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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright. I've got a dual T5 fixture pumping out 48W of light over my 29g (1.65 Wpg) planted tank. I use the term planted lightly because nothing I plant in this thing seems to be able to survive.

My question is this, which would serve me better. Adding a plant friendly substrate or adding some DIY C02.

I would like to keep this tank as low maintenance as possible. So in that aspect the substrate would be the better option, I just don't know if I want to go through the trouble of changing it, lol.

With DIY CO2 in a 2 litre bottle, how long does the C02 production last?

Sorry for all the questions in one thread :icon_neut
 

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What plants have you tried? What temperature is your tank? As far as substrate you don't need expensive stuff but if you don't plan on fertilizing you could go with Eco Complete or Amazonia, but you would still need to fertilize eventually. C02 would definitely help out, and if you spent some money on it (not DIY); it would become very low maintainance.

But because you say that nothing survives, I dunno. Did algae kill them?
 

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You have high light intensity with the 2 T5HO bulbs, so you need to provide good fertilizing and good CO2 to successfully grow plants and not algae. You might get by without the CO2, although I doubt it, if you use only one of those bulbs, which I don't think you can do with that fixture. Or, you could suspend the fixture about 6 inches above the top of the tank, and that might give you low enough light to do without the CO2.
 

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i had a 29g myself as my first tank. i just bought eco-complete and dosed excel and flourish..it was really low maintenance to me..i had a 65W fixture.
Cant go wrong with eco-complete. I think it's a good beginners substrate because it pretty much lasts a lifetime and doesnt cloud.

What kind of plants do you have? And what's your setup/maintenance like?
i.e. filter heater temp water parameters

DIY co2 lasts about 2 weeks to sufficiently produce co2..depends on the temperature of the room though. The colder it is the less co2 is produced.
 

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hey there,

I have a 29 gallon with 48w T5HO too. I have flourite as my substrate but I think the co2 will do wonders for your tank as it has already for mine. As others said we would need to know your parameters as well, but I have pressurized co2 in my tank that I just set up 2 days ago and my plants are already pearling. I also dose my tank with Seachem ferts. I imagine a DIY co2 will do the job as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yea i just found out I'm out of those little testing strips, so I have to go to the store tomorrow to buy some.

Whats the best way to measure my parameters? (if it's not the little test strips)
 

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yea i just found out I'm out of those little testing strips, so I have to go to the store tomorrow to buy some.

Whats the best way to measure my parameters? (if it's not the little test strips)
Save your money. Put it towards a CO2 set up.
 

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Yea I'm to the point where I only test for ammonia/hardness in new setups. From there on I don't test until I see something strange going on. Random fish deaths etc. Even then they wont be accurate, but if you notice it reading a little higher than what the water should be....you know there is problem somewhere.

Every once and a while I will do some tests just to see what everything is looking like, or if I'm bored. It can't hurt.
 
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