CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Post your quires on Carbon Dioxide and alternative products.
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zico_aqua
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CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby zico_aqua » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:15 pm

What is CO2:

CO2 is the combination of the two most important basic element found anywhere in the universe, ie, carbon (C) and oxygen (O2). CO2 evidently is the most abundant gas available in all of universe. Carbon being the building block of all life forms so apart from plants even we human use and have a steady intake of carbon for our life sustenance. Okay enough history, getting back to the application and use of it in planted aquaria, carbon is used by plants for multiplying and building up it’s cellular blocks which we see as it’s growth.

Why CO2:

Now, the biggest question asked by anyone entering in the planted hobby is how exactly CO2 used by plants for it’s growth. Well to understand it we need a bit of biology knowledge for the food production cycle of plants. There are two main reference points with regards to anatomy of a plant that needs to be understood here: 1) Chlorophyll and 2) stomata.

Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll in short this is what gives in the green coloration to all plants and is also the ‘boiler room’ , this is where the food production takes place which provides steady growth to plants.

Stomata: Stomata are small pores which are present at the bottom layer of the leaf, these when looked under microscope looks more like a convex lens opening, and happens to be the second most important part of the plant as it is from here the gaseous exchange of CO2 takes place.Now once the atmospheric/water column based CO2 is absorbed by the stomata it’s transported to the chlorophyll where it’s broken down to it’s elemental form ie, carbon + oxygen, the carbon produced intern goes ahead and breaks down and helps in producing the food for the plant and the molecular oxygen is released back out as a by-product, which in our aquariums we see as beautiful pearls. So, I believe it must be clear by now why we invest so much in injecting CO2 into our tanks.

CO2 source in aquarium:

CO2 is injected major by two means in our tanks – 1) pressurized/DIY gaseous form 2) Liquid form.

1) Pressurised/DIY form: Here we inject our CO2 or which I prefer calling as raw material in it’s true gaseous form, bubbling through the water column in tiny bubble format makes the gas dissolve which is then picked up by the stomata, hence we require a good circulation in the tank for better reach of the building block to all.

2) Liquid form: A lot of times I have been asked how come liquid dosing of products like Seachem Flourish excel, Easy carbo etc. help in growth, well to understand that we need to dig a bit into chemistry now, the basic component of all such product is Gluteraldehyde which is nothing but a complex organic carbon based compound which has an inherent capability to disintegrate in presence of light to it’s molecular form, hence releasing carbon as an element in the water column and the corresponding process of the food cycle begins from there on.
In nature CO2 is fed through the natural flow of water, here apart from the atmospheric CO2 which get dissolved dead fish/plants etc also contribute to the addition of carbon in many forms to the water column. I have even been asked “what if I drop a piece of coal in tank, won’t that be a carbon source as well?” – To that I would yes, it would provided you keep it in there for a few hundred years, as coal is formed under high pressure from plants itself, but to leach that in the water it would take ages (It was kind of a myth buster).

CO2 effects in captive aquaria scenario:

Well CO2 though being of such use to native plants, one must never over –do it! People say it lowers pH – level of the tank, yes it’s true!! Reason being once CO2 mixes water slowly but exponentially it ends up becoming H2CO3 ie, carbonic acid! And since anything below pH value 7 is acidic in nature it lowers pH value. Now this harms not only flora but fauna as well, plants tend to burn out, where as fauna feels the effect of breathlessness and for scale less fish/invert they endure physical burn. To counter this the Oxygen that is produced by the plants again stabilizes the pH value as oxygen itself is alkaline in nature and tends to be above 7 in pH-level. So, one more myth that I would like to bust, more CO2 with proper light does not harm fish it actually stabilizes the artificial eco-habitat but one thing for sure, one must make sure that the lights are powered down atleast 1.5 hours after all the Co2 is used up to avoid the issue.

Hope you guys like the post, next post would concentrate more on dosing mechanism and actual numbers. Anyone willing to add onto this feel free.. ;)
Last edited by zico_aqua on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby ishaan » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:30 pm

nice information. Another good thread can be a sticky :adore


this article is already posted by you on aquacentral so please post the link along with the article
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby parthapratim22 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:52 pm

The article is posted by the author why the question of link again??? :cnf
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby zico_aqua » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:46 pm

This is an article which has been written by me last night, no source as such. I wrote it down from my learning through time and experience. Plus this article was written for the section called as CO2 in aquacentral, so though we did not have any information of this sort here so thought of sharing it here as well. :ugeek: :ugeek:
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby juanico » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:01 pm

nice info about CO2

however this would kill us for sure:
zico_aqua wrote:CO2 evidently is the most abundant gas available not only on earth...


at least the atmosphere of our earth consists of:

Nitrogen 78%
Oxygen 21%
Argon 1%
Carbon dioxide 0.03%

cheers
juanico

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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby maaz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:03 pm

good info..thanks for sharing...
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby zico_aqua » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:05 pm

juanico wrote:nice info about CO2

however this would kill us for sure:
zico_aqua wrote:CO2 evidently is the most abundant gas available not only on earth...


at least the atmosphere of our earth consists of:

Nitrogen 78%
Oxygen 21%
Argon 1%
Carbon dioxide 0.03%

cheers
juanico



True, but the value provided by you is about atmospheric gaseous content only, Co2 forms the base of everything literally underground so this value or piece of info. was shared by a geologist friend of mine hence said. But i'll edit it for better understanding, thanks for pointing it out.
Last edited by zico_aqua on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby SCORPIO » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:07 pm

ishaan wrote:nice information. Another good thread can be a sticky :adore


this article is already posted by you on aquacentral so please post the link along with the article


Nice Nice and very Nice write up.

Why do you want the link? He posted the original write up.
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby zico_aqua » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:13 pm

Thanks a lot guys! I'll come up with few more in a few days, I intend to break myth and provide correct information with reference to planted tanks as this is where I personally expertise in.
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Re: CO2: What-Why-How-Effect

Unread postby Abhishek » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:19 pm

Very nice write up Abhro, add more to and it will be a thread to watch for :)