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Old 02/16/2006, 02:38 AM   #1
Samala
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Talking CO2 Magic!

Well, I usually like to save these little interesting notes for my weblog update, but thats at least ten days away and I cant keep it to myself any longer. I started CO2 supplementation on my grass tank last month on 1/26 via DIY yeast + sugar coke bottle method, routing the bubbles through a cheapy powerhead to break them up. I will say the nicest thing is that I dont have to obsessively check my pH or alkalinity levels anymore, as these stay very stable, even trhough the dark period, at 8.1 and a nice 2.5 meq/L.

Other than CO2 enrichment I have not changed anything else that I do in the tank. After just three weeks you can see a marked improvement in the shoal grass population density with the addition/growth of an easy hundred new plants.

I just thought this was terribly exciting. I did some other rearrangements too in the tank, and there are other fun things to chat about when I update the website later this month. But I'm just so thrilled with the growth I wanted to share. I guess CO2 might be a nice thing to install on seagrass dominated (and heavily planted) aquariums.

On 1.26.06:




On 1.16.06:

Forgive the equipment and compare shoal grasses to the left.


And the jawfish would like to remind everyone that there is a five-mysis fee for tours of his garden.


Now I gotta get to work of planting and placing these new rhizomes as they grow and make it look prettier. If only I had the stinkin' stargrass!!

>Sarah


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Old 02/16/2006, 10:18 AM   #2
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"five-mysis fee" is this for adult entrance fee ... how about people 2 and under

btw, i found a local reefer w/ that mystery caulerpa... it looks like prolifera but it isn't. the early growth resembles somewhat of halimeda .


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Old 02/16/2006, 10:26 AM   #3
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Mr. Jawfish does not descriminate on the basis of age.. everyone must pay the five-mysis fee!!

You'll have to post a pic of the mystery caulerpa. There is a bit of Halimeda hiding in the above photos.. in front of the right most edge of prolifera. Its now glued in place to the rocks in the back. Well, it is until I think it would look better in another spot.

>Sarah


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Old 02/16/2006, 10:31 AM   #4
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LOLOL my son is going to have to write a IOU

i have it still in the ziplock from the guy i got it from ... too lazy to acclimate it i'll snap some pix of it soon.


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Old 02/16/2006, 12:15 PM   #5
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Interesting, might have to try hooking up my fermenter to the tank when I brew the next batch of beer


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Old 02/16/2006, 02:39 PM   #6
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My fellow science buddy Ben would probably want me to mention that there is no real control for this experiment, and thus we cannot attribute all the rapid growth to CO2.. but boy I think its because of the extra carbon hanging about. This is the first time shoal grass has taken off like this. Shoal grass in my prop tanks is reproducing, but not like this! Maybe one new plant on established rhizomes per two weeks.. not per day!

One thing about the tank, that I didnt realize before, is how clear it is now.. really REALLY clear in comparison to older pics.

Bill.. you make great beer.. I think hooking up the fermenter is a winning idea!

>Sarah


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Old 02/16/2006, 02:53 PM   #7
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hey now, hahaha! i believe ya. nobody knows your tank better than you do. a very interesting observation. now you just need to setup 10 more tanks and do a dose-response study keep us posted on the progress.

oh, and someone out there must have some stargrass to send sarah. cough it up, hahaha.


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Old 02/16/2006, 03:57 PM   #8
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No, anything but a dose-response study!!! "Cough it up".. I havent asked, I was hoping my little bits in tissue culture would spring back to life. They're still green today, but dont look too great. We'll see. I just cant bring myself to give up on the little things. And now I have to go back to my ELISAs.. woo.

>Sarah


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Old 02/16/2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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Looks amazing Sarah!! Im jealous My seagrass is spreading very very slow!


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Old 02/16/2006, 11:14 PM   #10
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Sarah,

I've been a bit behind with computer problems lately, so I must of missed it. I take it your Star Grass died back. If so, I'll send you some as soon mine grows back in after the last harvest.


BTW Sarah and Ben,

If either of you, or anyone else for that matter, is up for a road trip to Eastern Long Island in March...the second North East Reef Aquarium Conference is comming up. Promises to be a good time, we've got several good speakers lined up and the event is held at Atlantis Marine World. I'm also working on making a stash of homebrew for the occasion

http://www.lireef.org/NERACII.html


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Old 02/16/2006, 11:49 PM   #11
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Bill.. yep, it died back heavily after the dinoflagellate invasion. I have maybe a few grams of tissue left to work with, but none of its growing, and for this species I take that as a really bad sign. I wish I really knew what happened, but some sort of bad reaction to being neglected and the dino bloom I'd guess.

On the plus side, as you can see, the shoal grass is going gang busters. I'll let you know.

By the way, NERAC looks like a LOT of fun. I think a road trip is in order. I'm headed up to the city this weekend actually. I see Sprung and Calfo are speakers for the event.. it would be great to pick their brains on seagrasses.

