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View Full Version : How beneficial is CO2?



abraham3660
07-25-2010, 10:41 PM
I have a 20 gallon high tank. I just started the whole planted tank thing. Right now i have some sera floredepot and aquarium gravel mix as substrate. I have 2 amazon swords, an anubias, a tall grass plant, and another pine like weed? It is a low-medium light tank so i was wondering how much would co2 help?

rich311k
07-25-2010, 10:48 PM
CO2 always increases growth rates. It is not needed though, your tank will be fine without it.

SpyderSpy6
07-25-2010, 11:05 PM
I am a firm believer of using CO2 injection in a planted tank. To keep costs low, you can do a DIY setup. Make sure that you have a glass diffuser or some type of way to to keep the CO2 in contact with the water.

kennedpa
07-26-2010, 12:41 AM
Like everything in life there are always exceptions to the rules. One person can set up a tank with inadequate lighting, no co2, under filteration etc and have amazing plant growth. Another can do the same and be disappointed.

IMO CO2 is not needed however it sure helps plant growth...but you also need correct lighting. I ran tanks for years (30 odd) without co2 and its only now I decided to add it to my recent tank thats almost a year old. I have weekly trips to my LFS selling em plants from my off cuts.....swords included (not weekly thou)

travism76
07-26-2010, 12:45 AM
There's an article in here as a sticky about balance. Its a good read.
Basically you may not need more co2. It all a matter of getting the right balance in your tank. If your plants do well without it then why throw off the natural balance in your tank?

Plant Man
07-27-2010, 01:34 PM
I have a 20 gallon high tank. I just started the whole planted tank thing. Right now i have some sera floredepot and aquarium gravel mix as substrate. I have 2 amazon swords, an anubias, a tall grass plant, and another pine like weed? It is a low-medium light tank so i was wondering how much would co2 help?

You would be surprised! If you do it right, youíll never go back to non-Co2. You may later in life have a small non-Co2 tank but only to get yourself another tank that is super low maintenance. Co2 can make your aquarium much more fluid looking if done right. You can see the changes from week to week.

I donít get people that say things like ďYour tank doesnít need Co2Ē. Trust me when I say youíll be MUCH happier with the results. Your plants will be greener fuller and much healthier looking with Co2, even with low light it makes a substantial difference!

Go for it! You won't regret it. But do it right.

If you have any questions send me a PM.

Lady Hobbs
07-27-2010, 01:41 PM
I would never go back to CO2. When your plants are coming out the top of the tank without it, it's hardly necessary.

People that generally make the statement it's not needed are those who have successfully kept planted tanks for many years and have it figured out. Much depends on your lights.

Plant Man
07-27-2010, 06:31 PM
If you'd really like to see what is possible with Co2,

Go here,

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2009.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=2&id=27

rich311k
07-27-2010, 06:55 PM
I agree he will get better growth with CO2, but those plants with that lighting will do fine. They might not shoot out the top but they will grow and look quite nice. You do not always need or want a green machine.

Plant Man
07-27-2010, 08:16 PM
I agree he will get better growth with CO2, but those plants with that lighting will do fine. They might not shoot out the top but they will grow and look quite nice. You do not always need or want a green machine.

In my experience Co2 does not just improve growth, it improves overall health. Co2 tanks look much cleaner and healthier to me.

Co2 also helps you recover from clipping out a lot of older leaves without ending up with a decimated tank look. What you clip out grows back faster so you can much more easily ďsculptĒ your aquascape.

I donít think itís a question of need. Itís a question of means. Do you have the means to do it and would you like faster growing plants. If the answer is yes, then go for it! And good luck! :ssmile:

Plant Man
07-28-2010, 04:22 PM
There's an article in here as a sticky about balance. Its a good read.
Basically you may not need more co2. It all a matter of getting the right balance in your tank. If your plants do well without it then why throw off the natural balance in your tank?

Yes, under low light conditions Co2 my not be needed. But if you are fertilizing then Co2 will only improve matters in a lower light set-up.

If you are in a mid light situation and things seem OK without fertilizing then adding Co2 without fertilizing can makes thinks much worse.

