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Flourish needed for Low light plants?

This is a discussion on Flourish needed for Low light plants? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Yep, increased water flow increases gas exchange and drives CO2 out of the water, replacing it with 02. As for a company, I like ...

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Flourish needed for Low light plants?
Old 05-20-2011, 12:45 PM   #31
 
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Yep, increased water flow increases gas exchange and drives CO2 out of the water, replacing it with 02.

As for a company, I like Sweetaquatics.

Super cheap, and it's the only place I use. They just moved, but are finally settling down again and shipping within a week of when you order.

Last edited by redchigh; 05-20-2011 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:27 PM   #32
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
Yep, increased water flow increases gas exchange and drives CO2 out of the water, replacing it with 02.

As for a company, I like Sweetaquatics.

Super cheap, and it's the only place I use. They just moved, but are finally settling down again and shipping within a week of when you order.
But, what if you are just using low light plants with no C02 injection? Does the same imply?

If so, then should I remove the airstone and allow natural oxygen release from the plants?
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #33
 
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Carbon is a macro-nutrient required by plants. Most of our aquarium plants are soft water species, which means they "prefer" to assimilate their carbon via CO2. Some plants can also use bicarbonates which are more prevalent in harder water, and species from natural hard water areas (such as Vallisneria) are very efficient as using bicarbonates which is why the species in this genus always grow better in hard water. Mosses cannot use bicarbonates at all.

In a natural aquarium, CO2 comes from the fish and plant respiration and decomposition of organics by bacteria. This mainly occurs in the substrate, which is yet another reason for not vacuuming the substrate in a planted aquarium, it removes CO2. And there is more CO2 produced by bacteria than the fish and plants. But it is limited, and as plants need a sizable quantity of carbon, it can easily become the first nutrient used up. So it makes sense to keep as much CO2 in the aquarium as possible.

Another point on this is that in water, CO2 takes four times as long to be assimilated by plants as in air. Which is why aquarium plants on the surface or with aerial leaves grow much faster; they have access to CO2 in the air and can assimilate it four times faster that their submersed counterparts. What many authorities refer to as the aerial advantage. So here again we want to retain as much CO2 in the water as possible, so plants have the opportunity to use it.

Which brings us to what drives it out. Water movement via "bubblers" and surface disturbance speed up the gaseous exchange during which CO2 is driven out of the water and Oxygen is brought in. Keeping this minimal will obviously mean more CO2 remains in the water longer, thus being available for plants. Many have argued that the loss is not significant, but I think this is not a reasonable assumption. It is certainly known that in a normal balanced natural (low-tech) planted aquarium, the CO2 is generally used up half way through the day, or perhaps a bit longer depending upon the tank's biology. Once it is gone, plants cannot photosynthesize, so they slow down or shut down. This is where algae takes advantage if the light remains. Which is why we always limit light to prevent algae. The limiting factor to plant growth should be light, not CO2 or some other nutrient. This is also the basis behind the effectiveness of the "siesta" method, having tank lights on for 5 hours, off for 2-3, on for another 5 hours. It is the increase in CO2 during the "siesta" that makes this work.

So what this all means is that nothing should be employed in a natural planted tank to quicken the dissipation of CO2 from the water. It was interesting that yesterday I had some time in Vancouver so I spent a couple hours in the Library and browsed through a few back issues of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, and in one article by Takashi Amano he was very clear that no surface disturbance should be created in a nature aquarium, and given the fact that he is very high-tech with CO2 diffusion, he still considers it critical to prevent CO2 loss via excessive water movement. It is even more so in our natural low-tech systems.

The increase of oxygen can also be detrimental, as I mention in that series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium," so I won't repeat all that here.

You specifically mentioned low-light plants. While it is true that these, being slower growing, are using less light and nutrients, they still need sufficient CO2 and sufficient time to assimilate it.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-21-2011 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:20 PM   #34
 
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Thanks bryon... You always seem to know how to break it down to physics.

So with that being said, will my fish recieve oxygen from the plants if I remove the Air stone?

And what should I do about having two HOB filters?? They do cause alot of surface disturbance. Which I believe is part of the reason these plants arn't thriving.

My other culprit would be my 2 Dwarf Powder Gouarmi's. I see him nipping at the plants and wondered why, So I read up on them and it says they are Ominvores. As cool as they look I'm seriously thinking of re-housing them.

I think eventually i'll be going High tech as I do own a Co2 Tank and JBJ regulator, but, for now I just would like to do low - med light plants and have them thrive as best as possible.

Maybe you can point me in the right direction, again, here's my pro's and cons:

Pros: Life-Glo Light, Flourish Comp, Timer, Hard Water

Cons: Air Stone, 2 HOB filters, Dwarf Gourmi's, Sand substrate

If you were me, what would you do about my situation?
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:31 PM   #35
 
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In a balanced tank, more oxygen is produced by the plants than the fish and plants and bacteria could ever fully use. I said balanced: well-planted, moderate fish load. There is also oxygen entering the water at the surface naturally. And during darkness, fish respire much slower, thus requiring much less oxygen.

I am not a fan of HOB filters due to the water flow rate and other issues. They are however good filters in some situations, just not mine.

But you have a 10g tank, with 2 HOB's?
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:57 PM   #36
 
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In a balanced tank, more oxygen is produced by the plants than the fish and plants and bacteria could ever fully use. I said balanced: well-planted, moderate fish load. There is also oxygen entering the water at the surface naturally. And during darkness, fish respire much slower, thus requiring much less oxygen.

I am not a fan of HOB filters due to the water flow rate and other issues. They are however good filters in some situations, just not mine.

But you have a 10g tank, with 2 HOB's?
Yes, I have two HOB filters. Both recommended for 20 gallons each. I'm overstocked so I try to keep the water quality as best as I can. But, if that means my plants will be effected by it I'm willing to lose one of the filters and just stay on top of the weekly cleanings.

I currently house:

2 Dwarf Gouarmis
2 Fancy Guppies
6 Neon tetras
2 African dwarf frogs
1 Mystery snail
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #37
 
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There should be no problem with only one filter, and in a 10g i would only use a sponge myself.
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #38
 
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There should be no problem with only one filter, and in a 10g i would only use a sponge myself.
Ok I'll remove the other filter.

Did you catch this part:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fate View Post
Maybe you can point me in the right direction, again, here's my pro's and cons:

Pros: Life-Glo Light, Flourish Comp, Timer, Hard Water

Cons: Air Stone, 2 HOB filters, Dwarf Gourmi's, Sand substrate

If you were me, what would you do about my situation?
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:12 PM   #39
 
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Ok I'll remove the other filter.

Did you catch this part:
Not sure I follow. Removing airstone, filter change. ??
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:59 AM   #40
 
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Not sure I follow. Removing airstone, filter change. ??
I'm just saying what else would you recommend I do to allow the plants to thrive best?

Also Should I remove one filter?
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