MANY questions with co2 and others - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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MANY questions with co2 and others

First off, I want to say I'm sorry, everyone probably looks at me as the annoying newbie who won't stop asking questions, and wish I would shut up.
Anyways
I made a thread about this, but I didn't get any responses so I'm starting a new one. 46gal, 36in beamswork led, 8.5 hour of light, dry ferts, sand substrate.
I want to do a rescape, and add the following plants
Staurogyne repens
Red Cabomba
Blyxa japonica
Ludwigia palustris
Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia glandulosa/peruensis
Co2 Questions
1 - I know co2 helps all plants, but do any of these plants NEED co2?
2 - The main reason I like presrized co2 is its longevity. I don't want to be mixing diy every week. Any way I can do diy and have it last a few weeks, or is my tank to big?
3 - I was looking at co2 art, and saw the have soda stream co2 kits, would that work for me?
4 - I have heard that diy co2 smells. Is this true?
5 - I was looking at the DIY Co2 Generator D-301 and D-501 for citric acid and baking soda, does anyone use one of these? What size tank, what's you mix, how long does it last?
6 - Am I over thinking this? Would liquid carbon work?
Other Questions
1 - I can't decide on a Ludwigia, would one work better then the other?
2 - can I mix them, to have it look like a bush that has many different types of leaves?
3 - is my light high enough? I can't find any info on what it's par rating is?
4 - Will I need root tabs, or are my dry ferts sufficient?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:48 PM
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I can't address all of your questions, but I can address some...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfishy101 View Post
4 - I have heard that diy co2 smells. Is this true?
I've never done DIY CO2, but I do homebrew beer. Fermentation smells funky.. I don't think a DIY CO2 bottle or two is going to make your house smell while being used in a tank, but when you open them up to clean/refill they most definitely will produce a funk.

How bad this smell is depends on your own preferences in smells, but I doubt many find it pleasant.. I find it has a mildly offensive smell.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfishy101 View Post
6 - Am I over thinking this? Would liquid carbon work?
Liquid carbon lets you bring your light levels up a little bit, but not a whole lot.. it's really not a good substitute for CO2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfishy101 View Post
4 - Will I need root tabs, or are my dry ferts sufficient?
Dry are enough, although some plants do benefit from them..

See this recent experiment:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=876457

In that test, AR and the swords benefited a lot from the substrate fertilizers..
The two posts with the "end results" are these two:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...1&postcount=58

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...2&postcount=64

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 02:27 PM
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Pretty much all those plants need co2
The easiest and cheapest way to do co2 is to spend the money and do it with the gas.

If you don't want to do that change the plants you want to grow and grow plants without adding co2.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 02:27 PM
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First, always, always use the search function. You'd already have your questions answered if you'd done so.

CO2 Questions:

1. All plants *need* co2 but it doesn't sound like your tank will require co2 because you don't have high light, I don't think. Can't be sure because you weren't specific regarding the light fixture.

2. There are several members here (including myself) who have used DIY co2 setups that last for several weeks.

3. It's up to you to determine.

4. It can smell if you make a mess or allow it to explode, yes.

6. You mean carbon supplements like Excel? Probably not in a tank that large.

Other Questions:

1. That's up to you

2. You can keep any plant in your tank that you want and can make them look just about any way you want. Search on the forum for those plants and you'll see how they grow in different settings.

3. Search. Search. Search.

4. As mattinmd said, dry ferts will be plenty. You can do roottabs if you want. You can buy them or make them yourself with dry ferts and clay. Plenty of tutorials on the forum if you're interested.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 02:58 PM
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If you have a handle on growing aquatic plants in a low tech environment and are serious about it enough to invest in CO2 just buy a pressurized setup. IMO liquid carbon sucks and is nowhere near as effective as CO2. Like not even close. I just use mine as an algaecide now lol

It's worth it - you will honestly just end up buying one anyways after dealing with some of the frustrations of DIY CO2.

+1 to what others have said

At a glance the plants you listed will benefit greatly from CO2. Particularly blyxa, ludwigia SP, cabomba, S repens.

Also FYI those plants that have a red color will have difficulty getting nice and red for you without CO2.

also +1 that you should just search for this stuff. All your questions have been answered a million times on this forum as well as others.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 03:14 PM
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A Sodastream-based system is going to wind up being expensive. Those refills will cost about as much as refilling a 5lb tank at a welding shop.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 03:56 PM
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You can do a low light, non-CO2 tank with that size tank and be very happy with it. But, that does limit your choices of plants. The plants you listed, except for the Staurogyne, will probably not do well without CO2. I have Staurogyne repens in my low light tank, and it looks fine, not as good as in a tank with CO2, but it does stay alive and green. I also use Metricide (substitute for Excel) at 2 ml per gallon, and have found that I am not at all happy with the plants when I don't use it. My tank is 65 gallons, so if you use Metricide instead of Excel it is certainly affordable. You can buy it on Amazon, where it is sold primarily to planted tank keepers.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 06:35 PM
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My two cents:

If you do decide to use carbon enrichment, bite the bullet and go with pressurized. I had tried the alternatives (yeast method, and glutaraldehyde aka Excel/Metricide) and got sick of all the tinkering and monitoring required to keep the levels consistent. If you fail at carbon, you get algae, stunted plants, and possibly gassed fish.

After finally setting up pressurized, I can just sit back and watch the plants grow. It's a one-time purchase...the equipment lasts forever and can be resold if you leave the hobby.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 10:55 PM
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Co2. Do it. Get a real tank and regulator. You absolutely will not regret it


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