>Sarah


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Old 02/16/2006, 11:53 PM   #12
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I'll likely pass you on the road this weekend, heading for PA. NERAC is definately a good time. Even the food at the banquet is good, only conference I've ever been able to say that about


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Old 02/17/2006, 08:01 PM   #13
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I just found this thread Glad to hear your homemade CO2 reactor is working good Sarah. As usual I have a few questions about your setup tho What size bottle and amounts of yeast and sugar are you using and how long is it producing CO2? Do you just have the line running into the input of a powerhead and then chopping it into the water/tank or is it running into something else to give it more contact time? Thanks in advance
Oh here's a pic of my coralline giving off o2, I think It reminded me of the pic you posted of your macros bubbling that I asked about


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Old 02/19/2006, 09:35 AM   #14
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Are the dates correct on the photos? Should the second picture be 2-16-06 as it looks like heavier growth in it?
congrats on the growth.
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Old 02/19/2006, 03:16 PM   #15
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JustJoe, give the dates on the two images the old 'switch-r-rue' and they'll fit with the story


I guess this is an example of honest to God excitement from a fellow plant head

Congrats Sarah! Can't wait to see more.

John.


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Old 02/20/2006, 04:52 PM   #16
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Heh.. yeah.. the second pic should say 2.16.06. I love not being able to type.

>Sarah


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Old 02/20/2006, 05:58 PM   #17
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a little longer than what I was thinking - but awesome growth for sure....


Sooo.... ok .. lemme think. I've been battling high pH (and by battling, I mean - watching without doing anything LOL) in my system for a while. During the day it pushes up to 8.6 and at night it's down to 8.2. I'm wondering.... would dosing CO2 via a Powerhead during the day pull my pH down If so... I might have to invest in a timer controlled solinoid and.... well- I actually have everything else ...

Am I thinking correctly?
John.


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Old 02/20/2006, 06:45 PM   #18
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It could, however it is difficult to change the pH of saltwater. Samala said that it hasn't effected her pH, and it is lower than yours.


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Old 02/20/2006, 09:11 PM   #19
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I think for three weeks its amazing growth. If you look back at the other entries I've never had so much growth before, not even the 10gallon really did this.

Mmmmm.. it has effected the pH, but in a positive way. I just am not getting the massive swings through the photoperiod now, which actually perplexes me. The pH was as high as 8.8 on the last week prior to starting the CO2 'misting' into the tank. That was with two powerheads causing major surface chop and a backup skimmer going in there (with its arguable contributions to aerating the water).

With the misting the pH stays pretty steady, dark is about 8.0 and during peak light its about 8.2 now (maybe the CO2 rate is dying down, its is DIY..), as does the carbonate levels, and doesnt bounce from 8.8 to 8.0 through the photoperiod (my poor tank inhabitants!!) Whats weird is that the pH should go down more at night I'd think while the plants arent actively consuming the extra CO2.. but perhaps with the aeration in there it just doesnt go that far. Or.. I'm just not pumping in a whole lot of CO2 and its enough to keep the pH from skyrocketing during the day. Or.. another option I havent considered. I'm really not sure. How much is getting to the plants before being blown off by water movement is anyone's guess but its something since the plants have responded so well.

Bottom line is I need to continue with this, fine tune it, see how things play out before making it a recommendation. I was thinking of using it on an all macro satellite tank to see if it helps macro grow faster too. We'll see.

AIM ~ I'm posting all that info you've so thoughtfully requested in the weblog update in a few days. Great idea to ask me so I could add that in.

>Sarah


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Old 02/25/2006, 01:09 PM   #20
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fyi.. I posted another update to the website, and you can see some growth even between the pics posted here and the ones I took a few days ago. Very interesting. The rhizomes are growing about 1.5" per day. I wish I knew precisely that it was CO2 or something else, because not being able to recreate this bothers me!

>Sarah


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Old 02/25/2006, 08:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
because not being able to recreate this bothers me!
what do you mean?

does this mean you've tried to recreate it in another tank and couldn't?

Thanks,
John.


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Old 02/25/2006, 09:19 PM   #22
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I havent tried to re-create the CO2 effect yet, no, but I'm worried that I wont be able to. Yet another thing I have to put into my notebook of things to test, lol. I pulled Ilyanassa snails from the Bay today to warm up for the iron bioassays at least. That should be fun!

>Sarah


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Old 02/26/2006, 12:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Samala
I havent tried to re-create the CO2 effect yet, no, but I'm worried that I wont be able to. Yet another thing I have to put into my notebook of things to test, lol. I pulled Ilyanassa snails from the Bay today to warm up for the iron bioassays at least. That should be fun!

>Sarah

LOL - you are my hero! :-)

You are going to have to start a thread and keep it updated so we can see 'blow by blow' results..

Many thanks again for your time and efforts!
John.


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Old 02/27/2006, 03:21 AM   #24
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I will definitely do a thread on the iron assays once they get started, about two weeks I think. I'm off to California for a conference/grad schools this coming weekend and I'm holding off on giving the snails much protein and warmth until after then. Dont want them doing the big egg laying explosion before I get back!

Update on the CO2: plant growth is still going like the energizer bunny. Nitrate consumption is up, as is phosphate.. though I'm not dosing it still. I'm kinda wondering if the lights are now more of a limiting factor than anything else. 'Course.. no reason to push the grasses to extremes, just interesting to see this work at all.

>Sarah


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Old 02/27/2006, 08:55 AM   #25
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How are you measuring Phosphate uptake? I mean, are you able to get enough resolution on your test kit that you can see it decreasing? or are you establishing uptake by cyano decrease?

:-)

(I'll be doing the third )

John.


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