Do I need CO2 yet? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-02-2009, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need CO2 yet?

I recently started converting my 10 gallon quarantine tank into a display tank that I intend to plant. As of right now, I only have about 3 feet of Hornwort in the tank, to provide a little cover for the dwarf gouramis im currently keeping. The light on the tank is a 15 watt fluorescent, which claims to yield the equivalent of 65 watts of light. I have an airstone in the tank, but I'm currently not using it.

So I've got two questions.
1) I'm planning on adding at least one more plant, probably a crypt, and a few small tetra tomorrow (the gouramis will be going to another tank). Will CO2 become a neccessity at this point, given the "65 watts" of light I'm getting?

2) Will I need to begin using an airstone with the addition of a small school of tetra, or will the two plants be producing enough oxygen to sustain them until I add even more plants. There is a small amount of aeration through the HOB filter, also.

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-03-2009, 11:09 AM
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Airstone probably isn't needed if filter is rated for ten gal or larger. Bubbles from air stone will work against plant growth by driving off Co2 .You don't want a lot of surface disturbance. I would be suspect of 15 watt bulb that claims to produce 65watts or equivilant. Don't let hornwort block light for other plants if it's floating on suface. Crypts don't need a lot of light but all plants, need some.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-04-2009, 01:35 AM
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When a fluorescent light bulb package says that it puts out as much light as a 65 watt bulb they are comparing it to an incandescent bulb which has a less efficient light output. when people talk about how many watts they have above their planted tank, it is safe to assume they are talking about the more efficient fluorescent light and they need not relate it to how many watts it would use if they were using incandescent bulbs. So for the purposes of this forum you have 15 watts of light. It is also important to note that many household compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) lack the proper “color” for growing plants. Most Bulbs labeled Full Spectrum or Daylight will do okay, 6,700k is considered ideal.

CO2 will help pretty much any plant but I wouldn’t say it is a necessity, definitely not for hornwort. In a densely planted tank it does make things easier. But it is expensive and for a few small plants not really worth it. If you really want CO2 than look into a DIY system, I used such a system up until recently for a year but have come to resent them because of the dedicated maintenance involved.
If you do not use CO2 than an air stone won’t hurt, it can only help. People commonly hear that air stones drive away CO2, this is true if the concentration of CO2 in the tank water is higher than the concentration in the air surrounding the tank such as in a CO2 injected tank. However when CO2 is not injected into a heavily planted tank, often the concentration of CO2 in the tank is lower than that of the surrounding air and the air stone will help CO2 from the air absorb into the water. Generally your filter will provide the means for the gas exchange of both oxygen and CO2 and serves the purpose of an air stone, and you don’t have to worry about it too much unless you have way too many fish in the tank.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-22-2009, 10:28 AM
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For your lighting, CO2 is not needed. It can always help but is not necessary.

As for your light, if it is a screw in compact fluorescent with a proper Kelvin rating it will be fine. I have a bunch of 6500K rated compact screw in bulbs.

As for lighting a 10 gallon with them, I would say 30 watts with them is still not enough where you "need" CO2. The restrike they have and the actual amount of light you get into the water from them is much lower than regular fluorescents.

Do you know the Kelvin rating of the bulb?
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