CO2 in a creatureless tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question CO2 in a creatureless tank

Hi I'm starting my first planted tank and have a few concerns for my tank. So I have a few plants in a 6 gallon tank and started a fishless cycle yesterday with Nutrafin Cycle. I don't plan on adding any creatures into my tank until it is fully cycled. Until then, do I need to buy CO2 or carbon supplements into my tank to satisfy my plants' CO2 needs? Is there a natural way for plants to receive CO2 in a aquarium without fishes, shrimps, frogs, etc? I found a product called Seachem Flourish Excel, a carbon supplement for plants. growth. Can I use this as a source of CO2 for my plants.

Any suggestions or advice would help. Thanks in advance!!! =)
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 05:57 PM
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Well I will start by saying Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping!

Second, with enough plants in your tank you can put Critters in the same day. I did this with tank. Plants will take the ammonia from the fish pretty quickly especially fast growing plants. So with that said its harder for the bacteria to compete with plants over ammonia. So there will virtually be no cycle and will/is safe with fish. So long as you don't put to many fish in (which being only 6 gallons I would imagine you wouldn't) and have enough plants you will be safe.

Plants need 17 nutrients Co2 is one of them. With no critters in the tank there will be no source of ammonia unless you are providing it some how. With no ammonia there will be no bacteria. Bacteria can and will break stuff down over time and provide C02 in a naturally planted tank. Excel will provide liquid carbon but the plants still need the ammonia also.

What kind of plants do you have in there now and how many?
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Thanks for the response

Thanks for the advice. Before I got into this, I never knew aquarium keeping can be so complex. I feel like I'm studying to be a botanist/marine biologist. But the learning process is entertaining in itself and I'm very much enjoying this.

Currently I have a bunch of dwarf hair grass and dwarf four leaf clovers. I might add more plants later on. How long have you been aquarium keeping for?
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 07:11 PM
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Been messing with them for little Les then a year now. LoL so am still learning.
The plants you have are all substrate plants or carpeting plants. I have never had them but am pretty sure they need high lights and C02 to thrive. So here the Excel might work but just a of caution Excel is some pretty strong stuff. It can make some plants melt like Jungle Vals and not the best for fish if dosed wrong. Also don't take a deep breathe the stuff and I would wear gloves when handling it. Not saying this to scare you lots of ppl use it with great success just becareful with it. What kind of lighting do you have?
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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The owner of the aquarium shop from where I bought the plants from said they require low to medium lighting and said my Fluval Edge with stock LED lights should be adequate for it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for now but I might put a lamp over it if i start seeing brown. I took your advice and bought 3 guppies a few hours ago to help with the cycling. Plus I just couldn't wait to add fishies in there haha. Hopefully all goes well.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 09:50 PM
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Do you have a way to check your water? If soo keep an eye on it and be prepared to do water changes if they are out of range. Also floating plants will help out a lot. Also watch how much food you feed them. Don't overfeed. Also I would not add anymore fish till you know things are working out right.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-24-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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My testing kit should be arriving in a day or two. In the mean time, I'll be feeding them every other day just to keep it safe.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-24-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RandyL3312 View Post
My testing kit should be arriving in a day or two. In the mean time, I'll be feeding them every other day just to keep it safe.
You can feed them everyday just in small amounts. That should be fine. When you do get the test kit in and test the water will you post the numbers?
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-24-2012, 07:55 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

LED lighting is growing in popularity and getting better, and I have seem some fantastic small (5g, 10g, even 20g) planted tanks with LED lighting. I've not tried LED myself, so can't offer much.

I second Boredomb on not using Excel, for the same reasons.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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