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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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co2 necessary?

Is the addition of co2 necessary in a heavily stocked (with fish) planted tank or would the abundance of fish provide enought co2? This would be in a low to medium lit tank with proper plants for that enviroment. Is any extra co2 even necessary in anything but a high lighting enviroment?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 06:58 PM
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This is a game of balance in many ways. Whether you need CO2 depends on lots of variables. Many of those variables are hard to describe accurately. Lighting, fish and plant amounts as well as types are all hard to define. Lots of fish will make for larger amounts of ferts, combine that with lots of light and you will likely get lots of algae. How much algae is too much for you? Lots of ferts and light combined with CO2 will give lots of plant growth but it all takes a lot of balance among the three to get what you want from your tank. The fish produced CO2 will likely not be enough by itself. One leg on the stool is likely to be short!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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I currently have a 26 gallon bowfront planted with some anubias, cryptos, swords, lobelia cardinalis, and Wisteria. The plants are all doing well (some better than others) with limited algae growth (some green spot on the hardscape and which is directly under the light). I am dosing Flourish twice a week and I was (until yesterday) dosing Excel every morning. I am running four 14 watt 6700 t5 NO bulbs plus a single bright LED (white during the day and blue part of the night). I am wondering if I need to use the Excel at all....I have been reading on various forums that liquid co2 doesn't do much and I should be getting enough co2 via the fish?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 08:31 PM
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Is CO2 Necessary?

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Is the addition of co2 necessary in a heavily stocked (with fish) planted tank or would the abundance of fish provide enought co2? This would be in a low to medium lit tank with proper plants for that enviroment. Is any extra co2 even necessary in anything but a high lighting enviroment?
Hello W...

You've just about answered your own question. Low to moderate light plants are naturally slow growers, so if you have sufficient lighting for these plants, I don't think you can go wrong with nothing but the ferts the fish produce.

You could add a little extra if you like. I have the standard low to moderate light, planted tanks and dose a little liquid a couple of times a week when I top off my tanks.

My plants grow slowly, but that's natural for them and they're healthy. If you have a similar set up, I don't think you need to go to the added expense of CO2.

B

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 08:41 PM
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To my understanding fish do not provide enough CO2. But of course it's different for low light setups. Forgot to add that. Too many variables.

With your current lighting I think you are right on the edge of needing some sort of carbon source. A way to know if you are lacking it is if BBA starts to pop up. Monitor plant growth or any other type of algae.

But someone with better lighting experience should answer that question.

GSA causes are low phosphates and too much light.

Good luck

Last edited by AlyeskaGirl; 10-26-2012 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 02:08 AM
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How much light you have depends on what kind of reflectors you have and how good the ballasts are. Is this a manufactured light? Made by whom? Or is it a DIY light?

Fish will never supply enough CO2 to be significant. Most of the CO2 in a tank without CO2 injection comes from the atmosphere, with some coming from decomposition in the substrate. For low light tanks that is all you have to have, but for any light level, more CO2 always helps the plants to grow better and faster.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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How much light you have depends on what kind of reflectors you have and how good the ballasts are. Is this a manufactured light? Made by whom? Or is it a DIY light?

Fish will never supply enough CO2 to be significant. Most of the CO2 in a tank without CO2 injection comes from the atmosphere, with some coming from decomposition in the substrate. For low light tanks that is all you have to have, but for any light level, more CO2 always helps the plants to grow better and faster.
The 4 strip lights are manufactured lights http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo.

The LED is also manufactured.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

These are all built into a custom canopy (inside painted high gloss white).
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 12:26 PM
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Do You Need CO2?

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Is the addition of co2 necessary in a heavily stocked (with fish) planted tank or would the abundance of fish provide enought co2? This would be in a low to medium lit tank with proper plants for that enviroment. Is any extra co2 even necessary in anything but a high lighting enviroment?
Hello again W...

Some plant keepers believe you need CO2 to keep healthy plants and that may be entirely true for the more demanading ones. I keep low to moderate light tanks and have never used CO2. My plants grow fine. If you can get your lighting to close to 1.5 watts per gallon of tank volume and have a reasonable fish load, your plants will grow fine. You simply need a balance of light and food. To get to that balance, you may need to use a little commercial fert. I use a little liquid twice a week.

Less demanding plants only require a reasonable light source and a little food. The food comes from the fish. So, you feed them a balanced diet. My fish prefer a variety of frozen food. The air also provides CO2 at a level that's enough for less demanding plants.

B

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 03:08 PM
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It sounds like you are near where you want to be. In your situation, Rather than CO2 which can be lots of problems in itself, I would maybe look at playing with the lights a bit. If algae is bugging you, cutting the time the lights are on is often easy. Raising them or adjusting the way the light gets to the tank can be tried. Let's face it? There is never really a time when we don't need to look at a tank and judge what it is doing.

I try to settle somewhere in the middle between what I might want from the tank and what amount of work and worry I want to do to achieve that goal. My tanks are meant to provide me with enjoyable distraction. If they are a source of more worry than fun, I will stop.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the suggestions.....the tank seems to be running "ok". A few of the plants (such as the Wisteria and lobelia carinalis) are bright green and look healthy while others (crypt, anubias, swords) have pin holes and browning leaves. None of the plants are in danger of dieing.....I guess I just expected them to all look as healthy as the Wisteria. I realize they all have different light and nutrient requirements which is probably where my issues lie.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 05:01 AM
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You should have around 20-30 micromols of PAR from the two 2 bulb T5NO lights, which is low light. (The LED light doesn't provide enough light to bother with) You don't need CO2, but CO2 is very good for plant growth even at low light, and well worth the effort. You could use DIY CO2 on that size tank very effectively.

Hoppy
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I am not familiar with the phrase "20-30 micromols of PAR"...I will need to google I am currently at 2.15 watts per gallon...I thought that translated to at least medium lighting? Would I be better off replacing one of the T5NO with a T5HO fixture? By doing that would I then require CO2 (which I want to avoid)?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 07:04 PM
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