Do I need Co2? EI/PMDD method... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need Co2? EI/PMDD method...

Please help!

27g (36"x12"x16") tank
42W Coralife double strip

Should i be adding CO2 to take advantage of PMDD/EI, or would it be a waste of time/money?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 07:09 AM
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Of course you need CO2...how can you know about both EI and PMDD fertilization methodologies without knowing that plants need a carbon source to photosynthesize? Why has this been such an issue for people lately?

Consider the most simplified version of photosynthesis:

6CO2 + 6H2O + Photons (ie Light Energy) --> C6H12O6 + 6O2

Or...
light energy --> chemical energy --> organic compounds.

This happens in two stages: those that are dependent on light, and those independent of light. The light reactions convert light into chemical energy (ATP and NADPH to be exact), and the dark reactions use this chemical energy in combination with carbon dioxide to produce sugar (C6H12O6) and oxygen (O2).

Good luck...sorry about my frustration, but it seems to have come up a lot lately...it makes me wonder if anyone actually reads these posts...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I have and I still wondered about this, as my setup could be considered 'low light'. Given this and the way the EI method works, I had wondered if injecting CO2 for a tank that size and with that level of lighting would even be worth it.

I mean, I would see a good reason to inject CO2 if I had broken the magical '2wpg' (and yes, I know that wpg is not a great measure of lighting!). I simply want to get the most out of the EI method with the lighting that I have.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walking_Target View Post
Actually, I have and I still wondered about this, as my setup could be considered 'low light'. Given this and the way the EI method works, I had wondered if injecting CO2 for a tank that size and with that level of lighting would even be worth it.

I mean, I would see a good reason to inject CO2 if I had broken the magical '2wpg' (and yes, I know that wpg is not a great measure of lighting!). I simply want to get the most out of the EI method with the lighting that I have.
Well, from what I understand and I don't want to speak for Tom Barr, Tom has indicated that c02 in low light tanks never hurts and may benefit plants even in low light tanks by providing them with a necessary carbon source. Also, you don't have to worry about hitting optimal or ideal c02 levels in a low light tank for fear of your planted tank going to the dogs. Some people just use Seachem Excel than bother with c02 at all. Others don't do this and go with pressurized or DIY c02 as they want to keep Excel sensitive plants like elodea, riccia, vals, etc., that they find melt with Excel dosing. Others don't care either way as the real difference that you may notice with c02 injection or Excel dosing is slightly faster plant growth, but most people who setup low light tanks are happy with slower plant growth and so don't really care.

As far as learning about EI with planted tanks, that is a whole seperate issue. There is no black and white rule about how much and how frequently you dose as per EI regime. Full throttle EI implies that you have a high light, high tech, with pressurized c02. This is where you can see EI at its best. With low tech tanks/low light tanks, plant requirements for nutrients especially where you use a nutrient dense sediment should be a lot less. So, you can either use EI modified. Use the same macros and micros but fine tune or tweak them to work with low light, or use any other fert method that suits you again tapered down to the fact that you will be dosing far less for a low tech tank. And to further confuse the issue, I know people who have low light tanks with nothing more than inert pool filter sand that have been running for years. The tanks are fully stocked and they fertilize perhaps once a week, relying on the fish waste to provide needed fertilization. Lol, whether you agree with that approach or not, it seems to work for them.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walking_Target View Post
I mean, I would see a good reason to inject CO2 if I had broken the magical '2wpg' (and yes, I know that wpg is not a great measure of lighting!). I simply want to get the most out of the EI method with the lighting that I have.
Yikes - I get kind of cranky late at night! Sorry about that!
If you want to get the most out of EI dosing, add CO2. It can't do anything but help you really. As we know, if nutrients, light or CO2 are limited, plant growth will be negatively affected. It sounds like you've got the nutrients and light under control, so I'd say focus on what's missing: the CO2.

What kind of plants are you trying to grow?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 03:34 PM
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That much light for that size tank is too much light not to use CO2. Don't be fooled by the 2 watts per gallon number. When that was widely accepted people were using T12 or T8 lights, rarely ever with any kind of good reflector. Even T5 NO bulbs produce more light than T8 and T12 bulbs, because they are almost always used with good reflectors.

The last research paper Tom Barr posted about the effect of CO2 and light on plant growth rates, showed that even with low light, the growth rates will go up considerably with CO2 injection. So, CO2 is always good for the plants. Excel is better than nothing, but it isn't as good as CO2.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys!

my foray into EI and all this started because i've gotten sick and (*&# tired of dealing with BBA and brown fuzz algae, often in quantities that are considerable for such a small tank (as in, a half dozen Amanos in each never made a dent!)

So... the rundown. CO2 will be added. Looking at getting a Milwaukee reg (yes, i am cheap, and in Canada, so a lot of the other $100-$150 regs out there come in closer to $200-250 for me ) for now, DYI and ceramic/glass disc diffusers will work.

my big concern is my trace mix... I can use it on some of my tanks, but not others, as it contains .1% Cu and i keep Cherry Shrimp.... Anybody able to suggest another good trace mix out there that does not contain Cu?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 04:36 PM
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BBA, eh? Some good, consistent CO2 levels should fix that problem right up!
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