What made the biggest difference.

alan'67

Member
Joined
30 Nov 2015
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43
Location
Essex
I would like to ask fellow ukaps members if they thought Co2 injection or perhaps a good Fert regime made a bigger difference to their tank.

To explain somewhat, I've have used Co2 on and off for the last 4 years and also a varied Fert regime and I can say without a doubt, it is the the adding of fertilizers and not co2 that has made the biggest difference.

Maybe its just me but I've been running my Rio 180 tank for over a year without co2 and it only showed significant improvement with the adding of Potassium and Magnesium to the water change.

I decided to go back down the co2 route 3 weeks ago and even now with a good ph drop over the lighting period, there is no more difference in plant health than in the previous months with a better fert regime.

I'm beginning to think co2 injection is overrated!.
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
Messages
1,959
CO2 all the way. If I have CO2, I can grow em super thick and lush. Ferts are overrated - I can probably get away with peeing in my tank instead (not recommended... ).

Can you show us some pics of your tank in various stages?
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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314
Location
London
Co2 definitely, growth is much faster and more robust and you can grow any species with the right light and ferts alongside. Try and grow a hemianthus cuba carpet for example with no co2, not going to happen or it will be extremely difficult.

However you will need ferts regardless of wether you have co2 or not, they’ll just be needed in lower quantities.

Cheers

Conor
 

Witcher

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15 Jan 2020
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London
Without any doubt following the Nature and natural environment our plants live in was the biggest game changer.

I've searched through the lots of publications about water and general conditions in Amazon basin and then... I've ditched gaseous CO2 completely (occasionally use glut/spirit vinegar), significantly decreased amount of ferts and water hardness and doubled the amount of light.
In terms of fertilisation, massive increase of PO4 in relation to other ferts and joining observation of algae with observation of floaters (Duckweed Index) were another game changers.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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9,984
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nr Bath
Hi all,
Maybe its just me but I've been running my Rio 180 tank for over a year without co2 and it only showed significant improvement with the adding of Potassium and Magnesium to the water change.
I'm not a CO2 user, but my guess is its back to <"Liebig's law of the minimum"> and that the plants couldn't make use of the extra carbon (C), because carbon wasn't the nutrient limiting plant growth. The limiting element was presumably either potassium (K) or magnesium (Mg).

cheers Darrel
 

alan'67

Member
Joined
30 Nov 2015
Messages
43
Location
Essex
Thanks for your replies guys.

I'm sorry to say Rebel that I don't have any decent pics of the tank but it is a quite unremarkable effort filled with Crypts and Cardamine.

I will try in the future add some to this page though.

I think Darrel nailed it when he mentioned it was more the lack of nutrient ( K or Mg ) than an CO2 issue.

Oddly, the healthiest plants I've ever seen were in two non injected tanks!. Although growth rates were incredibly slow the moss was superb.

In every tank however, there was a plentiful amount of aqua soil, either Columbo, JBL or Tropica.

I believe that part is crucial.

I'm not against co2, I found high levels really suited Bolbitis, but in truth at the beginning, I did fall into the trap of thinking that it was some 'magic bullet' that would cure all my plant growth problems :rolleyes:.

I do also agree with Witcher regarding lower Fert levels and indeed water hardness. Especially when it comes to the fish.

I'd like to know more regarding the idea of increasing PO4 levels though?.
 

alan'67

Member
Joined
30 Nov 2015
Messages
43
Location
Essex
A few ( poor quality! ) photos......

IMG_20200628_235511125.jpgIMG_20200628_235520736.jpgIMG_20200628_235549796.jpg

Tank specs and setup:

Rio 180 litres.
Five year old JBL soil substrate atop JBL Volcano Mineral.
1 JBL 1501e filter plus spray bar.
1 Fluval 106 plus shepherds crook outlet to tank.
6.35 kg CO2 fed via a CO2 Art Reg and a Bazooka diffuser fed into the inlet pipe of the 106 which is all inside the standard Juwel filter housing.
CO2 on at 3.45pm and off at 11.15pm.
Lights are standard Juwel T5's ( back one is a 'Colour' tube) and are on from 5.15pm till 12.15am.
Bubble Rate at approx. 2-3 bubbles a second using a standard Fluval bubble counter.
PH before CO2 is about 7.65 drops to around 6.56 after 2 to 3 hrs and stay's constant throughout.
Tap water used in tank has a GH of 17 degrees and a KH of 8 degrees ( sometimes 9 though).
No fert regime now really just add a 1/4 teaspoon of K2So4 (or occasionally KNo3) and MgSO4 every water change or so.
Plus due to higher PH add about 5ml of TNC DTPA iron at the same time.
50-60 % water change per week.
No Phosphate added for well over a year and a half.

Anything missing please let me know.
 
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