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Re: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

I have a couple of thoughts, not necessarily related to your question.

1. I think you have a medium-light tank. You've got nearly 2 watts per gallon. Therefore, it's good that you're adding CO2 or things would really be out of whack.

2. I don't think the Aponogetons are going to like those high temperatures for very long. How long have you had them? I thought they were low-temp plants.

who don't know nuthin' about no Discus

Adam Michels wrote:
Yeah, that really helps. Thanks again, Scott. When I said "buffer" I
meant "Discus buffer"; Seachem makes it. I've heard it's bad to use
because it contains phosphates and throws off C02 chart/readings. The
carbonate hardness in my tank is 4 degrees, because I added baking soda
once, and I think it's been there ever since, and I keep crushed coral
in my filter. With a 7.5 pH reading the C02 is between 3-5 ppm. Low!
	Am I going to have to add more C02? I didn't want to get a
pressurized system for this tank; it's supposed to be my low-light tank.
What other kinds of acids were you talking about? I don't want to
experiment too much, though. This is my discus tank, and they come
	For this tank I use DIY yeast reactors for C02. If I add more
yeast, will I get more C02?


-----Original Message-----
From: aga-member-bounces@thekrib.com
[mailto:aga-member-bounces@thekrib.com] On Behalf Of S. Hieber
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 4:20 PM
To: Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat
Subject: Re: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

A buffer will raise you KH, not lower it. The easiest way
to lower the pH is to add a mild acid. Adding CO2 will do
this since a portion of it in water forms carbonic acid. IF
your tapwater is 7.5, you shouldn't have any problem
getting the pH down to discus-target levels by adding more
CO2. If your KH was 3 degrees, 30ppm of CO2 would drop you
down to a pH of 6.5. So with tapwater of 7.5, and not
adding other acids, CO2 should do the trick without ever
getting to harmful levels.

I would probably raise the KH a couple of degrees by adding
some calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate with each
water change. A little buffering will keep the pH a bit
steadier. Even if you raise the KH up a couple of degrees,
you can still get a nice 6.5 pH without overdosing on CO2.

Adding CO2 doesn't require adding more light although the
inverse is not necessarily true.  YOu might find you need
to add a littel more ferts or fish food -- but with discus,
that is usually not a problem, given their ravenous
appetites. ;-)

hope that helps,

--- Adam Michels <amichels@trafficleader.com> wrote:

Hi, everybody. I joined AGA only a few weeks ago; I was
wondering why
everyone liked mosses so much until I received the new
Anyway, I'm confused about achieving equilibrium in my
low-light plant
tank, and I could really use your advice.

Tank specs:
Tank: 75 gallon
Lighting: 4 28W T5 full-spectrum(2) and 6700K(2), 1 20W
fluorescent, 1
15W fluorescent
Filter: Fluval 304
Substrate: 2/3 Flourite, 1/3 Eco-Complete
CO2: 2 Hagen Nutrafin DIY yeast reactors + 2 ladders
Heating: 2 250W Stealth
Set-up: 2 10lb. plus driftwood stumps
Plants: 1 large Aponogeton boivinarius, 2 Aponogeton
madagascarensis, 1
Aponogeton crispus, several odd smaller Aponogetons, 12+
Crypts, 1 large
Kleiner Bar Sword, 1 Echinodorus major, 1 Echinodorus
osiris, several
large Anubias barteri tied to driftwood, mid-sized
Anubias congensis,
nana, azfeli, frazeri, Sagitarria subulata, many
Sagittaria pusilla
(Dwarf Sags), many Echinodorus tenellus and some java
Fish: Five 4-5" Discus, five Roseline Barbs (denisoni), 3
headstanders, 1 gold nugget plec (small), 1 rubbernose
plec (small), 1
pair killifish (Nothobranchius kafuensis) and 4 emerald
Tap water: 7.5 pH, 1 dH(17.8 ppm) carbonate hardness
Tank temp: 81-82 degrees F
Additives: Kent Freshwater Plant liquid fert. every water
crushed coral in the filter bed to raised KH and GH Water Parameters: NH4=0, NO2=0, NO3=less than 12 ppm, pH
7.5 before
turning off lights (haven't checked morning reading)

I wish I had a picture. Things are fine other than I do a
lot of water
changes. But I want my plants to flourish, and the fish
to enjoy water
parameters similar to their natural habitat. The problem
lies in that I
can't get my pH down. I do so many water changes for the
discus that the
driftwood doesn't have a chance to release enough tannic
acid fast
enough, and I don't add enough C02 to lower the pH.
Should I buffer? I
want my pH under 7.0, for sure.

Am I going about this correctly? I raised my discus in a
species tank,
bare-bottom, but they don't seem to mind the new
additions. The killis
look hilarious, but I don't have any where else to put
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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