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Hello- I have had pretty good luck so far with my nano. I use Excel every other day and a little Flourish from time to time. Root tabs as well. Plants are many anubias petite, swords, dwarf Sagittarius (which is spreading), Frogbit and some Java fern. I haven't had a single plant melt in 2 months. Some minor algae on the glass near the top and on a couple of taller anubias leaves, but nothing unsightly. Water is clear.

Any opinions on happing an agitated surface, vs a smooth surface? I can easily adjust to do either. And I sort of like the ripples. But is this just making the water lose too much CO2 too quickly?

Thanks.
 

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Rippling the surface vs. creating a strong turbulence that makes lots of bubbles. As long as the surface isn't being broken often by lots of bubbles you should be OK. My first 'big' planted tank of 30 gal had a Hang on Back Aquaclear Filter that I had plumbed my CO2 outlet to, as long as I kept the outflow low, it grew plants well. I didn't understand the dynamics of aeration early on in my first planted tanks. (bubbling actively will remove a good portion of the dissolved CO2.) If using a powerhead and sponge filter it's best to not use the aerator attachment.
 

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I use a Fluval U2 internal filter on my 10 gal. I am wondering whether the 1/4" water level increase at the spot where the filter output blows on the opposite side increases evaporation or surface gas exchange.

It seems to me that dissolved oxygen content depends on the surface area of the water surface and also on whether the tank's circulation is bringing the oxygen depleted water from the bottom to the water surface to be reoxygenated.

My tank has done very well for some time.

CO2 is naturally very low in fresh water. Fish, plants, and bacteria all are creating CO2 all the time.
 
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