What Else Other Than CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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What Else Other Than CO2?

Hello everyone,
I am wondering if anyone could guide me in the right direction. For the past 4 months, I have been adding, to my 75 gallon planted tank, only CO2. For substrate, I am using, what was described to me as very fine crushed granite. I purchased the gravel along with the plants. My question is, should I be adding anything else to my water aside from the CO2? I was wondering if I should add anything to my substrate being that it is artificial? Also, how often should I be making water changes? I read in a site, that I should make 25% changes every other week? I don't want to take so much CO2 from the water. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 02:56 AM
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Ill give you my two cents, but take the advice of some of the more experienced planted tankers more seriously as I'm still just a "hobbyst."

I have 2 tanks, one with eco-complete/flourite mix substrate and one with inert gravel. Both used to have inert gravel but I made the switch to eco-complete/flourite because I got sick of dosing my water all the time.

In my experience, planted tanks do much better when the plants are able to draw nutrients in through their roots. I have dosed the entire seachem line into my water, and the plants NEVER looked as good as they do now with the better substrate. Also, dosing the "flourish" seemed to encourage waaay more algae growth than just swapping the substrate did. Plus, at a couple bucks per bottle you end up paying more in the long run dosing every few days than if you just bought some bags of plant substrate to begin with.

If you want, try some root tabs. I have no experience with them, but I've read of people having good results and they would allow you to improve the nutritional quality of your substrate without replacing it entirely. Plus, they would allow your plants to feed with their roots instead of just dosing the water column and encouraging algae.

As far as water changes.... I don't. I only change my water if it gets funky looking or smelling, otherwise I just top it off every week.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 03:15 AM
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It depends on the lighting. A low tech, low light tank, can get away with doing very little water changing and no ferts. A higher light tank, co2 injected generally requires a strict fert regimen, and 50% weekly water changes. How tall is your tank, and what type, and brand of light do you have? Also, what kind of plants do you have, or do you want to have.

Standard 10 Gallon (20 x12x12).
Low tech, Sand substrate.
Eheim 2211, and Aqueon Quietflow 10.
Finnex Stingray LED, 20" above substrate
2 Anubias Nana Petite, Christmas moss.
4 Halequin Rasborahs, 5 RCS.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:52 PM
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As far as your water changes, its a personal prefrence thing. i don't do water changes very often, maybe once every couple weeks(if that), and i usually do about about a 7gallon change in a 29 gal tank. the only reason i do it is for clarity. i have a Vampire shrimp, and a bamboo shrimp(well had he died last night) which keep particles out of my water.

i use flourish tabs to feed my plants, they are doing great, i see fresh new growth every morning. my only complaint with the tabs is i have to reach in my tank once a month and put fresh ones in the substrate. my biggest complaint with the root tabs is that i use white sand for my substrate, and when go through and "clean" it i will end up with black spots from the breaking down tabs. but they work great, they just make my sand look a little funny.

normally i am running a Coral life t5 with 6700k and actinic bulb, and a 20watt single tube light. right now that 20watt is lighting my quarantine tank, and i have noticed a slowed growth in all my plants.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:27 PM
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You might read through the sticky at the top of the Fertilizer forum here. The right way is what works for you. If the plants are growing well and algae is minimal and fish are happy then you are doing it right.

I do EI. Dose fertilizer salts every day and change at least 50% of the water once a week. Then I change it up, more or less of each salt, more or less water changes as I see fit. My tank is huge, brightly lit and I also use pressurized CO2.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,
Thanks a lot for all of your input. After reading in other sections and now some of your replies, I am definitely adding root tablets. I just did a 25% water change for water clarity. Not that it needed it. In regards to tank size, lighting and plants, here is the breakdown:

My tank is a 75gallon = 48X18x20
Lighting - 2 - 48" Coralife double 6700K bulbs. At this point, they are close to two years old. Are thy still good?
A lot of Java Fern - Most of it is attached to a large piece of driftwood
Large Sword - 18"
1 Onion Bulb with close to 3' leaves
Dwarf Sag
A few Ammania Gracilis
Java Moss
Fishes: 3 Cory Cats - Panda, Spotted & Albino
8 Rummynose Tetras
2 Black Tetras
4 White Clouds that cam with the plants as well as snails (don't know the kind. They are round).
A lot of Cherry Shrimps.

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