How often should I dose with med-high and CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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How often should I dose with med-high and CO2

EDIT TITLE - How often should I dose ferts with med-high lights and injected C02? (sorry my brain isn't working well today)

I've been running that 16 gallon rimless tank now for a week. It has various anubius and buce, 1 java fern, a few crypt crypt wendtii green geko, and the whole right side eleocharis acicularisis. I'm doing a 50% water change today (I'm sick with a cold/flu/bronchitis crud). I have a Fluval Nano light with 9 hours based off of Bentley Pascoe's planted settup. The CO2 drop checker is light green - just turning to almost yellow and I'm dosing Aquarium Co-Op Simple Green. The tank has one betta and we feed him just enough one time per day.

How often should I dose? Any adjustments to CO2 or light? Thanks!

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Last edited by evil8; 02-14-2020 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Clarify title
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 02:15 PM
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Hi, and first of all I hope that you feel better soon! As for Easy Carbo, Excel and so forth, they don't truly raise CO2 levels. I once dumped about 8 ounces in my quarantine tank and the drop checker never budged. It's complicated but just do a site search for "glutaraldehyde" and there are plenty of debates on what it and does and doesn't do. Long and short of it is, it's an algaecide and sterilizing agent that can have some benefit for some plants though users have seen a few types (especially Val and thin walled plants) die from its abrupt use. But others report using it on Vals and sensitive plants after an acclimation period of low dosing. One of those subjects where some people love it, others loathe it, and some people even feel strongly enough to have heated debates about it. Where I come down on it is, I keep it on hand for a few algae issues and use it out of the aquarium (to clean hardscape, etc) more than inside these days. I won't use it on shrimp, which are mostly what I have in my own these days.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, and first of all I hope that you feel better soon! As for Easy Carbo, Excel and so forth, they don't truly raise CO2 levels. I once dumped about 8 ounces in my quarantine tank and the drop checker never budged. It's complicated but just do a site search for "glutaraldehyde" and there are plenty of debates on what it and does and doesn't do. Long and short of it is, it's an algaecide and sterilizing agent that can have some benefit for some plants though users have seen a few types (especially Val and thin walled plants) die from its abrupt use. But others report using it on Vals and sensitive plants after an acclimation period of low dosing. One of those subjects where some people love it, others loathe it, and some people even feel strongly enough to have heated debates about it. Where I come down on it is, I keep it on hand for a few algae issues and use it out of the aquarium (to clean hardscape, etc) more than inside these days. I won't use it on shrimp, which are mostly what I have in my own these days.
Thanks. I'll probably live. LOL! I'm using injected CO2. Something close to 2 bubbles per second, but I'm measuring by the drop checker color. This is the 3rd time I've tried the dwarf hair grass (though the first time with CO2) and I'm hoping I can get it carpeting on that right side.

Speaking of shrimp - do you think I can put 4 ammanos in with my betta? I want to break down the 29 gallon.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 03:48 PM
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Sorry about that, didn't see a diffuser and the post didn't mention injecting! I'd wager 90% of bettas would leave large shrimp like Amanos alone, but there's a lot of variability in their behavior. I'd make sure I had another place to put him just in case, but it will more likely than not work out.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry about that, didn't see a diffuser and the post didn't mention injecting! I'd wager 90% of bettas would leave large shrimp like Amanos alone, but there's a lot of variability in their behavior. I'd make sure I had another place to put him just in case, but it will more likely than not work out.
Once I went back to my original post I saw how not clear my questions were. I'll blame it on the virus, meds and lack of sleep. LOL! I'll leave the 29 going for awhile, just in case I have to put the amanos back.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 04:08 PM
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Seems the light is struggling to get through a bit, it may stunt certain plants.

How much you dose depends on how many plants and how much light you have. Right now the bottom seems to be low light even though the light is medium. You also dont have a lot of plant mass yet, dont jump into heavy dosing yet.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Seems the light is struggling to get through a bit, it may stunt certain plants.

