A few questions from a newbie
Hello all, this looks like an interesting forum. I found a 15 page thread here that described people wrestling with the Fluval C02 system.
Before I get into that, let me give you some of my info.
I have a 30 gal, fish include roselines, a red tail shark, danios, tetras, & 3 angels. I know I'm probably pushing the capacity, but I've put on a aqua clear 70 filter and clean weekly.
There's a glorious piece of driftwood that I found last summer by a remote lake.
And of course ...plants. I have some vals in a corner, a sword up front, a crypt on the front right (which seemed to have split and started a new plant), and a small piece of driftwood in the back with I think java fern.
I tried the DIY C02 mix, but that never seemed to work right. I'm now looking at the Fluval 88, but my ideal would be to attack it to a 2.5 or 5 lb tank. I don't want to mess with their disposable bottles. I'm thinking Fluval has fixed it so that's not an option (if I read everything right on that 15 page thread!), and the only alternative is to buy the pieces separately. I'm going to have to keep reading on this.
I've upgraded the light (sorry I can't tell you the watts). I had appropriate lights 2 years ago when I started with live plants. Two years later I knew something wasn't right and the plants looked sad. When I asked at the LFS I suspected they would sell me on C02. Instead the conversation started with lights. Lesson learned, though the light turns on, the spectrum the plants needs isn't working. That bulb was replaced and the plants are doing better. Better, but I know they could still do more.
The bedding is just plain gravel, however, I did mix in flourite. On my most recent trip to the LFS, I heard about the gravel heater. I'm in Canada, the cost here was $99. On our holiday to the US, I'm wondering if I might find it cheaper!
Finally I dose with Excel daily, and add flourish with a water change and mid week.
1) What do I do for C02?
2) Is the gravel heater worth it and can it be added to an established tank? (I'm thinking I might have to drain 70%, move the fish, empty the tank, and restart. Sounds messy, but I don't see how else it could be done).