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Re: GW and O2

>> Black out for 3-4 days, Micro filtration is not working so you might try UV
>> sterilizer say a 5 watt Tetra or a 4 or 8 watt Aquanetics which will be
>> cheaper and just hook up a powerhead to the input side.
> Oh, goody. Another gadget.

But not something that's used much.
>> Hook up the Diatom(is it a Magnum cartiage?
> No, a System 1. I have used the Magnum cartridge thataway, though.

And that thing could not get rid of GW?
That is very unusual.
>> so let it clog up a bit or stir some mulm up into the filter before letting
>> it work on the GW. Leave it on in addition to what your doing.)
> Can't leave the System 1 on longer than four hours or it overheats. Would it
> be better to use the Magnum, then?

Sounds like it! They won't over heat but you may need to clean the cartiage
after awhile and put it back in etc. I'd leave it on for about 3-4 days or
so. Same thing perhaps with the Diatom S1 as well.
>> Your CO2 is too low and I suspect your filtration is too slow/no surface
>> turnover/movement etc. For your 30 all you'd need to do is use a Hagen 150
>> or something. That would mix your CO2 better/more consistent without
> gasping
>> fish. Some slight CO2 loss is okay. When your CO2 goes south (down) or
> water
>> movement slows, you get GW. It's okay to have surface movement. Let your
>> filter move the surface some.
> I think I accidently did this. The Hot Magnum disturbs the water surface, so
> I increased the CO2 to compensate. I was afraid of this, so I have been doing
> it very gradually. Only this weekend did I finally reach a pH of 6.8. But if
> I disturb the water surface, and then add more CO2, do I really have a net
> gain of CO2? I mean, are the fish gasping because of too much CO2, or not
> enough circulation, surface or otherwise?

If the plants are growing well you don't need as much surface movement. They
produce a large share of the needed O2. But this is not always the case due
to us not keeping up on things. Plants are not as fragile as fish. Therefore
error in their favor if something goes wacky. Better to lose a slight amount
of CO2 than a fish. Why they are gasping could be one or the other or both.
I've seen it in tanks that have little circulation, poor CO2 systems(add too
much or too little-little control in amount being dissolved) and no surface
turnover. Good mixing helps even out any lulls and lows and gives a much
more constant amount and better readings. Surface turnover helps get O2 in
there if things go south. Wet/dry's and Bio wheels do a similar thing.

CO2 and O2 do not go into solution at the same rates. Most every gas is much
more soluble than CO2 in water but both O2 and CO2 are used in bio
processes. The CO2 is there for the plant's needs. Yes, you can over do it.
This is not good for fish. But low O2 from not moving the water is a huge
issue  folks sometimes seem to forget since they will focus on keeping in
the CO2. Try it without the CO2 and add a bunch of fish. Many will be
gasping if you have no turnover. Folk's with Disc seem to have more problems
than any other group hitting a good pH without gasping fishes. Why that is
is quite a debate in itself but it's a fact. This is seldom an issue with
needle valves and/or other types of CO2 injection methods.

 Testing your pH at different times during the day period will give you a
good idea of where your pH is heading and what your need is.
A needle valve will help. Moving your tank water around will help. Clogged
filters will make things worse. Some surface movement will help. A good test
method for pH will help. After a few times of checking the pH and using a
needle valve you will not need/should need to mess with it much.
If you have a magnum use that. Pass on the UV unless you just cannot solve
it any other way.  

I have surface movement on two tanks and on two I have none. There are a
large amount of Rummy noses and other active critters like lots of shrimps
but the plants are doing very well so I don't need the surface movement
really. I can adjust the filter to do this if I see a need but I don't
really for that tank. Another tank seemed to have some issues unless there
was more surface movement. I can take off the flow or readjust it now and it
would be fine but it's fine. I just add perhaps an extra bubble every 10-30
seconds more now... if that.
It can be done but it's easier for a general method to just have some
surface movement and add a touch more CO2. That is less risky.
Tom Barr