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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 20 long has been up and running for about a week now. I have a T8 aqueon bulb that Im running. At this point, would it be more advisable to upgrade my light (perhaprs to a Finnex) or add co2 to my tank? I'll try to get a pic up when I get home...

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Always Co2. As I was taught Co2 is the gas, light is the pedal. However, once you get Co2 fertilizing EI method or pps pro is nessary.
 

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Check out NilocG.com or greenleafaquariums.com for better details. I personally use NilocG liquid dosing because all I need to do is one pump per 10g to EI dose. EI dosing is basically going heavy on every nutrient you may need and doing a large water change every week to bring it back to equilibrium. PPS pro is a leaner fertilizing schedule. Never done it so I can't say much more other that I think EI method is more popular.
 

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You probably have between 40 and 50 PAR light intensity at the substrate. That is about where you need CO2 to get good healthy growing plants, without serious algae issues. An "upgrade" in lighting would make it essential that you have pressurized CO2. So, I would add CO2 now, rather than increase the lighting. There aren't a lot of plants that won't grow with your current lighting, if you do use CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You probably have between 40 and 50 PAR light intensity at the substrate. That is about where you need CO2 to get good healthy growing plants, without serious algae issues. An "upgrade" in lighting would make it essential that you have pressurized CO2. So, I would add CO2 now, rather than increase the lighting. There aren't a lot of plants that won't grow with your current lighting, if you do use CO2.


nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
 

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nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
If money is an issue look at the Aquatek mini regulator. Its made for use with a Co2 Paintball tank. Its the less expensive way to go. If the sky is the limit go with Green Leaf Aquariums "GLA" regs for regular CGA 320 threads. Make sure that whichever regulator you choose you get one with, or add, a solenoid to be able to run it on a timer. Otherwise you will be turning your Co2 on and off everyday at the same time.
 

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nice, thank you !! I've been looking for equipment for a co2 set up. I think the regulator is the item that'll cost the most (from what I can tell). Then the tank... I'll get right on it...
Spend the money to get a good regulator and needle valve. I started with a cheap reg and needle valve. Only took about a month before i realized going cheap on the reg was a bad idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the input guys. I actually did consider the aquatek since I found it online... still kinda researching. I def dont wanna skimp on something to only find out it'll cost more to replace it later tho...

glad I found this place... Im learning quick !
 

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I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
 

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I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
High light and no Co2 will grow a nice algae farm. Along with that high light with only micro nutrients and root tabs and plants with unbalanced nutrients will only exacerbate this.

Thats just my 2cents and I'm no expert.

I recommend

Co2
EI or PPS PRO
Lights last only because they are not as important as the rest since you already have ok lighting with a T8
 

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I would recommend going with the following order:

Dosing (Flourish Complete, Flourish Tabs, etc.)
Lighting
CO2

I agree with the above comments that CO2 will help you more than lighting. However, CO2 systems tend to be more difficult and expensive to setup. Changing out your lighting for t5 bulbs takes an hour tops and can easily be done for $50 - $100.
I assume you meant to include flourish excel here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so I came across a good deal on a coralife T5ho light. Couldn't really pass it up... I plan to order a regulator (with solenoid) off the internet for just under $100, but I was told it would decent enough to not crap out on me. I think it's aquatek. since it'll be a while till I get my co2 up, Im guessing I could go with flourish excel for the time being?
 

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so I came across a good deal on a coralife T5ho light. Couldn't really pass it up... I plan to order a regulator (with solenoid) off the internet for just under $100, but I was told it would decent enough to not crap out on me. I think it's aquatek. since it'll be a while till I get my co2 up, Im guessing I could go with flourish excel for the time being?
Is that for the cool touch? Should be around $80 on a good sale. Just make sure to use soapy water to check ALL of the connections... I've read lots of stories of people getting these and finding the factory seals to be leaking (on the needle valve to solenoid part).

As for excel, you can dose in the meantime and even as a supplement once on pressurized co2 (although I doubt that is necessary and someone else could give better advice on that).
 

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T5HO on a non co2 tank for a new guy is asking trouble. Unless you hang the light a couple of feet high but whats the point? You can buy the light but sadly you can not really use it to its full potential until you get your co2 going. Otherwise I can see you battling with an algae war that you will not win.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
T5HO on a non co2 tank for a new guy is asking trouble. Unless you hang the light a couple of feet high but whats the point? You can buy the light but sadly you can not really use it to its full potential until you get your co2 going. Otherwise I can see you battling with an algae war that you will not win.


got it. sound like I better hop to it ! thanks !!

Bump: would this suffice?

http://greenleafaquariums.com/products/gla-mini-ss-co2-regulator.html
 
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