Stable CO2

Witcher

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It gets next to no CO², 0 extra fertilizers and it grows plants like a champion never any algae not even that much on the glass.

How it looks in the winter time? Because it sounds like great example of year cycle with no additional ferts - I assume plants feed themselves from winter/cold period leftovers after flowering and similar processes (rotten parts/leaves etc).
 

zozo

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How it looks in the winter time? Because it sounds like great example of year cycle with no additional ferts - I assume plants feed themselves from winter/cold period leftovers after flowering and similar processes (rotten parts/leaves etc).

Last winter is actually the first winter ever it stayed outdoor. Last winter was extremely warm and it did rather well all plants in it did survive. But all previous years i took it indoors and under artificial light during the winter period to protect it against freezing solid and crack.

I can also assume a lot with this little aquarium, it started out as an experiment that surpiced me beyond expectation. I'm growing potamogeton gayi in it that i had as left over from my previous High tech aquarium. And i must say, it grows beter, larger, more colourful and faster in non co² under natural light than it did indoors with extra co².

This is how it looks today all winter outdoor. Never managed to develop this colour indoors under 8000 lumen and CO².
IMG_20200403_154351271.jpg
 

Tim Harrison

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George farmer mentions to have around one bubble per 50 litres on your bubble counter. I’m finding that the drop checker hasn’t turned like green before the lights come on when I run my CO2 this way. The only way is to turn the bubble counter up, but is this too much now.
A bubble counter is not a measure of CO2 conc., it's just a visual guide to help you dial your CO2 in accurately. George probably just mentioned it as a rough guide. Use a drop checker to gauge CO2 conc. It should be lime green at lights on and all the way till lights off.

It's a common myth that CO2 concentrations must be stable at the start of the photoperiod to the end. Plants do not care. And BBA is not the direct result of "unstable CO2", another myth.
Growing healthy aquatic plants can seem a complicated business, especially for someone just starting out. But over the years a set of guidelines has evolved which greatly simplifies the process. These guidelines have been tried and tested countless times and have proven successful. Stable CO2 throughout the photoperiod is one of the those guidelines. Ensuring adequate flow and distribution of CO2 is another, as is adequate nutrient fertilisation, etc.

That said, there is clearly more than one road to success, and much that's considered best practise should be questioned, it makes for great discussion if nothing else. But the use of uncorroborated statements asserted as fact isn't particularly helpful. Neither is prefixing a statement with "common" in an attempt to add validity where none is proven. A better and less confrontational way to spark discussion is to pose hypotheses as questions rather than irrefutable facts.

With regards the question of stable CO2. I think folk sometimes confuse unstable with unavailable. My understanding is that plants will adapt to their environment or ultimately die. For instance, plants used to a low-energy environment will adapt accordingly and compete to use up available CO2 at the beginning of the photoperiod. In this case the CO2 is not unstable it is just not available throughout the entire photoperiod.

Filipe Olivera doesn't start injecting CO2 until the photoperiod begins. But once the conc. has become optimal it remains consistent through out the rest of the photoperiod. Again his CO2 is not unstable, just not optimal for part of the photoperiod.

If however the CO2 conc. is inconsistent or unstable, in that it varies, throughout the photoperiod and from one day to the next, some plants may struggle to adapt, be outcompeted and start to die, in turn release organics, and perhaps encourage algae.

I think if CO2 is dialled in correctly it is possible for its conc. to remain fairly stable throughout the photoperiod, or at least maintain a conc. where limits to growth and competition between plants doesn't occur. Which is more to the point.
 

zozo

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With regards the question of stable CO2. I think folk sometimes confuse unstable with unavailable. My understanding is that plants will adapt to their environment or ultimately die. For instance, plants used to a low-energy environment will adapt accordingly and compete to use up available CO2 at the beginning of the photoperiod. In this case the CO2 is not unstable it is just not available throughout the entire photoperiod.

I guess it's a good question to ask "What are the criteriums for unstable CO²?" I find the term unstable CO² rather confusing in it self. And in many threads at the end, it becomes even more confusing because there are so many individuals takes on it.

But it must be possible to narrow it down in a simple summary everybody can understand.

To give a short summary my best guess.

stable CO² =

1: A stable bubble count during the entire cycle.
2: A lime green drop checker at lights on.
3: Sufficient distribution/flow.
4: A good quality diffuser.
5: ? or more?

