CO2, necessary?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:08 AM   #1
Kirbybtf
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CO2, necessary?


I've been getting progressively more obsessed with planted tanks over the past week. I finally bit the bullet today and bought a beautiful rimless, seamless glass 15g at my LFS for 25$!! Very cheap and very beautiful. My question lies with CO2. Is is necessary for a healthy beautiful tank? I have some stuff I'm putting in my 2.5g planted that supposedly adds CO2 to the water but I'm not sure if that will be enough. Do I need to make one of the DIY CO2 systems/buy a CO2 set up? Or can a planted tank live happily without additional CO2 from an external system. Is my SEACHEM CO2 additive enough?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:17 AM   #2
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You can have a very nice planted tank without C02 injection. The good thing about low tech tanks is that they are generally low maintanence also...which is always nice.
It depends on the plants you are wanting for your new tank, some plants will not grow to the full potential without. The best thing to do is figure out how you want to set the tank up and what plants you are wanting. With a 15g, you will be able to go the DIY route....however that does get boring after a while and you will find yourself with a pressurized setup rather soon.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:20 AM   #3
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If you want fast growth or to keep the more delicate plants, pressurized CO2 is a must. Though Seachem Excel does work to a degree, the results just aren't the same.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:20 AM   #4
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I'm not entirely certain about CO2 additives, but I've heard that most of the time if you want co2 you should probably do it 'right'. (Either diy or bought systems, not just a chemical.) But honestly, I've found it really depends on what you want to get into, plant wise and monetarily. CO2 is not entirely necessary, there's a whole thread dedicated to hobbyists who keep low tech tanks with low light, and no CO2. (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=99729)

I've been researching this for quite a while now and I'm still not sure I've got my head wrapped around everything.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjohn21 View Post
With a 15g, you will be able to go the DIY route....however that does get boring after a while and you will find yourself with a pressurized setup rather soon.
I started rather simple too, then one day thought, hmmm I think I'll try DIY CO2. It worked pretty good, but algae problems developed with inconsistent CO2 levels and I found myself buying all the CO2 equipment. All this happened over the course of about 6 months. Here I am 5 years and many, many tanks later, high tech...low tech doesn't matter, I still add pressurized CO2. It may not have been necessary for every scape, but I like the results I get.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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I started rather simple too, then one day thought, hmmm I think I'll try DIY CO2. It worked pretty good, but algae problems developed with inconsistent CO2 levels and I found myself buying all the CO2 equipment. All this happened over the course of about 6 months. Here I am 5 years and many, many tanks later, high tech...low tech doesn't matter, I still add pressurized CO2. It may not have been necessary for every scape, but I like the results I get.
I agree that once you go pressurized its very difficult to go without. I have a Anubias only tank and still inject C02, as a result i get 2 new leaves every 7-10 .... without C02 id be lucky to get 2 new leaves in 7-10 weeks lol
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:11 AM   #7
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I'm really going for a full moss carpet and some Ryo (?) stones covered in moss as well as some drift wood. Maybe a few plants but not sure which ones. Going for an asian mountain theme. Off topic, what is a good moss to get to carpet a tank with?
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:28 AM   #8
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I'm really going for a full moss carpet and some Ryo (?) stones covered in moss as well as some drift wood. Maybe a few plants but not sure which ones. Going for an asian mountain theme. Off topic, what is a good moss to get to carpet a tank with?
Xmas moss is easy to work with.
I refer to it as "that which will not die."

Moss is very underdemanding, as long as you have decent CO2.
Most moss and plants prefer CO2 gas over the Glut liquid CO2 additives more than vascular/traecheophyte plants.

But all plants prefer CO2.

So adding it will increase growth and success growing any species/combination and ability to "garden".

If you plan on $$$ shrimp tanks, then perhaps a non CO2/glut approach is best however.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:31 AM   #9
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Yes I plan on getting shrimp, like a lot of them. Will they produce enough co2?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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The shrimp will produce very nearly zero CO2, but if you add CO2, with shrimp, it can inhibit their reproducing. I think most people who have more than red cherry shrimp do without CO2 for that reason. The Cherry shrimp are so rugged I don't know if anything actually inhibits their reproduction. When I had them, with CO2, and quite a bit of CO2, they still reproduced rapidly.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:24 AM   #11
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photosynthesis, photosythesis, photocynthesis.... CO2
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:29 AM   #12
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Yes I plan on getting shrimp, like a lot of them. Will they produce enough co2?
Moss will grow in non CO2/non glut tanks, but slowly. You'll also need to low KH water for the shrimp and the moss to both do well.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:15 AM   #13
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Not a shrimp keeper so I can't comment there. I've never used pressurized co2. It's just a bag of worms I've never been ready to open. That being said, if you are able to really understand how it works with fertilizers and light and are ready to perform the balancing act then go for it. Look at the low tech forum in the big thread toward the top dedicated to lush tanks without co2. It can be done. But it will limit the plants you keep. It's up to your budget and what stock you want. You'll find out real quick what you can keep at your skill level. I've tried some species that are strictly co2 necessary advanced species thinking "oh I'm sure they'll just grow a little slower"...nope. Some stuff just will not be able to survive in our tanks without pressurized co2 and high light. That's the bottom line.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:20 AM   #14
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I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to what's already been mentioned but regardless of low or high tech, CO2 helps. Unlike light, CO2 doesn't drive/push other requirements. That said, low light can certainly look good but you'll more often find plants (and mosses) to be more stringy and grow more haphazardly. With medium-high light and CO2 (and ferting of course), you'll likely get more compact growth. Having said that, low tech may limit plant selection slightly.

You'll see some people hit a really nice sweet spot with low tech tanks but even these are pushing the low-light/medium-light line (measured in PARs not watts/gallon).
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #15
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I have had great results without injecting CO2. Growth is slower but depending on your plant choice, it isn't always all that slow. As many have said, all plants will benefit from CO2.

The big thing I would take into account is if you are fairly set on adding it later. It isn't likely a high cost on a 2.5 gallon, if you used a CFL bulb it would be the cost of a bulb. But on larger tanks, it often means buying a light twice and that is usually the most expensive part of a high end planted tank. Most people will want to upgrade the light when the upgrade to CO2, making it just that much more expensive of an endeavor. In your case, the cost will likely be a lot more minimal so I wouldn't worry as much.
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