Stopping pressurized co2 in an established tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Stopping pressurized co2 in an established tank

So - I always find lots of information on starting up a pressurized co2 system in a new or established tank..

But can you stop using co2 in an established tank??

Right now I am pumping in co2 to my planted tank to get it going and make everything happy happy happy (also dosing with some ferts and root tabs)... but down the road, if I decide to stop using co2 what will happen to my plants if I just take it out??

will my plants melt back and/or die? will they stay in the same state or just slow down growth?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:55 AM
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In my experience, it depends on how hard you are driving the plants with light.

I drive mine pretty hard. If I run out of CO2 for only a few days, all manor of algae and problems occur.

Remove the CO2, you are dealing with a new balance and reality. You would really need to adjust ferts, light, and CO2 all at the same time.
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Last edited by Greggz; 06-06-2017 at 02:57 AM. Reason: typo
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:59 AM
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It depends on the plant species in use. Some almost require CO2 for good health. Other are more tolerant. Generally I'd say you'll get better results with CO2. I didn't use CO2 im my planted tanks for years. Once I tried it I got far better results. It made a believer out of me. I don't think I'd go back unless I had to.

If I was going to quite using CO2, I'd reduce it slowly over a period of time. I'd keep an eye on things and if I had a problem, I'd go back to using it.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:27 AM
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If I had to stop CO2, I would start with a couple of MAJOR water changes to completely reset all of your fert levels. Then, I would reduce your lighting to low tech levels. After both of these are done, give the tank a few weeks to settle in, then remove the CO2. What you don't want is a situation where CO2 is your growth limiting factor. That's how algae wins.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:31 AM
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As long as you cut back the ferts and lowered light all at same time you would be fine. You really need to do all at once though. If you leave high light on then you would get tons of algae.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have any high-maintenance plants, mostly low/medium light easy growers... Anubias, java fern, crypt and some mosses. ( I likely don't even need the Co2 to be honest)

I'm seeing some nice growth so far, but when everything is grown in and looking lovely, I'd like to remove the co2 to put it on another smaller tank. I would just hate to get everything grown in, only to have it all die off without the Co2

As for my lighting, I'm running 2 T5 HO grow bulbs at 54w each and 6400k, as well as 2 T8 6500k bulbs at 30 something watts each - this is on a 90 gallon tank, so I think this would be classed as medium light.


as far as algae goes - I'm ok with some so my Amano shrimp have something to munch on!
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