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According to Tom's Non CO2 Method article (http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/433-Non-CO2-methods), using mineralized soil, peat, or leonardite under the gravel provides a source of carbon for the bacteria living in the gravel which in turn allows the bacteria to use up oxygen in the gravel, thus allowing better transfer of nutrients to the roots (hope I understood that right :confused1: ).

The question I have is what happens when the carbon source runs out? Does anything else in the tank eventually start to supply the bacteria with carbon? For example does all the "crap" that accumulates eventually in the gravel take over this role of being a carbon donor?

Thanks,
Harry
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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That's why many people start using CO2 and/or Excel on their tanks.

Personally, I stick with low enough lighting that my plants get whatever carbon they need from fish respiration + normal osmosis from the air.
 

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I started a low light, non injected CO2 tank about 9 months ago. Everything is working just as nicely as day 1. If I notice a decrease in plant health, I will just drain the tank and replace the layer peat moss underneat the substrate, pretty simple I think.
 
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