New lighting and large tank - CO2 or not? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-23-2007, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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New lighting and large tank - CO2 or not?

Hello all...

I now have a Nova HO T5 fixture, with (2) 54W 10k bulbs and (1) 54W 6700 bulb (replaced the actinic and left one empty) on my 90 gallon tank. I am running it for 10 hours a day.

I only have an unknown plant, an Anacharis, a Java Fern, and a Moss ball in the tank with some Java Moss coming on Monday - so my tank isn't heavily planted at all, but I would like to see all of these thrive so I could spread them when they are large enough to split. The unknown plant in the past month I have had it is really growing in height quickly. The Java Fern (2 weeks in my tank) has some brown spots since the move. The Anacharis is dark green but I haven't noticed any growth except for some thin dangly things in spots growing downwards towards the gravel.

I don't think the Anacharis is going to survive from what I have heard about using Excel with them, but I can't move it. I also use the basic Flourish and the Iron version. I have some root tab ferts but only put them by the unknown so far.

So anyway.....knowing about WPG and that is fine, but when we start talking about HO T5 bulbs (at a total of 162 watts) and the large tank size, my question is: should I run CO2 or not? Opinions greatly appreciated since I am confusing myself.

I have hard water (7-8 degrees kH and 18 degrees GH - possibly backwards) and higher pH (~ 8.0). The chance that CO2 might bring my pH down a bit would actually be welcome.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-23-2007, 05:32 PM
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CO2 will not hurt, it will help your plant growth. That being said, you really need to go pressurized if you are going to use it because keeping constant levels or 30ppm with DIY is a nightmare in small tanks let alone a 90 gallon. Then again you really don't need it. It is really up to you if you want to use it. If you do, you most likely will need to dose some ferts to keep the tank balanced and prevent algae. Without it, you still may need to does a lot but could get away with just the Excel and a micro for iron.

I guess it really comes down to what you want. If you want to add higher light plants or really get a high biomass, go with Co2, otherwise it really isn't needed.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-28-2007, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply...before I buy the regulator, etc I am calling around to find a place that can supply the tank/CO2. I think I found a place.

Compared to pictures I see around, I am quite lightly planted.

My large unknown plant has grown about 4-5" in the past month, but the bottom leaves are droopy, with yellow edges. I think I may have two problems with it - not enough light and possibly nutrients. I have been adding Flourish, Excel, and Flourish Iron every few days, but I don't have anything else to give yet. My Nitrates have dropped from 40 (tap water has some in it to start) to 10 now.

On the other hand, my java moss has had brown leaves since the day after I put it in the tank, but I have read that it may just be adapting. It is neatly tied to a piece of driftwood.

The only problem with the Anacharis is that someone in my tank keeps digging it up and I have floating stems some mornings. I think I finally have that fixed though.

On this subject, should I slap the last 54W bulb in to the fixture (probably another ~6000k one). That would give me 2.4WPG instead of 1.8 that I have now.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-15-2007, 02:48 PM
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co2 will help plant growth in your tank, co2 systems are the difference between tanks looking good and looking amazing!
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-16-2007, 10:58 AM
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As you can see, you do not "NEED" CO2 to have a tank that is beautiful and plants that grow like weeds. My pearlweed (bottom front left) is now 4x as large and twice as full, the Primrose, (ludwigia repens) is still needing to be trimmed weekly and the Anubias Nana is in the best condition and larger than any specimen I have ever seen. I dose a LOT of nutrients under 3.5 w/g on a 10 gallon tank and I also dose Excel every day at the recommended dosage. Just remember to take care of the tank with weekly 50% water changes and keep your dosing high enough to make sure you don't hurt the fish but never have anything bottoming out causing algae. If I really focus on dosing and keeping the tanks maintained I can grow Ammania Senegalensis, Bacopa Carolina and Ludwigia Aromatica green like a weed. The Aromatica is the plant in the middle back. I did take the crypt out because it was going to outgrow my tank, all without adding CO2.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-16-2007, 02:27 PM
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strip it down and start again, look at planted aquariums for inspiration you can craft the landscape of the tank from scratch.
look at the plants you want to grow- then see if you need co2 to grow them, plants flourish with co2 where they might only just survive any other time.
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