CO2 Levels and Low Light - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 Levels and Low Light

I have just purchased my first co2 system for my 75 gallon

I'm not really planning on upgrading my lights right away, if at all. I also have all low light and easy to grow plants right now and i wont be trying to replace them all at once for more demanding ones. I dont feel the need to overhaul everything and go directly into high light with demanding plants. The plan is to get the co2 figured out, grow even healthier plants, slowly add different variety's, then maybe if i feel the need upgrade the lights.

So my questions,

Since light drives the demand for co2 and ferts, should i still aim for around 30ppm of co2 with lower light?

What about ferts, I already am dosing about 1/3 of EI once a week and doing 50% w/c weekly. Should i up this to full EI levels, even with lower lighting?

Lighting is a HD shop light, 4 32w t8s hanging over standard 75 gallon, about 20-22 inches from substrate, glass top, floaters. So from what i can tell on the the lower end for sure.


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Last edited by shambhalove.; 08-16-2013 at 07:21 AM. Reason: ....
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:18 AM
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That sounds like a wise plan.

If your goal is to give the plants as much as they want, aim for a high co2 level that the fish are comfortable with, whether its 30 or whatever. Just keep slowly increasing it until the plants stop showing improvement and/or the fish start freakin out.

True with low light you won't need as much, but I'm guessing you will like the effect the co2 has so why not give them as much as they can use?

Since you're already doing 50% wc's, I personally would double the amount you're dosing once your co2 is rolling, twice a week instead of once.....not entirely sure about that, but I've been dosing full blown ei for 9 months and I guarantee that at times the plants were not using any of it due to co2 def.

I would've grown algae if I had dosed 1x week or 7x week, the algae doesn't care, the fish always seemed unaffected as well, so imo, add co2 and ferts

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input!

That's along the lines i was thinking, give the plants everything they need and let the light be limiting. I'm sure the ferts will take some tweaking but i wont be cranking to co2 up right away either, gradual increases seem to be a good rule for this hobby haha.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Any other thoughts on this?


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 03:53 AM
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It looks like you only have 2 shop lights and totaling 4 bulbs. How are they arranged? Front and back or left to right? If front and back, you would get uniform lighting. You would get medium light if you can place the light less than 3" above the water surface. If left to right? You may want to get 2 more shop lights to cover the front and back. Putting them less than 3" above the water surface. The thing with t8 bulbs is that you don't get increase light intensity regardless the watts. 24" to 48"+ bulbs, you get the same light intensity. The only factor you have to increase or decrease the light intensity is the placement of the fixture above the water surface. You get a bit more light or par too if you are using the homedepot diamond plate shop light with a more mirror finish reflector. As long as you can place the light closer to the water surface, you would get medium lighting. And you can pretty much grow a lot of plants.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Its a 4 bulb fixture, 48" long, across the aquarium of course. I was wondering more about fert and co2 levels though, i can upgrade my lights very easily later on down the road.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 12:41 PM
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A more conservative approach would be add co2 @ 30ppm and wait. Then if you see any nutrient deficiencies after a time add in ferts. Ferting is a good thing, but too much ferting can damage plants. So fert judiciously, not indiscriminately.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:12 PM
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Doing a weekly WC will somewhat "reset" your tank's nutrients. I agree with Steve001's suggestion to be judiscious in ferts. Too much can result to algae also. CO2 + lights will always be the combo to look after. 8-10 hours of lights with CO2 during the photo period. For the first couple of weeks, and if you don't have fishes yet, give more CO2 than usual. This will also prevent algae from happening.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
Doing a weekly WC will somewhat "reset" your tank's nutrients. I agree with Steve001's suggestion to be judiscious in ferts. Too much can result to algae also. CO2 + lights will always be the combo to look after. 8-10 hours of lights with CO2 during the photo period. For the first couple of weeks, and if you don't have fishes yet, give more CO2 than usual. This will also prevent algae from happening.

Too much ferts causing algae.... You better run that by with Tom first.... No, is the excess of one nutrient and the deficiency of another resulting in poorer plant's health...which leads to algae attacking the plants. If you follow EI dosing, ferts would not cause algae, period.

For the OP, your light is fine. I would rest it ontop of the glass and to go from there.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:16 PM
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I stand corrected. My bad.

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