with a few java ferns on it, but I do have to watch it. It has gotten that white cottony thing on it when I first had it in the tank. I read on the internet it was nothing to worry about, and that snails will eat it. Sure enough, my snail did. But if it ever comes back, I'll throw it. Also, I think it has way more tannins than the Malaysian wood, but I'll soon find out about the Malaysian wood, as it's going in my tank. The lace rock has been taken out too. This should all help me with keeping the ph where the RO water is, which is good for Cardinals and German Rams.

Gwen
Sounds good Gwen, keep us posted on how the water fares without the rock; should improve.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #15
 
Hello Gwen and Byron,

I am new to your forum. I just stumbled upon it today. While I was perusing the posts I came across your thread. I felt I could contribute to the discussion and registered. I will try to keep this brief and hope not to come off inappropriate. I just thought of this as a nice educational opportunity.

Let me clarify a few points for you, your pH is a measure of hydrogen ions in your water, which is a function of the ratio of base and acid species present. In an aquarium this is usually determined by the amount of carbonate ions present. You are probably most familiar with carbonates if you have ever baked. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Dissolve some of that in your water and test the pH and you will notice it to be approximately 8.4. If you were to add an acid, say vinegar, to that mixture of water and sodium bicarb you will notice that it will fizz. The fizzing is the reaction of the vinegar (acid) and base (bicarb) creating carbon dioxide (CO2). Simply put the acid causes the bicarb to break down releasing the CO2. Note that there are various forms of these "carbonate" salts, such as calcium and magnesium. The difference between the sodium form and the calcium or magnesium form is how tightly bound these atoms are to the carbonate, which makes it more difficult to dissolve or breakdown. So where does this all apply to your situation?

So looking at your local water report a kH of ~10, which is one measure of water hardness as calcium carbonate equivalents. This is also a measure of the "buffering" capacity of your water, i.e. how easily it resists changes in pH, or breaks down. The more carbonates you have the more difficult it resists these changes. On a side note, have you ever heard of water referred to as hard or soft? Hard water contains a lot of these carbonates and soft water very little. Your water is somewhere in the middle, but closer to soft than hard. Pure water is slightly acidic, which you have seen in the pH of your RO water. Although you diluted out your tap water with RO water you really did not change the water's pH by doing so, as you saw in your pH creeping back up. Why, this is because the carbonates are strong buffers. Plain pure water in of itself will not change the pH of a solution, so it just took some time to creep back, or more precisely for the system to reequilibrate. The rock you added is composed mainly of these carbonates, and yes in water it will dissolve releasing these carbonates into the water and affecting the water pH. How quickly this occurs depends on several factors, but suffice it to say it probably did add to what you were seeing.

If you were to add CO2 to your system it will cause the pH to decline, become more acidic. Although CO2 is slightly soluble in water, it will react and form carbonic acid. The carbonic acid will react with the carbonates shifting their equilibrium towards the species that is present in larger amounts. The goal in using CO2 to buffer your water pH is to find the correct balance between the CO2 and carbonates such that they create a pH in the range you want, say 7.4. In your case a small amount of CO2 will cause the pH to shift to 6.8 to 7.0, but too much will cause it to become too acidic. After all of this, your tap water is actually fine just the way it is. You really do not need to dilute it with RO water. Both fish and plants should do fine in water with that pH. The other reason people add CO2 to planted tanks is that dissolved CO2 is readily available for the plants to use in photosynthesis. If the plants must rely on carbonates for their source of carbon it takes them longer to grow since this process is requires more of their metabolic energy.

So I would recommend removing the rock, as you did, because with time it will cause the pH to rise, get some good lighting for your tank (which will be dependent on the types of plants and height of your tank), and a decent fertilizer. Maintain good water quality, i.e. do proper change outs, and things should be just fine. As others have posted on this forum, I would also remove your carbon filter if you have plants.

Thank you for being patient with me. Believe me I still have a bunch to learn and are by no means an expert on all things aquarium or plants. I too have my tank issues that I contend with from time to time, but they are usually caused by me and lack of time.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #16
 
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Hi Lorne, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Thanks for adding some more info to our discussion. We have been through some of this previously in other threads so in this one we were sort of going forward, as it were; but it is good to have a thorough review in any case.

Glad to have you with us.

Byron.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:32 AM   #17
 
Hi Byron,

I figured this was probably covered in some detail in the archives somewhere. I just did not want to look it up. So I figured why not just do a little refresher. Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:53 PM   #18
 
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Hi Byron,

I figured this was probably covered in some detail in the archives somewhere. I just did not want to look it up. So I figured why not just do a little refresher. Thanks.

Thanks Lorne, and welcome. Bryon has attempted to explain water to me, and it is great to read how you put it, and it is helpful. Wow, I'm impressed by your knowledge, like I'm with Byron. You are an expert to me, so thanks for commenting. I did get my Rams today, because the ph seems to be stable and is at 6.3-6.4. I'll be checking it regularly and keeping up with my RO water during water changes, only because my German Rams are considered "difficult" and I have no intention of losing them, so I want to provide the best water conditions for them, and feel confident I can do that. They appear happy, active and curious in my tank . . .so all is good so far. Thanks again. Oh, in case you want to see a picture - here's one attached

Gwen
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