Co2 = Ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 = Ferts?

Hello people, I come from the land of low tech tanks. Anyway, as I'm moving my 20g to another place, I'm thinking about making some changes. I've already decided to use laterite with pool filter sand on top. Now, I'm beginning to wonder about Co2.

Now, in my very limited understanding of planted aquariums, I know the rate of photosynthesis depends on nutrients, co2, lighting and temperature. The growth is contained by the factor that is most lacking. So putting 5wpg of lights won't do any good unless you have the co2 and nutrients to match. Am I somewhat right?

My question is, would I get any benefit from running a DIY co2 in a low light tank? The thing is, I don't want to use any ferts at all. So would I be asking for trouble when it comes to algae if I do this?

I just want to decide if I went to tackle this at all, as low tech person, it's somewhat intimidating. So any help would be appreciated. Again, I'm not going to add any ferts at all in the tank, I would just have the laterite, less than 2wpg of lights, and fish pooping all over the place.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hipuks View Post
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Now, in my very limited understanding of planted aquariums, I know the rate of photosynthesis depends on nutrients, co2, lighting and temperature. The growth is contained by the factor that is most lacking. So putting 5wpg of lights won't do any good unless you have the co2 and nutrients to match. Am I somewhat right?
Correct.

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Originally Posted by Hipuks View Post
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My question is, would I get any benefit from running a DIY co2 in a low light tank? The thing is, I don't want to use any ferts at all. So would I be asking for trouble when it comes to algae if I do this?
Yes, you will benefit. And as long as the CO2 production is constant, it should be fine. Algae stemming from other sources may be a different story.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 12:17 AM
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Now, in my very limited understanding of planted aquariums, I know the rate of photosynthesis depends on nutrients, co2, lighting and temperature.

no.
photosynthesis is affected mainly by CO2, light, and temp. CO2, water, and light are used in photosynthesis to provide the plant with calories, and some of the matter it uses in its cells. photosynthesis is a chemical reaction (which is why temp can affect it, but it slows the entire metabolism of the plant proporitonately). it is 6CO2 + 6H2O => C6H12O6 (glucose) + O2. the glucose is respirated for energy, and some is used to make cellulose (which is the cell wall material for plant cells). the more energy the plant has (which is limited by the amount of glucose it can make through photosynthesis), the more it can grow.

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The growth is contained by the factor that is most lacking. So putting 5wpg of lights won't do any good unless you have the co2 and nutrients to match. Am I somewhat right?

yes.
you need energy (photosynthesis, which requires CO2, H2O, and light), an nutrients. nutrients are macros and micros. the main macros are H, C, and O, but those are all used in photosynthesis, and though they make up the majority of the cellular materia, they are thought of seperately, since theyare given to the plants as the reactants it needs for photosynthesis. the secondary macros are N, P, and K. these are the ones people usually reffer to when they say macros. the micro nutrients are a bunch of other elements including Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, Cl, S, etc. for optimal health and growth, a plants energy (photosynthesis levels), macro nutrient levels, and micro levels should be in correct proportion (and within a certain spectrum, since all 0ppm is proportionate).

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Originally Posted by Hipuks View Post
My question is, would I get any benefit from running a DIY co2 in a low light tank? The thing is, I don't want to use any ferts at all. So would I be asking for trouble when it comes to algae if I do this?

yes. i have never heard of an instance where Co2 hurt as long as it was in the correct amount. the less light, the less photosynthesis, the less CO2 is used up. so you will need to add less to maintain the same concentration, and you should maintain that concentration. the best level for CO2 is 20-30 ppm. some keep 35ppm, i keep 30. in low light you could keep less. stability is the most important thing though. flux is what causes algae.

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I just want to decide if I went to tackle this at all, as low tech person, it's somewhat intimidating. So any help would be appreciated. Again, I'm not going to add any ferts at all in the tank, I would just have the laterite, less than 2wpg of lights, and fish pooping all over the place.
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if you ask me high tech is simpler then low tech walstad tanks.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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if you ask me high tech is simpler then low tech walstad tanks.
It's not that I think high tech is more complex...Well actually I do. But the main thing against going high tech for me is the price of the stuff: lights, co2, ferts... Also ferts are a non-starter for me, I would probably forget immediately when to add them. So I've decided I'll inhabit the low tech niche of the hobby.

The tank is not Walstad though, for one, I haven't read her book, though I intend to buy it one day. Most importantly, since I've started in this hobby, it has been drilled into my head that water changes= healthy fish, so I wouldn't be able to bring myself to wait for months to do a water change.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 01:49 PM
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The Walstad system is pretty easy actually, Tom Barr's is technically harder
to maintain tho I believe it's the better choice since Walstad isn't really
trying for plant growth or healthy fish it's more of a "lets do less work
without killing anything" approach in my opinion.

If your looking for any type of real plant growth in a low light tank your
going to have to get into the EI or PPS fert regiments and if I can do EI
anyone can

- Brad
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