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CO2 measurement in wet/dry vs cansiter filtered aquariums.......at night

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  • CO2 measurement in wet/dry vs cansiter filtered aquariums.......at night

    I left my CO2 meter on the tanks to see what rate of degassing occurs in my tanks with wet/drys vs canisters.

    I have a 60p ADA tank that's non CO2 that has a canisiter filter as a reference.
    It reads 2-3ppm

    My 180 read 78-80ppm at the end of the light cycle and then never got much below 15ppm and that took most of the night, even with 3000gph+ 400gph+ 1000gph on water movement and rippling.
    My 60 cube with wet/dry, dropped to 3-4ppm inside of 1 hour from 45ppm.
    My other canister 60 Cube dropped to 10ppm this morning from about 50ppm.
    My 120 ran about 56ppm at the end of the lighting cycle and dropped to 3-4ppm inside 1 hour as well.

    This was just the factory calibration for the CO2, but seems somewhat reasonable over all.
    I had several tanks to compare to and they where consistent.

    I need to do 2 things still:
    1. Calibrate using a referenced DI/RO + sodium carbonate solution and pH meter, then compare that known CO2 to the CO2 meter readings. Bubble N2 gas into a smaple to remove all the CO2 and O2, measure that. And finally remove the water from the reference pH tank and add some tank water to note any in tank differences in readings.

    2. Measure O2 as well. Why? Well for the fish for one. Second, the gas exchange is much slower in the canister tanks, so if this is true for CO2, it should apply to O2 as well.


    I think surface films might hold the CO2 in the canister filtered tanks longer.
    Same should apply for O2 from plant growth, but this should decline due to use by fish and bacteria.
    I know it's not likely due to the filter's themselves.

    Why? Well, the non CO2 canister reads a steady 2-3ppm all the time.
    So 2ppm or so added due to canister is reasonable, but not much more.
    Sediments also play no role, I have paired types is each filter type(plain sands vs ADA AS)

    The flow in the canister tanks is really high, much higher than the Wet/dry tanks.
    I would expect some difference, just not this much and the rate of degassing I would expect to occur much faster. I'm concerned more due to the fish and their exposure to chronic CO2 at night. Most focus on CO2 during the day only.

    These tanks also are more sensitive to gassing fish than the wet/dry tanks.
    I need to do more here and shall.

    I think so far, I'm thinking of going all surface skimming sealed wet/drys.

    The cards and most of the plecos do well even at the higher CO2 levels, but.......they could do even better and have less stress at night nonetheless.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    www.BarrReport.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tom Barr View Post
    My 180 read 78-80ppm at the end of the light cycle and then never got much below 15ppm and that took most of the night, even with 3000gph+ 400gph+ 1000gph on water movement and rippling.
    That's kind of high. I would be worried about fish health day AND night. With a pH controller calibrated against your CO2 meter you would never hit 80 ppm. It can work well, I guess my tank shows that. I know you don't really like them, but why is not totally clear to me. If you use a good way of calibration it can't be that much off.

    regards,
    dutchy
    regards,
    dutchy.

    My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
    http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

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    • #3
      i experienced the same issue with my eheim sealed wet/dry filter, had much lower CO2 ppm every morning, finally decide to switch over to a regular canister, co2 ppm is much more stable now. same issue with surface extractor. I normally use it for 5-10 minutes everyday to get rid of surface film, but if I forget to turn it off, i can see a significant color change in the co2 drop checker.

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      • #4
        Well, I also have a Neptune aqua controller pro 3, so full pH control is rather simple also.
        I'm referencing the pH with a reference KH method for the DI/RO make up. Then running the actually tank water vs the reference water with the same rate of flow.

        For the client's tanks, he uses RO/DI reference water already now. But there's a lot of wood and other things that can alter the KH/pH over time.
        The goal is to see what difference that is and if so, how to adjust for it.

        By using both methods, one as a reference, and another as a non pH/KH method, we should be able to note any differences.
        Also, comparing CO2 ppm's changes over time and with different types of filtration and O2 levels, should give us a good indication what is optimal for fish.

        The CO2 meter also detects differences within the aquarium, something the pH seems poorly suited for, so in one location, it might be 80ppm, but 100cm away, it might be 40ppm, in the plant beds where the water is still, maybe 15ppm.
        So WHERE is important as well. I just chose a specific spot that was similar in every tank out front where the current was good.

        I add the probe to this same spot for a reference point.
        So it's just a slice of that tank, not representative on the entire system.
        For that, you need to do more work and more data points in each region, cocurrent current readings would be nice, but not practical for me just yet.

        Regards,
        Tom Barr
        www.BarrReport.com

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        • #5
          I'm glad you did this test Tom. I've noticed the same thing from my aquarium using a canister style filter. Granted, I'm only using a pH probe & careful observation of other signs but I've been quite certain that there was still a significant CO2 residual in the morning. Someone at one point was swearing up & down to me that this was impossible but I knew better from my own experience.
          "Do, then talk about it.
          No do? No talk!!" - Tom Barr

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          • #6
            Tom,

            Just to clarify since I'm not sure what changes you may have made recently.

            Cannster on the 180 and Wet/Dry on the 120?

            Another thought, how are you dealing with overflow noise? Any major air injection or turbulence in the pipe ( gurgle buster or similar ) would probably increase the out gassing significantly. I'm not sure if just sealing the biotower is the most efficient approach or if dealing with the overflow first would be best. Most likely both would be the most efficient.

