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tarannosaurus

When is CO2 necessary?

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I apologize if this is in the wrong place.

I'm just wondering when it is necessary to use CO2 in aquariums. I have a lot of plants, I mean, it's not a jungle or anything, but they seem to be doing just fine. Is it just certain plants that require CO2? I have anubias, onions, aponogetons, amazon swords and a water lily. My light is a T5HO and I am using Eco Complete substrate. I have been adding flourish and excel.

I have added a few more plants since this photo was taken:

20131008_1824541_zpsc32e4545.jpg

I am fairly new to live plants, so I am open to any suggestions as well.

Edited by tarannosaurus

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What brand light ? How many bulbs? How big is the tank?

Certain plants do require high light and CO2, these are plants that would not grow without it.

However all plants have a greater need for Co2 and ferts as lighting levels rise. You can think of light as the driving force. As light level increases plant photosynthesis/growth also increases. In order for the plant to remain healthy as it continues growing at a faster rate it requires increased CO2 and increased fertilization. (Think of it as a growing child, during a growth spurt (high light) they need more food and more sleep to grow properly)

Plants grown in high light tanks where additional co2 and ferts are not provided will show deficiencies and stunting, you are also likely to see an increase in algae issues in this situation where the balance is off.

In order to reduce the need for added co2 and ferts it's as easy as reducing lighting levels ;)

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None of the plants in your tank need high light/co2 btw. They will grow just fine in low-med lighting levels.

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What brand light ? How many bulbs? How big is the tank? Certain plants do require high light and CO2, these are plants that would not grow without it. However all plants have a greater need for Co2 and ferts as lighting levels rise. You can think of light as the driving force. As light level increases plant photosynthesis/growth also increases. In order for the plant to remain healthy as it continues growing at a faster rate it requires increased CO2 and increased fertilization. (Think of it as a growing child, during a growth spurt (high light) they need more food and more sleep to grow properly) Plants grown in high light tanks where additional co2 and ferts are not provided will show deficiencies and stunting, you are also likely to see an increase in algae issues in this situation where the balance is off. In order to reduce the need for added co2 and ferts it's as easy as reducing lighting levels ;) Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk None of the plants in your tank need high light/co2 btw. They will grow just fine in low-med lighting levels.

Hmmm I'm not certain which brand they are. One is 54 watts and the other is 24 watts. I know I bought bulbs that are for plants. My tank is a 55 gallon.

I plan on getting more plants which is why I'm asking. Maybe some more lilies and water lettuce.

My aponogetons are growing so fast. One of them is growing about three inches a day and then flowered a few days ago.

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Are there two different fixtures on the tank.? Typically if there are two bulbs in the fixture they are the same wattage.

The fixture almost looks like an aquaticlife fixture...would that make sense?

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No, it's one fixture. It is an aquatic life fixture but it has two different bulbs in it. I didn't do this on purpose, one bulb died before the other and I got a different one.

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...Certain plants do require high light and CO2, these are plants that would not grow without it...

Do you have the list of plants that do need CO2?

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...Certain plants do require high light and CO2, these are plants that would not grow without it...

Do you have the list of plants that do need CO2?

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You can pretty much assume that plants that require high light by default are going to also require extra co2. These are plants that are generally not going to do well in a low light setup (although there are always outlier examples of people who are able to grow these plants in less than ideal settings). Carpeting plants like dwarf baby tears are a good example, without co2 and appropriate light they typically die off pretty quickly.

I'd encourage you to research any plant you are interested in keeping to make sure it's appropriate for your setup. There's so many different aquatic plants that it would be impossible to give you an exhaustive list, but it's very easy to figure out what particular plants might need by doing a quick search.

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Excel is a liquid CO2 supplement. I use it. I get better growth and less algae. Excel will work for some setups, but if you want a truly heavily planted tank, you probably would want a pressurized CO2 system. But it's not just about the CO2 -- it's a balance of which plants you have, lighting and CO2 and more.

I stick with Excel because it's easy, I don't have high lighting, and it's enough for the plants that I have. :)

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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co2 is for high light, high tech tanks. It is a lot of work and not cheep. Even the DIY co2 is tricky and those tanks require a lot of care.

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You've gotten some great answers so far!

Is it possible to get some pictures of the light fixture's underside? So we can see the kinds of bulbs that it takes, and try to narrow the list of possible fixtures?

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You've gotten some great answers so far!

Is it possible to get some pictures of the light fixture's underside? So we can see the kinds of bulbs that it takes, and try to narrow the list of possible fixtures?

It is an Aquatic Life Dual-Lamp T5HO fixture.

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That's interesting. I wonder what's up with the wattage difference in the bulbs. You have a great fixture!

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There are two different types of bulbs. T5s have the lower wattage while the t5ho has the higher. This is how you can have two bulbs at the same length but different watts.

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That's interesting. I wonder what's up with the wattage difference in the bulbs. You have a great fixture!

It wasn't on purpose. The bulbs are different because one went out before the other and then I replaced it with something else. The other bulb is still the original that came with the fixture.

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That's interesting. I wonder what's up with the wattage difference in the bulbs. You have a great fixture!

It wasn't on purpose. The bulbs are different because one went out before the other and then I replaced it with something else. The other bulb is still the original that came with the fixture.

It's not possible for that fixture to hold two different bulbs. The bulbs may have different spectrums (aquatic life fixtures usually come with a 6,000k and 650nm roseate bulb).

You are probably getting a par somewhere in the 40-50 range which is solidly medium lighting, possibly verging on the lower end of high if you're getting 50.

I would definitely keep dosing excel, that's a good source of carbon. If you find you start getting a lot of algae or your plants aren't doing great you can consider lowering the lighting level a bit by using window screen on the fixture, raising it up off the tank by using a hanging system, or adding some floating plants to provide done shading :)

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I still have a bottle 3kg in fact of co2 in the shed with a regulator when I use to have a tropical planted tank.. but shut this down years ago due to busy working hours/life.. wonder if it still works? wonder if my Amazon swords and anubias would be growing better with it? not the 3 bubble a second but 1 bubble maybe every 5 seconds? dunno

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I still have a bottle 3kg in fact of co2 in the shed with a regulator when I use to have a tropical planted tank.. but shut this down years ago due to busy working hours/life.. wonder if it still works? wonder if my Amazon swords and anubias would be growing better with it? not the 3 bubble a second but 1 bubble maybe every 5 seconds? dunno

I know of people who supplement a small amount of pressurized co2 in low light tanks and have nice results :idont the trickiest thing about using it in a goldfish tank is the ph drop it causes, but if you're only running a small amount it would probably be relatively easy to monitor/control.

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