Difference between good water flow and splashing water flow?
I am a bit torn. I thought I read that having good movement over the water surface will increase oxygen that I need to get into the water for my bacteria colony to start up with. But, at the same time, I have live plants and every bubble caused by this flow of water over surface makes me wince thinking that I am losing CO2 (for which I don't have a CO2 system so Carbon seems to be a valuable commodity for me) to gain the oxygen.
Is there a good balance between completely submerged water flow from a cannister filter water return and having some surface movement to get oxygen in? Should I put it right at surface? Completely submerged? or some splash to get the water surface breaking and oxygen in tank for bacteria?
I am still in my cycling period of trying to grow the bacteria colony, so I was thinking I should favor oxygen intake over CO2 for now and hope my plants survive? Would supplementing lost CO2 with Flourish Excel be a good substitute?
1) Wrt to the O2/CO2 issue I can only "say how I handle it".
My tank has 4 jets which are submerged.
Due to the rate of the return pump and the size of the orifice of the jets the velocity of the water emanating from these jets is significant.
Three of the jets I have oriented such that the energy is dissipated via the walls and sides of the tank but such that the remaining energy causes flow across some, if not most, of the bottom of the tank.
The fourth jet I have directed toward the surface but "against a side wall".
The flow from this fourth jet creates a minor turbulence on the water's surface (my definition of which is undulations and not waves).
I also have two air bars and one air disk which Chris put in the aquarium for aesthetics and which can generate what I term moderately violent turbulence of the water's surface (my definition of which is waves but no splashing water).
With the nozzle and/or with the addition of the air induced turbulence I have had no problems growing "easy to grow plants".
(I will generate a thread in "Articles" because the additional oxygenation due to the the release of air by air diffusers has had benefits which are not reported in the literature.)
2) Excel will not replace CO2.
What Excel will do is provide, what I term, nutrients to your plants as well as what is termed "trace minerals" in the literature and which I term as catalytic elements.
3) From my experience in domestic waste water treatment and "dealing with water stagnation (and hence fish kills)" the concept of the water "being in the air in dispersed form" before entering the receptacle is very, very good. The only reason for not implementing the preceding is "your fishies not being able to deal with it" or Jk not being able to "deal with the noise".
Excel is an excellent product and when I can I will be getting 2 liters of it to use for my plants. But Ron is Absolutely right, Excel does help crontrol algae and will greatly improve plant browth but nothing replaces CO2 as a constant reliable source for carbon for plants. Excel is a dose and lose it method which will not give optimal plant growth.
As for Co2/O2 rations in your tank, the surface agitiation will NOT hurt your levels of CO2 in the tank. CO2 and O2 levels are independant of each other and neither will effect each other unless the levels are catastophically high. Surface agitiation will help CO2 enter the tank as the plants use, not remove it. Only when levels are higher than the levels in the air will surface agitation cause the lose of CO2.
Thanks for all the help guys!
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