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Measuring CO2 and Safety for Fish
Forgive me for being lazy; however, I'm looking for a low tech way to measure CO2 levels and would like to know the safe range insofar as fish are concerned. Currently, I'm running a little DIY CO2 setup with a betta being the only resident. The plants are beautiful and the betta isn't bothered as he breathes from the surface anyway. Any info would be appreciated. I'd like to try the DIY CO2 in a couple of other tanks to see the reaction of the plants but, I don't want to harm the fish.
a drop checker would be the best way, you can find these cheap on Ebay
though there is also the PH/KH method, you test you KH then your PH match it up to the chart below on you will have your rough Co2 concentration.
safe range would be anything below 30ppm i believe, though the chart says 25 ppm.
mika would be the one to ask about this >.>
I'll leave this for the CO2 experts to answer, other than to say that the CO2 should only run during daylight, meaning when the tank light is on. It is running CO2 at night that can be very dangerous.
Armymp327 hit it dead on. Best get a drop checker.
Could you post the site for the chart so that I might print it out or can we place this in the reference section for future use? This seems like something that ought to be more widely available.
what that chart shows is the ratio of the carbonate species vs pH
I think better understood when represented this way:
CO2 in water forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), so comparing the chart and graph CO2 = H2CO3, and since KH = HCO3- + CO3--, think of the pink and green lines as only one (without the dip at around pH 10, since this just illustrates the relative amounts of carbonate and bicarbonate and combined they equal 100% of the total) and call it KH
so basically all that being shown is that a little above pH 6, 50% of the carbonate species total is H2CO3 and 50% KH, above which KH predominates and is exclusive above about pH 8.3, below pH 6 H2CO3 predominates and is exclusive below approx pH 4
so for beaslbob, yes there is no CO2/H2CO3 at those higher pHs, all the carbonate species exist as KH
but aquaria are open systems exposed to the atmosphere and this affects all of this as the system tries to reach equilibrium, including the exchange of atmospheric and dissolved CO2 which means the levels are not fixed - the graph shows relative, not absolute amounts
I'm assuming 'dangerous' levels of CO2 are greater than the saturation level, so the only way for it to remain dangerous is to introduce CO2 at a rate equal to or greater than the rate it can leave the air/water interface or be consumed by plants
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