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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have co2 on a tank and i'm thinking it is time to cut off the co2 for the next 12 months (picture attached). None of the plants require co2 for growth and as you can see the tank is way over grown so i want to reduce growth rate.

Question: Is there any issue with just cutting off the co2 when the canister is depleted or is there a a proper way to 'wean' it to low tech ?

(btw this is an old picture it is far more over grown now)

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You might not like what happens when you are used to perfect growth. I haven't used Co2 ever,but I have used iron and various fertilizers and then went too long not using them. The plants went to much slower growth,smaller leaves and if you don't reduce the lighting- algae will start to cover old leaves.
Best bet is to keep as few fish as possible- fish that make you happy in lowest numbers- don't go over 8 hours photoperiod..and use iron glutamate as a supplement.
 

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All of this is dependent upon a ton of variables. Most of the plants in the photo aren't going to change drastically. But could you tell us more about the tank? Be as specific as possible about lighting, plants you have, size of the tank, distance from light to substrate, all of that.

An 8-hour photoperiod may not be necessary, depending upon what you're using for lighting. Or it may just be necessary to raise the light or place a layer or two of fiberglass window screen between the light and the tank in order to dampen things. I have some tanks that only have a six-hour photoperiod and others that I run for 10-12. Nothing is set in stone.

Algae isn't going to miraculously cover just old leaves. If you encounter algae issues, you can easily (generally) address them by adjusting lighting and nutrient levels.

The number of fish one keeps has nothing to do with whether a tank is "low-tech" or "high-tech" - it's dependent upon what your tank can handle in terms of processing waste. If your plant load and current filtration can handle it, it's fine.
 

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I know diy sugar/ yeast CO2 is a bit different from pressurized CO2 but I've stopped the use of my diy CO2 on a tank of mine after I got rid of the carpet and a couple more sensitive plants leaving be with mostly bulbs and rhizomes and it took me about a month of tweaking the lights and ferts to adjust, but it really wasn't that bad. Growth does slow a bit and algae did hit a few of my plants, but nothing more than would happen when you just set up a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I learned what happens and turned co2 back on after 3+ months. Basically the large sword plants could no longer support their super sized leaves. The leaves slowly began to die allowing huge amount of unpleasant slimy algae to start growing on them. This had a not very positive impact on water quality and helped clogged the filters pre-filters (now cleaning them 4 times a week). About 90% of the damage was to the sword plants (btw the sword plants were the reason to turn off co2 because they were too large but i had hoped for simply a reduction in growth); the jungle val also suffered a bit - nothing else (smaller swords, crypts and anubia seemed to be impacted). Perhaps if i had just reduced the co2 a bit over time it might have gone better but now i'll just suffer through using co2 for the next year and then when i move plan the tank around plants that won't grow quite so large.
 

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I didn't realize sword growth was what you were trying to slow. They're unfortunately one of the plants that grow larger and less compact for me when I reduce lighting and CO2 levels. I mean, most plants adjust similarly or at least have broader leaves. But larger swords are a different beast. About the only way to deal with them is to start when they're small and fresh off the mother plant's rosette.

Some larger crypts can get crazy, too, but those adjustments seem to happen over the course of a year or two instead of a month or two. They can experience similar leaf die-off and regrowth that goes bonkers.
 

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Swords do the roller coaster for me on iron. If I use lots of iron,I get faster growth. But,the fish sometimes show some problems. So I stopped with heavy iron use,went more to potassium ( no fish problems) and my lo tech plants stayed green on that with occasional iron.
Pearlweed is a plant the seems to eat fish waste and convert into growth. A good anti algae plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know without the co2 the swords won't grow quite so large; as i said i think the issue is the current set of leaves were so large the plant could no longer support them when i turned off the co2 allowing algae to eat into them. I've turned on co2 now and i'll see what happens over the next 3 months and report again - btw this is the degraded shape of the tank; it is not a totally fair picture because i removed the worse of the leaves to reduce the slime:
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This is before i turned off co2:

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Co2 will always do better. I think you should stay with the Co2 and use Swords that are naturally smaller so no need to prune huge leaves that block light.
I think IF you had stuck to no Co2..the Swords morphology would eventually adapt..be much smaller and much longer to get there. I mean,they have been aquarium staples for a century now and even in no Co2 set ups can become huge with enough light and a deep substrate. Mine?.Ok..not large. They seem to grow in flushes and then can sit with no growth for weeks. Window light keys them on to the season. They have even changed leaf form over the seasons..paddle growth in winter and spring,then lanceolate in summer. Interesting to see happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The problem i was describing is how the plant reacted to the removal of co2. Yes when I move I will use smaller swords; for now I will just live with the large swords for the next year. They are a pia to deal with since i didn't leave enough room behind the tank for plant maint. and they are hard to reach from the front. Also quite frankly - other than the ruffle i'm not in love with those swords - there are nicer swords... and the one on the far right is a real pia because it sends runners out every week or so; the ruffle hasn't sent a runner out in 3 years so i wonder how one make baby ruffles ;)


