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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 46gal low tech tank with good substrate, great custom dual T5ho lighting with 6500k for plants and 12000k for color, etc. The petco guy told me that c02 could help my plants. I bought the oista water plant 45g supply kit.

Is this an okay beginning set up? What should the drip rate be? It says about 1 drip per second and to turn it off at night. I have it set to 1 drip every 1.5 seconds because I don't want to turn it off all the time. What do you think?
 

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theres no point running co2 at night..the lights aren't on the plants are using it and if you have fish well then your just making it harder for them...use co2 only when lights are on..timers are your friend in this hobby!! any ways at night it good to get plants and fish a break from the co2..when you start putting co2 in the tank you need to add fertilizers reason being your plants get hungry and what will they eat?? the fish food and poop isn't enough well depending on different things..any ways do more research on here and every where not the petco guy...look at pros and cons see every thing you need and if your doing it right..honestly why need co2 if you have a low tech tank?? low tech is low tech..its supposed to be a slow growing long low maintenance type of tech.. throwing co2 is a whole new ball game when it comes to the tank..again from me and everyone else here do some good research and read..because you can waste a whole lot of money before you get all the right equipment for you or what your trying to do..just some food for though on that
 

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In my opinion, the product is a "toy". Return it to your LFS and get the real pressurized CO2 system.

Once you start replacing those 45g cartridges on the Oista, you'll likely find that in the long haul, you'll spend more on that product than you would on normal pressurized CO2. A 5 lb tank holds about 50 times what one of those 45g cartridges does.

Yes that initial cost of the regulator and tank can be quite a bit, but swapping or refilling a 5lb tank should be $15 or so.
 

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Besides what the others have mentioned you got a "45 gallon kit" for a 46 gallon tank. I've found a good rule of thumb with aquarium stuff is to cut whatever the manufacturer claims for a rating in half. This seems to work pretty well on everything except heaters. I would take any advice from a big box store fish wrangler with a grain of salt. I'm sure there are some very knowledgeable ones but they are few and far between.

Are you having issues with the plants, or just trying to get more growth?
What kind of plants are you growing and wanting to grow?

And as Patfat inferred, you had a low tech tank. Twin T5ho and CO2=high tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you guys bring up some really great points. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the advice and guidance. I need to decide whether or not I want to stay simple and low tech or if I want to do co2, "the right way." I find that my plants do okay for a couple of months maybe but then I need to buy more. I do a liquid fert once a week. They flourished when I first set up the tank a year ago, growing rapidly. then it flattened out and I have to stay on top of new plants every couple of months.
 

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There is no doubt that CO2 will help your plants. You just have to decide how serious you want to be about it.

If you decide you want to get serious you will want a decent pressurized CO2 system. Going half arse will add frustration, inconsistent bubble counts, fluctuating CO2 levels, refilling, replacing, etc, etc. it will take the fun out of it in hurry. I have a 20lb cylinder on a 20L and I don't touch the co2 for 6 months at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, I have gotten overwhelmed by all of the parts that I need and options. Can you point me in the direction of your 20lb set up that allows you to go 6 months without touching it? What parts exactly and estimated start up cost?
 

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Thank you, I have gotten overwhelmed by all of the parts that I need and options. Can you point me in the direction of your 20lb set up that allows you to go 6 months without touching it? What parts exactly and estimated start up cost?
HIS can go 6 months without touching the tank. This will be different for all people. I personally use a 5lb tank and it lasts 4 months on my 55 gallon. Look into co2 regulators, Green Leaf Aquarium, Co2Art, are good options. Some forum members also build regulators. Stay away from Aquatek or Azoo, as they are cheaper but not worth the headache (Trust me, I have one). My start up cost was about $100 for the tank, and a good regulator is about $150, I would go dual stage though to prevent end of tank dump. A good dual stage, like the ones co2art sells are $130 and up. You will need a solenoid and needle valve, so make sure when you buy a regulator you either have them already, or the regulator comes with one. $250 is a good budget to have.
 

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I agree with the post above, whenever you are doing something, take the manufacturers rating for an aquarium and cut it in half.

A fully custom CO2 system for your aquarium is another kind of beast and one that will greatly help your plants. I would start with a $200+ budget as a minimum for your 46g aquarium, especially if you want a system large enough that you can let it operate for several months without resetting it. In terms of difficultly I would liken it to someone who builds desktops choosing to water cool their new desktop build. Whether this is a useful metaphor to you is unlikely.

Either way best of luck, post some pictures if you choose to undertake such a project.
 
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