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Old 21-11-2003, 04:03 AM
François Arsenault
 
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Default CO2 injectors: is turning off the air pump safe for my fish?

Hello everyone,

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I'm very new at this and
would like to know what I can do and not do with my aquarium. After all,
advice that's good for one particular tank may not be as good for another.

I recently got one of those Nutrafin Natural Plant System CO2 injectors.
After it started working at full capacity (providing me with long hours of
entertainment with those little climbing CO2 bubbles), I decided to get a
second one. My aquarium is 40 gallons and each canister is supposed to be
good for up to 20 gallons. I assume even one canister could help my plants,
but I figure I'm better off not doing things half-assed, else I might not
see any results at all. Both injectors seem to be working just fine, though
it's still too early to see any results.

Now, my problem is that I'm a little worried about my air pump and stone.
Since I don't want to lose the CO2 I inject into the water, I'd like to turn
the thing off, ideally for good. However, I don't know if my fish will get
enough oxygen that way, especially during the night. There's also the pH
issue to consider. It's fine if it's under 7.0, even a good thing, but I
don't want it to go too low (like close to 6.0).

As I said, I have a 40-gallon aquarium with a Fluval 304 filter. It has a
large surface area (36" x 18") and is very heavily planted. However, it also
contains a full load of fish. About 45 or so. Almost all are small fish
(many neon tetras, eight rasboras, a few barbs and a few other small fish),
with a couple of pearl gouramis. I don't think it's really excessive, but I
admit my aquarium is rather densely populated, and thus the fish must use up
a lot of oxygen.

So anyway, I'm wondering if the fish would still get enough oxygen if I
turned off my air pump and got rid of all those annoying bubbles. On the one
hand, my filter causes some surface turbulence (though nothing heavy), and I
know that a heavy load of healthy, CO2-fed plants will produce a good
quantity of oxygen for my fish. On the other hand, I do have many fish , and
turning off the oxygen at the same time I start injecting CO2 seems a bit
radical. Then again, maybe my tank contains way more oxygen than my fish
will ever need and can afford to lose some. Besides, with the air bubbles on
I'm more or less wasting the CO2 I'm injecting.

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you in advance.

Francois



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Old 21-11-2003, 04:03 AM
Iain Miller
 
Posts: n/a
Default CO2 injectors: is turning off the air pump safe for my fish?


"François Arsenault" wrote in message
...
Hello everyone,

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I'm very new at this and
would like to know what I can do and not do with my aquarium. After all,
advice that's good for one particular tank may not be as good for another.

I recently got one of those Nutrafin Natural Plant System CO2 injectors.
After it started working at full capacity (providing me with long hours of
entertainment with those little climbing CO2 bubbles), I decided to get a
second one. My aquarium is 40 gallons and each canister is supposed to be
good for up to 20 gallons. I assume even one canister could help my

plants,
but I figure I'm better off not doing things half-assed, else I might not
see any results at all. Both injectors seem to be working just fine,

though
it's still too early to see any results.

Now, my problem is that I'm a little worried about my air pump and stone.
Since I don't want to lose the CO2 I inject into the water, I'd like to

turn
the thing off, ideally for good. However, I don't know if my fish will get
enough oxygen that way, especially during the night. There's also the pH
issue to consider. It's fine if it's under 7.0, even a good thing, but I
don't want it to go too low (like close to 6.0).

As I said, I have a 40-gallon aquarium with a Fluval 304 filter. It has a
large surface area (36" x 18") and is very heavily planted. However, it

also
contains a full load of fish. About 45 or so. Almost all are small fish
(many neon tetras, eight rasboras, a few barbs and a few other small

fish),
with a couple of pearl gouramis. I don't think it's really excessive, but

I
admit my aquarium is rather densely populated, and thus the fish must use

up
a lot of oxygen.

