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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

In a planted tank with a nutrient rich substrate (dirt, whatever) and low amount, DIY CO2, is water column dosing still neccessary as it is in higher density CO2 systems?

Thanks.
 

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Your plants will let you know if they need more nutrients.

How high is your lighting? That usually the driving factor in any tank. If you have high lighting you will probably need to dose nutrients no matter what, and you should consider getting more CO2 (or lowering your light level).

If you have low light and a pretty heavy fish load, you can wait and see what your plants do. If they are growing fine for a while and then stop growing as much, that would be a signal that they've used up all the nutrients available to them. It will depend on your plants and your lighting.

Personally I dose the water even in my low-light tanks, because I find it helps growth and fights algae. And if you're already doing DIY CO2, dry dosing is much easier than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Low light. About 1.75/Gallon.

Plants are micro sword, DHG, Giant Leaf Hygro. Cardinal. Rotala. Narrow Lead Chain Sword. Annubias Nana.

I'm not dosing at the moment.

Considering doubling the light to 3.5 (another identical fixture).

That said, the only plant that isn't thriving is the DHG, and now that i mowed it all down to the nubs, it seems to be coming back some.

Color is decent on everything, but not amazing. I would be using CO2 mostly in hopes that it would make everything a bit more "lush", rather than increasing growth.

Substrate is fluval stratum over vermicompost, which is super rich.

So given all this, think DIY CO2 is worth it?


Your plants will let you know if they need more nutrients.

How high is your lighting? That usually the driving factor in any tank. If you have high lighting you will probably need to dose nutrients no matter what, and you should consider getting more CO2 (or lowering your light level).

If you have low light and a pretty heavy fish load, you can wait and see what your plants do. If they are growing fine for a while and then stop growing as much, that would be a signal that they've used up all the nutrients available to them. It will depend on your plants and your lighting.

Personally I dose the water even in my low-light tanks, because I find it helps growth and fights algae. And if you're already doing DIY CO2, dry dosing is much easier than that.
 

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Low light. About 1.75/Gallon.

Plants are micro sword, DHG, Giant Leaf Hygro. Cardinal. Rotala. Narrow Lead Chain Sword. Annubias Nana.

I'm not dosing at the moment.

Considering doubling the light to 3.5 (another identical fixture).

That said, the only plant that isn't thriving is the DHG, and now that i mowed it all down to the nubs, it seems to be coming back some.

Color is decent on everything, but not amazing. I would be using CO2 mostly in hopes that it would make everything a bit more "lush", rather than increasing growth.

Substrate is fluval stratum over vermicompost, which is super rich.

So given all this, think DIY CO2 is worth it?
Hey, that's about the amount of light I have in my tanks! I don't do any CO2 because I'm lazy, but from all I've heard it will benefit even a low light tank. So as long as you feel like doing it I would keep it up because it can't hurt (as long as you try to keep the levels fairly constant; fluctuating CO2 can lead to problems like BBA).

And at that light level with rich substrate it seems that you're plants should do fine for now. I would just watch them for signs of deficiencies and act if any turn up. My tank has plain ol' gravel, so I dose and add root tabs.

Someone else might chime in with different thoughts, but my philosophy is there's no sense in adding something until it's obvious you need it (save money, time, and energy!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you have a thread with pics? I'm curious to see what a similar setup with dosing and root tabs instead of the vermicompost and fluval stratum looks like.

Thanks!

Hey, that's about the amount of light I have in my tanks! I don't do any CO2 because I'm lazy, but from all I've heard it will benefit even a low light tank. So as long as you feel like doing it I would keep it up because it can't hurt (as long as you try to keep the levels fairly constant; fluctuating CO2 can lead to problems like BBA).

And at that light level with rich substrate it seems that you're plants should do fine for now. I would just watch them for signs of deficiencies and act if any turn up. My tank has plain ol' gravel, so I dose and add root tabs.

Someone else might chime in with different thoughts, but my philosophy is there's no sense in adding something until it's obvious you need it (save money, time, and energy!).
 

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I don't have a journal for either of my tanks, partially because I'm lazy and partially due to factors beyond my control (like my computer being dead while I was setting up my 10 gal).

But here are pictures from tonight.

29 gal: pebble substrate, 4x13 watt CFL. I just did a pretty good trim on it; for instance, all that pennywort used to be up to the top.


10 gal: Flourite Dark substrate, 2x10 watt CFL. This one is kind of random and overgrown right now.


I use root tabs and dry dose in both tanks, although the shrimp tank is mostly mosses, so it's rather ironic that it's the one with the better substrate; only use root tabs under the sword and crypt in that one. No CO2 or Excel, lights on 8-9 hours a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really like the look of that 29.

Is that cardinal on the left side?

I've got a strand of it in mine also, and the stuff just grows... and grows... and grows... and grows... despite relatively low light.

I have to snip and plant at least one stem per week. Started with 4 I think. Now I have a forest.
 

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The plant on the left is Hygrophila polysperma, just the normal green version. It does grow like a weed, and with that and my hornwort it makes it so I need to trim this tank every two weeks even though it's low light. That, and my goldfish likes to uproot things, so by then I usually have a handful of floaters to replant.

I think I started with two or three stems myself sometime in the spring. :)

Thanks for the compliment, by the way. I've never really showed anyone a full tank shot because I haven't felt like I had found a scape I liked, nor had I figured out how to make my plants look lush and healthy. I'm really happy with the way it looks after this trim, so I'm glad someone else appreciates it too. :)
 
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