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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just hooked up pressurized CO2 on my 29 gallon heavily planted tank. Its currently running at slightly less than one bubble per second. I know that CO2 needs vary by tank, but just wanted to get some idea from other APCers as to a rule of thumb for CO2 bubble counts. I was using DIY CO2 without a bubble counter. I do have a drop checker but its slow to react so I am nervous for my fish . . ..
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At 1 bps, I think your fish will be fine. How long does it take your drop checker to react? I was nervous when I first set up my co2. Plus to if you will observe you fish they should let you know if somethings not right.
 

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There is some info missing to get a good answer for this question. What are you using to diffuse the CO2 into the water? The more effecient the system the lower the bubble rate you will need. If you are using a reactor then o.5 to 1.o bps should be enough as this is very efficient. Although the bps thing is not always very accurate due to different bubble sizes from different needle valves.

The drop checker is your most important tool in regulating the CO2 in the tank. Are you using 4dkH reference solution in your drop checker? If you are using just tank water then it may throw off the pH in the solution due to other substances in the water.

The best thing to do is start with a bps that you feel is good for the method that you are using and within 2 hours you will be pretty close to the saturation point that can be reached in your tank. Watch it for the day and adjust as needed. I wouldn't worry a lot about the fish as you will need to seriously over dose CO2 in order to kill them before they start to show signs of being uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thank you jmontee. I am actually diffusing through one of the ceramic disk diffusers. Are they generally less efficient than a reactor? I am using a 4dkh solution. I have a 957 Milwaukee Regolator unit with the stock bubble counter (and have like many people, been strugging to keep the bubble count steady) Since my original post I have started it at slightly less than 1bps, and now I have moved it up to 1.5 bps. the Drop checker is staying green and the fish do not seem bothered. ( no gasping at surface). Maybe 1.5 bps is a bit high, but I have a Eheim 2215 and its spray bar right now is causing some preetty good agitation on the surface so maybe i am losing a little CO2.
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They can be slightly less efficient. In a CO2 reactor the bubble of CO2 gets mixed around in the water flow and has no choice but to dissolve. Using the ceramic disc there will be some bubbles that will get to the surface and go into the air. One thing that will hep is to put the diffuser right next to your intake and this will use your canister filter as an extra means of diffusion. You can also make sure that the stream of bubbles is put out under the spray bar where the flow from the bar will spread the tiny bubbles all over the aquarium giving them more time to dissolve.

Either way it sounds like at 1.5 bps you are keeping everything in line.

One way of maintaining your bubble count is to make sure that the secondary gauge is up to 20. I have the same regulator and for some reason it really needs to have a higher working pressure than other regulators. Then use the needle valve on the bubble counter to get the rate that you want.
 

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I put my glass diffuser near the canister intake - run mine at 130 - 140 bpm and have a ppm of 24 - 28.

I was also very nervous when I introduced pressurized Co2 to the tank. I started out slower and worked up. My drop checker is the standard - I watch it pretty closely.

I have "never" had a problem (knock on wood) with o2, fish gasping, etc. I set a timer for my Co2 to come on 30 minutes before the lights and go off with the lights. My photoperiod is 10 hours a day - 5 on, 2 off, and 5 on - 7 days a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was thinking of going to a split photo period too. Do you turn the solenoid off for the two hours or do you just let it go?
 
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