CO2 drawbacks? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 drawbacks?

Is there any reason not to inject CO2 to a planted tank (assuming non-leathal levels)?

I've heard of excess (and insufficient) light and excess (and insufficient) nutrients causing algae but not excess CO2. I get that the big three must all be balanced but I've only read of algae being linked to a lack of CO2 (either through low concentrations or poor circulation). It seems to me that as long as the lighting is sufficient for even the smallest rate of plant growth, adding CO2 will increase the plants ability to use the available light and make the most of the available nutrients, and consequently out-compete algae.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:15 AM
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sounds about right... The out competing algae may play some role but it's not the whole story. Healthy plants will create an environment that'll inhibit algae blooms like blocking out excess light, soaking up any ammonia floating around.. Plants may release chemicals to inhibit algae too but that's minor as well.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:21 AM
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Cost

Feeling adventurous? Maybe check out my current
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 02:57 PM
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Forgetting about cost, which is a one time event, since CO2 itself is cheap, the only disadvantage to CO2 is complexity. The more things you add to a planted tank system the more complex it becomes. CO2 is one more thing to watch, monitor, maintain, adjust, etc. If you are a casual aquatic gardener, looking primarily to enjoy the appearance of your tank, go with low light and no CO2. That restricts your plant choices, but still can leave you with a beautiful aquarium.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 06:24 PM
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i agree w/hoppy. I got rid of my saltwater coral tank because it became work insead of pleasure. now im starting to get too many fw tanks and co2 is just one more chore to maintain a beautiful tank.

My 65g jungle October rain
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:31 PM
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Adding CO2 means you will start to have thoughts about how you can use more light.
Then you end up buying some super high powered light fixture, and find out you aren't adding enough CO2 to keep up. Leading to a closet full of CO2 diffusion devices, circulation pumps, power heads, tubing, etc...

Seriously though, adding CO2 to any tank will be beneficial to the plants for exactly the reasons you mention.

However, inconsistent CO2, such as from a DIY bottle providing an initial burst for a few days and petering out, can be much worse than no CO2 at all. It will confuse the plants, and they will be constantly trying to adapt to changing conditions. It leads to sick plants and algae.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:55 PM
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I got pressurized co2 and never looked back. I love how I dont get PH swings lilke with diy. I dont get as much algae as I did before, and if I do its minimal and I can catch it easy.

I think you can control yourself if you control the bubble rate so that you dont buy an expensive light fixture.

No more bottles, no more yeast, no more trying to get a reaction. Pressurized co2 is probably the best thing I done. After it is setup and dialed in I only look at it once a week to see the pressure.


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Acula View Post
Cost
I've started using DIY CO2 so cost's not a concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
If you are a casual aquatic gardener, looking primarily to enjoy the appearance of your tank, go with low light and no CO2. That restricts your plant choices, but still can leave you with a beautiful aquarium.
I started off like this but thought it was leading to my algae issues. In retrospect I was probably just suffering from new tank syndrome and it would have sorted itself with time. However the increase in plant growth and colour since adding the CO2 has definately been worth it. My R. Rotundifolia looks like a different plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minsc View Post
inconsistent CO2, such as from a DIY bottle providing an initial burst for a few days and petering out, can be much worse than no CO2 at all.
I figured using two 2L bottles with a jello mix and changing them out before they get too depleted would help keep it consistant and cheap. I manage to average around 30 ppm changing one bottle every two weeks (they last for a month each). Together I get a max of just over 30 ppm and a min of over 20 ppm just before I change a bottle. Hopefully this isn't too much of an inconsistancy. I have noticed some BBA very slowly increasing but it's not going too fast to control with a little spot treating with H2O2.

Luckily I don't have any extra money to spend on tanks and equipment so that should help with any urges to increase the lighting.

Thanks for the replies.
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