Not sure how this is possible.... Co2 related - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure how this is possible.... Co2 related

So I am just returning home from my visit to a new local aquarium store that I've never been to before. they specialize in aquatic plants and aquascaping tools and that sort of thing. they have several display tanks all of which are high tech and look very very nice, they're all running off of 120 pound tank with individual bubble counters and in tank diffusers. what surprises me is how little co2 they are actually pumping to achieve the growth that they are getting. growing high-tech plants that carpet very well and red plants that show their color extremely well all on only a few bubbles a second. the one main tank is a 79 gallon Starfire rimless tank, it's absolutely stunning. I asked the owner of the shop more about the tank and he explains how he is using only for bubbles a second through a diffuser. the tank did it look like a soda pop bottle and I could easily believe that it was only 3 to 4 bubbles to second running through that diffuser, but I never would have imagined that those plans would be able to grow with such a little amount of co2. in my 75 gallon with low tech type plants I am pumping way more bubbles that I can count through my searches reactor and my plants don't look as good as hits. so what gives? how are they able to achieve such gorgeous looking planning tanks with so very little co2 all the while growing carpeting plants like Wharf hairgrass and HC Cuba. I really don't get it.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 10:53 PM
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No idea really as I am new to planted tanks in general, but I have heard most plants do much better in softer water. Maybe the lights are also just right, not too much or too little and the co2 amount is just right for the amount of lighting.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 12:12 AM
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My guess would be what WaterLife touched on - using the best water possible, using exactly the right ferts, and using the exact amount of light. Figuring out all the details separates the experts from the rest of us LOL


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:35 AM
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Do they leave the co2 on 24/7?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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I think so, why you ask?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 04:00 AM
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Light does not have to be as high as some people run it. It might be that the light is a bit lower, but well balanced with the CO2 and other nutrients.
CO2 that is really well dissolved in the water is more important than bbs. If the diffuser is really good you can get higher CO2 with fewer bbs.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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I believe they were running two bulbs t5ho. And the diffuser was those cheaply plastic ones that sit inside the tank. There was nothing special about the setup.

The ferts were iron and some green bottle mix, commercial stuff. Again nothing special. I just dont get it.

Another thing I just remembered, the tank had very littler flow, only the open end of some canister filter. No spray bar, no end attachment, nothing. Looked like there was dead spots all over.

Everything I read here and online suggest that a setup like theirs should not be successful, based on incomplete ferts, low CO2, low flow, etc.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-11-2015 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Everything I read here and online suggest that a setup like theirs should not be successful, based on incomplete ferts, low CO2, low flow, etc.
Well, without knowing what the green bottle is, it is a bit presumptive to suggest they have incomplete fertilizers.. That green bottle could a fairly comprehensive fertilizer that's just iron deficient..

As for the CO2 rate, with only 2 T5HO's on a 79 gallon, they're not really pushing the high-light limits like a lot of folks here do... Light level really does drastically affect the amount of CO2 needed.

Going back a bit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
I asked the owner of the shop more about the tank and he explains how he is using only for bubbles a second through a diffuser. the tank did it look like a soda pop bottle and I could easily believe that it was only 3 to 4 bubbles to second running through that diffuser,
Could you clarify exactly what you mean here? I highly doubt the tank looks like a soda pop bottle, so are you trying to say they had a soda-bottle based CO2 reactor inside the tank?

Reactors are *very* efficient at diffusing CO2, and you could make a crude Grigg-ish reactor out of a soda bottle if you wanted to.

edit:

here's a neat little vortex reactor made out of a water bottle and a power head...
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...8&postcount=65

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:22 PM
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The answer would be that you don't need a mini nuclear reactor over your tank to grow plants including what so many consider "high light " plants. You can grow pretty much anything with 50 PAR at the substrate or less so you don't need a ton of CO2. Take a look at this link from Tom Barr's site.

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...alues-who-knew

Take a look at all the videos of the ADA gallery also. The tanks use glass diffusers including a lot of 180cm tanks that use just one lowly diffuser. It's all about that amount of light used.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Well, without knowing what the green bottle is, it is a bit presumptive to suggest they have incomplete fertilizers.. That green bottle could a fairly comprehensive fertilizer that's just iron deficient..

As for the CO2 rate, with only 2 T5HO's on a 79 gallon, they're not really pushing the high-light limits like a lot of folks here do... Light level really does drastically affect the amount of CO2 needed.