How much you dose depends on how many plants and how much light you have. Right now the bottom seems to be low light even though the light is medium. You also dont have a lot of plant mass yet, dont jump into heavy dosing yet.
Thank you. At one squirt per 10 gallons for the ferts should I do 1 or 2 squirts once or twice per week? I can certainly turn the light up for a longer 100% duration if it needs to be. Balancing the needs of lower light for the betta and epiphytes vs higher light for the dwarf hair grass may be tricky.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 08:24 PM
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Seems the light is struggling to get through a bit, it may stunt certain plants.

How much you dose depends on how many plants and how much light you have. Right now the bottom seems to be low light even though the light is medium. You also dont have a lot of plant mass yet, dont jump into heavy dosing yet.
Thank you. At one squirt per 10 gallons for the ferts should I do 1 or 2 squirts once or twice per week? I can certainly turn the light up for a longer 100% duration if it needs to be. Balancing the needs of lower light for the betta and epiphytes vs higher light for the dwarf hair grass may be tricky.

So the product says its 1ml (one squirt) per 10 gallons a week for low plants/lower light. You have a 16 gallon tank with lower light and not a ton of plant growth yet. I would just do 1 and a half squirts a week then move to 2 later on. Cut back your co2, it should be deep green, lime green is pushing it and blue green is typically under the recommend levels, however you can get away with less co2 with less light/ferts.

As for lighting/co2, dont leave it on for more than 8 hours a day, plants and fish need to rest. It looks like you have either suspended or floating plants blocking most your light, and if your trying to do a carpet you will need high light in that side with solid co2 and well balanced fert levels.

Also here is the info of your fert your using.
https://www.aquariumcoop.com/product...one-fertilizer

Reading over what it provides it seems like an overall light fertilizer, great for convenience but it may not be enough for high light+co2 if you ever go down the road. I may be wrong, hopefully someone else can look at the info in the link of the product I listed above.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 09:59 PM
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With single light in center and healthy frogbit colony throwing shade, even with CO2 hairgrass is going to struggle on end down there, not enough light. Your going to have to be diligent about keeping floaters thinned out and pushed to left end.

But thatís great setup for betta with the emergent branches and floaters. Iíd do 1 pump easy green 3x a week with 30% (5gal) water changes. The floaters and hairgrass are going be main nutrient hogs.

Go to that schedule then Iíd test nitrates and phosphates midweek and night before water change and adjust dosing and water change accordingly depending on wether you see Nit/Phos accumulating or depleting. After about a month of monitoring and letting plants grow in and getting a routine for thinning out frogbit you should be able to devise a routine that works. After you get into that routine you wonít need to test/monitor as much, maybe just once a month. Iíd also get a TDS pen and watch accumulation of dissolve solids, it will help you zero in on water changes needed.

Also is this a filterless tank? What are those rocks? Did you test them?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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With single light in center and healthy frogbit colony throwing shade, even with CO2 hairgrass is going to struggle on end down there, not enough light. Your going to have to be diligent about keeping floaters thinned out and pushed to left end.

But thatís great setup for betta with the emergent branches and floaters. Iíd do 1 pump easy green 3x a week with 30% (5gal) water changes. The floaters and hairgrass are going be main nutrient hogs.

Go to that schedule then Iíd test nitrates and phosphates midweek and night before water change and adjust dosing and water change accordingly depending on wether you see Nit/Phos accumulating or depleting. After about a month of monitoring and letting plants grow in and getting a routine for thinning out frogbit you should be able to devise a routine that works. After you get into that routine you wonít need to test/monitor as much, maybe just once a month. Iíd also get a TDS pen and watch accumulation of dissolve solids, it will help you zero in on water changes needed.

Also is this a filterless tank? What are those rocks? Did you test them?
I'm keepint the frogbit and salvina minima to as little as possible and to the left. With the low flow it's pretty easy.

1 pump 3x per week and 30% change - Awesome! Thank you.