Then if one of these is not met, results in an unstable CO² distribution with all its consequences... :)
 

Zeus.

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Rubisco Wkii , Rubisco, Rubisco - worth a read IMO

Quote
Rubisco is an enzyme involved in the first major step of carbon fixation, a process by which the atmospheric carbon dioxide is converted by plants and other photosynthetic organisms to energy-rich molecules such as glucose.

Some enzymes can carry out thousands of chemical reactions each second. However, RuBisCO is slow, fixing only 3-10 carbon dioxide molecules each second per molecule of enzyme. The reaction catalyzed by RuBisCO is, thus, the primary rate-limiting factor of the Calvin cycle during the day. Nevertheless, under most conditions, and when light is not otherwise limiting photosynthesis, the speed of RuBisCO responds positively to increasing carbon dioxide concentration.RuBisCO is usually only active during the day as ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate is not regenerated in the dark.

In spite of its central role, rubisco is remarkably inefficient. As enzymes go, it is painfully slow. Typical enzymes can process a thousand molecules per second, but rubisco fixes only about three carbon dioxide molecules per second. Plant cells compensate for this slow rate by building lots of the enzyme. Chloroplasts are filled with rubisco, which comprises half of the protein. This makes rubisco the most plentiful single enzyme on the Earth.

Unquote

So this fit the model of having a stable [CO2] during the main photoperiod, as rubisco is not generated in the dark - Which is what Clive tells us- So the pH spike at night is irrelevant


IMO appling Liebigs law enables us to have an unstable [CO2] and no issues ' in theroy'. As if the [CO2] is none limiting at any given time, then rubisco works faster (from above quote) , the 'expensive' production of Rubisco will not be needed 'as much' by the plant, and will not need to increase its Rubisco production therefore the [CO2] is irrelevant as long as CO2 is non Limiting.

But it must be possible to narrow it down in a simple summary everybody can understand.

Sometimes it takes years of study to to understand some things as the complete pathway can/is quite complex and a simplification of it just doesn't do it justice :rolleyes:
 

Tim Harrison

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IMO appling Liebigs law enables us to have an unstable [CO2] and no issues ' in theroy'. As if the [CO2] is none limiting at any given time, then rubisco works faster
or at least maintain a conc. where limits to growth and competition between plants doesn't occur. Which is more to the point.


I guess it's a good question to ask "What are the criteriums for unstable CO²?"
If however the CO2 conc. is inconsistent or unstable, in that it varies, throughout the photoperiod and from one day to the next,
:)
 

zozo

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Sometimes it takes years of study to to understand some things as the complete pathway can/is quite complex and a simplification of it just doesn't do it justice

Well, then it seems more complex than tools available to determine CO² stability. :rolleyes:

Makes it rather unexplainable, since you can't teach experience...
 
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From Start of photo period to end it is best keeping [CO2] stable the reasons are-

So plants dont care but the chemical pathway to capture the CO2 molecules does.

If you have some other explanation of why it doesn't need to be stable we will be happy to listen esp if it backed by one of our 'peers' or a scientific paper would be nice also.

Doing posts like


Does nothing but create myths, esp when you backup the statement with nothing. We will be happy to hear your thoughts/theories why a stable [CO2] isnt require, in the meantime 'The Mysterons will be watching you!'

U just contradicted yourself. Plants don't care AND the chemical pathways are contained within the plant. Thus, you're suggesting that the 'chemical pathways' are separate from the plant which is impossible. Analogy, your brain doesn't care if your stomach is full but your stomach does. Thus, your stomach needs to be full at all times for proper digestion. This is ludicrous.

How CO2 exists in natural water bodies and how it changes depending on respiration, photosynthesis, etc is exactly the reason why plants don't care how much CO2 is present or how "stable" the concentration is. The concept of "CO2 stability" is purely fabricated, a myth in this hobby that is so ingrained in certain ppls' minds that no amount of contradictory knowledge will change it. Thus, you're perpetuating a myth that has no scientific basis.
 

foxfish

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Hi Solcielo, thank you for you brief response but you did not answer any of my questions!

I am very interested in your statements, I don’t wish to dispute what you say but I would really like to know how to apply your knowledge to help us successfully grow plants.

