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How regulated does CO2 need to be for it to be useful ? I don't have any idea.
very, co2 requires extra fert and extra light to keep plants growing and algae under control. if your co2 dips but ur fert and light are still high algae will take hold in a matter of day(s). then once you have it itll take weeks to get rid if it. consistency is key with high tech co2.
 

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On the nitrogen comment- plants need all their nutrients available at all times.

I don't know about your balanced systems, but mine (before soil) had all 0's for nitrogenous compounds, and growth was slow.

Most frets we reccomend here (the comprehensive fertilisers) are, for all intents and purposes, trace element ferts. Their Npk is negligable, and they mostly provide nutrients that are lacking- like copper, iron, silica, and boron.
I can agree with you here, ive been using seachems flourish since I started my tank. with the tank now much more full of plants then before I am starting to see macro def's in the bigger plants. flourish isn't for a co2 tank by any means or a high light non co2 system.
 

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want to point out there is nothing wrong with high tech at all and it is very doable. byrons tanks are examples of years of maturity and wernt done overnight. a high light Ei ferts and co2 will turn a new tank from a light forest into a dense jungle in very short time. but with using the high tech there are many factors that need to be kepts in check. I would not recommend high tech for anyone new to the plant side of things.
 
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