While doing maintenance yesterday (this viral crud I have is kicking my ass) I noticed the crypts have doubled in size, but also are starting to pin hole in the leaves. So, yeah I was not dosing enough. I've looked at TDS pens. I'm not sure what's a good buy or not, but I'll look into it and get one. It's been on my list for awhile.

The filter is an Oase FiltoSmart 100 with a glass nano spin pipe set. The rocks are green quartzite purchased at Aquashella Chicago last fall and tested with muritic acid.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Iíd also get a TDS pen and watch accumulation of dissolve solids, it will help you zero in on water changes needed.
TDS for my tap water is 62ppm - for this tank it is 112ppm.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 07:21 PM
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TDS for my tap water is 62ppm - for this tank it is 112ppm.
Do 30% water change, add 1 pump easy green then measure nitrate, phosphate and TDS. This gives you start of week baseline. What you want is to get a gauge on is how those creep up (or down) over the week, measure again before you do next pump of easy green. Did they go down or up? If N/P/TDS went up before you added next pump you can assume that increase is from (a) breakdown of food and waste in tank, (b) soil based substrate leaching ammonia into water column, (c) both of the above.

The idea is to change right amount of water and then dose at needed rate to keep a stable baseline throughout the week. It’s basically lather/rinse/repeat, water change is is rinse, dosing is lather. You zero in on a routine of water change, cleaning/maintenance/pruning and dosing for YOUR tank. Once you get that routine worked out and purring along it really takes very little monitoring from you.

My little 7gal non co2 tank, 1 betta, 11 ember/neon tetra has rotala rotundifolia, red root floaters which grow like crazy. I change 1/2 gal week, thin out plants to keep them in line and then use 1gal milk jug of RO dosed with .375ml of Thrive to top off for evaporation and dose (daily) throughout the week. Only monitoring I do is use JBL test strip once week and maybe stick TDS pen in there once a month. If I notice TDS creeping up I’ll throw in a extra 1/2 gal water change.

The absurd plant growth/nutrient uptake and my thinning out of plants religiously are mainly what keeps my tank maintained. By topping off for evaporation I’m feeding my plants/keeping levels up everyday. Feed my fish and add about 2 cups of the water everyday. If I miss a day I just double up on top off water next day, it’s such low level dosing it’s not a big deal.

Once you get that routine worked out your basically on autopilot unless you make a big change to fish population or plant mass/type of plants.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Do 30% water change, add 1 pump easy green then measure nitrate, phosphate and TDS. This gives you start of week baseline. What you want is to get a gauge on is how those creep up (or down) over the week, measure again before you do next pump of easy green. Did they go down or up? If N/P/TDS went up before you added next pump you can assume that increase is from (a) breakdown of food and waste in tank, (b) soil based substrate leaching ammonia into water column, (c) both of the above.

The idea is to change right amount of water and then dose at needed rate to keep a stable baseline throughout the week. Itís basically lather/rinse/repeat, water change is is rinse, dosing is lather. You zero in on a routine of water change, cleaning/maintenance/pruning and dosing for YOUR tank. Once you get that routine worked out and purring along it really takes very little monitoring from you.

My little 7gal non co2 tank, 1 betta, 11 ember/neon tetra has rotala rotundifolia, red root floaters which grow like crazy. I change 1/2 gal week, thin out plants to keep them in line and then use 1gal milk jug of RO dosed with .375ml of Thrive to top off for evaporation and dose (daily) throughout the week. Only monitoring I do is use JBL test strip once week and maybe stick TDS pen in there once a month. If I notice TDS creeping up Iíll throw in a extra 1/2 gal water change.

The absurd plant growth/nutrient uptake and my thinning out of plants religiously are mainly what keeps my tank maintained. By topping off for evaporation Iím feeding my plants/keeping levels up everyday. Feed my fish and add about 2 cups of the water everyday. If I miss a day I just double up on top off water next day, itís such low level dosing itís not a big deal.

Once you get that routine worked out your basically on autopilot unless you make a big change to fish population or plant mass/type of plants.
Got it! Thank you very much. I'll start keeping track on the next water change.


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