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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day, I have a heavily planted nano with a sponge filter and DIY CO2. I have run nano's without filters before with no issues but will there be an issue with turning off my filter during the daylight hours to help trap CO2?
 

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G'day, I have a heavily planted nano with a sponge filter and DIY CO2. I have run nano's without filters before with no issues but will there be an issue with turning off my filter during the daylight hours to help trap CO2?
Probably not, but keep an eye on ammonia and O2 levels for a couple weeks or so to make sure that it is safe. Ammonia, you can measure. O2 can be measured, but it may be better to just observe your fish for signs of O2 distress.

It might be a good idea to place a small circulation pump near the bottom or pointing toward the bottom, without causing surface rippling. This would keep the water circulating to not only distribute the CO2 and other nutrients evenly, but to also encourage BB development, and feeding, in the substrate and other surfaces to supplement the re-balancing that will be going on in the biomedia of your filter.

For such a small pump, you could buy something like this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/1294877-what-deficiency-my-rotala-macrandra-3.html#post11234245. Then you remove everything on it and there is just a tiny pump left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers Deanna, I have considered a little pump but am worried it will heat the water too much in such a small tank. I live in the tropics so my tank water is always between 29-33c (84-91.5f), I'm just about ready to buy a chiller.

Could I get away with pulsing the sponge so it turns on for 15m every hour to keep enough movement for the bacteria?
 

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That would very likely help everything, but then you will be significantly reducing CO2 build-up, which goes against your initial interest. My main concern is keeping O2 levels up and with your [ouch!!] high water temps, that is probably a struggle even running as you now are.
 

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I tried this once with a dirted 5 gallon - I turned the filter off completely, so that the only equipment the tank had was the light. It didn't go well...I did get elevated CO2 levels, but ammonia levels shot up to 4 ppm and the plants melted and could not root in the substrate (presumably because the substrate became strongly anoxic, even though it was only an inch thick or so). That might have worked better if I had had a filter and surface agitation outside of the photoperiod, but I would still be careful if you try this.
 

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If your purpose is to lower the amount of CO2 off gassing by turning off the filter to improve plant growth I think you are going to be disappointed. Your tank needs oxygen as well as water circulation. In a tank that small I would expect the O2 to drop to dangerous levels quite quick and the stagnant water will stunt your plants more than the extra CO2 will help them. Plants need more than just CO2 in the water, it they need the water flowing over/through them so the CO2 will be in contact with the leaves so it can be absorbed by the plants.

Here is a good article on the subject: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why/how-to-push-the-limits-of-co2-safely
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Deanna, this is true. I tried turning the air way down on the filter today, pearling is up and the drop checker is almost green. I'm currently using an upside down medicine cup to inject CO2, so maybe this and a decent atomiser might get me there
 

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