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amackattack
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male usa
Can anyone tell me if it is necessary to use CO2 in my tank if I am using a product like "Flourish - Excel"?

Is one better than the other?

Thanks in advance,

amackattack
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 06:40Profile Homepage PM Edit Report 
FRANK
 
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male usa us-colorado
Hi,
Generally speaking you do not need to inject CO2 into a
tank if the lighting is in the low to medium range. It's
only when you are driving the plants into the high light
range with 3+ watts-per-gallon that the plant growth
will outstrip the carbon that is readily available in
the tank, and you have to supplement them with injected
CO2 or liquid carbon.

If you opt to use the Excel, test it first as some plants
will wither from its use instead of flourish.

The carbon in the tank comes from the dissolved CO2 which
is normally around 5mg/l and also from the organic
chemicals from waste in the tank.
You can increase the amount of dissolved CO2 in the tank
by lowering the filter returns and not using air stones
so the surface tension remains constant and is not
disrupted by bubbles breaking the surface or the
filter returns not riling the surface.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 06:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
amackattack
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male usa
Great Frank, once again great advice. My tank is about 70+ gal and I have 2 39 watt "daylight" bulbs going, and will be adding 2 more "freshwater" bulbs when I can find them. At its strongest, I will be just over 2 watts/gal, so sounds like I will not need to supplement then either.

You say test the water, is there a carbon test kit out there?

Thanks again for your advice,

amackattack
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 07:09Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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male australia au-victoria
amackattack

I have never used CO2 always too much water movement.
I would change one of the Daylight tubes for a Plant tube.

I contacted Seachem told them exactly what was in my tank, and asked them what tests should I do to work out what Seachem liquid ferts I should use and the recommended doses. I sent the results to them and they gave me all the dosages I required.

I contacted them about three months later I had another test done and Seachem adjusted the dosage.

They have a fantastic product and a fantastic service.

Keith



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Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 08:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
amackattack
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Great idea Keith, I think I will do that.

Thanks,

amackattack
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 08:37Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
When I said "test" I meant that you try the Excel in a
smaller tank, say ten gallons with plants in that tank
before pouring in the product into your main tank.

Some plants do not react favorably to that product and
wither & die.

I'm not sure what you mean by the term "freshwater" bulbs.
On a freshwater tank you would want either DAYLIGHT or
SUNLIGHT bulbs. The actinic bulbs are more for salt
water tanks and give off a bluish light. The blue light
of the actinic bulbs is modified by using a SUNLIGHT bulb
along with it. In some Compact Fluorescent bulbs one half
of the loop is DAYLIGHT and the other half is ACTINIC,
that mollifies the blue tinge of the straight actinic light.

For freshwater tanks, with depths of less than two feet,
the bulbs should be somewhere between 6700K and 8800k.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2010 17:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Veteric
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male canada
Spectrum between bulbs makes relatively little difference. Even 50/50 actinic isn't very far off 6700/10,000K. At most what may be a 20% difference in output isn't going to make a huge difference in how you need to handle the tank. When you get involved with PUR rather than PAR, it becomes VERY difficult to measure the efficiency of anything because it depends on the type of plant. Do what looks pleasing; if it's not enough light then you can add more. If there's too much, you can use shade cloth or raise the light.

At 2wpg of CF you may want to consider some DIY CO2 along side excel. The appearance of BBA in a properly nutrient dosed tank should be a consistent indicator of low CO2.

Known plants with Excel issues include most mosses (java and weeping aside), liverworts, bladderworts and vals.

Carbon titration kits are inaccurate by design; CO2 off-gasses from water quickly just from being moved around. Drop checker results tend to not be meaningful in non-CO2 tanks, but they can have some use for DIY CO2 if you can push into the 10ppm range. Accurate CO2 meters run about $2500
Post InfoPosted 01-Feb-2010 00:29Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
amackattack
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male usa
Frank, Current USA makes a bulb that they have labeled/named a "freshwater" bulb and says it is ideal for plant growth. Sorry, I don't have more info than that. I think it is pink.

I think I may try the DIY CO2 since I have had BBA in my tank, along with a dark black/blue algae on the leaves of most plants. Don't think I'll be buying one of those good CO2 meters at $2500, but if you have an extra one you're looking to send to a good home, keep me in mind.

Thanks

amackattack
Post InfoPosted 01-Feb-2010 08:37Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
What kind of a bulb do you have?
If it is a standard fluorescent bulb, you can purchase
replacements at any hardware store. Just read the writing
on the bulb and purchase one that says either DAYLIGHT or
SUNLIGHT on it. The "warm" bulbs are designed for reading
and are "soft" on the eyes, but not the best for plants.

The Daylight or Sunlight bulbs are designed to mimic the
sun and the light is a little more harsh. These are best
for planted tanks. The only reason "warm" or "warm white"
bulbs were made was because folks were complaining of
eye or headache problems and were having their glasses
coated to prevent the problems.

The "Growlux" type bulbs are a pinkish or purple like light
and frankly I can't stand "look" of the light in a tank.
To me, it washes out the colors of the plants.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 01-Feb-2010 15:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
amackattack
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male usa
I have a T5 HO light. Have not seen these in the hardware store, but maybe I need to look a little harder. I will also look at my LFS to see if they are carrying them.
Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2010 04:46Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
I've not looked in stores such as HP or Lowes for them
lately. I was speaking of the T-8 and such. For the
T-5, you are probably right and will have to go through
the pet supply houses such as Drsfostersmith, etc.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2010 15:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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