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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!
I kept fish for a while in middle school, and even though my fish were fine, I could never get my plants to stay alive. Now that I am looking to get back into the hobby, I have a lot of questions about how to set up and maintain a planted tank. I am looking to do a med-to-high light planted tank.

1. Why do I need to inject CO2? Isn't my air diffuser/liquid supplement enough?
So I have read almost everywhere that CO2 injections are a must in med-high light tanks. I understand that plants need co2 to grow, but shouldn't the co2 from a balling air diffuser or liquid supplements be enough? If not, why?

2. Why can high light and no co2 injection cause algae blooms?

3. Why does CO2 have an effect on ph and kh, and why should I be concerned?

4. Are all in one fertilizers enough, or should I be more meticulous about nutrients?
I have seen a lot about fertilizers and nutrients, but I am wondering how particular I need to be about giving my plants the right amounts. Would something like Sachem Flourish suffice?

5. Will potting soil work as a substrate?
I have seen many posts about using potting soil, such as miracle grow organic, as a substrate. As long as I perp it properly (by adding and draining water and removing floating debris), will it provide the proper nutrients?

6. What kind of light should I go for?
Amazon has hundreds of aquarium lights with at least 4-star reviews. These lights can range from 20-200$. What should I look for in lights for planted tanks? Any suggestions on lights for a 24in deep tank?

Sorry for the long post, I just have struggled to find a comprehensive guide that wasn't too basic or completely over my head. My last attempt at growing plants was a complete failure; even the hardiest plants never lasted more than a month. This time I want to do it right.
Thank you guys so much and Happy Thanksgiving!
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