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CO2 on established tank

mrhoyo

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20 May 2020
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Halifax, UK
So Father Christmas brought me a CO2Art regulator the other day. The question is, should I put CO2 on my current tank (livestock in since July) or wait until I'm ready to get a new tank in 6+ months?
Never used CO2 before so don't want to kill everything!
 

Plant Heathen

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Some more info about the tank would help. Like are you having algae problems at all, How much light is on the tank, What kind of plats are in there and what and how many fish etc?
 

mrhoyo

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Some more info about the tank would help. Like are you having algae problems at all, How much light is on the tank, What kind of plats are in there and what and how many fish etc?
I think I've listed everything:

70l
Plants (in order of mass):
Java fern
Java moss
Various crypts
Bucephalandra
Staurogyne repens
Dwarf hairgrass
Monte Carlo

Livestock
Ember tetra x 10
Panda cory x 5
CPD x 4
Honey gourami x 3
Bristlenose plec (small) x 1
Amano shrimp x 3
Crystal red shrimp x 5

I've got a little bit of BBA but nothing awful
Lighting - Lumini Asta 20, dimmed approx. 50% at the minute
Filter - Seachem Tidal 55 HOB
Ferts - TNC Complete recommended dose 1ml per l weekly
 

Kezzab

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There's no reason you should kill everything provided you don't do anything too mad.

Adding co2 should improve your plant growth and vitality. But it adds another variable to deal with and if you want to go back to non-co2 with the same tank then your plants will probably struggle.

All depends if you have the time and inclination now. If you do, just do it.
 
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Adding co2 should improve your plant growth and vitality. But it adds another variable to deal with and if you want to go back to non-co2 with the same tank then your plants will probably struggle.
Totally agree. Most people with low tech tanks are walking a fine line when it comes to co2, plant selection is probably the most important factor. It won't do any harm to all those plants to have a little bit of overhead when it comes to co2 the problems can start if you withdraw it again. From my experience of running a non co2 tank to adding co2 then trying to go back to non the plants appreciated getting the extra but couldn't deal with taking it away even when done very gradually and trying to wean them off with liquid carbon.

Go for it if you have the kit, it opens up possibilities for some other plants you might not get away with without co2, me personally I wouldn't be chasing max co2 concentrations and just appreciate the benefits of adding some. Your tank is probably max stocked right now so you will be getting a fair bit of co2 from the fish.
 

Plant Heathen

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I'm also in agreement. If you have never run Co2 before you may want to read up on it more. Like when to have it come on and of etc. Other than that your plants will love it.
 
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If it's any consolation mate imo I think if people are going to use co2 the best way to do it would be to start off with a non co2 tank and easy plants then work their way up to using co2 and more advanced plants when the aquarium is biologically stable.
I suspect a lot of the issues people experience is down to trying to max everything out in a new aquarium usually with plants that weren't grew under water.
 

Big G

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With 70 litres you’ve got a bit more wriggle room than me but fwiw I would be super cautious if you’ve not rigged and run a regulator before. The bubble counter and drop checker combo can become a beguiling source of certainty rather than relative and ballpark yardsticks. Same with Kh/ph charts and ph profiles.

At the very least I would rig it and run it on a spare, critter-free tank or bucket first just to make sure you’ve got the gear running tight and leak-free (which still puts the wind up me as I’ve only done it a couple of times). Also you’ll get a feel for just how sensitive the trim dial is and how long it takes from - solanoid on to dialled-in bubble rate.

I’m suggesting super caution and many, more experienced hands will not agree with me perhaps. I’m not saying I’m right by any stretch. I really don’t know much. Relative newbie to co2 with maybe just a pace or two head-start on where you find yourself now in fact. I’m only jumping in so you have more information to choose from and would hate for you to experience what I’ve just been through i.e. losing 6-7 beautiful Bloody Mary neos for no other reason than my knowledge and experience was outstripped by my availability of great toys.

Co2 is an amazing addition to a tank and it can be like giving plants Olympic-grade ‘roids but that can be a double edged sword if the knock-on effects are not understood and accounted for.

One thing I think I missed when watching the pros showing the allure of gas is that they have a great learning curve behind them and whilst those bubbles in the counter often run several bps, that’s on pretty large volumes often with very high turnover rates and superb agitation or off-period additional o2.

Guess what I’m saying is I totally get the co2 thing and will find a place for that shiny regulator in the near future but I’ve got my fingers burnt (as do some) along the way and it’s given me a REALLY healthy respect for it.

I hope you enjoy opening the box and putting that chunk of dials, valves and castings together and marrying it with ......a highly pressurised bottle of toxic gas :confused:as much as I did i.e. A LOT:cool:.

Sorry if I come across as pious or an old fart who’s scared of his own shadow but it’s offered with the best intentions and my own limitations laid bare Mrhoyo.

have fun :)

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mrhoyo

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I think I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. I'll aim low on the BPS and drop checker to start with, I suppose I can increase gradually.
Ideally I'd have started this before livestock but I think getting in to aquariums again was daunting enough to start.
 

mrhoyo

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I tested everything last night and set the timer to come on 1.5 hours before the lights. Starting slow, approx. 1 bubble every 3 seconds for now. I'll see how the drop checker looks when the lights come on and slowly adjust.
I found it very easy to set up, a combination of the CO2Art website and the George Farmer set up video made it a doddle. The only issues I came across were fitting the tubing to the diffuser (needed to warm the tube to get over the nipple) and getting a tight fit on the glass U bend.
 
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Consistency is key mate. If you have a consistent result of bps and DC colour just leave it at that for a couple of weeks and see how the plants react. If everything is going well you have fulfilled the plants needs, this may change has plants grow in or you add more, maybe have to either step up the bubble rate or have it coming on a little earlier.
 

jonnyuk

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6 Oct 2010
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sorry to dig up an oldish thread.....to the OP what bottle did you go for in the end, i'm almost at the point of ordering the co2 art reg but when it comes to the bottle and adapter i'm abit out of my depth.
cheers
 

mrhoyo

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Standard thread so I can use a fire extinguisher. They're on eBay for anywhere from £10 up for 2kg and mine was from Amazon on Prime for £30 because I'm impatient. Although, I may have been sold a nearly empty one as it's pretty much run out after a fortnight.
 

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