I've had my planted tank up and running for 3 years now. I have 5 adult angelfish, 6 cory's and 1 leopard frog pleco. On Monday I re-aquascaped my tank and I put play sand in for my cory's and pleco. My tank is a 75-g planted with various swords, crypts, tiger lotus bulbs (new) and Cabomba (new) and I'm trying to grow Ludwigia Peruensis (new). I just ordered Rotola Indica and Cabomba Purple. I mix my own Macro and Micro ferts and I dose PPS-Pro. I also add Flourish Iron 2x per week and I dose Flourish Excel daily. I add root tabs under the heavy root feeders every 4 to 6 weeks. Each Sunday I do a 40% pwc and I don't dose the tank on this day. I have fluorescent fixtures with a total of 120 watts (just put in new bulbs yesterday) and I run them for 10 hrs per day. So the question is, do I need to add co2 and what is the determining factor that lets you know if and when you need co2? I don't have algae issues and I don't want to create algae issues. I'm attaching a couple of pics of my tank the way it currently looks.
Thank you for any help or suggestions you can give to me. I've avoided the co2 route at all costs (althought I did buy a regulator and diffuser a while ago) but I've come to the point where I would like to get my plants to grow somewhat faster and more "lush" than what they are now. I'm just not sure if co2 is my answer. Thank you again!
You say you have a regulator and diffuser. Do you have a solenoid, needle valve, and bubble counter as well? If not, you might spend another $75-100, plus another $50-65 for the 5lb tank. If you do, I'd say go ahead and spend the money on the tank. If not, and it doesn't sound like you're convinced you want CO2 yet, I'd wait until you're certain.
The regulator that I bought is a Milwaukee regulator and it came with the solenoid, needle valve and bubble counter. In fact, it's been sitting in the box for 2 years with the bubble wrap still around it. The diffuser was from GLA, again still in the bubble wrap. I bought this when I had some extra $$$ thinking that someday I might need to use it.
Well, if you're willing to take the plunge, all you need is a 5lb cylinder, some tubing and a drop checker with 4dKH solution. Should be $75 or less total. At the very least, CO2 won't hurt anything as long as you inject it moderately. In fact, with a single diffuser and a 75g tank, I would be very surprised if you were able to do any damage to fish.
I read that the purple cabomba are more colorful with co2 but I thought I would give it a shot and see what happens.
The only place around me that refills co2 said that you buy the tank from him for $110 and the first fill up is included in that price. Then he refills it for you for $25 and you get your tank back each time you refill (he doesn't swap out).