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Add co2 or not?

785 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  burr740
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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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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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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