Co2 will always do better. I think you should stay with the Co2 and use Swords that are naturally smaller so no need to prune huge leaves that block light.
I think IF you had stuck to no Co2..the Swords morphology would eventually adapt..be much smaller and much longer to get there. I mean,they have been aquarium staples for a century now and even in no Co2 set ups can become huge with enough light and a deep substrate. Mine?.Ok..not large. They seem to grow in flushes and then can sit with no growth for weeks. Window light keys them on to the season. They have even changed leaf form over the seasons..paddle growth in winter and spring,then lanceolate in summer. Interesting to see happen.
 

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No,I got you. I just meant some people minus Co2 over the many decades have gotten large swords. I myself always seemed to get with no Co2,Swords of a hundred leaves on plants that stopped at about 8" max. That was on all fluorescent lighting.The Sword I have now has been up and down over the years- sending out flowering runners in late spring two years in a row now caused by sunlight mostly by a southwestern exposure window. It would be thicker,but the Clown Loaches punch holes in leaves..then I have to remove damaged leaves before they become food for algae.
But, I understand ..when you have good lighting and Co2,there are some great not large Swords to try in various colors. I've thought of the purple one might be worth a chance. I have heard its a slow grower even under Co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yea - I have some swords (same species of the one in 120 minus the ruffle) in low tech tanks and they are much smaller. I'd estimate around 5 or 6 inches but they are only 2 years old. The one in the 120 - some of the larger leaves were more than 28 inches (including stem) which means the plants in the back of the tank had leaves getting close to the front.

No,I got you. I just meant some people minus Co2 over the many decades have gotten large swords. I myself always seemed to get with no Co2,Swords of a hundred leaves on plants that stopped at about 8" max. That was on all fluorescent lighting.The Sword I have now has been up and down over the years- sending out flowering runners in late spring two years in a row now caused by sunlight mostly by a southwestern exposure window. It would be thicker,but the Clown Loaches punch holes in leaves..then I have to remove damaged leaves before they become food for algae.
But, I understand ..when you have good lighting and Co2,there are some great not large Swords to try in various colors. I've thought of the purple one might be worth a chance. I have heard its a slow grower even under Co2.
 

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I know without the co2 the swords won't grow quite so large; as i said i think the issue is the current set of leaves were so large the plant could no longer support them when i turned off the co2 allowing algae to eat into them. I've turned on co2 now and i'll see what happens over the next 3 months and report again - btw this is the degraded shape of the tank; it is not a totally fair picture because i removed the worse of the leaves to reduce the slime
Crown/Rosette plants, like anything else, grow slightly smaller or more compact with high lighting and CO2. They do grow much faster with stronger lights & CO2, of course. And also require more in terms of ferts then. But they certainly aren't any smaller without. When grown in weaker lighting, plants have to spread and grow larger in order to take in enough light. Same thing with crypts. Without high light and CO2, you'd just have less or slower growth, not typically smaller.

The slime you're describing is from melting as the plant tries to adjust to its new parameters - different lighting, different CO2 concentration.

As @Stan510 suggests, you'll likely be best served by looking for a smaller sword variety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I noted twice that i intend to replace the large swords after i move since then i will have to tear down the tank. Sides I know of tiny swords (1-2 inch); small swords (4-5 inch) not as small swords (6-8 inch) but I don't know of any swords medium swords (16-20 inch). That seems a tough gap to fill. I'll keep the ruffle sword even if it is already quite large but that mellon hybrid of unknown name I'm not sure what I'll do with it - maybe cut all the leaves off and put it in a low tech tank. I has miserably long leaves.

As @Stan510 suggests, you'll likely be best served by looking for a smaller sword variety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well one thing is for sure when you chop down a ruffle sword it regrows bloody fast. After pruning most of the slimy leaves (a few left); it sprouted no less than 13 new leaves in about 8 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So this is an update; This is the current picture. If you look straight back in the middle by the eheim filter intake you can see one of the slimy leaves left. All the swords have put out a large number of new leaves so i suspect in about 6 to 8 weeks the tank will be a lot closer to the picture at the top of the thread. I still have a few more of the slime infested leaves to remove though the one i pointed out the pleco has been cleaning so it isn't so bad. The biggest problem is the bba on the anubias in the front. In the past i've tried hydrogen preoxide or excel dips and neither works very well. Since they have new leaves growing I'll eventually just remove the old ones. In case you are wondering I had removed (given to lfs) the two large male golds seen in the picture above. This leaves me with 8 angels; 3 pairs and 2 males that are bounced around. The only real fish that is a problem is the smallest male black near the back. That fellow will dive bomb everyone esp at eating time.

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