To Co2 or not to Co2......sorry... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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To Co2 or not to Co2......sorry...

I figure this is a topic that has probably been beat to death but I'd like to hear different views. I have seen very good looking tanks with and without. Sorry ahead of time if this is opening a can of worms.

What are the reasons to have or not to have. Benefits and burdens.....
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:04 AM
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well, there's lots of factors. one of the biggest is probably your lighting. the higher the light the more need for c02. also the kinds of plants you want to grow, some plants have high c02 demands, while others can grow well without it. in my opinion c02 can benefit any tank, even low light. are you looking at pressurized or diy? pressurized is pretty easy once you get it dialed in. diy on the other hand gets to be a pain for most people after a while, and can be hard to keep stable because the bps drops after the first couple of days. anyway that's my two cents in a nut shell hope it helps. good luck!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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well, there's lots of factors. one of the biggest is probably your lighting. the higher the light the more need for c02. also the kinds of plants you want to grow, some plants have high c02 demands, while others can grow well without it. in my opinion c02 can benefit any tank, even low light. are you looking at pressurized or diy? pressurized is pretty easy once you get it dialed in. diy on the other hand gets to be a pain for most people after a while, and can be hard to keep stable because the bps drops after the first couple of days. anyway that's my two cents in a nut shell hope it helps. good luck!
This is exactly what I am looking for. Good information, I don't know anything about CO2.
Most of my experience has been in saltwater. diy doesn't bother me, but I don't know enough about it to build anything.....or if I even need it.
What is bps?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:26 AM
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Bps is bubble's per second and is really a way to dial in your co2 output. I have had a lot of success with diy co2 in the past. If you want to learn more about it I would recommend going to the diy section of the forum. For example I had two 2 liter bottles producing co2 that I could keep steady for about 3 weeks to a month for a 36g tank.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:31 AM
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BPS is bubbles per second. I'm not sure what the second poster means about it dropping, mine hasn't...set it to 3 BPS, went that way for a month until I set it to 4-5 BPS. It should not change.

If you have high light you need Co2 to help the plants out compete the algae, period. If you don't have high light you can still add Co2, at which time it becomes basically steroids for plants. However, much like steroids and an athlete, the use of which will also require more food. In the case of plants this is fertilization, water column and substrate.

Personally, I love what Co2 does for my low light (I didn't need Co2) tank. It is an additional expense though. A decent entry level "kit" will cost you $150 give or take, and Co2 refills every so often. Is that worth the extra plant growth? It is to me, it's not for others.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:34 AM
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Sorry for hijacking. Daximus do you also fertilize in addition to the co2 in your low light tank?

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:36 AM
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Sorry for hijacking. Daximus do you also fertilize in addition to the co2 in your low light tank?
I do a little bit. I don't get all into it scientifically like some folks do. I have a dirt tank, so that really helps keep me from actually having to know what I'm doing. In addition to that I dose a little API Leaf Zone or Seachem Flourish once in a while. If I see one of my big root plants struggling I will use a root tab on it. That's as far as my fertilization expertise runs, lol.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 04:46 AM
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CO2 = High light, high nutrients, FAST plant growth

no CO2 = medium/low light, low nutrients, slow plant growth ( a little CO2 in this tank couldn't hurt )

It's up to you. I have both type of tanks. Generally, the CO2 tank requires more maintenance.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 10:17 AM
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CO2 = High light, high nutrients, FAST plant growth

no CO2 = medium/low light, low nutrients, slow plant growth ( a little CO2 in this tank couldn't hurt )

It's up to you. I have both type of tanks. Generally, the CO2 tank requires more maintenance.
Not always true....

Co2 can be used in High, Medium or low light tanks. It can and will have a benifit in each tank.

Alot of what it boils down to is how much expense and work you want to put into your tank.

High light/Co2 with the right ferts and substrate is going to need to be kept up with ALOT. be it maintenance or Trimming.

As you go down in light. The amount of work that goes into it is less and so can the expense. It all boils down to what your looking for. For me.. I like to use pressurized Co2 in Low light to high light tanks. Ive seen benefits in Colors, growth and plant happiness and less algae.. You have to decide what you want from your set up.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 10:38 AM
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shrimp tank no co2, generally planted, with co2
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 10:49 AM
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shrimp tank no co2, generally planted, with co2
Are you saying no co2 on planted shrimp tanks? Like at all?

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 10:55 AM
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Not totally, they thrive more in my tank without co2. It depends, just try it.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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At this point, I really don't want another high maintenance tank. I already have that with my reef tank. I do want to see good growth though.
How often do you vaccuum the substrate with a planted tank? Every water change?
How much flow do you want in a planted tank?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 12:00 PM
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At this point, I really don't want another high maintenance tank. I already have that with my reef tank. I do want to see good growth though.
How often do you vaccuum the substrate with a planted tank? Every water change?
How much flow do you want in a planted tank?
I haven't vacuumed the gravel in my heavily planted 29g at all. I believe this would take away the nutrients from the gravel, and disturb roots. When I do a water change it's 40% weekly, and during that time I also prune any plants that need it. I also make sure to remove any dead leaves, etc.
For flow - I have seen a lot of posters here on TPT say you want your plants to have a gentle sway. The more plants you have, the more flow that is needed.
I added a koriala hydor 240 last week, and I can see a huge difference in flow. My filter is a HOB Aquaclear 50, and wasn't cutting it with all of my plants filling in.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:47 PM
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I was "anti co2" for a long time, figuring that they don't get a 5lb tank pumping gas to them in the wild. Then i got a sick deal on a set up on craigslist, long story short.... get co2. Makes everything look better.
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