So anyway, I'm wondering if the fish would still get enough oxygen if I
turned off my air pump and got rid of all those annoying bubbles. On the

one
hand, my filter causes some surface turbulence (though nothing heavy), and

I
know that a heavy load of healthy, CO2-fed plants will produce a good
quantity of oxygen for my fish. On the other hand, I do have many fish ,

and
turning off the oxygen at the same time I start injecting CO2 seems a bit
radical. Then again, maybe my tank contains way more oxygen than my fish
will ever need and can afford to lose some. Besides, with the air bubbles

on
I'm more or less wasting the CO2 I'm injecting.

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you in advance.


As you say, CO2 in the water will make your plants give off oxygen. However,
when the lights go out the plants go into reverse and start taking in oxygen
which is when you can get oxygen depletion in the water. Therefore what I do
is to run an Airtone for 30 minutes or so every couple of hours through the
night (starting at about 4 am) - just put it on a timer

I have a single Hagen CO2 on a 50 USG tank & it makes a big difference - any
extra CO2 makes a difference. You don't really need two but since you have
them you may as well use 'em. SUggest you stagger the refilling & do one
every 10 days or so - that way you will have a fairly constant level of CO2.
As far as the Ph is concerned it will only crash down towards 6 if your Kh
erodes to nil so just make sure you have 4 or 5 dKh & you will be fine -
your Ph will stay well above 7. . If it starts to drop a bit then either
bring it back up with a water change or thrown in 1/2 a teaspoon of Sodium
Bicarb - Baking Soda (NOT baking powder!) and that will bring your KH up a
bit.


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Old 24-11-2003, 07:04 AM
François Arsenault
 
Posts: n/a
Default CO2 injectors: is turning off the air pump safe for my fish?

As you say, CO2 in the water will make your plants give off oxygen.
However,
when the lights go out the plants go into reverse and start taking in

oxygen
which is when you can get oxygen depletion in the water. Therefore what I

do
is to run an Airtone for 30 minutes or so every couple of hours through

the
night (starting at about 4 am) - just put it on a timer


I'm not sure I can get a timer that can switch on and off several times in
the same day (or night), at least for a reasonable price (I've no idea what
it costs), but I'll definitely look into setting up a timer system to make
the airstone do its job during the night. I already have a timer for the
lights, it's just a matter of getting another one for the airstone. It would
be convenient to have a more sophisticated one that can handle several
connections with various schedules.

I have a single Hagen CO2 on a 50 USG tank & it makes a big difference -

any
extra CO2 makes a difference. You don't really need two but since you have
them you may as well use 'em.


It's good to know that even a single unit can improve plants. If I find out
having two causes me trouble I'll know that using only one isn't pointless.

By the way, I got a very good deal on the units. They only cost me $25 each
(Canadian). That's part of the reason why I bought two.

SUggest you stagger the refilling & do one every 10 days or so
- that way you will have a fairly constant level of CO2.


Interesting. I might try that.

As far as the Ph is concerned it will only crash down towards 6 if your Kh
erodes to nil so just make sure you have 4 or 5 dKh & you will be fine -
your Ph will stay well above 7.


Since my neon tetras usually represent 30%-50% of the fish in my aquarium,
and since all of my othe fish are reasonably tolerant of moderately acid
water, I prefer to go below pH 7 whenever possible. The CO2 canisters are
doing a great job of it, without going overboard. Since posting my original
message I've noticed that it's been around 6.6 during the day, without
adding anything to the water. I'd also be fine with a little lower if it
happens. So it seems pH won't be a problem after all, as long as I turn on
the airstone during the night to avoid excesses.

Thank you very much for your advice. I really appreciate it. I feel a little
more confident about using the units now.

Francois


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Old 25-11-2003, 06:22 PM
HOWARD FIDERER
 
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Default CO2 injectors: is turning off the air pump safe for my fish?

A reasonable timer with multiple cycles would cost about $10 at home depot
or lowes.


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Old 25-11-2003, 08:02 PM
François Arsenault
 
Posts: n/a
Default CO2 injectors: is turning off the air pump safe for my fish?

A reasonable timer with multiple cycles would cost about $10 at home depot
or lowes.


Very interesting. I'll definitely look for one. Thanks!




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