Light or co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Light or co2?

My 20 long has been up and running for about a week now. I have a T8 aqueon bulb that Im running. At this point, would it be more advisable to upgrade my light (perhaprs to a Finnex) or add co2 to my tank? I'll try to get a pic up when I get home...

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 04:52 AM
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Always Co2. As I was taught Co2 is the gas, light is the pedal. However, once you get Co2 fertilizing EI method or pps pro is nessary.

Don't complicate things, simplify them!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Since I'm fairly new, what are those methods??
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:13 PM
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Check out NilocG.com or greenleafaquariums.com for better details. I personally use NilocG liquid dosing because all I need to do is one pump per 10g to EI dose. EI dosing is basically going heavy on every nutrient you may need and doing a large water change every week to bring it back to equilibrium. PPS pro is a leaner fertilizing schedule. Never done it so I can't say much more other that I think EI method is more popular.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 05:11 PM
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You probably have between 40 and 50 PAR light intensity at the substrate. That is about where you need CO2 to get good healthy growing plants, without serious algae issues. An "upgrade" in lighting would make it essential that you have pressurized CO2. So, I would add CO2 now, rather than increase the lighting. There aren't a lot of plants that won't grow with your current lighting, if you do use CO2.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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You probably have between 40 and 50 PAR light intensity at the substrate. That is about where you need CO2 to get good healthy growing plants, without serious algae issues. An "upgrade" in lighting would make it essential that you have pressurized CO2. So, I would add CO2 now, rather than increase the lighting. There aren't a lot of plants that won't grow with your current lighting, if you do use CO2.


nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 10:11 PM
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nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
If money is an issue look at the Aquatek mini regulator. Its made for use with a Co2 Paintball tank. Its the less expensive way to go. If the sky is the limit go with Green Leaf Aquariums "GLA" regs for regular CGA 320 threads. Make sure that whichever regulator you choose you get one with, or add, a solenoid to be able to run it on a timer. Otherwise you will be turning your Co2 on and off everyday at the same time.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by highbl00d View Post
nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
Spend the money to get a good regulator and needle valve. I started with a cheap reg and needle valve. Only took about a month before i realized going cheap on the reg was a bad idea


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the input guys. I actually did consider the aquatek since I found it online... still kinda researching. I def dont wanna skimp on something to only find out it'll cost more to replace it later tho...

glad I found this place... Im learning quick !
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 01:04 AM
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I would go with Co2 for the time being, but you would eventually want to upgrade your lighting as well. Best of Luck!
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 01:57 AM
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I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by FreshwaterAdvice View Post
I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
High light and no Co2 will grow a nice algae farm. Along with that high light with only micro nutrients and root tabs and plants with unbalanced nutrients will only exacerbate this.

Thats just my 2cents and I'm no expert.

I recommend

Co2
EI or PPS PRO
Lights last only because they are not as important as the rest since you already have ok lighting with a T8

Don't complicate things, simplify them!
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshwaterAdvice View Post
I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
I assume you meant to include flourish excel here.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mik778866 View Post
I assume you meant to include flourish excel here.
My apologies.

Flourish is for dosing your aquarium.

Flourish Excel is basically a replacement for CO2, that is organic carbon for aquarium plants.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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so I came across a good deal on a coralife T5ho light. Couldn't really pass it up... I plan to order a regulator (with solenoid) off the internet for just under $100, but I was told it would decent enough to not crap out on me. I think it's aquatek. since it'll be a while till I get my co2 up, Im guessing I could go with flourish excel for the time being?
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