So far, for most of us at least on this forum, we have found that a stable C02 throughout the lighting period offers very good results and deviating from this results in lots of issues further resulting with algae and poor plant growth!

If you can offer alternatives I am sure many folk would be delighted find out how?
 

Tim Harrison

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If you can offer alternatives I am sure many folk would be delighted find out how?
That is very well put foxfish. I'd certainly like to know more.
The concept of "CO2 stability" is purely fabricated, a myth in this hobby that is so ingrained in certain ppls' minds that no amount of contradictory knowledge will change it. Thus, you're perpetuating a myth that has no scientific basis.
Could you explain how unstable CO2 can result in healthy plant growth without algae. And I'm sure we'd all like to read the peer reviewed literature that supports your assertion as well :)
 

Andrew T

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This is what “he” propagates on “other forums”:

“Low CO2 does no harm and is not critical in any way on its own. ADA tanks are evidence of this as well as my own experiments in my tanks. You can actually grow a nice tank in high light intensities without adding any CO2; it's a myth that high light requires high CO2. If the concentration of metals fall into the toxic range, that's when plants will have difficulty growing and maintaining good health. If the concentration is too far into the toxic range, no amount of CO2 coupled with high light intensities will alleviate it.“ - end quote

Now we know ADA tanks have very low light intensities (being tested in person with a par meter by Tom) and they also have the entire Japanese reserve army to keep the tanks clean of any algae at any given time of the day.

We also know by now high light and no co2 is a recipe for disaster, an algae soup very easily replicated over and over again.

I choose to go on with high co2 high flow and high fertilizers with lower light levels ....and get results.
 

zozo

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We also know by now high light and no co2 is a recipe for disaster

Could be, but not necessarily...

As stated before i experience the contrary each year again the last 3 summers and the 4th is coming and i don't expect it to be any different.

1th year, full blast sunshine all day long not 1 minute shade even on a rainy day it got more lumens than any lamp could provide, 0 algae, 0 fertilizer, natural CO² equilibrium. Super healthy plant growth.
dscf9388-custom-jpg.jpg


2th year exact same setup, same substrate, didn't change a thing, same regime, same story but some different plants. See the Lilaeopsis carpet.
dsc_0064-jpg.jpg



3rd year.
dsc_0030-jpg.jpg


Disaster? Yes it was a disaster to trim the plants... :eek::p

It seems there are no answers only statements and even more questions...

And not to make a statement but an assumption, a part believing without evidence. :)

As said before it is what you see is what you get.. Proof in the pudding? I simply can not tell you why.

I must add, don't be fooled by its size, this little aquarium is hooked to a 350 litre planted sump.

dsc_0023-jpg.jpg
 
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Tim Harrison

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1th year, full blast sunshine all day long not 1 minute shade, 0 algae, 0 fertilizer, natural CO² equilibrium. Super healthy plant growth.
I think 0 fertz is probably key. I'm guessing the substrate had enough nutrients to feed the plants. And we also know that high density plant biomass infers a great deal of biological stability. And the floating plants would quickly soak up any excess, starving algae. I know Darrel @dw1305 has high light low-energy tanks using a similar principle, with lots of floating plants.

I experimented with this a few years back now. 2xT5 HO lights over a densely planted low-energy with minimal fertz input, most of the nutrients in the soil. And it remained remarkably algae free for several months. I think the ADA system isn't that far removed from this also. Very nutrient rich soil and lean dosing. Filipe Olivera also uses a very similar technique.

It doesn't really contradict what we already know, and like I mentioned before the CO2 conc. isn't unstable just unavailable for part of the photoperiod. Some plants will adapt very well to this environment since they use other pathways to synthesise carbon, e.g. vallis is very good as using bicarbonates.

High light, low-energy, soil substrate tank
soil1-jpg.jpg
 

zozo

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The substrate used was 4 litres Velda Lelite Blue clay, the rest river sand and gravel. And it kept up for 3 years now...

This year i'm planning to strip it and do something different.. Not yet decided what..

Any suggestions? I'm in for a new experiment. :)
 

Tim Harrison

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How about planting a few swords? It'd be nice to see some slightly more exotic looking emergent growth and maybe flower spikes :)
Is a new mission imminent?
 

zozo

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How about planting a few swords? It'd be nice to see some slightly more exotic looking emergent growth and maybe flower spikes :)
Is a new mission imminent?

