CO2 Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-22-2011, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 Question

Hello,

I had a question, currently I leave my CO2 on when my lights are on and shut it off when the lights go out. I have a CO2 paintball system so I have to manually shut it off and turn it on, is there any benefits or negative effects if I where to keep the CO2 on all the time? Thanks for your input.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-22-2011, 09:20 AM
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Well plants have two cycles they use to convert light into food. Theyre called the light dependent and the light indeptendent cycle. Im pretty sure they use the majority of CO2 during the light dependent cyce. However I wouldnt think there would be any negative affects of leaving it on all the time
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-22-2011, 07:58 PM
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On the contrary, CO2 should never be on during darkness. You may very well poison the tank of fish.

Plants and fish both respire continually, taking in oxygen and giving off CO2. This occurs day and night without stopping. Bacteria breaking down organics are also giving off CO2 constantly.

CO2 is added via diffusion to provide more CO2 to the plants for faster photosynthesis. But this aspect only applies during sufficient daylight to allow photosynthesis to occur, and provided the other essential nutrients are available. Plants can only photosynthesize fully if all 17 nutrients are available, and if the light is sufficient in intensity and spectrum.

Photosynthesis does not occur during darkness, and if the light is not sufficient it can be much slower and even stop. CO2 diffusion is then being wasted, and is only adding to the natural CO2 that is continually being produced. And a build up of CO2 sufficient to kill the fish can easily occur. CO2 remains in the water unless it is being driven off by significant surface disturbance.

CO2 diffusers should always be on a timer; many co-ordinate this with the light, since both are needed simultaneously.

Byron.

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 #4 of 6 Old 12-22-2011, 08:00 PM
Its fine to leave it on 24/7 as long as you are not running it too high. Plants don't consume CO2 at night, instead they consume oxygen. So CO2 levels may rise slightly at night. Other then that you can get a solenoid.

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post #5 of 6 Old 12-22-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
On the contrary, CO2 should never be on during darkness. You may very well poison the tank of fish.

Plants and fish both respire continually, taking in oxygen and giving off CO2. This occurs day and night without stopping. Bacteria breaking down organics are also giving off CO2 constantly.

CO2 is added via diffusion to provide more CO2 to the plants for faster photosynthesis. But this aspect only applies during sufficient daylight to allow photosynthesis to occur, and provided the other essential nutrients are available. Plants can only photosynthesize fully if all 17 nutrients are available, and if the light is sufficient in intensity and spectrum.

Photosynthesis does not occur during darkness, and if the light is not sufficient it can be much slower and even stop. CO2 diffusion is then being wasted, and is only adding to the natural CO2 that is continually being produced. And a build up of CO2 sufficient to kill the fish can easily occur. CO2 remains in the water unless it is being driven off by significant surface disturbance.

CO2 diffusers should always be on a timer; many co-ordinate this with the light, since both are needed simultaneously.

Byron.
Thanks for your comments. This is my first planted tank and as you can see by my photo I think it's starting off pretty well (about a year old now). I knew that my aquarium was going to be planted because it made sense to try to have the most natual enviroment possible for my fish companions. To be completely honest, I didn't want to use CO2 because of the added cost and hassle, but since I am useing T5HO lighting I am told it's my only option. I fertalize with Seachem products daily and do a weekly water change, I am told if I sop useing the co2 I will have a majot algae outbreak and my plants will start to die. Is this true? Do you need a co2 system to have a successful planted aquarium?

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post #6 of 6 Old 12-23-2011, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PRIMESIX View Post
Thanks for your comments. This is my first planted tank and as you can see by my photo I think it's starting off pretty well (about a year old now). I knew that my aquarium was going to be planted because it made sense to try to have the most natual enviroment possible for my fish companions. To be completely honest, I didn't want to use CO2 because of the added cost and hassle, but since I am useing T5HO lighting I am told it's my only option. I fertalize with Seachem products daily and do a weekly water change, I am told if I sop useing the co2 I will have a majot algae outbreak and my plants will start to die. Is this true? Do you need a co2 system to have a successful planted aquarium?



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To answer the last question, no. But, the light and nutrients must be balanced for a successful planted aquarium. And some plant species may not do well under low-tech as opposed to high-tech methods. So it comes down to what you want in the way of a planted tank.

I have no desire to propagate plants, they are only there for aesthetic reasons and as biological "helpers" with water quality. I have fish tanks that happen to have live plants in them too; some have or want plant tanks that may have a few or even no fish. The approach is different. You can see my tanks in the photos under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.

To your penultimate question, possibly. Again it depends upon the balance. If the plants are doing well currently, one may assume the light and nutrients are balanced. Particularly if algae is not an issue--by which I mean it may be present (it is in all tanks) but not problematic. If the CO2 being added is providing carbon to match the light and other nutrients, and it is suddenly stopped, then the light becomes excessive with respect to the balance and algae will likely increase. Reducing the duration is not usually beneficial because the balance has to be present during the light period in order for photosynthesis to take place.

T5 HO lighting is very intense; I tried it and took it back, because it was clearly going to be more than I could balance. I was more concerned with the fish frankly, it really is bright lighting. Floating plants can help with this.

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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