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FW: CO2 (& Algae)

Follow up:

To compensate for the additional oxygen needs and prevent pH dropping too
low, an air stone has been effective in balancing the amount of CO2 in
equilibrium in the tank water from the DIY CO2.  Otherwise, keeping the pH
from dropping too low was hard to achieve because the DIY setup doesn't
regulate injection like high pressure canister sources.

J Sullivan.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Sullivan [mailto:jsull97@earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2000 6:01 PM
To: apisto@listbox.com
Subject: RE: CO2 (& Algae)

If you like to tinker with your tanks, a DIY setup can be an excellent "free
Saturday" type project.

- The additional plant growth can be quite dramatic if this is the "missing"
factor in the tank setup.  Be prepared to prune.  This is also the best
measure of effectiveness (lots of O2 production and growth are good signs
that its working).
- My tank is 26" deep and plants neither grew nor died for two years.  After
adding more powerful lights, some plants grew slightly better.  After adding
the DIY, the plant growth exploded and I am constantly pressed to maintain
adequate nutrients (iron, potassium, etc).
- The pruning can be well worth it for maintaining good water conditions.
In my tank, I have virtually no measurable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates.
Meanwhile, I feed rather heavily (not necessarily recommended but I can't
stand scrawny fish).  This has also served to REALLY control hair algae
which was hugely problematic in my tank earlier.
- How to setup the reactor will be the biggest decision.  I found direct
injection (even with a diffuser) inadequate.  Using an inverted jar as a
reactor was a chore for many reasons.  Ultimately, injection into the riser
of a Magnum 350 (running an undergravel filter in reverse flow) works the
best so far.

Two cautions:
(1) Monitor pH changes as you setup the DIY CO2 injection.  Depending upon
water buffering & hardness, the addition of CO2 can radically lower pH.
Nighttime can also drop pH as the plants stop utilizing the injected CO2
leaving more concentration to impact pH.
(2) Monitor O2 at night.  If successful in dramatically increasing plant
growth, O2 demand will be much higher at night as both the fish and new
plants consume O2.

Good luck.
J Sullivan

Jason Sullivan

Wayne, NJ 07470

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