Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish
Would it work if you hook up Co2 and just had a lower bps? Sort of like a low tech with a boost of stable Co2, I'm thinking the added Co2 can't hurt.
What kind of fertilizers are you adding? Would the ADA Soil and the fish food be enough for a low tech?
I'm starting to think low techs are harder to do then high.
I have done both, using low amounts of CO2 or none. If you have a basically algae free tank, adding low amounts of CO2 can have a great effect on growth without any negatives of high tech, except adding ferts. In a low tech setup without CO2, with a nutrient rich substrate, you can really get away without any dosing until you actually see deficiencies.
It may seem more challenging to dose for deficiencies but it's really not. For example, if I see plants loosing color or leaves start changing shape, I don't dose per that deficiency, I just dose an EI amount of everything, or some Flourish Comprehensive and wait until the next time.
The same idea would apply to a lower light tank with CO2. But at that point, you may as well jump up to 30PPM because there is no reason not to. The downside is that you likely need to start dosing daily or atleast routinely.
CO2 in an otherwise low tech setup is actually a really easy way to get a really lush, easy to deal with tank. Sounds great and it can be if you are content to limit your plants. CO2 will not make up for lack of light so you won't get intense reds or get a plant that can't carpet in the amount of light you have to carpet. So, you have that limitation. I have found that their are plenty of red plants that don't need a ton of light, as well as plants that carpet well without a ton of light. It's a great way to go. However, once you are in the hobby long enough, and have the equipment to do more, it's hard to set limits on yourself. I often consider going this route.
My personal problem is that I am very stubborn, yet fairly patient which makes it easy for me to make my life harder. Going low tech for a bit was probably the first time in a while in this hobby where I said, hey, this could be easier and did so, but I new I would have to change out some plants long term. That's probably where this tank will come together as well, once I start getting sick of plants that are not doing well, find an easier substitute. That's really the way to go for a long term type scape anyway.
Hope that makes sense, if you look at my 6 gallon, you will see that my tank never has algae but I also never clean it, and rarely fertilize it. I just need to find a go to carpet plant besides Riccia as that hasn't stayed down well long term and adds a ton of maintenance. I could use moss as well, just not a huge fan of moss myself.