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Re: [APD] CO2 measurement

Bill wrote about testing CO2

"But for just growing plants, I don't think one needs that
degree of

Okay, let's accept that to be true. 

Here's the problem, it might not be an issue personally for you,
but it is very much so for many folks less lucky than yourself.

I do not like luck personally, but will take it if it comes
along. Others are much less fortunate. 
I want to know what makes my tank succcessful so I can help

If I base my advice on correlation and belief advice alone, I'd
never get too far. Folks all the time add too little CO2 based
on test and assumptions.

 Accuracy and improving a reduction in error from the test and
they are huge in many cases.............can reduce the amount of
headaches many folks have determining CO2.

I'm not sure how one can argue against this given the cost is
minor and the adaptation is simple/easy/cheap.

Can you do the cheap version of the drop checker to resolve such
issues? You bet.

So why ever bother with a pH probe at all then?
It's not so much the adaptation I've suggested, but going back
to why even bother with a pH probe at all ever?
You are taking the approach that it's no longeer really an issue
about adding a KH ref toa  pH probe, but you have issues with
the use of a pH meter/probe system to begin with.

"Need" is a very strong word also.....
That has nothing to do with the adaptation for a KH ref I've
suggested here for the pH probe.

The adaptation is a 10$ add on.
It requires little skill and addresses a major problems for many
folks with funky KH issues and those that use ADA AS etc and
want to know their CO2 levels and how those correlate with BBA,
good plant growth etc.

Many folks, maybe not you personally, have reported 210ppm of
CO2 based of the pH/KH charts and that was with accurate pH

If they followed the chart, they would only be adding really
3ppm of CO2, not the real values of about 30-35ppm.

Resolving such issues in a practical way is a creative art.
So the chart's assumptions and our own have led many to add
ittle CO2 and thus "caused" many infested BBA planted tanks and
pissed off aquarist.

This is a very weak argument against accuracy for the hobby, we
can say that no CO2 measurement nor nutrient measurement is
required nor temp etc.

I can do it by watching the plants.
But.......this does not mean __others__ can.
We need some base line other than "good plant growth".
Knowing why they grow allows you to figure out how to grow them
much better and with less work and assumptions.
It also allows me to help others and rule problems out. It also
helps the aquarist with the problems to rule them out as well.
Then they do not "need" to ask Tom Barr.
You may be able to, but for everyone to have a good degree of
confidence we are on the same page and able to reproduce things
and verify them, testing accuracy certainly helps a great deal.

I know what I know through accurate testing,
falsification/verification and isolating issues, not because I
am smart, have a green thumb or the plant fairy.

That testing allows me to see what is enough and what is
practical for folks, not everyone can and should eye ball CO2,
but most can eyeball dosing using EI.

If you use a drop checker, you will hit a ball park figure might
close, a pH KH ref probe, right on the money.

What that(EI) showed me is that folks have more issues with CO2,
than previously thought and much less with nutrients such as
excess Fe. Some using cheapo test kits also made assumptions
that caused issues, I knew this due to EI as well. Some micro
managing their nutrient levels and avoidign water changes also
had a lot of issues with CO2, that I knew from the past test
with managing nutrients levels. It's a lot of work and after all
that effort, folks still had BBA.

We bumped the CO2 up, and voila, the BBA stops growing.

Adding some KH ref and taking that out of the assumption is a
very useful approach at dealing with CO2 related issues for
newbies, seasoned vets, and researchers.

Do you even need to measure CO2 to use it and have a successful
tank? No, but I never said nor suggested that either.
This makes things easier and removes more assumptions in a
practical easy to use manner.

Sure, some can and do dose CO2 without ever using any test kit,
but it's not to be advised unless you are very careful, many
aquarist do not fall into that group. You might, but most do not
and have a lot of trouble understanding CO2 and how is figures
into the aquatic plant world.

Tom Barr


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