            -
            S

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            • #7
              well... these measurements correlate pretty well with mine.

              with a canister filter only, you are not able to degass the tank O/N.

              greets,

              yme

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              • #8
                I removed all of the biological filter media except for a few sponges just the other week. I was hoping it would help reduce the number of nitrifying bacteria and improve oxygen levels. But if I remember correctly Tom, you are already doing that.
                :encouragement: Roll You're Own: Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association
                Mixed with a sound of water's murmuring
                a sensitive plant in a garden growing.

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                • #9
                  Is there any difference in terms of the amount and quality of growth of plants in the wet/dry vs. cannister only tanks? I assume this would be tough to measure objectively without having controls for other factors like livestock, substrate, etc.
                  Fred

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yme View Post
                    well... these measurements correlate pretty well with mine.

                    with a canister filter only, you are not able to degass the tank O/N.

                    greets,

                    yme
                    Thanks, good to know.
                    Seems like the probe is calibrated, but I'll verify this wekend perhaps.

                    Regards,
                    Tom Barr
                    www.BarrReport.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fjf888 View Post
                      Is there any difference in terms of the amount and quality of growth of plants in the wet/dry vs. cannister only tanks? I assume this would be tough to measure objectively without having controls for other factors like livestock, substrate, etc.
                      Naw, about the same, I get really weedy growth in my 120 Gal, I have been reducing the light and messing with that for some time now.
                      I get strong growth in the 120, they have similar bioloading and flow etc, light is a bit different, the 180 still has the 96W PC lights, they do not make a decent t5 72" long Tek hood and I do not wnat 2x 36" hoods hanging over it, but might end up havign to at some point.

                      I just do not think canisters are all that good for the fish health/stess.
                      So I'll likely be upgrading my tanks to all wet/drys............now I already have the chambers and filters...........it is not like I was not already long thinking this years ago
                      I just want to look at it a lot more and then make a more informed conclusion.

                      It is also FAR more easy to clean a wet/dry system vs a cansiter. I also need less flow/current, so there's less demand for that relative to the fish and less likely to gas the fish with lower O2.



                      Regards,
                      Tom Barr
                      www.BarrReport.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom Barr View Post
                        Naw, about the same, I get really weedy growth in my 120 Gal, I have been reducing the light and messing with that for some time now.
                        I get strong growth in the 120, they have similar bioloading and flow etc, light is a bit different, the 180 still has the 96W PC lights, they do not make a decent t5 72" long Tek hood and I do not wnat 2x 36" hoods hanging over it, but might end up havign to at some point.

                        I just do not think canisters are all that good for the fish health/stess.
                        So I'll likely be upgrading my tanks to all wet/drys............now I already have the chambers and filters...........it is not like I was not already long thinking this years ago
                        I just want to look at it a lot more and then make a more informed conclusion.

                        It is also FAR more easy to clean a wet/dry system vs a cansiter.

                        Heheh, we all know that from being on here, but there you go stirring up trouble again You start with adding KNO3, PO4, EI, HLD, and now you challenge yet another planted tank so called golden rule, the cannister filter. What's next
                        Fred

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                        • #13
                          This makes me wonder which one plays the main role, between the sump and the surface skimmer.

                          >>> another planted tank so called golden rule, the cannister filter.
                          The general golden rule in planted tank folks, may be. But I read it in aquajournal.net.
                          that Amano himself is not sure if the canister type is ideal either (CO2 issue).
                          http://aquajournal.net/na/stories_behind/index.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            His(Amano's) tank at home does not have one
                            It's a sump and a large surface skimmer.

                            That should tell you something.

                            George Booth long argued in favor of wet/drys, as did I some 15 years ago.


                            Regards,
                            Tom Barr
                            www.BarrReport.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So, guessy what happened during a water change?

                              CO2 was still decent, 10-15ppm range from the tap water(hence the advice with algae often times).
                              I did 90% to remove any residual CO2 left in the 180 Gal, which is all cansister.
                              I'm doing the same to the 120 Gal which is wet/dry.

                              The 180 started out with about 25ppm and went down to 15ppm(no added CO2, done 1st thing in the morning)
                              Same for the 120 Gal, but the starting CO2 is 3ppm in this tank and the CO2 jumps to 15ppm after the water change.

                              The non CO2, I tried a few different methods recently.
                              I had been doing water changes with tap, but this time (well, the last 4-5 weeks), I used pre dechlorinate water in buckets that had been sitting for 1-2 days prior, so the CO2 is low.
                              This seemed to have a much more positive effect on fish and anti algae in the non CO2 tank. The tap is rich in CO2.........the sitting water is not and more similar in CO2 like the aquarium.

                              This goes back to my old theory about why we should not do water changes in the non CO2 planted tank, or.........how we can and not get algae blooms.
                              It's tied to the CO2 status of the plants and algae's detection, not nutrients or light(which is the same in most all cases or independent of water changes).

                              Nutrients we can test for, but.......we a good meter, so can we do the same over time for CO2...........and what do you know?
                              There's strong correlation with the CO2 ppm and algae issues with non CO2.......

                              By allowing the tap to degas and having good CONTINUOUS measurement of CO2 as the process unfolds............. you can see if the hypothesis is validated a bit more as you try and falsify it.
                              This is how you go about things, you try and disprove what you think is true(or tentatively verify it till you can figure out some other way to test the validity or someone else does etc).

                              Regards,
                              Tom Barr
                              www.BarrReport.com

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