Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/)
-   Beginner Planted Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/)
-   -   api co2 booster (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/api-co2-booster-91800/)

arscott82 01-27-2012 07:09 PM

api co2 booster
 
I was just wondering if anyone has used api co2 booster with good results? I don't have a pressurized system and quite honestly don't want one, for the time being anyways. I have a medium amount of plants. Would I just be waisting my time trying this or would it be worth using daily?

DKRST 01-27-2012 08:06 PM

Don't know much about the API brand, but the active ingredient is similar to the ingredient in Flourish Excel. Using the chemical, your plant growth will increase by as much as 4x the "normal" growth rate.
I used it for about a year with good results on most plants. Compared to setting up a DIY or pressurized CO2 system, it's cheap. It will harm a few plants, notably Egeria densa (Elodea), and Vals. The chemical also has some anti-algae properties. It's not a really person-friendly chemical, so you want to avoid skin contact and don't be tempted to "sniff" the bottle. It's not good for the lungs!

Would I use it again? Probably, if I stopped using pressurized CO2 in the tank I formerly used Excel in - but that tank has rather high lighting! I have three other planted tanks and I don't bother using Excel or pressurized CO2 in those tanks. Do you need it, no. Is it helpful, yes, if you want slightly faster plant growth.

arscott82 01-28-2012 07:59 AM

How about the look of the plants. Other than helping the plants grow quicker, does it make your plants look healthier? I think I'm going to try a bottle and see if I notice any difference. One other quick thing here, does it have any bad effects on any fish?

DKRST 01-28-2012 03:26 PM

No noticeable impact on fish at recommended dosing. It won't make plants "healthier", but they will grow somewhat faster and you can potentially sneak the light intensity up (just a little bit) if you dose the chemical. Increasing light intensity, not duration may cause additional colors to show in some plants, but you start running the risk of algae also.

Byron 01-28-2012 03:26 PM

First thing, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D

Although I have not used these liquid carbon products, I have researched them. I have no intention of using them, due to not only the detrimental issues DKRST mentioned but also not finding it necessary.

On the first issue with respect to fish, it depends. Chemical substances that kill some plants, cause skin irritation, etc. are not in my view something to put into an aquarium with fish. Obviously these products if overdosed will kill fish. Not that one would likely overdose to that extent, but the point is that it has that capability.

On the second issue, plants require light and 17 nutrients to photosynthesize. These have to be balanced, and plants will photosynthesize full out up to the point where something is no longer available. The rate of growth depends upon the level of this balance. With minimal (but sufficient) light and all nutrients, growth will be healthy and steady, but usually slower. With more light and provided all nutrients are increased in balance, growth will usually be faster.

The aquarist can decide what he/she expects in the way of plant growth, and then provide sufficient light and nutrients to achieve that. If there are fish in the aquarium, they must be considered with respect to all this, as fish are affected by light to varying degrees.

Providing all nutrients are available and balanced to the light (intensity and duration), plant growth will be as healthy as it can be, but slower (though not always:lol:). There is probably more CO2 produced in most aquaria than one might realize; I prefer relying on this natural CO2 rather than adding either CO2 or carbon via chemicals.

Byron.

arscott82 01-28-2012 03:50 PM

Cool, thanks for the info on that. As you did see I am new to this and this is actually my first tank. I have been reading up a little on all this, but I'll be the first to admit that I have a lot of learning left to do. One thing that I think will help me out is if I start with beginner plants and not the high dollar "look real nice in the pic" plants. I appreciate all the help with this. Thanks again.

Adam

Byron 01-28-2012 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arscott82 (Post 965999)
Cool, thanks for the info on that. As you did see I am new to this and this is actually my first tank. I have been reading up a little on all this, but I'll be the first to admit that I have a lot of learning left to do. One thing that I think will help me out is if I start with beginner plants and not the high dollar "look real nice in the pic" plants. I appreciate all the help with this. Thanks again.

Adam

If you haven't seen it already, there is a 4-part series entitled A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium stickied at the head of this section, in which I tried to summarize my simple approach. That may tie things together a bit for you. If you check my photos under Aquariums below my name on the left you'll see the results. Many of the planted tank aquarists here use this or a similar method.

Byron.

DKRST 01-29-2012 06:30 AM

Regarding your plant choices, I highly recommend swords for centerpiece plants that are easy to grow, unless you have a plecostomus. Welcome to TFK!

Tazman 01-29-2012 07:50 AM

I have used that API CO2 booster and I have to say if you have a large planted tank it can get very expensive dosing that stuff daily.

I tried a full course 32oZ bottle and it actually caused a dying piece of java fern to spring back into a bit of life. I now dont use any supplements for the live plants in my 75G tank and they are all perfectly healthy. My mbuna don't touch them and I had a piece of Anubias flower over last summer.

arscott82 01-29-2012 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 966020)
If you haven't seen it already, there is a 4-part series entitled A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium stickied at the head of this section, in which I tried to summarize my simple approach. That may tie things together a bit for you. If you check my photos under Aquariums below my name on the left you'll see the results. Many of the planted tank aquarists here use this or a similar method.

Byron.

All I have to say is wow. I really wish I would've read that before I did anything with my tank. Thanks for that, it was very informative and I know now that I have way to big of a hob filter for my planted tank. Plus I was using purigen, just took it out last night after I finished reading the four part. And about lighting? I have a flora sun max grow light, ok, now is that "to much" since I have a oversized hob filter? I have it on for about 9 1/2 hours a day. I now know that I have to much flow to let my plants absorb enough co2. Thanks for all your help

Adam


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