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post #1 of 7 Old 11-29-2008, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
Planting a tank w/o CO2

Is there a way to plant a tank successfully without using CO2? Most people ive talked to tell me that CO2 is required if i want a lot of plants. Perhaps adding bubbles or something might help?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-29-2008, 08:29 PM
Bubbles means oxygen. Plants take in CO2.

The only way that would be ok (not great) is that if you did completley low-tech. That means not a lot of plants, low-light plants, little light, etc.
OR dosing Flourish Excel if the tank is small.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-30-2008, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
would increasing fish load help? since it would increase respiration and co2 in the water along with waste that turn into nutrients?
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 03:52 PM
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CO2 levels in your tank are normally right around 3ppm. It wants to be that way simply because of the nature of things. Your tank will have natural CO2 levels regardless of what you do but if you do not inject CO2 it is actually beneficial to run some kind of airstone or have some surface agitiation so that the levels can be maintained at the 3ppm. The air from an airstone will contain CO2 also so it helps to maintian the levels.

I have had tanks that were absolutely stuffed with plants and a few fish and I have been able to manage what I considered good if not above average growth without CO2 injection. I also had very little algae. This was when I dosed using a sytem called the estimative index. This basically means that you dose everything at levels that will never run out. My plants thrived. It also means that you dose just enough that you keep levels below toxic levels for your fish. I never lost a fish.

To give you an idea, I had Wisteria and Water Sprite in my tanks as well Anacharis/elodea. Every 2 weeks I had enough that I could have shipped a ton of it to anyone who wanted it. Anubias that doubled in size every 4-5 months. A sword that litterally grew out of my tank.

So it can be done without CO2 injection. This is not saying that CO2 won't make it even better but regardless of how dense the tank is planted, you do not need to inject CO2 to see weed type growth.

I have Wisteria now and don't dose much of anything and it grows like a weed anyway. I don't have to trim it every 2 weeks but every month it needs to be trimmed back or it would simply over run the tank.

If you provide what the plants need then they will thrive, period. CO2 or not, you can have a lush and fast growing tank loaded with plants if you give them the nutrients they need to grow.

Last edited by fish_4_all; 12-01-2008 at 03:56 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 05:29 PM
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I agree that it CAN be done with good to average results. I am not saying that it is impossible to do without CO2, although from my experience, CO2 does more good than bad. Hope that helps! ")

Well according to
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 09:50 PM
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I have to agree that CO2 is a benefit in most if not 99% of all cases. It just isn't needed to have nearly the same results.

Put it this way, if I could afford a pressurized system with the needed regulators I would have one right now. I can't and DIY sucked big time for me so I do it the easy way. Lots of light, surface agitation and plenty of nutrients.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
cool, thanks for the advice, it was a huge help
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