Injected CO2 and dosing ferts is too time consuming... Or is it? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
Injected CO2 and dosing ferts is too time consuming... Or is it?

When I stopped running my injected CO2 and dosing ferts a year and a half ago, my main reason was because I declared it to be too time consuming. I had gone back to college, and keeping up with it all the fuss of a so-called "high tech tank" just seemed to take away too much time from what I thought was more important (studying).

But I'm beginning to question which is more time consuming: injected CO2 and dosing ferts or NOT injecting CO2 and dosing ferts?

Injecting CO2 and dosing ferts means you have to spend about 60 seconds each day putting the measured amount of ferts into the tank, buying more when they run out (yeah, maybe in 6 months), and getting the CO2 canisters refilled when they run out. There's also the trimming and thinning of plants. They grow at a much faster rate which means there's simply more plant growth to maintain.

However, when I stopped injecting CO2 and dosing ferts, I found myself spending a lot more time cleaning the glass from algae, cleaning out dead and dying plants, and cleaning out the grunge from the fish (since the plants aren't growing fast enough to use it up). I spend more time cleaning out my filters for the same reason. It seemed the plants "ate" the grunge from the fish so there was less for me to clean out manually.

The time it takes to keep the tank clean due to poor plant growth is much more than the time it takes to maintain injected CO2 and dose ferts! And what do I get for all my trouble? A tank that's not anywhere near as pretty to look at and enjoy.

Lesson learned the hard way!

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 12:28 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Sharkfood's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 2,536
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
Sharkfood is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 12:57 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
Tons of people have beautiful landscapes and don't break a sweat.... Lots of people like to "have" nice things but either don't have the time or knowledge to do it themselves.

A huge part of my clients fall into that list.

Co2 doesn't make a tank high maintenance. High light will though. Co2, nutrients and low/medium light are my preferred. Though I am non co2 in my main tanks now.
OverStocked is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
I apologize for being apparently being unclear in my post which seems to have led you to misunderstand what I wrote.

In no way did I intend to suggest that when a person evolves from high tech to low tech and back to high tech that it is an indication that the person is unwilling to do the work. There is work to be done either way. Rather, I was discussing the misperception that high tech tanks are more work. They aren't! The work is merely different. And in my own opinion, having experienced both, I found the results from the work of a high tech tank more satisfying.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
Co2 doesn't make a tank high maintenance.
And the point I was trying to make is that CO2 can actually lower tank maintenance.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 01:31 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jreich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 2,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
And the point I was trying to make is that CO2 can actually lower tank maintenance.
i think the workload is about even, low tech = more work doing this, high tech = more work doing that. There is allways a trade off, just like everything else in life.
jreich is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 01:42 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Karackle's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 4,284
That's an interesting point Vicki, but I can't help but wonder if some of those issues are due to still trying to grow the same high light plants with the same high lights but without the CO2 and ferts to keep up with the growth leading to poorer plant growth and hence more algae? With my low lights and plants that do well in those conditions, I don't seem to have quite those issues, my tanks are very low maintenance.

edit Vicki you ninja'd me but I think my point is still fair, did you lower your lights and change your plants to low light plants? If not, perhaps you haven't TRULY experienced low tech? (please don't think i'm trying to be mean, I'm just pointing out different angles also I do agree, I think the work is different, more this for one, more that for the other )

Sharkfood - I'm afraid I have to disagree with you, or at least say that I think you've made an unfair assessment, I do not think it's fair to say that the only things that make up the hobby are fertilizing and plant trimming. Not every person that keeps planted tanks keep them only for the plants. There are many of us that keep them because they look nice and accentuate the fish in our tanks, and help create a healthier environment for our fish. Furthermore, the low tech route is a specialty in and of itself, many people have both high light and low light tanks and all are beautiful. Some people choose to have low tech tanks because they like the challenges that come with that method, some people, like me, enjoy having a planted tank but lack the time and/or funds to make the high tech upgrade. This does not mean i neglect my tanks, simply that I chose plants and lighting conditions that require very litte maintenance so that I can enjoy the beauty of a planted tank, but one that I can leave be for weeks without maintenance and it won't crash and burn from the lack of fertilizers / CO2 etc.

