Light or co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Light or co2?

I have a 29g currently lit by 2 of the 2xt5no coralife aqualight. So 4x5tno. I can upgrade the light to a ray 2 or do pressurized co2, but not both. Which would you do and why? I'm thinking co2 now and light later since more light may require co2. But then I look 2 fixtures on top and hate how it looks and thing I'll get the ray 2 and take a shot at diy co2 Infernal budget.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 01:06 AM
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Seems like light and CO2 (and ferts) should be raised in somewhat equal proportion. If you have high light (I am not familiar with the lights you specify) without CO2 you will see your pH rise and then limited plant growth, but a bonus of algae growth. I would try to keep them all in balance and upgrade each in turn and moderation.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 02:48 AM
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A few questions may help with this decision.

How many watts are your current lights? What are their Kelvin ratings?

How far are your lights from the substrate of your tank? How far above the water surface are the lights?

Do you have a hood on your tank? What kind? Does it build up condensation or get dirty easily?

What types of plants are you trying to grow? How many plants do you have?

These questions will help us make a more informed decision on your behalf about what the better option may be.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:29 AM
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Light or co2?

I agree with you have to do it together lights co2 and ferts plants need all 3 to grow not just a lot of one or two
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 01:16 PM
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If you can eventually afford both, I'd go with lights, but keep them raised until you get the CO2.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 02:38 PM
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Both of your ideas are very feasible - get a CO2 setup first, OR get a light and provide CO2 via DIY.

I would do CO2 first, seems like your 4x T5 should be ok for now, and you just want to replace them with something sleeker.

Or, start with a DIY CO2 setup, figure it all out to provide a good reliable CO2 flow, then go and buy the lights. If you up the light levels, you might also have to supply (more) nutrients (besides CO2): NPK and micros.

There are many ways...


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I do plan to start dry Ferts and root ferts too. I'm leaning lights and diy co2 today. We will see what tomorrow brings.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:35 PM
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Nah, I'd suggest co2 first. I did lights first.....and omg the algae I've had. Especially because it too me a very long time to get up to co2 from having hi lights....it made it all a pain in the ass.

Now, granted, I couldn't have done DIY since it was a 75 gallon, but since it seems you have good lighting already, I think added co2 would be more beneficial for plant growth than just changing the lights. And since I assume you plan on doing both at some point, I would always recommend co2 over lights.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:46 PM
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CO2 first. It's a whole lot easier to constrain the amount of CO2 entering your tank than it is light. All you have to do is turn a dial on a metering valve. Lights require raising and lowering and waiting to see how the tank react.

Get CO2, set it up to do maybe a bubble a minute and check your drop checker in a few hours, rinse and repeat until you get the appropriate level of co2.

You're not going to see a huge benefit from any of it without the proper lighting and ferts though. they're all important to be used with each other, but co2 is the easiest to dial back.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:56 PM
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I believe the PAR value chart I've seen on these forums would show two of those Coralife 2 x T5NO strip lights will give you good Low-Med light, which is enough to grow many varieties of plants. CO2 will benefit your plants regardless of light and assist in keeping algae in check. Since your lights are adequate for now, I would roll with pressurized C02, then you can safely add better T5HO lights without the worry of turning your tank into pea soup.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:04 PM
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CO2 first.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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You guys are convincing me to do co2 first... :-)

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 05:59 PM
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This makes no sense. I don't understand how everybody can so quickly come to the conclusion that CO2 is the best choice without knowing more about the tank.

What if he only has 3 java ferns growing in his tank? Would you still suggest getting CO2? There's always liquid carbon that can be dosed into the tank.

What if his 29g tank is TALL? The effectiveness of lighting is reduced depending on how deep the tank is.

For those of you who are saying to go with the lights, what is his 29g tank is LONG? Adding too much light to a tank like this can cause algae. Also, you have no idea what his plant setup is like so you can't say for sure whether they'd be able to out-compete algae.

Lighting, CO2 and Ferts need to be balanced properly for every tank. NO TWO TANKS ARE THE SAME! If you don't know what the current balance is like and how many plants he is trying to feed, there's no way to come up with a real educated decision on what the best option would be. All that you'd be doing is throwing random non-sense out about what you ASSUME his tank is like.

That's how I see it anyway.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Shi View Post
This makes no sense. I don't understand how everybody can so quickly come to the conclusion that CO2 is the best choice without knowing more about the tank.

What if he only has 3 java ferns growing in his tank? Would you still suggest getting CO2? There's always liquid carbon that can be dosed into the tank.

What if his 29g tank is TALL? The effectiveness of lighting is reduced depending on how deep the tank is.

For those of you who are saying to go with the lights, what is his 29g tank is LONG? Adding too much light to a tank like this can cause algae. Also, you have no idea what his plant setup is like so you can't say for sure whether they'd be able to out-compete algae.

Lighting, CO2 and Ferts need to be balanced properly for every tank. NO TWO TANKS ARE THE SAME! If you don't know what the current balance is like and how many plants he is trying to feed, there's no way to come up with a real educated decision on what the best option would be. All that you'd be doing is throwing random non-sense out about what you ASSUME his tank is like.

That's how I see it anyway.

If you are upgrading anything, CO2 is always the answer. Two java ferns or not. Adding higher light and saying you will buy CO2 later, or you can just dose Excel, is setting yourself up for a potential mess and the result can be very discouraging in terms of maintaining the hobby.

Considering you just cycled your first planted tank a month ago, I'm not sure what sort of expertise you are trying to convey here.

My bottom line as a hobbyist is choosing between more light, and a CO2 setup, is pick the CO2 setup. You will see growth improvement under your current light setup and you will also be able to go to higher light equipment if you are so inclined afterwards. You may be surprised by the growth and stick with your lower light and CO2, in which case you will be saving money.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 06:25 PM
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I'd definitely go with CO2 first, then lights.
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