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Testing with bottled CO2 injection? (Was re CO2 rates)

 > To: "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill at rt66_com>
 > [...]
 > So it looks like the plants in this tank are probably growing about as
 > fast as they can, and while the lights are on the plants are using CO2 as
 > fast as I can add it - there's not much left over to lose.  
 > [...]

My thanks to Rodger for the excellent discussion re CO2 fixation!

There's just too much, ah, (lazy) user error involved with my DIY
yeastie method.  I'm definitely going the bottled CO2 route soon.
So perhaps I can illict some CW from the list.

I use good lighting (175 w halide & two 40 w fluorecents),
laterite, 1/2 city and 1/2 RO water to get the hardness, ah,
right, a box filter, powerheads on a timers to generate four
different (and strong) flow patterns, Tetra and Kent iron/micro-
nutrient supplements totaling 2x the recommended rates, a few
SAEs and a crew of Ottos.  Also, I change out the box filter
padding and 9 gals of water per month.

With the exception of having Cambomba car. crap out after growing
like a weed to ~ 36", it seems that everything has been super
healthy and I've had no appreciable algae growth.  The tank is
chuck full of plants and I prune out about two, as Rodger said,
"small salid bowls" every few weeks.  

Perhaps 50% of the time, I have my DIY CO2 setup injecting one
bubble per four-eight seconds into a "reverse flow CO2 powerhead
reacter thingie".  (Where the powerhead pumps down into a 16
oz pop bottle with the bottom cut off and the CO2 bubbles up.)

Beyond testing ph, total hardness and calcium hardness at initial
setup only, I do *no* testing of this plant tank.  (Well, okay,
I make sure the temp is okay =:)

Is it reasonable for me to setup bottled CO2 injection at a
one bubble per four seconds and not test anything?  After all,
that's what I get for ~ first few days with fresh DIY CO2.  And I
don't get 'nuf O2 bubbling to make it look like seltzer water.
Or should I test a few times to get the CO2 conc. in the "ideal"
range?  Or should I do some set of tests at regular intervals?
Discussion about this issue sincerely appreciated!

steve ...going to lunch through a few inches of slush
- - - - 
Steve Rader
Network and Systems Manager
WiscNet--Internetworking for Wisconsin
rader at wiscnet_net