Co2.. Plant killers? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Co2.. Plant killers?

Hey guys. I have been running pressurized co2 in my planted tank, with high light and eco complete. I only had plants, such as: Dwarf sag, jungle val, and a sword plant, but even after 3 months of no co2, the plants failed to adjust, and some of them died. Is there any way for the plants to adjust and thrive again? They grew very well even before I used co2, but it almost seems as if they have become dependent upon the co2. Thank you
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 03:54 PM
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Plants do become dependent on CO2. They adjust their production of enzymes, etc. to match the availability of CO2. When you shut down the CO2 supply they have to take a break and adjust to live without the CO2. That may require the plant to "sacrifice" much of their leaves to get back to a size the tank can now support. This is a crude way to characterize what it takes for plants to adjust to the new conditions, but it does suggest that if you do a pruning, removing all of the not so healthy leaves and reduce the size of the plant, it might make it easier for it to recover with less dead plant debris being generated.

Of even greater importance is to reduce the intensity of the lighting you are using, so the plants are no longer being driven to grow very fast. Ideally the lighting is what limits or defines the growth rate of the plants, not the supply of any of the nutrients. You usually get healthier plants that way.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 04:32 PM
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Agree with Hoppy but would like to add that plants adapt to changing conditions pretty fast, they have too as they do not have legs to move to a better location. In 3 months the plants should have adapted.

The issue was most likely the demand for CO2 did not match the input into the system, thus plants resorted to recycle old leaves for energy. When you go from high intensity CO2+light setups to no CO2 it is vital that you reduce the CO2 demand by:
- lower light intensity and duration
- reduce plant biomass
- limitation of plant growth using nutrient limitation , for example low PO4 levels ( as a last resort)

Using this system I was able to turn the cube in my journal to a no CO2 shrimp farm with no major algae problems or plant losses. I should post an update of the exact things I have done. I even have HC, S. repens and Myriophyllum tuberculatum growing in it.

With the plants you listed, you should be ok as long as you provide less light. Some KH would also come in handy ...Did you continue to dose any fertilizers after you stopped the CO2? Is the substrate nutrient rich ?

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