I have a 75g tank that used to be a saltwater FOWLR tank. I changed to a freshwater tank and need a little advice. I have 2.5" of Flourite substrate with about 3lbs. of Laterite thrown in for good measure. I currently have two 24w 6700k PC lamps for lighting and a Fluval 404 filter running carbon and biomax. I have about 10 plants in there right now, a mixture of swords, and various bunch plants. It will be at least a couple of months before I can put a real CO2 system on this tank. I currently have a small yeast reactor running. Two mollies and four Cardinal tetras for livestock. I have also spotted a few very small snails cruising around the glass. What should be my next move? Getting real CO2 going or bumping up the lighting? Any other suggestions?
Personally I'd wait to get the co2 and the lights at the same time. I kind of doubt that you will grow much under only 48watts of light in a 75g, but I guess you could prove me wrong.
If you ARE satisfied with your lights and they can grow plants, I'd go with co2 first. If you upgraded your lights without co2, you'd likely be in algae hell. If you keep lower lights and experiment with getting your co2 content high, there is much smaller margin for error. Once you have mastered co2 (which I certainly have NOT) you will probably have money saved up for better lights.
29 Gallon Tank: 110W PC Lights, Milwaukee MA957 CO2, Fluorite/Sand Substrate, Checked into E.I. Rehab
I'm with Ernie. I did it the other way around and the plants didn't really respond at all until Co2 came along, but the algae did. At least with Co2 first you'll start fighting off any possible black brush algae early, I hate it, nasty looking and a PITA to get rid of.