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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All

I am not new to planted aquariums, I started about 3 years ago, with a 20 gallon planted, low tech, worked well, upgraded to a 72 gallon after about 6 months. Also low tech, worked pretty well, had mostly low light plants. Even had my Pristella Tetras successfully bread, resulted in 3 babies that I still have and are now adults.

About 6 months ago I moved to a new house and had to completely treat down my tank. In the process of the move the DIY lighting system got broken, replaced it with really nice JBL system, but went from around 2 to 3.5 watts per gallon.

I am now getting very close to getting new substrate, most likely Eco-complete and adding a pressurized C02 system.

The system I am looking at getting would consist of the following.

1 2.5-5 lb tank (depending on what will fit under tank stand)
1 JBL regulator with bubble counter and needle valve
Co2 resistant tubing
Co2 reactor (haven't settle on a DIY or store bought)

Does this system look pretty adequate, also should I spend the extra $80 and get a PH monitor/controller.

Does it look like I am leaving anything out, and is there anything I should be aware of before I jump head first into the world of Co2.

I don't currently know what the KH or GH values for my water are, and last time I checked my PH it was pretty high, around 7.6, also, what should I shoot for as far as PH goes.

Thanks for any insight. So far this community has be invaluable in terms of help.

Thanks
 

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The C02 setup looks good.

The PH that you keep depends on the fish you have, most plants ar more tolerant of PH levels. Injecting C02 will lower your PH, so it is better to start out with a little higher PH. Make sure to get a KH test before injecting C02, make sure you keep the KH at 3 or a little more. KH & PH will also tell you how much C02 is being injected.
 

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new to planted tank

Hey kmurphy

yeah go for the pH monitor then you dont have to fiddle. And yeah your pH depends more on the fish then it does on plants but consistency is always good.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the list if fish I either have now or plan on having

Dwarf Blue Rainbow Fish
Blue Emperor Tetras
Pristella Tetras
Joli Cori's
Otto's
True SAE
Clown Loaches
Colli Loaches
Rubber Lip Pleco

Would trying to maintain a PH of around 6.8 to 7 be good, or a little higher.

I just tested PH now and it comes out as 7.6, however, thats as high as the thing goes. Although the fish don't seem stressed.

I asume there are ways to Adjust KH if its to low out of the tap.

Thanks
 

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KH

Hey kmurphy

Yes KH can be adjusted upwards with the use of baking soda. But this will also adjust your pH upwards. I see you keep tetras and loaches I also keep similar fish along with discus and they are more comfortable in the lower 6's of the pH. Mine is at 6.2 and they would love it if it was lower Im sure. So start pumping the CO2 to get your pH down and youre fish will LOVE it. Careful not to go overboard with the CO2 though. Once you get your CO2 equipment I can send you chart that measures the amount of CO2 based on your pH and KH values or if youre good in math ill send you the formula.

Keep in touch dude
 
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With a pH as high as yours, I'd be willing to bet you have harder water with good buffering capability so you're probably good to go there as long as you engage in a practice of weekly water changes to keep up the buffering ability.

The controller is definitely not a neccessity, however it does make the whole system a bit more "plug and play" and it definitely will stabilize things so you don't end up with any real swings between lights out and lights on. But it's something that can be added at any time, so if you don't want to lay out the cash for one now, put it on a wish list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the info.

Don't take that PH number to the bank, I have had my test kit for about 3 or 4 years and the solution may not be good anymore.

One more question. If I can only fit a 2.5 lb tank in my stand, how long should I expect it to last between refills. Considering about 2 bubbles per second (this seems to be the standard that I have seen used).

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You all have been an outstanding help. I will post some pics of my tank before and after and my setup when it's ready to go.
 
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