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Carbon dioxide infusion, pH and things that go bump

In a message dated 5/10/99 12:51:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

 I would like to know if this sounds reasonable to the pros. I have an
 Eheim CO2 kit, high pressure, with cylinder. I do not want to use a
 solenoid and pH controller. If I was to run the COO continuously night
 and day, I assume I would poison my fish as a result of too much CO2
 during the non-photosynthetic night hours. However, I am planning on
 having an airstone on a timer with my lights so that when the lights go
 out, the airstone comes on. In theory, this should oxygenate the water
 sufficiently overnight to counteract the excessive CO2. When the lights
 switch back on in the A.M., the airstone would switch off. Does this
 seem adequate? I haven't yet set up my new tank with this configuration,
 as I am waiting for my filter to arrive. I will also have a small
 powerhead mildly circulating water at the substrate level. I'd
 appreciate all comments/suggestions from anyone. Is anybody doing this
 now? >>
Interesting Morgan... and the stuff of good science. Might I suggest you 
schedule some pH measurements at intervals during the dark phases to see if 
you actually are experiencing pH shifts (due to CO2 or otherwise...). As you 
will know, such driven phenomena are due to a mix of considerations: the 
presence/concentration of ready alkaline "reserve", or buffering capacity... 
biomass, physiology of plant (+ other "dark rxn") matter, surface disruption 
and water turnover (hence your mechanical aeration gambit), and more... do 
you know your milliequivalents of alk. as they pop out of the tap, and in 
your system? Have any other source of alkaline earth donation (i.e. decor, 
natural gravels...)? My "advice", pro or no, is to try all out w/ and w/o the 
Eheim unit adding more in the way of carbonic acid, and see what "happens".
Bob Fenner