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CO2 Test kit
Hello to all, I just bought a CO2 test kit since I recently started adding
CO2 to my water.
As background my local tap water is very hard (South Florida well water, no
numbers sorry, I have not bought a hardness test kit, that info comes form
my local pet store) and very alkalyne (PH 8.2). I setup my tank (55 gallon)
about 4 weeks ago. The first half of the cylce is complete (still waiting
for the Nitrite to Nitrate part).
I replaced the lights that came with my tank with a home made fixture with 4
each 40W daylight lamps.
I have previously mixed laterite with my gravel so I started using Aquaflora
and bougth some potted plant from my local pet store. Anyway, after 4 weeks
my PH holds more or less steady at about 7.9 and I have noticed a very slow
tendency to go lower (I understand this is normal and a byproduct of live
fish). I have been performing 25% water changes every two weeks, and
everytime I do those, PH goes back up to about 8.0.
I started injecting CO2 3 days ago with a DIY setup (2 each 3 liter bottles)
and am getting a bubble every 1-2 seconds which I am releasing to an
airstone. Out of the airstone I get a steady stream of very small bubbles,
of which I estimate 60% or so completely dissolve before reaching the
surface. I started injecting CO2 and my PH has dropped from +/- 8.0 to 7.0
essentially overnight. (again, I am told that indicates that CO2 injection
is indeed working)
When I used my test kit for the first time, I simply could not get a reading
for CO2. The way my test kit works is you get a sample (10 ML) of water, add
5 drops of reagent A, which makes your water sample a certain color, then
you add Reagent B 1 drop at a time. When the water color matches the "END"
color in the chart you take the number of Reagent B drops, multiply by 2 and
thats's your CO2 PPM. I went all the way to 40 drops of reagent B and my
water sample never reached the "End" Color, it never even changed. So I have
3 possibilities that I can think of:
A:- My test kit is defective
B:- My CO2 concentration is extremely high (over 80 PPM)
C:- I dont' know what the hell I am doing.
The plants that I have in the tank were not showing any sign of growth for
the first 2 weeks I had them, in the almost 4 days since CO2 started, they
are showing new growth in the form of new leaves and shoots coming out at
So the question is: Is my CO2 really that high?
I would have thought that such a high concetration would kill my fish, but
they seem very happy, no deaths, no stress that I can see.(4 Guppies,
holding there until tank cycles).
I called Big Al's from whom I bougth the test kit (Plant Care Mini-Lab Test
Kit from Red Sea) and they were very helpful. Since my Reagent B cap was
not on straight when I first received the kit (manufacturing problem I
think, cap was sealed but it was threaded crooked on bottle), they think
that maybe the solution was exposed to the air and has become inert. They
are shipping me a replacement bottle of "B", but I would appreciate any
insigth this group can offer.
Thank you in advance.