I installed a CO2 pressurised setup last Thursday and have gradually upped the bubble rate.
I am now injecting 6 buubles per second and have a nice green colour in my drop checker. The plants are not pearling and I was told that there was not enough CO2. I upped the bubble rate to 7/8 per second but then the fish started to hang around the top of the tank. I reverted back to 6 per second and they stopped hanging at the top. The ph has dropped now to 6.8/7ppm.
I do not know whether it takes a week or two before plants start pearling or whether it is only certain plants.
The other thing is that the black algae appears to be coming back...but it appears to be only at the very front of the tank and on the gravel, not masses of it but enough to annoy.
I have good circulation and flow now. I have an Eheim pro3 250, a new wave circulating at 800 lph pointing to the front but I can up it to 1600 lph (on the higher rate the plants really lean over.
I am also using a reactor/diffuser run via a small submersible pump at 300lph but I believe it is more likely 200lph.
I am wondering if I swapped the in tank diffuser for a glass ceramic one I would get better results and use the small submersible to add more to the flow.
I am concerned about this re-appearance of black algae although I would not describe it as bba taking into account the pictures of black hair algae that I have seen. It is more like black dirt! but it is not dirt obviously.
My thinking is that by using a ceramic diffuser it may ensure more CO2 may reach the plants. I am new to CO2 this and clutching at straws really.
To get the pearling effect you need a ton of light compared to what comes with a standard retail tank and even then it will only happen with certain plants. I put 208w T5 over my 4' tank and the Vallis pearls with or without co2.
Thanks for that. I must update my photo as It has changed significantly with plants etc.
Well my lighting is not that high I have 2 x 45w T5 tubes with reflectors! I also only have one vallis in my tank amongst a load of other plants.
I have upped the bubble rate to about 8 per second and they seem to be tolerating it, with a nice green colour in my drop checker.
I am not sure that this reactor/diffuser is working as it should as there is a load of CO2 in the top end and the impellers seem to now have altered the way it is coping with the CO2. Difficult to explain but something has changed and I am not sure that it is big enough at about 6 or 7 inches.
I am really wondering whether it would be better with an ordinary diffuser?
If you're drop checker is showing 30ppm then changing your diffuser won't effect that as such - Just that in theory you'd be able to use less gas for the same 30ppm (Providing it really is more efficient)
Algae could be a number of things - If you're providing plenty of Nitrate, Phosphate etc by way of plant food you can rule this out along with your CO2 values - So you'd want to start looking in to lighting (the possibility it's to bright/on too long for your CO2 values) or...and this is an important one - Flow - Too fast, Too slow, dead spots behind a rock, plant, tank furniture.....? It's never easy!
Less light is the immediate way to control it while you're working through.
The very definition of working will be a lime green drop checker - Efficiency will be your bubble count to get it to green, so either way you didn't really need to change that.
Now you are in high tech mode you need to think about increasing the TNC Complete to x3 dose - about 8ml per day. That way you can rule out nutrient deficiency as a cause for your algae...after that we're back to flow to deliver those nutrients and that CO2 in the best way possible.
Dialing back the flow might still be necessary yet...A fire hydrant is wet, but open it full and you'll find it hard to get a drink from it - It can be the same for plants...
First you need to tick off the easy bits tho, so nutrients, good CO2 (and steady CO2 at that...so no fiddling with bubble counters ;) ) If you keep your lighting low it willl be more forgiving until you get everything how you want it.
Hi SO19, I am due a water change tomorrow so you suggest me dosing TNC 8ml per day? I assume I will have to up the amount of my weekly change from 30% ? say to 50%?
I will remove my reflectors tomorrow......but.....my red plants look lovely and very,very red at the moment!! As I have changed the diffuser I will have to fiddle with the bubble counter until I get the lovely green colour back! Then I promise to leave it alone. Then if that lot does not help I will try and adjust the flow.
50% is a good figure if you can manage it. That way you're gonna be removing a fair chunk of the organic waste your plants will be producing. Hopefully you'll soon have the reflectors back on when you're stable :)