Debating CO2

Sorg67

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In my original plan, I had not planned to use CO2. My first tank in 40 years and I want to keep it relatively simple. My local fish store strongly advises CO2 and says it will make keeping plants and managing algae easier. I like easy.

On the other hand, my primary objective is to learn. I wonder if I would learn more by establishing the plants without CO2 and running the tank for a year. See how the plants do and then add CO2 and see the difference. I am guessing I would expect to see a dramatic grow acceleration after adding CO2.
 

kevhufc

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For me, starting off with no co2 is the way to go. You can learn how the plants grow naturally in your aquarium then when you get to the point when you feel your plants have reached their full potential then add co2. You will then be able to decide if adding co2 gives you enough benefits for the financial outlay. I'm not sure if it's the same where you live but in England you can pick up a basic co2 kit for about £20 that will last about 1 month on a 40 litre tank. A proper full on co2 kit could be 10 times that amount, so a lot of money to spend at the beginning of the hobby.
 
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Sorg67

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Thanks. I am not up to speed on the cost yet. But 200 pounds ($260 US) seems about right.
 

smee82

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If you want a planted tank get your substrate first. Aquasoils imo are the best substrate for a planted tank but some brands are a bit pricey but they are definitely worth the outlay.
If you havent got your lights yet i would worry about them before co2 as you dont want to need to buy better lights 6 or 12months down the road.
 
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Sorg67

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For better or worse. I have already purchased substrate and lights. 60 lbs Caribsea Eco-Complete Substrate and three strips of 30 inch LED lights. Standard Day White. So I have what I have there.

Planning to choose plants that will work well with what I have for lighting and substrate. I should have done the reverse, but this is a learning tank and that is a good lesson.
 

mbkemp

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Co2 makes everything grow better. It does not eliminate algae. It is possible to have more algae with co2 then without

my advice would be to set up your tank. Find out how your plants grow with the lights you have. Figure out how you want to fertilize and what it all means. Rotala Butterfly is a good place to start understanding how much of what and when

If you decide you want to go with co2 buy the best you can. Too much can and will go wrong if you are not careful. Good luck, it can be addicting
 

johnbirg

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Hi,
In my tank I have a 3-4 inch layer of washed river gravel ( fine ) as substrate and all of my plants are planted in that. I do not use CO2 or fertilizer and while it took about 2 months for the plants to settle in they're all thriving. IMG_20190812_183936487_HDR.jpg
 
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