Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
Older books won't mention CO2 since lighting technology wasn't advanced to the point where it was economical enough for the average hobbyist to have 2-3 watts per gallon over their tanks. Now that much light is commonplace, and those are the light intensity levels at which CO2 becomes quite necessary in order for plants to be able to utilize light that intense.
Ah... thanks gulfcoast! I guess that makes you guys the ultimate resource then
...so here come the questions:
Eventually I'd love to have a beautifully aquascaped tank like I've seen here but for now I'd just like to keep some plants alive and healthy in my tank and work with what I have and can keep...
I've learned that my tank is not a 20gal but an 18gal - and is similar in measurements to the 18 gallon tall eclipse seen here http://www.fishtankwarehouse.com/car...&key=SC007
It is the length and width of a 10 gallon tank but it is around 20 inches tall. Does the depth of the tank pose a problem for lighting?
I just have the light that came with my hood for now - I think it's 15 watts. Plus the tank sits in the southfacing window in our apartment (which normally would be getting tons of light but we've had some hazy days lately - we had the worst pollution in the country the other day - yuck) I am - of course - willing to get new lighting.
Another problem I've run into is that I have an under gravel filter and from what I've gathered here this ain't so good for the plants. Are there plants that could survive with it? And if so what would you recommend?
This is the only filtration I have in the tank right now and if I can get away with it I'd like to keep it around...
I have 3 types of plants in my tank - the only one I've been able to identify I believe is a cabomba (sp?) another one came potted... it's doing the best of all, and the other is slowly being eaten away by my ramshorn snail :?
This is another problem... can I keep my snail around? I kinda like him
Plus, I have 3 silver dollars... I've read that they'll eat any vegetation they can get - but from what I've seen they haven't touched the plants... lettuce and peas on the other hand are devoured, I think the snail prefers these also, so maybe if I keep this in their diet they won't eat the plants? Are there plants that they won't eat?
Eventually I think I'll have to take the silver dollars out anyway because they will get too big for the tank (I was entirely uniformed when I bought everything for my tank)
On to substrate... I just have regular ol' gravel in there, but I don't think there is enough - so I was going to go out and buy some more gravel but now I'm thinking maybe I should get something else to put under the gravel that would be better to keep the plants in? Would this still work with the under gravel filter?
...and finally: I was going to try the whole DIY CO2 thing with the soda bottle but I'm a little confused about diffusers and reactors and whatnot. I understand that the yeast and sugar mixture is making CO2 (please excuse this terribly ignorant question) So why can't I just stick the tube in the tank and call it good? What exactly is the diffuser doing? Will an airstone not work at all? (the article on this site doesn't recommend it but mentions it as an option)
Of all the problems I'm mostly confused about the CO2 stuff...
So there you have it folks. My issues and my beginnings in planted tanks
Sorry about the novel but you asked for it
Thanks for the info so far, and thank you - most of all - for your willingness to help.