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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I currently have a 75 gal tank do weekly 15 to 20% tap water change. My tap has about .5 ammonia and about 5 to 10 nitrates. A few weeks ago I had bba and uesd excel to get rid of it and it worked great. I also got some great growth from my plants and some plants that were thought to be gone started to poke out of the substrate again so it helped with growth but I know in the long run will cost to much. Now I don't dose any ferts but could if I needed too but would hope that I don't have to preferably. I have some dry ferts. Now if I was to start adding co2 maybe about 1 bubble every 4 or 5 seconds which is still better than no co2 at all Would i have to start dosing or would the weekly water changes keep it going good. Also the lighting is one t8 32 watt daylight bulb. About 5 inches off the top of tank running 8 hours strait. Thanks to all in advance for any input.

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If I understand you, you want to have a tank with CO2 injection, but not necessarily go high light and frequent dosing. The plants will certainly benefit even from low CO2 enrichment. Where people run into problems is when your light is too high and CO2 too low -- algae, or when CO2 is ok to support fast plant growth but one nutrient is limiting --- nutrient deficiency. It sound like your aquarium does not have too much light, and if you see nutrient deficiency you could dose something or reduce CO2 as you like.

I did the same thing you describe with one of my larger tanks when leaving home for long periods--- lower light, lower co2, no extra ferts added, just the random person to feed the fish. Lost some very demanding plants but overall quite satisfied with the results and the lack of algae.

What are your cost-related concerns ? CO2, macros, micro or light ?
 

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I wouldn't bother with CO2 if your'e not dosing fertilizers. In fact, even low tech tanks needs occasional fertilizers. Don't rely on your tap water to supply everything. That's very unlikely to ever happen.

If after you start dosing fertilizers and want increased growth rates or to keep more difficult species then yes, use CO2. However, until you meet the more basic requirements CO2 will not be worth the trouble.
 

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CO2 will help plants cope with low light/low nutrient situations. Plants spend a lot of resources (energy) gathering CO2 when it is in short supply. Google rubisco.

Having ample co2 allows plants to allocate their resources to better utilize limited light and nutrients. Low light tanks will greatly benefit from having co2. That is why you saw immediate results from Excel.

However, if one or more required nutrients is totally absent, the only way to solve that is by adding the missing nutrient(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I understand you, you want to have a tank with CO2 injection, but not necessarily go high light and frequent dosing. The plants will certainly benefit even from low CO2 enrichment. Where people run into problems is when your light is too high and CO2 too low -- algae, or when CO2 is ok to support fast plant growth but one nutrient is limiting --- nutrient deficiency. It sound like your aquarium does not have too much light, and if you see nutrient deficiency you could dose something or reduce CO2 as you like.

I did the same thing you describe with one of my larger tanks when leaving home for long periods--- lower light, lower co2, no extra ferts added, just the random person to feed the fish. Lost some very demanding plants but overall quite satisfied with the results and the lack of algae.

What are your cost-related concerns ? CO2, macros, micro or light ?
Well my concern would be cost with the co2. I know I could try the paintball can setup and even the diy co2 with citric acid with a valve should work at the amounts that I'm thinking of. Just was looking for some opinions and advice as I've never used co2.

CO2 will help plants cope with low light/low nutrient situations. Plants spend a lot of resources (energy) gathering CO2 when it is in short supply. Google rubisco.

Having ample co2 allows plants to allocate their resources to better utilize limited light and nutrients. Low light tanks will greatly benefit from having co2. That is why you saw immediate results from Excel.

However, if one or more required nutrients is totally absent, the only way to solve that is by adding the missing nutrient(s).
Correct if i were to see a deficiency then I could dose whatever was needed I currently have potassium nitrate, plantex CSM+B, potassium sulfate, and mono potassium phosphate dry frets. From what I can think of I would only need to get some iron in case needed and am planning on getting some osomocote plus for root feeders. Opinions?

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You're going to need a full range of nutrients either way you go. Might get by with fish poop and tap water, or you may need to supply additional compounds.

That all depends on the light levels and what kind of plants you have, also how many plants, fish, etc. Your plants can answer this better than anyone on a mssg board. :)

What you saw from using Excel is just a small example of what real co2 would do, a very small example.

I'd stay away from diy unless you know what you are doing and really have a good set up, and are diligent about maintaining it. It is very difficult to keep diy running consistently. Up and down co2 levels from one day to the next will grow more algae than plants.

Many people make the mistake of thinking DIY is the way to go...because they dont need much CO2 to begin with. The logic is sound, but keeping a steady rate is just as important as how much. That is where DIY fails more often than not.

You're better off in the long run making the initial investment in a good pressurized system that you can set and forget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're going to need a full range of nutrients either way you go. Might get by with fish poop and tap water, or you may need to supply additional compounds.

That all depends on the light levels and what kind of plants you have, also how many plants, fish, etc. Your plants can answer this better than anyone on a mssg board. :)

What you saw from using Excel is just a small example of what real co2 would do, a very small example.

I'd stay away from diy unless you know what you are doing and really have a good set up, and are diligent about maintaining it. It is very difficult to keep diy running consistently. Up and down co2 levels from one day to the next will grow more algae than plants.

Many people make the mistake of thinking DIY is the way to go...because they dont need much CO2 to begin with. The logic is sound, but keeping a steady rate is more important than how much. That is where DIY fails more often than not.
I was actually planing on using a setup like the one in this video https://youtu.be/1JzvfHO31Ug seems more reliable than the yeast setup and seems like it would last a while at 1 bubble every 4 seconds. But will do more research to see if the paintball setup will work as I don't want to dish out 100 for a good setup


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Well...it wont be long before you're well over $100 screwing around with any diy set up. And that's not counting the headaches that come with it. And I say this as someone who's ran several DIY systems successfully in the past on a few different tanks.
 

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Even with very low light it's going to take a minimum 10-15 ppm of co2 to make any difference. That is simply not possible with 1 bubble every 4-5 seconds into a 75 gallon tank. 2-3 per second...maybe.

Seems like Excel might be the best way for you to go at this point. You've already seen positive results. The only drawback is cost, right?

Here is a gallon of the same thing for $26 + shipping. (comes in quarts too)

Amazon.com : Metrex Metricide Gallon 14 Day - Model 182337 - Each : Health And Personal Care : Beauty


It is cheaper and stronger than Excel. Approximately 6 ml of Metricide = 10 ml Excel. Both products are gluteraldehyde.

If you go this route, be sure to throw away the little packet of "activator" that comes with it. Ignore the instructions and dont use that. Just use the liquid same as you would Excel.
 
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