I’ve just over overdosed my fish on diy c02. Is there an emergency treatment that can help them recover?

Irksome

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I just set up my first c02 reaction using citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. I was was so focused on getting the bottle pressure right that I did t realise quite how much had gone in. I have turned it off, removed the airline and turned up my sponge filters. It was on for about 15 minuits and the fish are gasping at the surface. I have put the lights back on so the plants can use some of it up. Is there anything else I can do to help them? I feel a bit stupid now.
 

mbsqw1d

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Water change maybe?
Yep remove the co2 enriched water and replace

Dont be too hard on yourself, I spent hours setting up one of the those very same kits last night. Top tip, so far Ive realised that the little adjustable tap, to control the amount of co2 leaving the bottles, leaks and is therefore useless!
 
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Thanks guys. I have done a water change and the fish are swimming around happily again.
 

Colin_T

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Don't add any CO2 for at least a month so the fish can recover.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence for the next month to help the fish recover.
 
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Glad your fish are OK. DIY CO2 is fraught with danger - I would not do it.
So I can see.... my investigation before led me to believe that it was much harder to over do it with the diy vs canisters. I will be more careful next time.
 

Colin_T

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The main thing with CO2 is to get it set up and have it running for at least a month before adding any fish. This gives you time to work out the system and get it running properly, and it means if there is an incident, there are no fish in the tank to be affected.

CO2 poisoning can do significant damage to fish and animals and it takes some time for them to recover. The CO2 drops the pH of the tank water and this can cause acidosis. The fish's blood becomes saturated with CO2 and this can damage organs and cells. If the pH drops too much, the acid water can burn the fish and their gills.
 
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@Colin_T thankyou! This information just isn’t readily available on any of the planted tank forums or tutorials i have been following.
 

Retired Viking

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I avoid using CO2, too many horror stories of things going wrong and dead fish. I only buy easy to care for plants, my fish come first. I try and keep it simple with my tanks but it is a lot of work for me to maintain my soft water tank with RO so I have not learned to keep it simple with all my tanks yet;)
 

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The best way to avoid this problem in my experience is to place bottle upside down in the tank. When you place the bottle in the tank make sure there is no air in it. Then using a hose with a one off valve fill the bottle with CO2. The CO2 will slowly diffuse out of the bottle into the water. Fill the bottle with CO2 as needed. This eliminates the risk of gassing the fish.

The tradition method of using a diffuser is very inefficient with some of the bubble from the defuser just go into the air and not the water. Filling an inverted bottle doesn't waste CO2 allowing your supply of CO2 to last longer.
 

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