pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

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Old Today, 06:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

I was wondering what CO2 levels I could have in my natural planted tanks and I remembered that there exists this nice chart.

I don't know if I missed something or my water test kit (test stripes) are so wrong, but per the chart I have ~40-50ppm of CO2 which sounds odd. Shouldn't be fish showing heavy discomfort at these values? Also it should be "plants heaven" at these levels of CO2, but I still can grow only "easy" plants. I am going to order fresh test kit, but it will take a few days to arrive. Is there another explanation..?

For the second tank it's about 25ppm of calculated CO2, which sounds a bit high as well, but at least it's safe value.


Source: https://gregthecrazyfishguy.files.wo...5-00-45-pm.png
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Old Today, 06:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

It’s only reliable if you have very soft water and nothing in your tank that influence the pH & kH like driftwood, dirt, rocks, etc... a drop checker is more reliable since it’s a controlled liquid (4dkH) in the drop checker but I doubt it’s readable in a dirt take with less than 20ppm of co2.

There’s also a co2 test kit that’s more accurate
https://www.hannainst.com/hi3818-car...-test-kit.html
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Old Today, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Itís only reliable if you have very soft water and nothing in your tank that influence the pH & kH like driftwood, dirt, rocks, etc... a drop checker is more reliable since itís a controlled liquid (4dkH) in the drop checker but I doubt itís readable in a dirt take with less than 20ppm of co2.

Thereís also a co2 test kit thatís more accurate
https://www.hannainst.com/hi3818-car...-test-kit.html
Drop checkers can measure very low CO2 levels if you use low KH water in them:
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Old Today, 07:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

Ohhh, that makes sense but it'll be hard to make a low dKH solution, maybe. It might be easy to get a known 4dkH and add known volumes of distilled water to divide the dkH to the desired dkH.


I'd go with that CO2 test kit though.
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Old Today, 07:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

Thank you gents, that explains it. I'll read more about drop checker method and look around for dedicated CO2 test as well. Once the virus outbreak is over, I will probably order what's cheaper from eBay/ali.
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Old Today, 08:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: pH/KH/CO2 chart - reliability

Ms. Walstad mentions in her book that she used LaMotteģ Carbon Dioxide Test Kit. It costs around 45 USD and it has a 1 ppm resolution between 0-50 ppm. More accurate details on the LaMotte website.
I would be very interested to see similar measurements on NPTs to the one the book shows. (CO2 level vs time after lights switched on)
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