PDA

View Full Version : Need help with CO2



g libby
08-12-2012, 07:24 PM
I don't know if I should be posting this on "I need help" but I thought this might be the best way to reach people with a knowledge of CO2. I am not looking to grow plants ( that might be an additional benefit ) but am looking to lower my PH in one tank for one pair of fish. I understand the addition of CO2 lowers the PH. Since this is just for one pair of fish I am looking to keep costs down. I could set up a sugar generator but, depending on costs I thought I might be able to get a CO2 tank. First I was looking on eBay and found this...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/160848583560?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Then I found some 5 lb. tanks for a paint gun set up. Can I use the above regulator and set it on a 5 lb.tank? And if I can get a disposable tank what would I have to do to install the above regulator on it? If I have to get a refillable tank do I just go to Georgia Medical Gas? Is my thinking wrong? Help.

nalu86
08-12-2012, 09:59 PM
You are thinking wrong. Lowering your PH with co2 doesn't do anything to the fish. Look it up at plantedtank.net
What fish are you talking about? Look into adding IAL (Indian almond leaves) Peat moss, or get an RO system.

gofish
08-12-2012, 11:08 PM
CO2 would definitely be the more expensive way to lower the pH. Decreasing the pH using things like peat, alder cones, almond leaves, or bog wood has the added benefit of releasing humic acids like tannins that have some anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial properties and may even enhance the immune system of fish. With C02 injection into H2O, you're just increasing the CO2 concentration and, thus, manipulating the bicarbonate buffering system with an end product being and increase in bicarbonate ion and hydrogen ion concentrations. pH = -log[H+]. At a pH of 6.5, the nitrogen fixing bacteria efficiency is about 30%. At 6.0, that drops to about 10%. pH decreases logarithmically. A pH of 6 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 7. Thus, I would be careful lowering pH too quickly. A pH crash using CO2 or anything else to increase the hydrogen ion concentration can kill your fish quickly. I've actually seen this using the yeast+sugar DIY CO2 method in one of my 10 gal planted tanks years ago. It the time, I didn't think I could overdose CO2 using the DIY CO2 method. I use bottle CO2 in some of my planted tanks, but I also buffer with NaHCO3 (Baking Soda) following water changes to avoid pH crash and increase my CO2 concentration. Fish like a stable pH.

g libby
08-13-2012, 01:14 PM
OK, I am playing with a pair of Betta macrostroma. They are one of the easiest fish to breed. The problem is to get the mouthbrooding male to hold to term. I know they like soft acid water. There are a couple of people that have great success with them. Most, like myself, can not do it. They come from mountain streams. In the house my temperature was running up to 78 degrees. I thought this would be too hot. I looked into it and was going to run a hose through a college refrigerator. I am not sure how many gallons the tank is but it is 12" X 12" X 4 feet. I got the message that a plastic hose is not a good transfer of heat. I looked and found a used titanium chiller on eBay and set the temperature at 72 plus or minus 1 degree. It worked for the tank but not the fish. I am going to put the chiller up on eBay.
But, PH. My tank is at 6.6. I get a lot of people that say this is good but anyone I know has had success has dropped it down to 4.5. I am not big on adding chemicals. I can add some Sea Chem Acid and Sea Chem buffer at 2 parts acid to 1 part buffer. but I wanted to do it naturally. I can't find any peat moss that hasn't been treated with a fertilizer so I didn't want to use that. I had almond leaves but they hung around and now I tossed them. I heard that oak leaves work and there are some in my tank now. I was actually going to use a sugar and yeast generator, but just like with the chiller, I wanted something I could use to add CO2 to the tank that wasn't something that could help. I wanted it to do the job that you could see results. I have read on the internet that adding CO2 would bring the PH down more naturally than a chemical. That is what my original post was about. I had been PADI certified and even done some silver smithing so I know what a regulator is and could go that way but I was looking for a cheaper alternative. The regulator I listed in the post really is a toy but if it works, maybe. The problem is in the fittings. I have worked with a number of different plumbing supplies and I never know what will fit. will I be able to use the cheap regulator on disposable CO2 tanks? Where do I find adapters?
As a side issue, I know that I would be screwing with nitrogen fixing bacteria but I am thinking that is better than peat with Miracle grow added and I would still have all the same problems that a low PH normally causes.

Larry Bugg
08-13-2012, 01:41 PM
You are trying to go from 6.6 to 4.5 and I don't think you can safely do that with Co2. I could be wrong here but typically when you set up C02 for a planted tank and you add the amount you can safely add for the fish it only drops the Co2 around 1 point so from 6.6 to 5.6. I believe if you added enough Co2 to the tank to get the PH to 4.5 you would kill the bettas. Brian can probably say if I am right or way off base.The only time I get down to the 4.5 range is using pure R/O. I've run my wild discus tanks in the 4.5 to 5.5 before doing that.

Demonfish
08-13-2012, 02:19 PM
those "jiffy" peat pellets from lowes or walmart are good. Little net bags of peat.

g libby
08-13-2012, 03:33 PM
Thank you. I'm off to Walmart for the Jiffy pellets. And thank you Larry. Since it is one tank I am going to purchase some water also. I will get it down to see what happens, but then what do you have to do to keep your plants alive. I need them flourishing. People have said to cover the tanks. These are friendly fish and are out and about and very curious but I find they can spook easily and the best way to keep them comfortable seems to be to have plenty of plants in the tank.

Demonfish
08-13-2012, 03:47 PM
You could try catching rainwater. Won't work for a whole room, but you may get enough for one tank.

g libby
08-13-2012, 06:21 PM
You could try catching rainwater. Won't work for a whole room, but you may get enough for one tank.

