Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Redknee 03-28-2010 11:25 AM

CO2 level
Was just surfing the net looking for the levels of CO2 ppl have in planted tanks.
Now most say that 10-40 mg/l(ppm) is about good for plants, some say that for fish 5mg/l is maximum or they die, some say they have 160 mg/l and fish are ok(when i say fish i don't mean a certain fish but fish in general, from neons to discus to whatever.)
Now i just did a test in my 92G and i have around 44 mg/l, plants are ok, fish are ok BUT my plants do no pearl. And i know they do pearl when they have nuff CO2.
Anyone has any imput on this? What is your CO2 lvl?

Angel079 03-28-2010 02:48 PM

If you look at any generic co2 chart 44 is right on the line between ok-lil too high! I'd much more question the rest of the set up like : Ferts used? Lights used? Duration lights on? And most important WHAT plants you have there?
From that co2 reading alone I'd doubt that's your issue I have many tanks with FAR less then that and plants thrive so its really easily said that something else needed for your plants is not in balance in your tank :-)

Redknee 03-28-2010 02:56 PM

Oh, there is no issue, the non pearling is not a problem, was just curious to see at what lvl's do others keep the co2 in the tanks :-).
Thanks for the reply!

Mikaila31 03-28-2010 03:51 PM

IMO 30-45ppm should be fine, but you are only going to hit that with pressurized levels. The KH/PH chart is a very iffy way to do it. You should be using a drop checker, ideally with 4*dK solution or some standard solution that you make yourself.

Pearling is not only CO2, it requires a full balance. Plants pearl when they are undergoing photosynthesis at a high degree. This means they have access the enough light and nutrients. You don't need CO2 for plants to pearl... it certainly helps, but just cuz you don't have it doesn't mean you can't make your plants pearl.

Redknee 03-28-2010 04:13 PM

The test is a CO2 test made by Tetra, it's a drop test like the NH3/4 or NO2/3 (add 20ml of tank water, 5 drops from bottle 1 then drop by drop from bottle 2 till the water in the vial turns pink, multiply the numbers of drops from bottle 2 by 2 and u get the mg/l).
As for the pearling... yeah co2 alone won't do it but as you said it helps so i was thinking that maybe i'd get a pearl or to but no luck.
As for the co2 u use a 10Kg pressurised tube(like the ones they use in bars for beer).

Mikaila31 03-28-2010 04:59 PM

I highly suggest using a drop checker if you don't, these provide 24/7 CO2 monitoring. Don't be like me and kill 100+ shrimps, just cuz the regulator got bumped before you buy a drop checker..

In case you want to know, shrimp will die from CO2 before most fish.

Redknee 03-28-2010 05:13 PM

Drop checker as in ... bubble counter?(the thingy made from glass that has water in and u can see how many bubbles/second go in the tank? sorry as english is not my native/first language some terms still escape my grasp) if yes i have one and it says 2 bubbles/second, i start the co2 "infusion" at 9 am when the lights go on and stop it at 9 pm when the lights go off. If i'm not home for 1-2 days there is simply no co2...
Or do you mean the electrovalve?
But in the 92G i have no shrimps, just fish.

Mikaila31 03-28-2010 06:10 PM

No a drop checker is completely different. It is a bubble shaped peice of glassware that you mount in your tank, usually opposite side of CO2 diffuser. Most state to simply add aquarium water and a few drops of a reagent to the check dropper. The liquid in the dropper turns green for good CO2, yellow for too high, and blue for too low and usually has a lag time of a few hours. While this works, it is not all that accurate following instructions most come with, but that depends on your water. You have make a solution of 4d kH water, which is not all that hard. The issue with the pH/kH chart is that they are certainly accurate if you are only dealing with KH and PH, but in our aquarium there are a lot of other buffers working in there too.

Here is a article on drop checkers.

This a pic of the most common design, you can get them on ebay for $10 each. As long as you take care of them and replace the solution weekly, they will work until they break.

Redknee 03-28-2010 06:34 PM

Ah, well in a direct translation we call it here a permanent co2 test.
Hate it's guts to! Never could tell if it works or not, always managed to put me on the wrong track :|.
Also used the JBL permanent co2 test, works the same way and fails just as good.

Mikaila31 03-28-2010 06:40 PM

I have no experience with that brand. I use the cheap ones of ebay. They work great for me. They are green during the day and if I do a water change they go blue, then slowly work their way back to green. I won't run a tank without one if I am using pressurized CO2.

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