Sorry Vicki, didn't meant to take your thread on a tangent


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

3 year old Tibetan Terrier named Whisky
11 year old miniature Poodle named Cody
I enjoy having a zoo to care for!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Karackle is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
Hi Karackle! Great to see you're still here! You didn't take the thread in a tangent. That's actually the discussion I wanted to start. And you make a very valid point regarding whether the issues I ran into were due to the tank having high tech plants and lighting and not being properly set up to go without CO2 or ferts.

I must admit, while I did lower the lighting, I didn't do it at first. That came later, after the problems began. So the imbalance had already started when I stopped dosing CO2 and ferts. Then I saw the negative effects, and then I reacted. Ditto with the plants. I didn't change the scape at first. It was only as high needs plants died out that I replaced them with lower needs plants, but by then, the problems were already set in motion.

However, I have other tanks that never had CO2, bright lighting, ferts, or plants with those requirement, and I found those tanks to be more difficult to maintain. One advantage to a high tech tank is that the faster growth rate allows you to recover from mistakes and problems faster. As a general rule, plants that grow in low tech conditions are slower growing. So if a newly purchased plant arrives in poor condition, it takes more time for the low tech plant to recover and grow into a full, lush plant. So in that sense, a high tech tank can be more forgiving.

The CO2 can also help fight against BBA. So if you received a plant with BBA and put it in both types of tanks, the BBA would be more likely to spread (and then require work to control) in a low tech tank). However, in tank with CO2, the BBA may not ever get a chance to spread; no BBA, no BBA control efforts needed.

I guess, in the end, there's pros and cons both ways.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 04:39 PM
Planted Member
 
calvert's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
that's half the fun. looking at the end result is nice, too, but putting in the work is rewarding.

still, i literally spend 30 seconds a day dosing ferts, refill my co2 every few months, and do some trimming (maybe takes an hour) every month or two--on my 75g.

spent more time on trimming when i had a bunch of stem plants but ditched those, and the (can't think of the word right now) "bad" spreading plants a while ago, which cut the trim time down exponentially--but it looks much better, to me.
calvert is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 05:22 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Karackle's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 4,284
Hi Vicki! Great to see you back here (did I already say that? )

You make good points too for sure. What I have come to terms with is that stems of any kind don't do very well in low tech tanks unless the tank is VERY heavily stocked, really, very heavily overstocked, unless one take the time to fertilize. At least that has been the case with me. There is one exception, there is some sunset hygro doing quite well in our 60g tank, BUT it took the plant over a year to acclimate to the extreme low light, low fertilizer conditions. Now that it's acclimated, it grows relatively slowly for a stem plant and is looking very lovely nowadays, but with very little pink until they get right up to the top near the light. I finally got Pennywort growing well in my 30g, I think the addition of guppies that upped the "natural fertilizer" (poo) level helped a lot with that. Another kind of hydrocotyle has not done well though. So I stick mostly with crypts, mosses, anubias, java ferns and similar slower growing plants.

I also don't mind a bit of algae in my tank, or i've learned to live with a little. But it's not too bad. There's a good amount of BBA in the 60g that needs to be dealt with, but the other 3 tanks have a smattering of hair algae and some GSA on the walls occasionally, but all in all, pretty good. Also, the evidence is mostly anecdotal, but I think have bubble walls helps a lot too. I've noticed the tanks with more bubbles have less algae, and I've also had algae crop up and then noticed that the bubbles weren't working at all or as well, fixed the bubbles, algae cleared up. Interesting.

But I agree, I think it's just different kinds of work. All tank take management so it really comes down to what you want to grow I think.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

3 year old Tibetan Terrier named Whisky
11 year old miniature Poodle named Cody
I enjoy having a zoo to care for!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Karackle is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome