Inject CO2 to jumpstart a Walstad aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Inject CO2 to jumpstart a Walstad aquarium?

Just set up my 2nd tank, a standard 55gal tank. I decided to try a Walstad style aquarium due to the low maintenance aspect.

Unfortunately the only plants I have are very small and don't add much biomass to get the tank running. It's probably about 1 handful of biomass, some of it already melting due to leaving it in a dark bucket over the weekend due to a wedding.

Should I attempt to temporarily inject CO2 in order to perk up the plants and speed growth? From what I read, the success of a Walstad ultimately hinges on a healthy flora biomass, but they grow 5-10x slower than high-tech tanks.

I don't really want to have to wait 6 months for a well-grown, but I don't want algae after I pull the CO2 either. I have all the equipment on hand and could easily run one with an Eheim 1250 water pump, which would also boost flow.

Substrate:
Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Soil
Organic top soil
Capped with aquariumplants.com aquasoil 1"

Lights:
Hagen Glo 2x54w

Filtration:
Eheim 2236
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 04:39 AM
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it couldn't hurt.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:47 AM
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From what I read the health of a Walstad style tank also relies quite heavily on making a good start with lots of healthy plants. From the sound of it you might very well end up with an algae disaster which you'd never be able to overcome. It could perhaps work if you used the Dry Start Method which in any case seems to be the best way to start, but apart from that you'd be much better off just finding a load of cheap fast growing plants to add as well, even if they are to be taken out gradually as your other plants have fill in and spread.

In regards to the CO2, I believe it sounded like Walstad was suggesting that in a CO2 aquarium the plants will stop making the enzymes necessary to produce CO2 in the substrate via anaerobic bacterial action. I don't see how that supposedly works, but I would expect that you should be okay if you used CO2 and then tapered it off very gradually to allow the plants time to adjust.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 12:40 PM
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Nate,

you need to pack it full from the get go or you'll have some issues. if you need some plants, make a trip to noblesville and id be happy to give you some.

IME co2 will not hurt, i run it on a couple of mine. diy & pressurized.


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