Just picked up some water at Walmart. $.88 a gallon distilled. Adding some should do the trick. Then no Jiffy pellets. Everyone is finished planting. Thought I might have to wait till next spring but I found they had Schultz Canadian Peat there and doesn't look like anything was added.

gofish
08-13-2012, 07:25 PM
FYI. If you saturate pure water with CO2, you'll get a pH of 5.6. The organic acids in peat are much stronger acids than the carbonic acid produced by injecting CO2 into H2O, thus, you can drop the pH below 5.6 with peat and other materials that contain strong organic acids. There are other substances (eg. the oxides of non-metals) that will drop the pH below 5.6, but I would stick with the natural humic substances like peat. Unlike CO2 injection, peat will not only lower your pH but will also soften your water.

Brian

g libby
08-13-2012, 09:03 PM
FYI. If you saturate pure water with CO2, you'll get a pH of 5.6. The organic acids in peat are much stronger acids than the carbonic acid produced by injecting CO2 into H2O, thus, you can drop the pH below 5.6 with peat and other materials that contain strong organic acids. There are other substances (eg. the oxides of non-metals) that will drop the pH below 5.6, but I would stick with the natural humic substances like peat. Unlike CO2 injection, peat will not only lower your pH but will also soften your water.

Brian
Thank you all. It seems like bringing down the PH is not as easy as I thought. First real clue came from Bugman who said he couldn't bring it down without RO water. I had a small unit when I lived in NY but didn't think it might be necessary here. Gofish, I like what you said about the sugar generator , even crashing with it so I started with some peat in a sock to be flushed in at the filter. I will set up the sugar and yeast generator and between them and the steam distilled water. Right, I couldn't get RO water and nothing will live in distilled water so I have to be careful but I am going to keep trying with the fish. Then I am going to have to add some fertilizer to try and keep the plants alive although videos I have seen of the fish in the collecting locations show a lot of leaf litter and rocks but not plants...hummmmm

Igster
08-14-2012, 10:06 AM
I too have a pair of macros. They spawn just about every 2 weeks...and I still can't get the male to hold the eggs for more than a week. My water is soft to begin with, right out of the tap, and my bare bottom discus tank is at pH 3.5, with no chemicals added. In the macro tank, I have play sand substrate, a few plants(mosty hygro), and a hunk of driftwood, which is leaching tannins. The pH is between 4 - 5, last time I checked it.

Oh, and cover that tank - macros are super accurate jumpers.

g libby
08-15-2012, 02:24 PM
I too have a pair of macros. They spawn just about every 2 weeks...and I still can't get the male to hold the eggs for more than a week. My water is soft to begin with, right out of the tap, and my bare bottom discus tank is at pH 3.5, with no chemicals added. In the macro tank, I have play sand substrate, a few plants(mosty hygro), and a hunk of driftwood, which is leaching tannins. The pH is between 4 - 5, last time I checked it.

Oh, and cover that tank - macros are super accurate jumpers.
Your Discus tank is at 3.5? You said soft from tap. Is that Well water? Using RO? How do you get it so low?

Igster
08-16-2012, 06:48 AM
Tap. It comes out from the tap at 7.0, and after a few days in the tank it's dropped to 3.5. I can't explain it - no substrate, only an Emperor 400 with the standard filter pad, no plants...mebbe it's the fish themselves that secrete something to drop the ph? I have a planted tank with angels & rainbows in it that stays around 5-ish, with fluorite under normal gravel & CO2; and a goldfish tank with normal gravel that stays around 6.

Demonfish
08-16-2012, 10:51 AM
Sometimes my tap has a very low TDS. Like 30 or less. Water from the 'hootch and Lake Lanier is essentially stored rainwater, sometimes it gets dirty and reads 70 ppm, but I can safely call it "very soft". Driftwood or even just neglect (nitrates) is enough for my pH to drop to 4 over time.

g libby
08-16-2012, 11:03 AM
Sometimes my tap has a very low TDS. Like 30 or less. Water from the 'hootch and Lake Lanier is essentially stored rainwater, sometimes it gets dirty and reads 70 ppm, but I can safely call it "very soft". Driftwood or even just neglect (nitrates) is enough for my pH to drop to 4 over time.

That explains it. I always thought my water was vinegar and now I couldn't get it lower than 6.6.

Takes all the fun out of it. Now I have to be committed to watch everything and can't sit back and just enjoy my fish. :<) At least I can still enjoy learning something new every day.

Demonfish
08-16-2012, 11:23 AM
I add stuff to the water in mot of my tanks to keep pH from dropping. Adding is so much easier than taking it out.

Larry Bugg
08-16-2012, 04:30 PM
The only thing the fish are excreating to drop the PH is poop and urine. In very soft water like ours when the ammonia from poop and urine create Nitrite the Ph is quickly affected and drops. At 3.5 I would guess you need to do a water change. Lots of people use the drop in PH to determine when to do water changes. In the planted tank the plants take the Ammonia and Nitrite and convert it to Nitrate so the PH doesn't drop as fast. It probably isn't as heavily stocked as the discus tank is. I can't explain the gold fish. They poop so much you should see a quick drop in PH also unless, due to the size of the tank the bio mass is smaller and the water changes are keeping up with it.

My TDS isn't as low as Elaine's, but it is pretty low. Out of the tap at around 60. That's pretty soft.

Igster
08-17-2012, 06:37 AM
The discus tank(a 55 bare bottom) has 5 discus in it, 2 that are 5 inches and three at 4". Their tank gets a weekly 50-75% water change. I have a 90-gallon BB tank with 11 3" discus that also gets a weekly 50% water change. My planted 55 has 5 almost-adult angels, 3 large irian jayan red rainbows, 3 large aussie rainbows, and a pair of albino BN cats. the goldfish (4 babies about 2 inches each) are in a 47 bowfront.