To C02 or not to C02 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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To C02 or not to C02

Need some advice here,
This is my first post so I hope I'm not missing anything. I'll start by giving you info about my setup:
10g tall tank
25% weekly water changes using combination of RO and well water (our water is extremely hard)
2 x 13W CFL's (lights on 4 hours in morning with 4 hrs off, 4 hours on in afternoon, 12 hrs off)
Penn Plax 300 internal canister filter
Small air stone which I run when lights are off
Once weekly dose of Flourish Excel
One to two times weekly dose of Flourish Comprehensive
Seachems root tabs in Flourite Black substrate
mostly low light plants with two medium light plants: (heavily planted)
3 x Anubias
Bacopa
Ludwigia Palustris
Nymphoides hydrophylla
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Pogostemon Erectus
Dwarf chain sword
Vallisneria
Staurogyne Repens
Cryptocoryne Lutea
Stocked with:
2 Otto's
10 Neon tetras
5 RCS
PH 7.6
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 5ppm
KH 5
GH 8

Sorry about the long winded load of information. Everyone seems happy and healthy, no major problems with algae (just a tiny amount of black spot). I am questioning wether dosing Excel is making any difference (if anything is taking its toll on my invertebrates). Ive also read it is not so user safe and its more of an algaecide than a C02 equivilant. So based on the amount of light and ferts I am using should I be supplementing C02? If so, any suggestions on brands that are great for nano tanks?

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:14 AM
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I would leave it low tech low light personally.

You *could* do co2 but really those plants will do fine without.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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I'm always a little confused about what the definition of "low tech" is, does that simply mean low light? no C02? Are my lights not almost medium light output at 2.6w/g? Am I still low tech if I'm using ferts?

thanks for the response!!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 07:38 PM
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Low tech. No CO2.

Yes your lights seem to be in the medium range. Your S. Repens will grow closer to the ground, but your anubias may get algae covered if it's in direct light.

If you wanted to go co2, definitely go with a pressurized sytem.

Start with your injection slowly.. your fauna will die off quickly if you overdo it

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 09:49 PM
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I guess the question to ask is "what do want from this tank"

Adding CO2 is great, but to add just to add may create more headache.

Fluctuations can cause BBA to grow and that is one tough sucker to eradicate.

I used to run pressurized on a 90 gallon with swords, crypts, aponogeton, and some anubias and it was very frustrating. The swords would grow great but the anubias would grow algae.

It's definitely possible to add CO2 to what you have but if you're happy with the growth rate and overall health of your tank, I would leave it as-is.

But if you decide to go CO2, this board is the place to go.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I would ideally prefer to keep it sans C02 I don't think I have the time to open up that can of worms at the moment. However, I have just recently planted the Hydrocotyle tripartite and the Pogostemon Erectus. Ive learnt after the fact that I probably won't have much success with these plants without C02. I'm also wondering if I have enough light. My S Repens are actually doing great and carpeting well.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 10:59 PM
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Maybe you need to start up another tank. One for CO2, one without

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:06 PM
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For me low tech was 10 times the hassle. Even with a leaking regulator I get about 2 months running 2 75 gallon tanks. My plants grow amazingly. I can experiment with more demanding plants and mosses. As far as C02 I hooked up the regulator, adjusted the BPS and plugged the solenoid into a timer. Done... change the tank every couple of months... I'll get around to tightening the loose fitting at some point, but for now I'm cool spending $30 every couple of months. I dose dry ferts macro's twice a week and micro's twice a week. After having C02 it pains me to struggle with my shrimp / breeding tanks that do not have C02. Small bits of algae here and there.. some plants make it, some dont... and it takes 10 times as long for things to fill in and even take hold like ferns and mosses. It's like watching grass grow in slow motion. C02 isn't hard. DIY CO2 isn't hard. Mix it up and change it out every 14 days. It's so much more enjoyable and rewarding.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!! Any advice on setups that would work well on a 10g?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:27 PM
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I have a 10gallon shrimp tank with guppy grass and Java Fern windelov.

Also have a 13w compact flourescent light (spiral kind) directly on the top. 12 hours a day. Water change maybe every two weeks. ( Don't judge lol)

I have ZERO algae and my plants grow nicely. No co2 no ferts. No shrimp die-offs.

Balance


And I'm happy with my tank. But I also only put in what I knew would flourish. If I had more demanding plants I might have needed to add CO2 or ferts.





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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:28 PM
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If you were to do CO2, there are so many ways to introduce.

Bubble ladder
Diffuser
Inverted bell


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Theaussiegirl View Post
Thanks for the responses!! Any advice on setups that would work well on a 10g?
If you want to do it cheap Amazon sells a kit that is very nice for about $14. You'll need 2 2 liter bottles and a little Fluval diffuser or you can use a Hagen Elite Mini filter. Check out the DIY recipe... I think 2 cups of sugar, 1 tsp yeast, 1/4 tsp baking soda and that's it. Dump and refill the bottles every 12 to 14 days. Personally I can tell you that this simple setup on a 10 gallon is very effective.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 06:10 AM
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If your plants are fine, then you don't need it. If you want to grow a carpet, and you don't want to wait months for it to cover, or if your plants aren't doing very well then yes, get CO2. I'd lower my CO2 when my plants have grown to where I want them, so that I don't have to trim them as much. Remember that with CO2, you'd need more fertilizers too, depending on how strong your light is.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dude1 View Post
If you want to do it cheap Amazon sells a kit that is very nice for about $14. You'll need 2 2 liter bottles and a little Fluval diffuser or you can use a Hagen Elite Mini filter. Check out the DIY recipe... I think 2 cups of sugar, 1 tsp yeast, 1/4 tsp baking soda and that's it. Dump and refill the bottles every 12 to 14 days. Personally I can tell you that this simple setup on a 10 gallon is very effective.
I like the idea of DIY but I wonder if I would have the space around my tank for that. Plus I have read about bottles exploding?? which concerns me a little.
Any ideas on set ups that are easy on the eye and pocket? If such a thing exists. Was the $14 kit you referred to on Amazon a DIY set up?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 04:33 PM
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The other drawback from DIY CO2 is the inconsistency.

It will start out with strong production, then after a few days it will taper down as the yeast consumes the sugar.

For best results, consistent levels are key.

You will have to keep changing out the mixture every 2 weeks or so. Or sooner. Depends on your recipe/bottle size/how much leakage from your system.. For me, when I did DIY, this got tiresome.

Never had a bottle explode. The tubing was pressed through a hole in the lid so if pressure did get that high, it would leak out the connection before the bottle would explode.

I finally bit the bullet and got a bottle and regulator and it was so much easier.

Try out the DIY. Maybe you will like it. Making your own is like a little science project.

Heck, I ran 3 2l bottles.on my 90g before I went to pressurized lol.

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