Co2 with low light

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by hollie1505, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Is it worth using Co2 on a low light tank? Well, when I say low light it is in a bright room (out of direct sunlight) but it doesn't need anything to enable you to see clearly into it. It currently has LED kit lights that it came with and is a 7Gallon planted, sand substrate with root ferts.

    I have planted it without really thinking it through. I assumed I could use Co2 and it would be light enough (but as I can't say exactly how much light it gets) so I have planted; Cryptocoryne Wendtti, Alternanthera Reineckii, Ludwigia repens, Sagittaria Subulata, Echinodorus tenellus and something I don't know the name of.

    What is the best way to keep these plants going? Do I need to invest in some new lights?

    Here is the tank halfway through planting (if it helps, this was taken without flash or tank lights);
    GetAttachment (79).jpg

    and the tank kit;
    I have found no information about the lights (also ignore their stocking suggestions, it makes me cringe!)

    Any advice is much appreciated. I think I have gotten ahead of myself here.

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  2. KindafishyValued MemberMember

    That is a great looking tank.

    I don't know how well those plants will all do with low light. I'm sure there may be those with experience using low lights and CO2 that I don't have. But I really think you need the light before the CO2. Light is what drives photosynthesis and the CO2 is the carbon donator for the organic matter that is made. If you have plenty of gas for the car, but no driver, the car won't go far.

    One thing that is for sure, there are many very nice small-tank LED lights out there at reasonable prices that could drive that car all day long. (Sorry for the mixed metaphors :) )

  3. Axelrodi202Valued MemberMember

    Most plants can grow with less light than you think if everything else is in order
  4. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    @Kindafishy Thanks! I like the metaphors. Made it very simple for me to understand!x

    Axelrodi202 can I ask what "everything else" is? I use root tabs, liquid tabs and have a co2 system (that isn't linked up to the tank yet). Don't want to miss anything!x

    Do LED's have a way you can determine their light capacity? The current fitting has 12 LED's and I've found a replacement fitting that has 48 LED bulbs for a reasonable price. But other than how many LED's there are, there is no information on how strong the light is. Does that seem like a reasonable replacement? In my mind it will be 4 x brighter but I am unsure how LED's work!

    I'm pretty sure the Ludwigia and Crypts will be fine either way, it's the others I'm worried about. Thank you both for your replies.x
  5. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    There's honestly no reason to use co2 unless you're medium-high light. You may want to use excel, but like... I don't really see the point. Light is what drives photosynthesis, and if there's not much of it, it's just not going to take up the nutrients (including co2) that are already in the tank, much less what you inject.

    EDIT: For measuring light intensity, look up the par rating for that particular light. Wattage and bulb count don't really tell you much.
  6. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Thank you, I thought that would be the case. I'll be investing in some new lights and I think I will try liquid co2 before a system. Xx
  7. KindafishyValued MemberMember

    I have a Fluval Spec V and use the LED that came with it and a 13 watt clip on lamp. I do use CO2 tabs twice a week and Flourish Excel 1-2x/week after water changes. I have Riccia fluitans, Anacharis, java moss and an Aponogeton ulvaceus that are all flourishing. The Aponogeton will likely be gone today as it is just too big and grows like a weed in this tank. It has sent out blossoms several times.

    I just wanted to give my experience with a smaller tank.
  8. Axelrodi202Valued MemberMember

    By that I mean nutrient levels and co2 levels. You may need to do a bit of experimenting to find the best level for your tanks.

    Co2 only helps, even in low light. You'll just have to use less than you would in a high light tank. Even traditional low light plants like moss benefit greatly from co2 (IME with co2 mosses anchor with much more vigor).
  9. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Thank you. This is the first time I've attempted heavily planting such a small tank and honestly didn't consider lighting when I started. I cant find any rating on the current or "new" lights so I am going to give them a try as they are so reasonably priced. I have two tanks without any lights I can move them too if they're no good.

    I have not thought this through so this is going to be very experimental. Hopefully the new lights will be at least medium, although as the tank is so well lit by the light in the room I don't know how much they'll help.

    I have a few different kinds of root tabs I plan on using, I have also been using the Vimi liquid system in one of my tanks (all-in-one and accelerator) so it might be worth trying that before I install a full system.x
  10. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    If you can't find the par rating, post the fixture here. It's very likely that one of us either has experience with it and can give you a general idea, or that we can hunt it down.
  11. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    I've found a cheap one here;

    I doubt it will be enough. I am thinking two of the 24LED clip lights? They could be used with its current clip on too (they came with the tank in my OP, but it doesn't mention anything about them). Or is there a brand you could recommend?xx
  12. hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    They say R1BO and I have been trying to figure this out. I think the 'R1' bit means they're very low light? Is that correct?x

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