Lady Hobbs
07-31-2010, 10:53 AM
I really should clarify my earlier post that I would never use CO2 again. I meant that to say DIY CO2. That's just my own personal thoughts due to mishaps that can happen..... and did. I also don't care for numerous airlines running into my tank but again, that's just me. I would use pressured CO2 in a heartbeat especially if I had better lights and plants that required more light.

I take the easy route and simply add a capful of Excel a few times a week. No messing around wondering how many bubbles you are getting, if the airline is clogged or leaking and never any algae. I'm not sure why people say Excel is too expensive but I assume it's those who have a dozen tanks and then it would be. But for one or two planted tanks, I just think it's a breeze. One capful doses my 55 gallon and how many capfuls are there in a 2-liter bottle of Excel? A lot!

But, like all things here, we all have our own methods of doing things and stick with what's working. I'm not trying to brow-beat others into doing as I do. Just explaining my earlier post and what works for me.

Excel has only one draw back and that's a few plants that can not tolerate it. They happen to be plants I don't want anyway so no loss there.

Plant Man
08-01-2010, 12:55 AM
Excel has only one draw back and that's a few plants that can not tolerate it. They happen to be plants I don't want anyway so no loss there.

I can't wait until I no longer have to deal with DIY. I guess I've also been lucky with no mishaps.

I think I have modified my DIY as far as DIY Co2 can go. I use lots of valves to lessen pressure loss at bottle change time. I've soldered brake caliper bleeder valves into the top of metal pickle jar lids, so no more leak issues. I've designed an inline Co2 reactor that is on the outside of the tank, no more hoses going into the tank.

The drop checker is so light green itís hard to see green at all, itís almost clear! LOL


Soldered brake caliper bleeder valves into the lids and tested for leaks under water. I used a bike tire pump to pump air into the bottles until the lids started to bulge upward. No leaks.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/co2016.jpg


I used industrial auto motive air hose that is resistant to chemicals for the lines and plastic air valves lubricated with olive oil to make them turn smooth as silk and not leak.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/co2valvessetup.jpg


Made an inline reactor from 2 10" Pythons. No more hoses going into the tank.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/defuser010.jpg


Right now I'm still recovering the tank from the last algae inducing test. I'm done doing that! LOL. I just have to clean the back of the tank of GSA and it'll be 99% clean.

I mean check it out! This tank is green and clean. Since I got the inline reactor up and running and the drop checker changed to almost clearish green. The leaves on the plants have taken on an almost waxy texture to them. Everything is brighter green and the leaves are thicker and much stronger. Also growth isn't crazy either is fast but I've slowed it down quite a bit by lowering the lights. But the lower light has not stopped the plants from growing stronger or greener. I think EI also has a lot to do with it. But generally speaking I think I'm getting a lot of aspects very right.

I canít help myself, no matter how good the tank seems to be doing, Iím always looking for something that can be improved. Or trying to understand some aspect of the hobby that I just donít get yet.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/plantsonEI.jpg

Plant Man
08-01-2010, 01:15 AM
I tryed to capture the waxy texture the crypts have taken on. I take most of my shots without the flash but the flash really brings out the texture of the plants better.

Flash on,

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/plantsonEI5.jpg

Flash on,

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/plantsonEI4.jpg

Flash off,

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/plantsonEI3.jpg

Flash off,

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p296/TheMailman6666/plantsonEI2.jpg

Isaac
08-05-2010, 05:50 PM
This is a very novice question about CO2, but I hope someone can help out. I'm considering a DIY set up, and wondering where I should locate the diffuser in the tank. Should I bury it under the gravel away from the plants? right under them?

Plant Man
08-06-2010, 03:48 AM
This is a very novice question about CO2, but I hope someone can help out. I'm considering a DIY set up, and wondering where I should locate the diffuser in the tank. Should I bury it under the gravel away from the plants? right under them?

It dosn't matter where it is, just as long as it works at putting Co2 into the water. Mine isn't even in the tank! look at the pictures, it's the thick tube thing with the green caps and the Co2 line going into it.