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Is my tank ready for CO2?

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  • Is my tank ready for CO2?

    So I've been thinking for a while now about adding pressurized CO2 to my 75g tank, but I just want to make sure that the tank is really ready for it. I also don't want to spend the money on a system right now unless I knew it's going to be beneficial.

    This is the light fixture I have on it.
    It has one 6500k bulb and one rosette buld, both 54 watts. It is due for some new bulbs so any suggestions for them would be great!

    I have been having a small amount of BBA in the tank for a long time now and I am assuming it is due to too high of light without a carbon source. I've looked around to try to figure out exactly what my light level is and the best I can figure out is medium-high light. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this!

    Also, I have dry ferts that I was dosing the tank with, but stopped about a year and a half ago when I went to college.

  • #2
    Most likely the CO2 is low, but doesn't sound like it is too much. You can stop airlines in a planted tank, which will raise the CO2 levels since it is created by fish respiration. If BBA isn't out of control you may be able to manage it with spot dosing Excel or hydrogen peroxide. Is it possible that part of the tank is getting additional light from a window or lamp?

    Moderately lit tanks are in that gray area. Nothing is set in this range as one tank can be run as low light, low ferts; yet another with the same lighting requires more ferts and CO2.

    To answer your question if you need injected CO2, from your description I'd say not required, but could help. How's that for a
    - Dena

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
    Walt Disney

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


    • #3
      What kind of plants are you rockin? If it's mostly low tech plants I don't think it would make a huge difference when adding c02 personally. When I had my planted tank I grew swords, stargrass, vals, rotala, ludwigia, Madagascar lace, and crypts under 2 regular old GE 6500k t5s with great success. I also used the dirt method. I had some algae issues at first but everything leveled out. I never had the desire to run any c02 because I didn't feel like my plants needed it. Could it have benefited them? Probably. Would it have been worth 200-300 dollars? Probably not lol. But if you're running high demanding plants I would say go c02 all the way without question. And as for lights, I've found my regular old 6500k lights that came with my fixture worked great. Do stay away from coral life brand bulbs though. I bought 4 and all but one burned out over the course of a month.
      And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses guys!

        Dena: I don't have any airlines or surface disturbance in the tank so I think I have the CO2 about as high as it can go without adding it in myself. Today I took on the major project of taking out ALL the plants and giving them all a little soak in a hydrogen peroxide/water mixture. I realized that really the only plants that still had any BBA on them were my anubias nana and they really didn't have near as much as I thought on them. Maybe I will start adding a low dose of ferts and see how the plants respond.

        Aft3rglow: Right now I have all low light plants. Anubias nana, java fern, subwassertang, rotala indica, and an unbelievable amount of crypt wendtii red (when I took all my plants out today I decided to count them and quite after 100...) The plants all seem to be growing, but I would eventually like to get some higher light plants like dwarf hairgrass and maybe some baby tears. It's funny that you mentioned using the dirt method, I've been contemplating dirting this tank for years now and just haven't gotten the courage to do it yet. Maybe that will be a project for the summer.

        Maybe I will just wait until I get the tank dirted before I buy a CO2 system. I have seen tanks that grow fairly high demanding plants with dirt and no CO2.


        • #5
          Yes sir! I've used eco complete in my very first planted tank, it was so so. Then I started watching this guy called dustinsfishtanks on YouTube and all he used was dirt in his tanks and they all looked amazing. He never ran c02 in any of his tanks and he was able of grow almost anything, with the exception of those super high demanding plants like hair grass and dwarf baby tears and stuff. He even used 4 metal halides on a 125 with no c02 and he never had any algae problems. He was always talking about balance, if you have the right balance of plants and light and nutrients, everything would work together without any problems. I personally had great success with regular old miracle grow organic dirt. I sifted out the big pieces of stuff, then mixed with either some clay or some flourite. You can even add more elements if you'd want. I've even heard of people adding straight up powdered iron to the dirt and having amazing success, but if you get it wrong you'll fry all of your plants lol. Anyways, the moral of the story is, dirt has always been my go to. It may even end up going in my high tech 125 when I start it up. Cause as of right now, the benefits of dirt vs aquasoil isn't that huge of a difference in my eyes. I've even been able to grow regular baby tears in dirt with 4 t5s over a 55 without a single problem. And that's a fairly high demanding plant. But when you get a chance definitely check out dustinsfishtanks on YouTube, you will learn almost everything you need to learn about dirt. It will change yo life lol
          And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul


          • #6
            I love watching Dustin's videos! I've set up a couple dirted tanks going off of his advice. I've never torn down that big of a tank though and put dirt in it, I've only ever started smaller tanks with dirt. It will definitely be a tough project but it will be well worth it!


            • #7
              Oh yeah, he's the man. A word of advice for tearing down would be to rip out all the plants, and then the fish. If you had another tank to keep them in for a day or 2 I would. I would just float the plants somewhere in a tank or some water until you finished dirting. Then get a paper plate and set it on the substrate then fill it on up and replant. I would wait awhile before adding the fish back in because dirted tanks cloud up something horrible. Even if you do a good capping job and don't have much debris floating it's still bad lol. But all in all its not that horrible of a task. I re dirted 3 tanks in a day by myself, that was rough lol. Especially since I used natural sand from a creek and had to sift it by hand but anyways! I'm sure it'll all work out no problem
              And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul