36g planted tank- is CO2 a necessity? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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36g planted tank- is CO2 a necessity?

I'm still in the planning stages for a 36g bowfront tank which I will be buying in the next few weeks.

I came across several people here and at another forum who had beautiful planted tanks and weren't injecting CO2 at all.

Is it necessary to run a CO2 system? Will I be able to have a nice planted tank without it? What kinds of plants will tolerate those conditions?

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 06:59 PM
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Not at all. You can a beautiful tank without co2. It`ll just take longer for plants to fill in and give you the look you want. But it`ll also stay there for longer without having to trim. Low light, non co2 tanks are also quite a bit more stable and run less risk of getting algae if you slack for a while.

Seachem`s Flourish Excel can also help you get there as an alternative to co2.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 07:05 PM
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that all depends on how much light u have on it if you wont need co2
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 08:13 PM
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I can't imagine growing plants without Co2. When someone sends me a plant package they always give me more than I really need. I put some in my display tank with Co2 and some in my shrimp tank that does not have Co2. The plants that are in the display tank look way better, grow faster and don't look morphed like the ones in the shrimp tank. A Co2 system isn't really that expensive either. A filled 5lbs bottle cost me 68 bucks, regulator was 80, tubing was 5, glycerine liquid for bubble counter was 3 bucks, and diffusser was 30. That's basically my total spent on the entire system but it was well worth the money.

If you don't go Co2 now, you will probably want to do it in the future so you might as well just jump right to it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 08:13 PM
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JohnS is right, how much light you planning?

As far as what plants do okay . . . . pretty much the plants that do okay with lower light shoot for 1.5 watts/gallon if you go compact fluorescents, or 2 watts/gallon if you go normal output.

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If you don't go Co2 now, you will probably want to do it in the future so you might as well just jump right to it.
I personally find this to be true. You might start with DIY yeast and sugar, but eventually, SOME DAY you will blow the money. I would advise putting off the aquarium setup for another 2-3 months if you need to save for it!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 04:43 AM
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Just out of curiosity...are you buying the 36 gallon tank new from a Pet Store?

You can always find good deals on tanks doing various searches in your area...Ebay, Craigslist and Aquabid. My friend bought a 6 month old 55 gallon set up (stand, hood, filters etc) for 100 bucks.

With the money that you would save, you can definitely get a Co2 system. Unless you are already buying the tank used.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses.

I'm planning on getting a 36gallon bowfront tank new (haven't seen one used in this area) with an orbit compact flourescent lunar light 130 watts--- 2-65watt dual bulbs (1 6700/10000k and 1 420/460nm). I've read that the actinic won't be beneficial for the plants, so then would I just consider my tank as having only 65w instead of 130w?

If so, that would bring me down to 1.8 wpg, a low light tank.

If I do use CO2, it would probably be a simple Hagen or Turbo canister system, but I'd use my own mix instead of theirs.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 07:04 PM
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I am also pretty new to this 'planted' tank type tank, but I finally broke down and set up a home-made 2ltr bottle co2 for my main tank with a fine bubble diffuser and really have seen improvement in my plants that have lots of light. The tank with low light really doesn't seem to be making any difference.

But so far I have seen no need at all for fancy expensive stuff. I did deside to do 2 one liter bottles with half ingredients (instead of a 2 liter) and I started them a week apart so that I don't have to worry about running out all at once. It works great.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 08:22 PM
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I know low tech (low light) systems are almost sacreligious here but, I've been successfully keeping low tech tanks for 22 years now. The thing to keep in mind is balance. Lighting, nutrients and CO2 all have to be in balance. If you have a high light tank, you will need to add CO2 and have a higher nutrient level available for the plants to utilize. If you don't want to add CO2, you will need to stay with a low light tank. Personally, I'm kind of old school and still use a lot of fluorescent fixtures. I've also used PC's, metal halides and VHO's. In a no CO2 system, I stick with standard fluorescents and PC's. One full length bulb per 6"of aquarium depth(front to back) is usually sufficient. So a 55 gallon with 2 full spectrum bulbs will work. Plants that are most successful in these setups are crypts, anubias, ferns, mosses, vals and some sword plants. You definately will have slower growth, but it will grow and thrive and be very low maintenance. Water changes are greatly appreciated by plants in these systems.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 08:39 PM
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I have a 40 gal breeder with 110 Watts of light & no co2, just a lot of surface agitation, eco complete for substrate and the plants grow fine, it is full of cherry shrimp so that may be why I dont really have problems with algae. I do not have any really demanding plants in there, wisteria, crypts, java moss & ferns, and a lone tiger lotus (which is WAY smaller than the ones in my hi tech)
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
One full length bulb per 6"of aquarium depth(front to back) is usually sufficient.
Great description of lighting a low-tech tank! Nice and simple . . . .
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I think I'll just try it out with low lighting and no CO2 and see how my plants fare. I've been keeping a list of all of the easier to grow low-light plants, so hopefully that will get me on the right track.

I can always add on the CO2 later if I'm not seeing any results.

Thanks again.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 09:14 PM
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Please post some pictures once you get it planted, I'd love to see how it looks!
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