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pressurized co2 and no EI. Asking for trouble?

683 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  plantbrain
am I asking for trouble if I use a paintball co2 system, without EI dosing or dry dosing?

I currently have a low tech 29g with Mineralized Topsoil substrate, medium-low light. Have been dosing KCL every 3-4 days.

plants: (spelling might be wrong)
java fern
crypt lutea
crypt beketti
amazon sword
ludwiga(don't know what kind)
lobelia cardinalis
marsilea crenata

I am planing on getting the paintball co2 setup ...... Just want to know ahead of time what I will be dealing with if I ended up going that route.
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It's all about nutrient balance, so adding C with out adding N, P or K (and micros) can be pointless. The plant growth will be limited by whichever nutrient is in the least abundance. But since you have mineralized topsoil a lot of the nutrients are provided. You will probably be fine without ferts.
Adding CO2 is beneficial to your plants, even in lower light. Your lack of dosing nitrogen and phosphorus along with micros should be less problematic at your lowered light levels. CO2 should never create problems in your tank (other than stressing your fish). Too much light without enough CO2 is more often the cause of algal blooms in our tanks.
Youll be fine. I run co2 to my semi low tech w/o ferts and it does great.
I will start saving for my paintball co2 system, now that I have the general concensus from you all that plants will do fine in my tank w/o dry or EI dosing. Thank you all!
Well , you do have some nutrients coming in from the soil.
So you will be okay. are adding K+ every 3-4 days, why not add a little KNO3/KH2PO4/Traces as well? Heck, it's not different from what you are now doing anyway and adding it is a rather simple thing.......:icon_idea

This way you do not run out of nutrients in either location.
Then you can focus on gardening and CO2 etc.

No one has killed their fish with ferts.
Weekly almost we hear of someone who gassed their fish with CO2......
Use both locations for ferts, not just one.

You gain nothing in doing so, you are already adding fish food and KCL.
Adding 2 more things makes no difference as far as labor.

Tom Barr
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Also, you do not NEED to read the full EI article.
It is not written in stone, can be(should be) modified and adjusted to suit most any goal for dosing.

Say you want to run it lean in the water column, rich in the sediment:
Dose say 1/2 the typical amount.

That's not hard and is common sense.

Some do not want to do water changes, well, you more than likely ought to consider non CO2 methods. Or very low light. Can you get away without it? Sure. But it is easier to manage if you do them.

And that is the trade off.

I do a monthly water change on one of my lower light CO2 enriched tanks, I have a high fish load and they provide maybe 50% of the ferts but I still dose........just in the form of fish food and do so 2-3x daily.

Other tanks I do weekly, some might get 80%, others, 1/3 rd etc.
I also do not follow the dosing rigidly either.

And that is sort of the point, I do not have to or need to worry much about it. Sediment ferts adds even more flexibility to the process.

So they are complimentary/synergistic, not........."either or".
Best of both.

Tom Barr
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