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Old 03-19-2008, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CO2/kH/pH measuring question, diffuser question.

Hello! first, i'm sorry if this is the wrong place for this thread, or if my questions have already been answered before. I've been reading old posts for a couple weeks, but i still have some questions. Thank you for any input given.

I recently set up my first planted tank, (24 ga. Aquapod) with the help of my awesome LFS. I have 4" eco-complete, a moderate plant load, (lots of hard to kills - java ferns, anubias, some faster growing stuff my LFS threw in) and 2.7 watts/ga CFL. There are 5 micro rasboras and a couple RCS in the tank.

I wanted to go the pressurized co2 route, so i purchased a milwaukee reg. and a 5 gallon tank, with the co2 tube feeding into the pump intake until i can make/buy a diffuser. My pH is 7.8, and kH is 4 in the tank, with the water out of the tap at ph 6.8, kH 1.

So, questions! #1. How do i "dial in" my co2? I found a kH-pH table, and i "get" it. I just don't know how to get there. If i set my reg. at 1-2 bps, how often do i test the pH? and after i hit my target, do i have to turn down the co2? my fear is that the pH will just keep dropping.

#2. I need some help/direction with choosing a diffuser. I have no problems making my own, if someone could point out a DIY model that will work in the back chamber of the aquapod, that would be great. one of the reasons i like this tank is the ability to "hide" equip. in the back chamber. the return hose coming off the pump looks like it is much larger than most - about 5/8" I.D.


thanks again for any help.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2/kH/pH measuring question, diffuser question.

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Originally Posted by Indignation View Post

So, questions! #1. How do i "dial in" my co2? I found a kH-pH table, and i "get" it. I just don't know how to get there. If i set my reg. at 1-2 bps, how often do i test the pH? and after i hit my target, do i have to turn down the co2? my fear is that the pH will just keep dropping.

#2. I need some help/direction with choosing a diffuser. I have no problems making my own, if someone could point out a DIY model that will work in the back chamber of the aquapod, that would be great. one of the reasons i like this tank is the ability to "hide" equip. in the back chamber. the return hose coming off the pump looks like it is much larger than most - about 5/8" I.D.
Eco will affect your hardness and pH, especially on a newly set up tank. I would suggest you go with a drop checker to verify your CO2 levels. If you're not familiar with them, do a search here for lots of info. Starting with 1-2bps is a safe point in most conditions. Another way to get an idea of your CO2 is to measure the pH of your tank water, then let it sit out overnight for 24 hours to equilibrate with room air. If the pH goes up by 1 unit from the first measurement you're in the 30ppm range.

I am not familiar with an 'aquapod', but there are designs in the diy section here for a reactor you can easily and cheaply make. IMO, if you're injecting it into the filter and it's working for you, I would stick with that. In my 10, I inject into the uptake of my HOB filter and use it as my reactor.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2/kH/pH measuring question, diffuser question.

As you add CO2 to the aquarium it will slowly be lost to the atmosphere and some of it will be consumed by the plants. Don't worry about it continuously dropping the pH too low. It will find an equilibrium point rather quickly.

One good way to determine a good bubble count is to slowly increase the bubble rate over a few days time. Watch the fish very closely. Don't make changes and then leave for a few hours. If you detect any stress (coming to the surface, rapid gill rate, etc) lower the bubble rate a bit until they look fine again. This is the method I've always used for my non pH controller tanks and it seems to work well enough. Be careful though. It is possible to get too much. It's also possible that the bubble rate will change over time if your needle valve isn't top quality or if the room temperature changes.
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