Absolutely imminent. :)

That is a nice idea. Thanks Tim... I can imagine it looking great, planting a variety of swords in it..

Tho i have a few Swords (Kleiner Bär) in the tub from the start and experience them problematic surviving the winter indoors. Planted them on an inert substrate (frit glass), they grow well in the summer but wither away again in the winter indoors and then i have to start over from scratch again. Due to light deficiency i guess. Or a combination of light and fertilization. Till now they came back each year again, but never really very strong.

I could give it a go, to plant them in this tank on a heavy clay substrate and see if it makes a stronger plant with more mass at the summer's end. An experiment well worth a try...

Have to do some reading about the best varieties i can choose from... Flowgrow has a complete thread on growing them emerged "<The Year Of Echinodorus>". It's loaded with pictures about growing them in the garden. There i'll find my answers.. :)

Bellow an old picture from a few years back, all other years it got completely overgrown with other plants.
 

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Andrew T

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Could be, but not necessarily...
Zozo not to be contradictory I’m just raising some questions. I see some piping next to the tank feeding water to it. Is that some sort of continuous fresh water supply?
Have you ever tested your tap? What’s it like? We see high PO4 and NO3 straight out of the tap in some areas of the world while other areas are completely depleted of them.
The statement that no other lamp could provide what the sun provides in terms of light intensity is I’m afraid not in line with reality.
I burned many SPS corals in my system over the years and others have done the same because of too much light (350-500 PAR at the upper 1/3rd of the tank) yet they remain in great shape in the Great Barrier Reef unless very high ocean temperatures trigger a mass bleaching.
What I’m trying to say is yes artificial light can be more intense than natural light .
Your outdoor tank doesn’t tell us the whole story with statements like “no nutrients and more light than any indoor lamp”.
Then we have the natural path the sun follows with the most intense output just for a few short hours, the rest is less so. Most of indoor tanks (more so the ones having issues) just blast the plants for 7-9 hours with high light continuously ; there’s rarely any ramp up and down of the light to mimic natural setting.
Clive implements it in his tank and his statement made a lot of sense; plants need a little time to get up and go just like we need time when we wake up to get dressed eat breakfast then go to work.

Again, it would be nice to know the source of your water and parameters and if you could have access to a PAR meter to put some numbers on those claims.
Not disapproving of your method, just that we need factual statements before drawing any real conclusions.
 
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Personally I just run my co2 24/7 at a slow steady rate, I only grow slow growing easy plants, that probably dont need co2 but I find it just helps keep everything stable, I also dont use any nutrients these days and the tank is fairly algae free

48947184681_9a7cfc7a20_z.jpg
untitled-2366.jpg by Colm Doyle, on Flickr
 

zozo

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Your outdoor tank doesn’t tell us the whole story with statements like “no nutrients and more light than any indoor lamp”.

I didn't state "No Nutrients" :) I said "No Fertilizer" and that is something completely different... Obviously the plant needs nutrients to live and likely got some nutrients from something, from the clay substrate, fish poop, any other natural means the water column brings them. I do not add anything extra on top.

And for so far, i should have said any indoor lamp available to my budget yet can't compete with what the sun provides.
I'm not aware of any product that claims to be equal or stronger than the Sun... :) Indeed that and my doubts don't say it isn't out there. You got me on that one... :thumbup: But i guess if it exists you have to reach very very deep into your pocket to obtain it as a hobbyist. And need some darn good sunglasses while watching your tank.

I see some piping next to the tank feeding water to it. Is that some sort of continuous freshwater supply?

Nope, It's an old Zinc bathtub and a sort of aquaponic filter and a little aquarium hooked together. Approximately 350 litres, it's a closed system that needs an occasional water change if i like to add fresh water. And if then this is Tapwater which is pretty soft gH4 / kH10.
>20 mg/l NO³ and 0 PO4.

I have no access to PAR meters i probably never will have, it's out of my budget and comfort zone of interest. And from what i understand even if i would have, it still wouldn't be a conclusive number. Because from what i understand from very knowledgeable botanists working in this field. We actually need to know the PPFD before PAR says something.

I'm trying not to make statements and even fewer claims. For the biggest part the conclusion i draw to myself is, i don't really know. That's why i simply share an experience and say "It's what you see is what you get." and i can't tell you why. It is what it is... :)
 

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