Confused about the non Co2 method - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Confused about the non Co2 method

I have been reading a lot about the non CO2 method for low tech tanks. Are you supposed to do water changes at all? Some people say once a month while others say not at all. Also I see you are supposed to dose once every week or two. My tank is a 125 gallon so how do i figure out how much of KH2PO4, KNO3 and CSM+B to start out with?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 03:27 AM
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Hi Mitch,
Some people say they don't change their water but we all wonder what there tanks are really like.
When water evaporates the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) becomes a higher percentage. If there is something a little bad in the water in your area (mine has a higher percentage of arsenic) then that gets concentrated. If you just add more water it only concentrates in a higher percentage. So that is one reason that we change between 20 to 50 percent per week.

Plants use up nutrients in the water. When they are gone, the plants look sad. They drop their lower leaves, turn yellow or get spots and slowly die. The new water you put in when you change the water has some nutrients for the plants (also depending on where you live) but not all. And so we add nutrients to the water.

Nutrients that are not in our tap water are potassium and some others. Hopefully someone smart will chime in on this, but I bet you can find it if you research the fertilizer forum.

I have low tech tanks with high lights, this also causes a problem with not enough carbon (CO2, carbon dioxide) in the tank. Many people add Seachem Excell to their tanks to offset this.

I'm no expert but I'm sure I will be corrected on here. My personal advise is to change 30% of your water once a week and use ferts in half dose of what they recommend on the package. A 125 gallon tank is a great stable and solid amount of water. You might have to keep a notebook and not change too many perimeters at once to nail your needs. Got any pictures?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 05:01 AM
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If you read up on the non co2 method as stated by Tom barr, it will explain everything in detail.
One of the big details he explains is about less frequent water changes. Because you will be dosing significantly less, there will be less build up of nutrients. So, instead of doing water changes once a week you would aim for about once a month. Doing so will keep your co2 more consistent. Every time you change your water you introduce new water that is at a much higher level of co2, causing a fluctuation.
Co2 fluctuations = algae.
In a co2 injected system the change would be much less than the non co2 so it wouldn't matter much. Though, all of this goes out the window if you have to much light. Anyways, hope it all works out. Good luck!





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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 11:41 AM
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Hello mit...

If you keep low to moderate light plants, you don't have to use commercial fertilizers. These plants are naturally slow growing and if you have a reasonable number of fish in the tank and feed them a balance diet, they'll provide the nutrients the plants need. Set up and maintain a good water change routine to maintain good trace element levels and the plants will do well. Lighting is simple too. Just pick up a 48 inch, four bulb fixture from the hardware store and use 32 watt, T8, 6500K bulbs.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 03:48 PM
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That can work in some cases, the only problem I see with it is there are to many variables. Every fish food is different and depending on your fish load and how much you feed them can have vastly different levels of nutrients. Not only that but relying on fish food and water changes for every nutrient is almost sure to cause strong limitations in one area or another. It can work, I'm not saying it cant. I just won't ever rely on fish food and tap water to feed my plants.
http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...on-co2-methods
This article should help clear things up for the OP.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 04:20 PM
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I was dosing in my low light tank. It had much better growth with fertilisation. You do not have to do it though, there are plenty of low light tanks without ferts, where plant's nutrients come from fishes excrements. I do agree with what Timmy says however.

If i do another low light tank without co2 and without liquid carbon i will certainly dose, it is just a personal choice. Because i find it simple and dry ferts are cheap. I would just use the EI method but cut 1/3 even 1/4.

Michel.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 04:58 PM
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I dose nothing at all and do a weekly 30-50% water change. My vals have grown a good 8"+ in two weeks. People tend to over complicate 'low tech'.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch303 View Post
I have been reading a lot about the non CO2 method for low tech tanks. Are you supposed to do water changes at all? Some people say once a month while others say not at all. Also I see you are supposed to dose once every week or two. My tank is a 125 gallon so how do i figure out how much of KH2PO4, KNO3 and CSM+B to start out with?
Here is the most important thing to remember in this hobby. Everyone else is not you!

Do you want to change water? Do you want crazy growth rates? Do you want exotic plants? Do you...?

My point is, what is YOUR goal. I like high tech and pushing the envelope. That's me not you, Joe or Sally.
So what type of tank are you looking for? How much effort do you want to put into it? With those answers you will probably get much better advise than choosing method A B or C. The hobby is far greater than choosing a single method and following "the rules".
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
Here is the most important thing to remember in this hobby. Everyone else is not you!

Do you want to change water? Do you want crazy growth rates? Do you want exotic plants? Do you...?

My point is, what is YOUR goal. I like high tech and pushing the envelope. That's me not you, Joe or Sally.
So what type of tank are you looking for? How much effort do you want to put into it? With those answers you will probably get much better advise than choosing method A B or C. The hobby is far greater than choosing a single method and following "the rules".
I agree! I started using low light because I got pretty well burned out from fighting algae all the time, a never ending process for me. I knew I would not stick to a rigid cleaning schedule with weekly thorough cleaning. So, low light was ideal for me. But, then I tried DIY CO2 with low light, and ran into more algae problems. That led me to use Excel with low light. As a result the plants grew faster, but still not fast, and looked better. So I added EI dosing, at about 1/3 of the recommended amounts, plus Excel, and got even better plant growth. When I doubled the Excel to 2 ml per 10 gallons of tank water I hit my sweet spot! Nice slow, but noticeable plant growth, good looking plants, and minimal maintenance. I now change 40-60% of the tank water about every 2 weeks, and clean the glass when I do it, plus do whatever minor plant trimming I need. I still have low light, but not conventional low light.

Hoppy
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:59 AM
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What really fascinates me about this hobby is if I followed Hoppy's EXACT setup with the exact same plants and same light, my results could very well be different as the CA water is likely much different than the IA water.
As Zorfox was implying, do YOU. Then, figure out how to do you better! Learn from others and then apply that knowledge to what you are doing. In my case, I do PPS Pro. Things looked ok, but learned something from others and ended up changing one of the fert quantities. Now things are better.


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