Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Supplement vs Co2 system (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/supplement-vs-co2-system-38557/)

Sinopa 03-04-2010 02:23 AM

Supplement vs Co2 system
 
I have a 9 gallon biube with elodea and riccia (which hasn't been exactly flourishing). So I've been looking into co2 injections. Everything I have asked about as far as Co2 systems, always led to large systems which were WAY out of my budget and were meant for servicing tanks over 20 gallons.

My friend found these three options:
Seachem Flourish Excel this will be about $24 a year
Jungle Labs CO2 System for Live Plants
- $56 the first year, and $36 every year after that
CO2 Tablet - $36 every year

We were wondering which option would be better, easier, and safer for my fish, since I've read that CO2 can cause a drastic change in pH, I would hate to come home to bodies.

Considering a co2 system might drastically change pH levels, would I also have to purchase a pH increaser and keep a steady supply of test strips to keep the water stable?

Other information:
LED MR11 Light 1.8 watts. 77 lumens. 7000 degree Kelvin. And 120 degree angle beam.
The fish I keep are neon tetra, danio, bumblebee goby, african frog, otto, shrimp, and hillstream loach. ( I know my tank is overstocked).
50% water changes once a week
Nutrafin Plant Gro added once a week

Austin 03-04-2010 02:35 AM

Well, if you want a DIY CO2 injector you could try a Yeast CO2 Injector. Though everyone has told me not to use this and I am too paranoid I'm going to kill everything with it. I constructed it but never used it. It's easy and cheap to make. I don't think you really need it, though.

Your lights look like the issue to me... I know 6500-6700 Kelvin is ideal not sure how 7000 is. Also 77 lumens seems low to me, when my lighting is on the low end of 2000 lumens for my 29g, and my light is considered low/moderate (i think). I also have 20W for my 29g, and 1.8 watts seems low for a nearly 10g tank.

Bulbs are pretty cheap you should look into a new one (wait for verification from some of our plant experts here first before you take any of my advice ><).

But, ya, my plants are fine without CO2 and many people here with beautiful planted tanks also don't recommend CO2. You shouldn't need it...

Sinopa 03-04-2010 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Austin (Post 337407)
Your lights look like the issue to me... I know 6500-6700 Kelvin is ideal not sure how 7000 is. Also 77 lumens seems low to me, when my lighting is on the low end of 2000 lumens for my 29g, and my light is considered low/moderate (i think). I also have 20W for my 29g, and 1.8 watts seems low for a nearly 10g tank.

My old bulb is what damaged my riccia, it was a halogen bulb and we switched it to a LED on sunday, before and after pictures (light specs included) here.

The Riccia has been getting greener since sunday, but I fear it won't really thrive without a co2 injection. An article here states that Riccia does best with a co2 injection.

If it will thrive without a Co2 injection, then it should be back to it's healthy self in a couple of more days, I think.

I was also looking into dwarf baby tears, Lilaeopsis Mauritiana, or stargrass, as a carpet plant would those do best with a co2 injection or would they be okay without it?

ayyyyyhuey 03-04-2010 03:19 AM

Your lights look like the issue to me... I know 6500-6700 Kelvin is ideal not sure how 7000 is. Also 77 lumens seems low to me, when my lighting is on the low end of 2000 lumens for my 29g, and my light is considered low/moderate (i think). I also have 20W for my 29g, and 1.8 watts seems low for a nearly 10g tank.

The tank has it's limitations with the type of bulb she can use. she included a link so you can see it. The new bulb she has is pretty bright. It is an LED bulb, so it sucks less watts. the old Halogen bulb was a 10 watt.... her 1.8 watt LED simulates at least 20 watts. An aquarium book we saw at the fish store says that the Riccia requires high intense light up to 10,000 kelvin. I could have gotten a bulb that pumps out 200 lumens, at 5000 kelvin. but it's not sufficent to simulate day light. highest i could find was 7000 Kel. so we're giving it a whirl.

Byron 03-04-2010 01:47 PM

I agree that the main and real issue is the light. Lumens measures the intensity of light, and it is said that around 30 lumens per litre of water is required. Some plants will grow with less, but not likely those you are attempting to grow. The colour of light (Kelvin) should be closer to 5000K for these particular plants; 7000K is high in blue but very little red (as evidenced in your photos, the second one is "cooler" than the first because of the difference in kelvin) and with these type of plants more red light tends to have more success.

