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Thread: How important is co2 in planted tanks?

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I will have 80 watts on a 20 high. Is co2 as important or is not really? Also what about using CF's for light instead of tubes?

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    You already have 4 wpg. You don't have to use co2 if you don't fertilize. I'd auctually remove one of the tubes if I were you.

    A balance with light, fertilizer, and co2 must be achieved otherwise algea grows bad.


    good news is you don't have to spend hundreds of bucks! You can use DIY co2 bottles or buy a hagen co2 system like me!

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    The plants I will be getting need high light and supplements. I'm getting the jungle assortment plant package from thatpetplace.com if that helps.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Then keep the lights you have already, and add co2 through DIY or a Hagen system. Don't spend 200 plus bucks for a pressurized system since it's only 20 gallon. Use florish for your trace elements. You can spend the extra cash on plant fertilizers, or do what I do.

    Use stump remover (Potassium Nitrate) to add nitrate. Use Epsom salt to add magnesium, use Nu-salt/No-salt to add potassium, and use Fleet brand Saline enema (yes, I said enema) for phosphate. Tons of planted tank people use those, and that's how I found out about it. That should cost you about 10-15 dollars and lasts a lond time. If you bought Flourish nitrogen, flourish potassium, and flourish phosphorous it would cost you about 30 dollars. Using stump remover, no-salt, and enemas may seem ghetto, but they contain pretty much the exact same thing as the commercial aquarium products. I do reccomend using Flourish trace though. I need a bottle of that myself.

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    "Just a minute Ma! I'm giving my plants an enema!" Boy, I bet that would bring the whole house running to see exactly what you were doing.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I was just asking if co2 is really needed. How does that Hagen work for you?

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    It is needed for the plants you want with the light you have and the chemicals you are going to use. If you are missing co2 you are missing a link in your aquarium with your other two variables (light and nutrients). Without it you will have algea (agian, considering the other two variables). So yes, you do.

    I ordered the hagen a couple days ago. Should be here within the week. It works exactly like a DIY system. It comes with tablets, but i'm not going to keep buying the tables. I'm going to mix sugar, water, and yeast instead. Makes a nice alcoholic beverage when it's done, too

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    I'll chime in here, I have a bit of experience with planted tanks.

    JustLikeAPill's advice is good. I'll just back it up: at 80 watts over a 20 gallon, it's pretty high lighting. Unless you have a good balance of nutrients (not an absence) the plants will grow well and algae will not be a major problem. CO2 is a requirement with high lighting conditions, so I would definitely go this route. The Hagen system is fine, but all you need is the bubble ladder and tubing.

    IMO planted tanks are not easy to get right, and it can be discouraging starting out. You'll have to do a lot of experimenting (at least I did) until you get it right. There's a lot of advice out there.

    My best advice though, grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of choice) and read through this website: Rex Grigg's site Another good site is this (a little gentler): Steve Hampton's site

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