Going back a bit:


Could you clarify exactly what you mean here? I highly doubt the tank looks like a soda pop bottle, so are you trying to say they had a soda-bottle based CO2 reactor inside the tank?

Reactors are *very* efficient at diffusing CO2, and you could make a crude Grigg-ish reactor out of a soda bottle if you wanted to.

edit:

here's a neat little vortex reactor made out of a water bottle and a power head...
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...8&postcount=65
Sorry I used voice to type feature on my phone and things didn't go to good.

I meant that the tank didn't look like a pop bottle in the sense that there wasn't a ton of bubbles everywhere. So when he said only 3-4 bps I believe its fairly accurate.

In my 75 with cerges reactor I was running a ton of co2. More bubbles than I could possibly count. And with only 1 finnex planted plus my lighting is on the lower side too. I just left there scratching my head because I just assumed you needed a ton of co2 to grow high tech plants and hc Cuba carpets. I guess you dont.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
The answer would be that you don't need a mini nuclear reactor over your tank to grow plants including what so many consider "high light " plants. You can grow pretty much anything with 50 PAR at the substrate or less so you don't need a ton of CO2. Take a look at this link from Tom Barr's site.

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...alues-who-knew

Take a look at all the videos of the ADA gallery also. The tanks use glass diffusers including a lot of 180cm tanks that use just one lowly diffuser. It's all about that amount of light used.
^---this 100%.

I have a wider tank, and am running 2 BML's new MC Dutch lights for coverage. While I could bomb them with 100% light (I used to, and fought stunting, algae, etc) I don't. I backed off a lot recently, run them at only 50% through majority of the photo period with a 1 hour burst of 100%. The burst takes care of bringing out the highlights in plants (orange tops, bright reds) and the 50% grows everything else well, nice and steady.

Highly recommend this. I think it's a learning curve though. Everyone that goes high tech assumes blast the lights, fast dense growth, etc. When you're on the first full year of having to hack down your tank weekly though you learn that gets old quick and slower, nicer growth w/o fighting algae is much more enjoyable.

Last edited by bsantucci; 09-11-2015 at 03:41 PM. Reason: quote
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:49 PM
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Three personal examples. My first panted tank with a 2x54 PC Coralife fixture with reflectors that might have as well been nonexistent and a glass diffuser growing a nice riccia rug.


The beginning of an HC carpet I had that didn't last long because I got tired of having to trim it. That tank was a standard 75g with a 2x54 Hagen T5HO fixture. Yet supposedly HC requires all kinds of light of to make a nice carpet.


And last but not least, a Lilaeopsis carpet in a tank using 1x54 T5HO, shaded by some large ferns using a glass diffuser.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:59 PM
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I know the tanks you're talking about. My hypothesis is that they're low light tanks, therefore requiring low co2. There is no algae in the tank, but the growth is not lush (for the higher requirement plants). For example, if you trim the plants aggressively, how long would it take to grow back in AI's tanks? Might be a long time...

Also what about pearling? As I recall, there's not much pearling in those tanks.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I saw bubbles attached to leaves but I assume its from the diffuser and not pearling. Either way I always though the goal is to run 30ppm co2 while I guess its not always needed.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Sorry I used voice to type feature on my phone and things didn't go to good.

I meant that the tank didn't look like a pop bottle in the sense that there wasn't a ton of bubbles everywhere. So when he said only 3-4 bps I believe its fairly accurate.

In my 75 with cerges reactor I was running a ton of co2. More bubbles than I could possibly count. And with only 1 finnex planted plus my lighting is on the lower side too. I just left there scratching my head because I just assumed you needed a ton of co2 to grow high tech plants and hc Cuba carpets. I guess you dont.
Fair enough...

That said, the store tank is probably more CO2 efficient than yours.

Really, your CO2 level goes down by 2 factors:
1) offgassing. Offgassing is limited in the store tank by the low flow, lack of spray bar, etc. Depending on how much surface disturbance you have, you may be off gassing a lot more CO2 than the store tank. He's clearly offgassing very little with that setup.

2) plant usage. Plant usage is going to be limited by whatever is the least available of water, CO2 and light. Water is never a limiting factor for submerged plants. In both your case, and the store tank, light is almost certainly the limiting factor.

I also think that in general we tend to aim for "overkill" in a lot of things. It is a whole lot easier to just jack the CO2 than to spend the time figuring out exactly how much you need.

EI fertilization is the epitome of this approach, and let's face it, this approach makes things a whole lot easier. We all could most certainly get away with a lot less fertilizer if we were testing and calculating doses regularly, but this is tedious.

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