I am not a fan of dosing carbon, be it CO2 or Excel, because carbon is but one of 17 nutrients plants need in balance with each other and light. In most situations, carbon is not the problem with poor growth. I would first improve the light (if you could combine both bulbs from your photos you would have an ideal mix), then look at using a comprehensive liquid fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Kent Freshwater Plant.

Byron.

Sinopa 03-04-2010 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 337690)
I agree that the main and real issue is the light. Lumens measures the intensity of light, and it is said that around 30 lumens per litre of water is required. Some plants will grow with less, but not likely those you are attempting to grow. The colour of light (Kelvin) should be closer to 5000K for these particular plants; 7000K is high in blue but very little red (as evidenced in your photos, the second one is "cooler" than the first because of the difference in kelvin) and with these type of plants more red light tends to have more success.

I am not a fan of dosing carbon, be it CO2 or Excel, because carbon is but one of 17 nutrients plants need in balance with each other and light. In most situations, carbon is not the problem with poor growth. I would first improve the light (if you could combine both bulbs from your photos you would have an ideal mix), then look at using a comprehensive liquid fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Kent Freshwater Plant.

Byron.

I am limited by the things I can do as far as light because of the fixture, it's about 5 3/4 of an inch across. concerning bulbs, if I go for one with higher lumens, I loose kelvin. My fixture will only take MR16 or MR11 bulbs. Pictures of the fixture attached to bottom.

I'm currently using nutrafin plant gro, which has this:
Guaranteed Analysis:
  • Total Nitrogen (N) - 0.15% [0.15% Water Soluble Nitrogen - Chelating Agent]
  • Boron (B) - 0.0005%
  • Copper (Cu) - 0.0005% [0.0005% Chelated Copper (Cu)]
  • Iron (Fe) - 0.26% [0.26% Chelated Iron (Fe)]
  • Manganese (Mn) - 0.05% [0.05% Chelated Manganese (Mn)]
  • Molybdenum (Mo) - 0.0007%
  • Zinc (Zn) - 0.003% [0.003% Chelated Zinc (Zn)]
Would that suffice or should I look into the fertilizers you suggested?

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m...l/100_0599.jpghttp://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m...l/100_0598.jpghttp://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m...l/100_0597.jpg

Byron 03-04-2010 09:09 PM

Light intensity is important, if it is too little regardless of what it looks like (k) it will not be sufficient. A warm bulb (below 5500K) that is brighter would prob be better than a 6500K that was not intense enough. Just a thought. Getting adequate intensity is the thing, more than colour (within reason).

Sinopa 03-04-2010 09:19 PM

Byron, could you suggest a bulb?
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...2FcompMR16.htm

redchigh 03-04-2010 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinopa (Post 338035)

If I could make a possibly cheaper suggestion,
just get one of those bendy desk lamps that take normal bulbs, and put the smallest CFL you can find (5-8 watts) that's cool white and around 6500k...

Just my 2 cents. It might not look as refined, but would work and be super cheap.
(get the lamp from a thrift store, and the bulb from wal-mart. :))

My 10G in comparison, has over 2400 lumens... and the 5G (if I decide to use artificial light) will probably have at LEAST 500 lumens. thinking 77 lumens might be enough for java moss, and it grows best in extreme shade. (thats why I can't seem to grow it well!)

Sinopa 03-04-2010 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 338060)
If I could make a possibly cheaper suggestion,
just get one of those bendy desk lamps that take normal bulbs, and put the smallest CFL you can find (5-8 watts) that's cool white and around 6500k...

Just my 2 cents. It might not look as refined, but would work and be super cheap.
(get the lamp from a thrift store, and the bulb from wal-mart. :))

My 10G in comparison, has over 2400 lumens... and the 5G (if I decide to use artificial light) will probably have at LEAST 500 lumens. thinking 77 lumens might be enough for java moss, and it grows best in extreme shade. (thats why I can't seem to grow it well!)


I'll look into that
maybe we can figure something out so it won't be an eyesore
Thank you for the suggestion!


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