5.5 Gallon CO2 Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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5.5 Gallon CO2 Questions

I've got a 5.5 gallon tank that I gave my Mom. It's got one of those hoods on it that uses the screw-in style bulbs. It has a plant light in it that was ordered from Foster & Smith, I think it's suppose to be a 10w piece? It has regular gravel in it and a few fish.

I'm trying to keep live plants in this tank, which it actually seems to be doing well. There is a weekly water changed done on the tank, every week by my Mom. I've got her lightly dosing ferts using the PMDD method and using PMDD pre-mix. I believe she's doing 12 hour light cycles also. I've tested the water for her and everything seems fine except the PH is about 8.

My question is about doing DIY CO2 on this tank. The plants seem to be growing but it's very slowly and I mean slowly. I'm wondering if maybe they need a little more, especially if that bulb is really 10w with a claim of 50 watts of light output. Is there a way to mix up DIY CO2 that puts out smaller amounts of CO2 that won't harm the fish but enhance the plant growth on this tank? Or is CO2 just not needed and would Excel be a better choice?

She said she's not really had any plants to die and that everything I've given her has lived, which is more than I can say for myself and my tank. I don't want to get too much for her to keep up with...I want it to be fairly simple but she wants to see these plants grow. She plans to get a little bigger tank in the coming months and I think she's wanting to have a ready supply of plants to move into her new tank.

Any suggestions on things to do that will help increase the growth of the plants in this tank?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 08:26 PM
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I'm by no means an expert, but maybe I can share based on my own experiences.

As long as you can shut off the C02 at night, the fish should be alright. I've always used pressurized C02 myself. It's more expensive up front but far less maintenance in the long run, and you can put the thing on a timer which is great. You also mentioned that your mom may be upgrading to a larger tank sooner or later, so it's something to keep in mind. It would be nice to have something that will scale with the size of the tank she gets.

If you go the DIY route, you could find a way to stop the flow of C02 in the evenings. There's so many other people around who have done DIY that I'm sure someone can help with that part. Hopefully someone will add to this more than I could.

Even with C02, it seems that with only 10 watts over the tank, light will be your most limiting factor. I would defintely check into what type of light you've got. Is it a compact fluorescent? Lower lighting isn't bad at all, the tanks can be really nice, but things grow a bit slower even with C02 and Excel.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well it's one of the screw-ins you find at Foster & Smith. I believe it says it's 10 watts of light but it says it puts out the same wattage as a 50 watt bulb. I seriously doubt that though...it's not that bright.

Personally, I'd go pressurized too but she's not going to want to spring for that and get that involved right yet, maybe never. I know DIY would be easy to keep going for her and I know it would work to an extent.

She'd probably just unhook it at night, I leave mine running all the time and never had a problem. Shortly I plan to scrap my DIY CO2 and go pressurized cause you just can't beat it in my opinion. I was just wondering if it were worth the time/trouble to put on this small a tank without harming the fish. I've not decided fully yet if it even needs to be an option right now...I'm still waiting to see exactly how they turn out (the plants).
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkchop View Post
I was just wondering if it were worth the time/trouble to put on this small a tank without harming the fish. I've not decided fully yet if it even needs to be an option right now...I'm still waiting to see exactly how they turn out (the plants).
Hey, if nothing else it's pretty satisfying to get it set up and working properly, and maintenance is fairly simple. It's good for the plants and won't hurt the fish as long as it's done right. I'd go for it!


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