When is CO2 important?
Hello, I plan to set up an Amazon tank, with South American plants only. I plan to get alot of plants right off the bat so I don't have to cycle it. I have heard of CO2 but, crazy as it sounds, I don't even know what it does.
Also, I don't know what kind of lighting the tank will have, but it probably doesn't have enough to keep the plants alive. Right now, I have a java fern and some apogeton bulbs that are doing fine. I have had them for a while. They are just living off the sunlight that fills my room.
I will open a thread about the specifics but I am looking at haveing just SA tetras and cories and maybe a school of marbled hatchets. I know that some of those fish like plants that hang over the top of the water. If you know any SA plants that match that description, please let me know.
I will meet my friend-with-the-tank thursday, so I can inform y'all on the size then. I will try to use Redchigh's soil substrate method. I need a source of lighting better than sunlight, though. I am clueless when it come to aquarium lighting.
If you know great SA plants, post it. If you can explain CO2 accurately, post it. If you have any lighting suggestions, post it. Thanks!:-D
First a quick note, it is hard to say on a lot of these things because opinion varies so widely. This is just what I have learned so far in my research on lighting and co2.
I liked this article:
DIY CO2 System for Planted Aquarium
even though it is a page on diy co2, it explains the process of co2 and light pretty well.
Now some people say that co2 is not needed until after 2 watts per gallon(wpg), some say 2.5 wpg, and some folks say much later(at 3-4 wpg). The main thing to realize is that you don't nessicarily need a super high tech set up to grow some nice plants, Byron has quite a few tanks that use regular t-8 florescent and no co2 injection. Co2 injection makes the plants able to utilize more light(as well as more light makes plants utilize more co2) and can help speed up the growth process quite a bit. However setting up a co2 injection system requires a large investment as well as expensive lighting to back it up. For a 55 gallon tank(I was researching that size for myself) you need to be will to drop around $800, depending on the lighting it can be much more.
Basically, you have a lot to research and ultimately you are going to have to formulate how much wattage you want and what kind of set-up you want to use, because opinions are so varied on the subject there is no definitive answer for everyone.
That's just my 2 cents. I have been told everywhere from a single 40watt florescent is fine to I need to have 3-4 watt per gallon even without co2 injection if I want to do any sort of growing at all and in the end I just had to take a plunge based on my research and see how it goes. If I were to wager, I will probably have some plants die and I will probably end up with a expensive co2 system I don't really need but I am the obsessive addictive personality type.
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