CO2 plant fertilisation
Don’t let your plants starve!
As soon as your plants receive the right light, the photosynthesis process starts. As a result carbon dioxide (CO2) is combined with water to make nutrition (sugar), releasing oxygen (O2) as a by-product. This way CO2 serves the plants as their main food. Further fertiliser, such as JBL Ferropol or JBL Ferropol 24 can be compared to the vitamins and trace elements humans need to survive, no matter how much fats, carbohydrates and proteins (corresponds to CO2 for the plants) we eat.
CO2 is always present in small amounts in your aquarium water through the exhalation of fish, plants (at night), invertebrates and bacteria.
How much CO2 does your aquarium water contain?
This table shows you: firstly how much CO2 is dissolved in your aquarium water, and secondly which CO2 content is ideal for your plants. To use the table you need the pH value and the carbonate hardness of your aquarium water. These two values will give you a CO2 content which is easy to read off. For example, if your pH content is 7.4 and the KH is 6 °dKH, you have 7 mg/l CO2 in the water. However most aquatic plants need slightly higher CO2 levels between 14 and 23 mg/l for vigorous and healthy growth. Very sensitive species even need up to 23 – 36 mg/l. With the help of a CO2 fertiliser system you can then increase the CO2 content in the water and thus at the same time provide the perfect pH value for your fish.
When you measure the pH value of your aquarium water you can read in the table shown, how much CO2 is present in your aquarium. The green area in the table indicates what would be the ideal CO2 level for thriving plant growth or the right level for sensitive plants. Now you can see whether the CO2 content of your water is sufficient and if you need to increase it for the perfect plant growth. JBL offers you a practical JBL CO2-pH Permanent Test , which permanently displays the CO2 content of your aquarium water. This way you can easily and quickly read on a scale at any time how much CO2 is available in the water.
To increase of the CO2 concentration, you can find fertiliser systems under CO2 plant care . You have the choice between bio-CO2 systems ( Bio ), which produce CO2 by means of a sugar-yeast fermentation and systems with pressurised gas cylinders, filled with CO2 ( Disposable (u) or Refillable (m) ).
Bio-CO2 systems are less expensive and ideal for smaller aquariums. They produce CO2 for about 40 days and need to be refilled and activated again.
Bio-CO2 systems produce the plant nutrient carbon dioxide (CO2) through a biological reaction process, in which (in simple terms) yeast reacts with sugar. The reaction components can be replaced after about 40 days.
This is how a CO2 fertiliser system works
With CO2 fertiliser systems with pressurised gas cylinders you have the choice between disposable cartridges in the form of a JBL ProFlora u system ( Disposable (u) ) und refillable reusable cylinders in the form of a JBL ProFlora m system ( Refillable (m) ).
The CO2 is contained in a storage cylinder which always needs to be kept in an upright position, since CO2 is liquefied under pressure. To keep the gas well dosed while introducing it into the aquarium, screw the pressure reducer onto the storage cylinder. It reduces the cylinder pressure so that you are able to adjust the CO2 supply to an exact quantity of bubbles with the help of the needle valve. The CO2 travels from the pressure reducer, through a CO2 resistant hose to a bubble counter, which has a check valve ( JBL ProFlora CO2 Count Safe ) fitted. There is water in the bubble count, allowing you to see the CO2 bubbles rise and become visible. Now you can adjust the desired bubble count with the needle valve. The integrated check valve prevents a backflow of water into the pressure reducer and storage cylinder. The CO2 hose transports the carbon dioxide from the pressure reducer into your aquarium where it needs to dissolve as quickly and uniformly as possible in the water. To do so, various diffusers are available, depending on the size of your aquarium. In the diffuser, the CO2 comes into contact with the aquarium water where it dissolves. A permanent test indicates how much CO2 has been dissolved and whether this is the right amount.
JBL CO2 fertiliser systems with disposable cylinders
These systems contain the plant nutrient carbon dioxide (CO2) in a pressurised gas cylinder, which you can just replace when empty.
JBL CO2 fertiliser systems with refillable cylinders
These systems contain the plant nutrient carbon dioxide (CO2) in a pressurised gas cylinder, which you can have refilled when empty.
Leave the pH value to your CO2 system!
As soon as you introduce CO2 into your aquarium water, a part of it will combine with the water and turn into carbonic acid. The more carbonic acid you have in your water, the more the pH value of the water drops. You can take advantage of this effect and not only feed your plants with CO2, but also attain the pH level you want. Many fish species prefer slightly acidic water (pH value below 7). You can adjust the desired pH level with the pH controller which then sets this level automatically.
You can also leave the complete CO2 supply and the pH value to the JBL ProFlora pH-Control Touch . When switching on the first time the pH controller will ask you for the carbonate hardness of the water, which you can measure within a few seconds with a JBL KH Test . Then the device knows the quantity of pH stabilising minerals available in the water and automatically selects the corresponding pH value. It adjusts the CO2 quantity so that the plants grow perfectly and the pH level remains stable day and night.
Refill of the storage cylinders
Many pet shops, and also fire brigades or the specialised trade for liquefied gas can refill your CO2 refillable cylinders. The pressure gauge shows you if the pressure has decreased. Sometimes a refill is not possible in the short term. But there’s an easy solution for that too. If you have a disposable 500g cylinder ( JBL ProFlora u500 ) as spare cylinder in stock, you can fit it within a few seconds to your regulator m001. Even if you have a refillable JBL m system you can adapt your pressure reducer to the disposable cylinder with one simple operation using an Allen key.