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  1. Dave Spencer

    CO2, hardness and pH

    I am confident that you needn`t worry about adding BiCarb. Here is Tom Barr`s take on it. It is adjusting the pH via the KH that will bring your fish grief. I dare say the pH of my tanks swings at least by a value of 1 during a twenty four hour period, but with no problems. Obviously there...
  2. Dave Spencer

    CO2, hardness and pH

    That is a very TFF sounding question. :D Congratulations on finding a forum that knows how to run planted tanks properly. :wink: You will find this to be a BiCarb free, pH crash free, non ammonia adding place. Although it may seem a more complicated place to be compared to TFF, we won`t have...
  3. Dave Spencer

    Will dropping CO2 levels always result in algae?

    George, I guess I just adjust photoperiod down at the start, dependent on plant mass and how fast they grow. My most recent tank was a concern due to the low plant mass, and E parvula being the only non slow grower in there. I started off with just a four to five hour photoperiod. This tank...
  4. Dave Spencer

    Will dropping CO2 levels always result in algae?

    I always inject silly amounts of CO2 in my new tanks, then drop it down prior to adding the fauna. It does trigger Spirogyra, but it is easily defeated. I think the initial high CO2 saves a lot of other potential algal issues, and is worth it. Dave.
  5. Dave Spencer

    220V CO2 Generator for Aquariums

    I have never used one personally, but I have yet to hear a good word about them. They are big, ugly, clunky things that do not produce enough CO2, apparently. Anyway, I`ll let someone with first hand experience come along and really stick the boot in. Dave.
  6. Dave Spencer

    Why use a Solenoid valve?

    There is no electricity usage when the solenoid is closed, so you save on both accounts. :thumbup: Dave.
  7. Dave Spencer

    Drop checker important?

    Clive is right, though. Using charts to measure your CO2 levels is not particulraly accurate, as they don`t take in to account other factors that are affecting the pH in your tank. I would have to disgree with the advice given regarding kH/pH charts. I use a drop checker when I first set up a...
  8. Dave Spencer

    JBL Co2 plus PH not bromo blue anymore!

    I use the Hagen low pH test kit, which is Bromo blue. It should be blue when added to 4dKH water, and turn green to yellow, according to CO2 requirements. Dave.
  9. Dave Spencer

    CO2 atomizer and DIY reactor

    Yes, it is mistless. I went over to a reactor because I didn`t like seeing tiny bubbles flying around the tank. Dave.
  10. Dave Spencer

    when do you turn-on/off the CO2 supply?

    My CO2 usually comes on an hour before the lights. I like to have the drop checker bordering on yellow before the lights come on. This is backed up with surface disturbance to keep the O2 levels up as well. The CO2 goes off some two hours before lights out, giving the plants the chance to reduce...
  11. Dave Spencer

    Diffusion idea that works!

    It is a good idea, but there are an awful lot of people who don`t like the sight of bubbles flying around the tank, and have gravitated towards using reactors. Dave.
  12. Dave Spencer

    Adding CO2 to a Tank with a pH of 6

    Bob, You talk about conflicting advice, but is there conflicting evidence? Some forums love to talk about pH "crashes", and how you need to buffer this, that and the other, but none of these persons speak from experience. A lot of them could easily prove to themselves that you can inject CO2 in...
  13. Dave Spencer

    pressurized co2 causing NITRITE?

    Re: pressurized co2 causing NITRITE Do you think that is possible? Do your fish show signs of nitrite in the water? If the answer to these questions is no, chuck the kit in the bin. If your fish are stressed, then you will need to look for another source for the nitrite reading. Dave.
  14. Dave Spencer

    Bubble counters... Who uses them???? [POLL]

    I have never really seen the need for dedicated bubble counters. If I use a ceramic diffuser I can see the bubbles going through the stem. My reactor has a built in bubble counter, but the rate is way too fast to count them. Dave.
  15. Dave Spencer


    I have never used one before, but in my opinion, it looks utter rubbish. You may well struggle to keep the CO2 stable. Provided your tank is low enough light, go for the liquid carbon source. On a tank your size, pressurised CO2 would be the preferable choice. Dave.
  16. Dave Spencer

    CO2 Injection Virgin

    The solenoid is connected in to the line delivering CO2 to the tank. Its purpose is to shut on and off the CO2 as required. My solenoid is run off a timer, and switches the CO2 on two hours before lights on to build up CO2, and switches it off two hours before lights out. What does a drop...
  17. Dave Spencer

    how long without co2?

