Re: High CO2

> From: Jayme Donnelly <Jayme_Donnelly%BOND__NOTES at notes_worldcom.com>
> Also, Even though the tank is heavily planted, try temporarily adding 
> more plants.  Plants (as you know) eat/consume *both* CO2 and 
> Ammonium.  You need to reduce both of these.  

Plants only make a difference if they are growing very fast, requiring
high light and proper proportions of nutrients.  Just because you have
something green in the tank does not mean it is photosynthesizing.  If
conditions aren't right, the plants will simply contribute to
increased CO2 levels.
> Plants are better at processing/comsuming Ammonium than Ammonia, so
> this is another reason to lower the PH. Ammonia becomes Ammonium below
> PH 7.0.

Ammonia and ammonium exist in equilibrium.  At pH 7, the ratio of
ammonium to ammonia is very high, eliminating worries about toxicity.

> NOTE:  The Nitro-Bacter (good Bacteria for the Nitrogen Cycle) need 
> Oxygen too, and since your tank appears to be low on Oxygen and high on 
> CO2, then the Nitro-Bacter will start dying, and then Ammonia will appear.  

Nothing indicated a lack of oxygen, just an excess of CO2 and toxic
nitrogen forms.  Increased CO2 DOES NOT drive out oxygen. 

> If you could see the Nitro-Bacter with your naked eye, they would be reacting
> the same way your fish are, gasping for breath and dying off).

No comment.

> Making water changes aggrevated the situation by diluting the percentage
> (amount) of Nitro-Bacter in the water.  

The majority of the nitrifying bacteria are of the genus Nitrosomonas
and Nitrobacter (note: one word, no hypen) and exist PRIMARILY on
surfaces in the aquarium and not in the water. Massive water changes
won't affect the bacteria comprising the biofilter unless you are
adding large amounts of chlorine via the changed water.

> If you didn't rinse the Carbon Insert/Cartridge for the Powerfilter,
> that will also introduce Carbon Dust into the water, which creates
> Carbonic Acid. Yuk!

If this is an indicator of your level of aquarium knowledge, I suggest
you cease and desist from giving advice.  Carbonic acid has nothing to
do with filter charcoal.  It is part of the equilibria of CO2, HCO3-
and water. 

George Booth                         "Nothing in the world is more dangerous 
booth at hplvec_lvld.hp.com             than sincere ignorance and conscientious 
Freshwater Plant Tank Technology     stupidity" - Martin Luther King, Jr.