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09-27-2013, 01:33 PM #1
How important is CO2 in the tank?
How important is CO2 in the tank? My plants are yellowing some and don't look as perky as before. I have a 55g, 7 neon tetras, 2 black mollies, 1 chinese alge eater, and 2 golden white cloud minnows; not alot of respiration as my tank is moderately (?? don't know how else to say it) planted. Do you fertilize? If so what do you use?"The manner with which we walk through life is each man's most important responsibility, and we should remember this with every new sunrise."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
09-27-2013, 01:45 PM #2
CO2 might be important here, but maybe not. That would all depend on your lighting and type of plants that you have.
Yellowing leaves might be a sign of either nitrogen or iron deficiency.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
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09-27-2013, 01:58 PM #3
As for the 'importance' of CO2, depends on the lighting/plants, mainly. If you have a high light tank (assuming you have correct color temp and, of course, plants that can handle and/or require that level) we can talk in terms of watts per gallon and that needs to be over 3.5. Than, CO2 is important. Otherwise, micro-nutrients are always an issue and iron is a common one.
Be careful with shotgun ferts - these cover most needs but need to be used carefully. The type of plant determines type of fert: either tabs or liquid.
If you have iron issues, there are kits to measure that and for a high end tank, well worth the cost (using CO2.) Otherwise, just use a std fert.
Algae absolutely loves over fert or too low or high lighting with the wrong color temp (i.e. plants like a more red color temp.)
So, good idea to post your lighting: duration, type (wattage/color temp) and how often you change your tank water.
09-27-2013, 02:06 PM #4
Yellowing doesn't mean you need CO2 necessarily...and adding ferts to the tank can do more harm than good. Imbalances cause problems like algae so if you add nutrients, the light has to be strong enough to allow the plants to use it. You should list plants, substrate, and lighting (and how long they are on for) so members can better assist you
Remember too that there is a relationship between PH and CO2 so if you do add CO2, your PH will lower. You certainly have room for more fish and yes, that will create more nitrates (from more fish waste) and CO2 from their respiration! Before getting CO2 for the tank and if you aren't fully stocked yet, I would add more fish (when ready).Check out my 55 Gallon, planted, Philly themed community tank! Rummynose and Cardinals, dwarf cichlids, plecos, shrimps
09-27-2013, 03:53 PM #5
I leave the lights on for 14 hours daily. There are 2 Aqueon Full Spectrum 15WT8 18. Cabomba, Swordplant, 2 Moss Balls, helzine, hair grass, and a not sure plant that had red veins (after 2 days in my tank they went green). My pH is a stable 8.2 (right out of the tap as well). The substrate is probably run-of-the-mill rock from Petsmart; my wife set this up as a surprise for me, so not sure. I haven't had an alge issue to this point. I will try and take a photo of the tank over the weekend."The manner with which we walk through life is each man's most important responsibility, and we should remember this with every new sunrise."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
09-27-2013, 03:57 PM #6Banned Discus fish
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- Vancouver, BC, Canada
Yellowing leaves is not going to result from a CO2 deficiency, as I will explain below. Cliff's chart shows how yellowing leaves can have several causes, and this is why I always caution against adding any individual nutrient. It can do more harm than good. I don't know your level of experience/knowledge with planted tanks, so I will briefly explain how all this works because I believe it is important for us to understand what is going on in order to fix issues.
Aquatic plants need 17 nutrients, and these have to be in a specific proportion to each other. While some plants can store certain nutrients, other cannot. Plus, an excess of some nutrients can cause plants to "shut down" assimilation of some other nutrient; if this occurs, adding the deficient nutrient will have no effect because all the other nutrients are still out of balance too. So it is thus important to always fertilize in a balanced manner with a complete or comprehensive supplement. This is more important in low-tech setups; in high-tech setups the higher turnover, plus the significant water changes, help to even things out.
Briefly on the CO2, there is usually sufficient CO2 available in most low-tech or natural method tanks. It mainly occurs from the breakdown of organics in the substrate. This process releases CO2, some ammonia/ammonium, and various other nutrients which the plants will take up. When CO2 levels are too low to balance the light and nutrients, plants simply slow down photosynthesis, or may stop altogether. This is when algae has an advantage, as another member noted. But leaf yellowing would not result, because the plants simply shut down.
To your specific yellowing. Without knowing the factors of this tank, it is very difficult to pin down what may be wrong. Light is significant, as well as the nutrient level. If you could detail the lighting, and what fertilizers are being added, it will help. Also, what is the GH of the tap water, and how often are water changes being done, and what volume? All this is inter-connected.
09-27-2013, 05:58 PM #7
Yellowing is almost always iron or nitrate. Nitrate most people have a test for, if that shows little to no nitrate (less than 3ppm) it's likely the nitrate. Most tanks it's a iron shortage. Adding a good general fertilizer which also contains iron isn't going to offset the balance for your macro nutrients (NPK or Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) enough to matter.
09-27-2013, 06:39 PM #8
"To your specific yellowing. Without knowing the factors of this tank, it is very difficult to pin down what may be wrong. Light is significant, as well as the nutrient level. If you could detail the lighting, and what fertilizers are being added, it will help. Also, what is the GH of the tap water, and how often are water changes being done, and what volume? All this is inter-connected
I am a rank beginner and have never used any fertilizer. Y'all helped me get through my cycling issues; and as suggested I started using live plants. lights on for 14 hours daily. There are 2 Aqueon Full Spectrum 15WT8 18. pH is constant at 8.5 and KH is 7 and GH is 9. 25% water changes weekly. Is there a recommended fertilizer that most here on the forum use.
As a side note, my favorite Aquarium store sells RO H2O and I thought I would try some small water changes until I get the pH at or below 7.8. This would also lower my hardness, correct?"The manner with which we walk through life is each man's most important responsibility, and we should remember this with every new sunrise."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
09-27-2013, 07:44 PM #9
You don't want to start fiddling with your pH. Unless you have some surefire way of always making sure its consistent once you get it to where you want it, you will likely do more harm than good trying to get and keep it to a certain level. Fluctuations while you figure it all out, plus difficulty in manually maintaining that level one you find it, will probably be a constant annoyance if you try to go that route.
Stability is more important to your livestock than perfect conditions. And better yet, you should stock fish that prefer your water as is so no fiddling is necessary and your fish enjoy the environment they do best in.
09-27-2013, 10:43 PM #10
As for a good fert, any liquid sold at your pet store will work IF it contains at least Iron (FexOy), some types of Sulfur (as a sulfate; SOx), Magnessium (MgO), and often some nitrates. Avoid, at all costs any fert that has phosphates - those are the best algae food ever and even just a few fish will produce far more than any plants need - even in a huge tank. The 'x' and 'y' are for numbers that are used in chemical formula. Sometimes the chemicals are listed using formula. Just google any that look confusing or ask here.
Your lights, by the way, are on too long; eight hours is good. Without measuring ferts and proper CO2, lights on that long will tend to grow algae or worse, blue-green (so-called) algae [really a bad bacteria.] Your water changes are light and if you add fish, you might want to increase the volume. In any case, you should get at least a nitrate kit and keep an eye on those levels. Above 3 ppm does not help plants and can led to algae if phosphates are high, and below 2 ppm isn't good for plants. Balance is important so getting at least that kit would be useful.
AS pointed out - don't ever mess with your tank's pH (note how pH is typed, eve if you start a sentence with it); pH swings can kill fish. Unless you install an R/O system that feeds the tank, it just isn't practical to add store bought R/O water.
Last edited by Cermet; 09-27-2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: add a comment