    Personally, I would leave the lights off until you get the new cylinder. I have been in this situation more than once. One of these days I`ll actually get a spare. Dave.
  18. Dave Spencer

    Co2 overload

    Just keep an eye on the cylinder pressure, and change it when it starts to drop. I am terrible for noticing the pressure in my CO2 cylinders, though. :( Dave.
  19. Dave Spencer

    Splitting CO2

    I have used a splitter and separate needle valves before and found the whole system constantly needed tweaking. Personally, it is unlikely that I will try this method again. Dave.
  20. Dave Spencer

    Recommned me a regulator with solenoid

    Lunapet gets my vote too, although I haven`t checked their site out for a good while. Dave.
  21. Dave Spencer

    Co2 Dump/Dodgy Regulator???

    Do you have fish in the tank yet? If so, then a CO2 dump would have killed them. If there are no fish it could still be a CO2 dump, but this generally happens once the bottle pressure starts to reduce. Carry out a thoruogh leak check on all the connections, and make sure your 4dKH solution and...
  22. Dave Spencer

    CO2 Diffusion

    Restriction of circulation could be a factor in choice, but I am sure I would never get the CO2 around my heavily scaped 240l without a reactor and powerheads. Dave.
  23. Dave Spencer

    Gassing Snails

    I start of all my tanks with sky high CO2 and a handful of pest snails. I have yet to kill off a single one. They really are tough little buggers. respect! 8) Dave.
  24. Dave Spencer

    what do you think of this reactor?

    Sorry, we all seem to have missed this. Nice work matey! :D
  25. Dave Spencer

    external reactor, gas build up?

    I had this on my Aquamas with a lower output filter. Once I swapped over to a higher rated one the bubble never formed. Dave.
  26. Dave Spencer

    Your preffered diffuser ?

    I will be sticking with reactors for the moment. They are one less piece of hardware in the tank. Dave.
  27. Dave Spencer

    Diffusing directly into the filter inlet

    I diffused CO2 in to an AquaEl 250 without any problems, but some filters are known to accumulate a CO2 bubble inside. Dave.
  28. Dave Spencer

    CO2 reactor issues

    It seems to me that your filter should be up to the job. Perhaps there is a problem with your design of the reactor? Dave.
  29. Dave Spencer

    CO2 reactor issues

    You may find that your filter output is insufficient. I ran my Aquamas reactor with an EX700 and got a fair bit of gas build up by the end of the day. Now I have changed the connectors and put it with an EX1200 all the bubbles are rapidly dissolved. Dave.
  30. Dave Spencer

    end of tank disaster!

    I think N. Wales plantheads have been keeping that place going. :lol: One word of warning, though. I took a botlle home from there recently, and when I connected it up it read 120 Bar. Thinking the regulator had broken, I connected it to another, only to get the same reading. It was at this...
  31. Dave Spencer

    Co2 Regulator Question

    My JBL regulator has dumped on me, but you should still have a week or so of warning when the cylinder starts to empty. Hopefully, they will have changed the regulator, as the adjustment on mine is very coarse. Dave.
  32. Dave Spencer

    splitting co2

    You will also require a needle valve in line with each branch, too. Dave.
  33. Dave Spencer

    Really really struggling to get sufficient CO2 diffusion

    I am having trouble distributing CO2 in my 120cm, which is a large size that is new to me, bringing a new set of difficulties. My staghorn algae says my CO2 is too low, yet my fish tell me it is too high the moment I adjust the regulator. I have come to the conclusion that CO2 is too low in...
  34. Dave Spencer

    Turning CO2 off at night. What about Ph changes?

    Personally, I blame TTF for a lot of paranoia and misinformation. It does still have some good info on there, though. Dave.
  35. Dave Spencer

    Ebay Regulators

    I have regulators by JBl (needle valve adjustment is too coarse for my liking), Aquaticmagic (the solenoid buzzes like a 132KV transformer) and Aquamas. The Aquamas performs perfectly, but they have closed down their eBay shop, unfortunately. dave.
  36. Dave Spencer

    Advice/ opinions on co2 reactor

    The most effective way plants use CO2 is in the gaseous form. I always found I have more pearling using ceramic diffusers, because the gas bubbles come in direct contact with the leaves. However, a reactor will use less CO2 (in my experience), and will not require regular cleaning like a...
  37. Dave Spencer

    Best way to add CO2 to a 120cm tank

    In my 120cm I have two Tetratec 1200s runnining with liy pipes fitted at either end of the tank. The outlet of one of the filters has an Aquamas reactor fitted. I find that having the outlet with the reactor exhausting along the back of the tank, where most of the plant mass is, and the...
  38. Dave Spencer

    In Line Reactor - Aquamas

    I used my Aquamas with replacement 12mm fittings and an Eheim 2213. I had a large gas build up and a constant trickling noise. I have since refitted the 16mm fittings, moved it on to a bigger tank and use a Tetratec 1200. It now runs like a dream without any noise or gas build up. They...
  39. Dave Spencer

