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Don't know what to believe

jonnyuk

New Member
Joined
6 Oct 2010
Messages
12
Hi all, i have an established tank and have started to use CO2 in the last4 weeks or so. I'm not convinced my drop checker is right/or my test kits are reading right. I say this because they contradict each other.
My DC never changes, it's always a blue/green colour, more blue i would say. i have check my ph and kh everyday at about 6-7, ph is 6, kh is 6. If i went off the ph/kh chart everything in my tank would dead so that cant be right!
A little about the setup
55l heavily planted
twinstar 450e running at 30%, lights start to ramp at 10.30, 30% power is from 1.30>.6.30, lights ramp down to off at 10.00
fluval 307 filter
Dosing 10ml of tnc lite every morning at 10 (use a doser)
CO2 starts at 11.30, goes off at 6.30, 1 bubble per second.
I also dose 10ml of Seachem Excel but i'm starting to reduce this 5ml (i was dosing this from the start so before i used CO2
my other issue is i have 0 nitrates, i need to address this.

so my question is, whats going on with my CO2?
thanks
 

Andy Pierce

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
127
Location
Cambridge, UK
My £0.02: if you purchased premixed 4 dKH drop checker solution with the dye pre-added and installed the drop checker correctly, you can believe the drop checker and ignore what your pH and KH readings are telling you (or at least ignore the dissolved CO2 inferences). If you were happy with the look of your tank with 10 ml Excel I would stick with that regimen even with the newly added gaseous CO2 - the Excel doesn't provide a particularly meaningful carbon source but it's a pretty good algaecide and if you back off on it you're inviting the algae back in (disclaimer: I use EasyCarbo instead of Excel). Bubbles per second isn't a very useful way to cross-compare different setups but with my 40 L setup (Current setup, Fireplace aquarium) with my specific bubble counter and glycerol bubble counter solution I need around 2 bubbles per second or even a bit more than that to convincingly move the drop checker into the happy place.
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
3,917
Location
Yorkshire,UK
I'm not convinced my drop checker is right
I trust the DC as it is independent of anything and only changes colour based on the [CO2], but takes time to change colour 2hrs

my test kits are reading right.

Test kits are generally a waste of time and money, but a few folk swear but them, I check my DC and only pH reading when doing a pH profile when setting up the CO2, other than that I test nothing

Dosing 10ml of tnc lite every morning
my other issue is i have 0 nitrates,
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Hence no nitrates, any fish provide are being sucked up by the plants, TNC complete would be a better choice
CO2 starts at 11.30, goes off at 6.30, 1 bubble per second.
lights start to ramp at 10.30, 30% power is from 1.30>.6.30, lights ramp down to off at 10.00

I hour to get a stable pH is pushing it IME, and 11hr plus of photo period will not help anything except your algae and viewing, My tank is 3 years old and only gets 6 hours a day
After 4-5hours of light in a well light tank plants have had their fill of CO2, but this period is also critical to have a stable [CO2]/pH - have you done a pH profile

BPS is a 'scalar' measure it tells use nothing about the amount of CO2 in the bubble, BPS are tank/setup dependant and only useful when adjusting the CO2 injection rate. Going off your DC colour change I would increase the BPS to 2 BPS no more have CO2 coming on 2hrs before the lights and would take pH reading every 30 mins from CO2 on till CO2 off and at lights on, make a graph and see if the pH/[CO2] is stable.

Getting a stable pH/[CO2] is hard for folk new to hobby as most do it wrong.

1. Adjust BPS to say 2BPS and time how long it takes to get a stable/peak pH/[CO2], if your are happy with the pH/[CO2] by going off the DC colour change which takes 2hrs then you have how long it takes to get your pH stable/peak - This is the time the CO2 comes on before lights.
2.Adjusting the BPS will increase/decrease to time it takes to reach the peak CO2, so repeat step 1
3. if after step 1. your happy with your [CO2] never touch the BPS rate again - if you do repeat step 1. for new pre CO2 on time.

One stable check several times with lights running and pre CO2 on time determined in step 1.
 

jonnyuk

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2010
Messages
12
thanks for feedback all. Originally i was dosing tnc complete but my nitrates where too high, so i then switched to tnc lite...i may need to switch back now my tank is fully mature.
in regards the lighting period. my lights quickly ramp down/up from 30% down to 1% at the start/end...giving just enough light to see tank etc. 30% full power is only from 1.30>6.30.
i will do what you have all suggested and report back
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
3,917
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Algae has a much lower compensation point of light than plants, so extended periods of low light can contribute to algae, so if algae levels become unacceptable cutting back on these low light 'viewing' periods is often is a good starting place, some scapers have their tanks in dark cellars/rooms to control low light periods, avoiding/blocking direct sunlight can help also.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,073
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I say this because they contradict each other.
My DC never changes, it's always a blue/green colour, more blue i would say. i have check my ph and kh everyday at about 6-7, ph is 6, kh is 6. If i went off the ph/kh chart everything in my tank would dead so that cant be right!
I'm <"not a CO2 user">, but I agree with the other posters, the <"drop checker is likely to be right">, because it doesn't have much margin for error.
but my nitrates where too high
Nitrate testing <"is quite problematic">, so I don't tend to make <"decisions based purely on test kit values">. If you can get tap water values (assuming you use tap water?) from <"your Water Company">, they will be accurate.

I use the health and leaf colour of a floating plant to <"indicate nutrient levels">, it doesn't <"sound as scientific as water testing">, but <"it does work">.
..........2. Regarding the duckweed index: Massive massive help. If any of u have any doubts whether u have issues either due to co2 or nutrient def.. this is a life saver. the reason for my frogbits to die off earlier was not due to high surface flow. It was insufficient phosphate. Looks like phosphate at EI recommended dosage isnt sufficient in my tank.......

cheers Darrel
 
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