    In Line Reactor - Aquamas

    You fit it to the outflow. The water goes in the top, and out the bottom. The CO2 is injected at the bottom, against the flow of water. Mine has been fitted to the outlet of an Eheim 2213, with a gas bubble building up over the period of injection. I will soon be fitting it to the outlet of a...
  40. Dave Spencer

    In-line CO2

    I have just taken out my Aquamas inline reactor, to move it to a bigger tank, and fitted the Cal Aqua. I have noticed a marked increase in filter output, so the Cal Aqua has less of a flow restriction than the Aquamas. :D Dave.
  41. Dave Spencer

    cleaning diffuser

    When I do my water changes, the ceramic diffuser becomes exposed. All I do is add a capful of Flourish Excel to the disc while it is exposed, killing off the algae. No need for rinsing etc. Dave.
  42. Dave Spencer

    CO2 drop checkers & bromothymol blue

    This won`t work I`m afraid. The whole point of using 100% pure water with BiCarb added is that the BiCarb is the only thing that will react to alter the pH. You are using tank water that will have all manner of reactions going on, altering the pH in the drop checker. Dave.
  43. Dave Spencer

    Spiro diffusers

    I have both, and the spiral makes the diffuser unnecessarily large, IMO. Having said that, I use my Spiro all the time because it is still easily hidden but, most of all, I get excellent diffusion in the form of micro bubbles from it. Dave. EDIT: As for the need for a bubble counter, I just...
  44. Dave Spencer

    Advice on a ph controller

    Matt (i think?), Have a read of Clive`s article in the Cookbook section of this forum, which is about CO2 measurement using a drop checker. I have given Jim some 4dKH solution, so once you get the glassware, you are on your way for a far cheaper way of controlling/measuring CO2 levels. Dave.
  45. Dave Spencer

    Drop checkers

    ceg4048 has done an excellent article on the drop checker: Cheers, Dave.
  46. Dave Spencer

    New Diffuser !!!!!

    Sam,I shall be bringing a few goodies like George has linked to. The beauty of these connectors is they are quick attach/detach. I use them inline with my CO2 glass ware so that I don`t have to keep attaching /detaching CO2 hose from delicate diffuser stems etc...I`ll give a Tupperware like...
  47. Dave Spencer

    CO2 stability

    The CO2 in my tank may not be 30ppm exactly throughout the photooperiod, and it will gas out during the lights off period, but I have interpreted stable CO2 as levels following roughly the same pattern every day. With this repetitive pattern, plants are able to adapt to it and maximise carbon...
  48. Dave Spencer

    Drop Checkers, Reagent mix and 4dKH solution...

    Woo Hoo! Somebody actually reads my posts. Some of my drop checkers are cheapo eBay jobs with the orange reagent. You can use the orange reagent, but not with 4dKH. That reagent will show a pH drop of one and, therefore, CO2 at 30ppm, but I can`t remember what value of dKH you will need. I...
  49. Dave Spencer

    Diffuser Alternative.

    I would be careful adding the CO2 bubble directly in to your filter, as it may get to the impeller before it dissolves. My CO2 is injected in the filter inlet after it has been diffused by a ceramic disc. I have been doing this through an AquaEl 250 filter for some time now, because I don`t...
  50. Dave Spencer

    Diffuser... Where do you like to stick it!!??

    On my nano I have the diffuser under the filter spray bar, blowing CO2 mist around the tank. On my 120l, I have the diffuser under the filter inlet, being sucked through the filter for greater residence time, and no CO2 mist blowing around the tank. I believe the most efficient method is...
  51. Dave Spencer

    Aquamas CO2 Reactor

    I get a 2" inch bubble at the top of my reactor that makes a trickling noise, but the bubble has dissolved away two hours after the solenoid has closed. What I like most about reactors is that they mean one less piece of hardware in the tank. Dave.
  52. Dave Spencer

    CO2 kits

    Ed, I currently run two tanks from one pressurised CO2 set up using a simple T piece with a needle valve in each line. I sometimes find they need readjusting, and reckon this could have been the cause of the algae woes in the two tanks (fluctuating CO2). I finally seem to have got it all to...
  53. Dave Spencer

    CO2 kits

    Nice one Ed. I use a JBL and an Aquamas regulator, and for me the major issue with both of these is that once the cylinder pressure starts to dip below 50 Bar, at some point the remaining contents of the cylinder are dumped in to the tank, with potentially disastrous consequences for the tank...
  54. Dave Spencer

    When To Change Co2 Bottle Co2 Reg Gauge Marker

    Peter, Both my Aquamas and JBL regulators have dumped the final contents of the cylinder in to my tanks. Both times I was very lucky because in the first instance there were no fish in the tank, and in the second I heard the filter lose it`s prime (the CO2 was diffused in to the filter inlet)...