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Low-energy non CO2 tanks

_Maq_

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23 Jun 2022
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Czech Republic
Always interesting when such lovely people ask 'how dare you do what you want with your tank and money?' and demand you explain yourself to them. Here, I just added 20 ppm NO3 to the tank, puzzle over that.
You've exposed me. I confess: my aim was to provoke a discussion on this topic. It seems I've succeeded in it.
If you take it personally, I sincerely apologize. It was not my aim to criticize anyone. And in that particular case - originally, it was a comment regarding certain tank - it was my opinion, and the original poster asked the community for comments.
 

_Maq_

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Thread starter
Joined
23 Jun 2022
Messages
591
Location
Czech Republic
Tropica says "Aquarium plants require nutrients to grow. The main nutrient is CO2, which is also the main inhibitor of growth in the plant aquarium. If you don’t add extra CO2, plants have to do with what is naturally released by fish and bacteria inside the aquarium, which is inadequate for plants of the categories MEDIUM and ADVANCED"

Would we generally agree that for the "Medium" and "Advanced" plants it is highly recommended to have CO2, or is Tropica too cautious here?
I believe all plants without exception benefit from CO2 amendment. CO2 enhances photosynthesis, photosynthesis creates sugars, and sugars are the source of energy to remedy all adversities the plant may face. However, when it comes to sorting plants into easy, medium, and advanced, it is questionable whether CO2 is the right measure to decide. Let me convey some notes regarding selected plants which Tropica ranks among 'advanced', or are generally considered 'difficult':
Elatine hydropiper. Definitely can grow without enhanced CO2. Yet it's difficult to establish it because it's so tiny a fragile.
Bacopa myriophylloides. Quite the same. It's very very frail, and any physical damage is a point of entrance for microbes. Once established, it's quite undemanding, preferring acidic water and lean dosing.
Eriocaulon cinereum, etc. Slow grower. It takes time before it creates a leaf, and it takes hours to lose the whole plant because of organic pollution or for whatever reason. Obviously, if you make it grow faster through CO2 injection, your chances are better.
Glossostigma spec. Hemianthus spec. Even easier to establish than Elatine. But prone to algae infestation. Also, high levels of oxygen are a must, otherwise they melt from the bottom and get messy. Thus, you need to keep your tank very clean, and if you do, you don't need high CO2 nor very strong lighting.
Ludwigia inclinata Cuba. It can grow quite well in acidic water with lean dosing. The thing is that it seldom shows its full beauty without truly strong light, which is hardly recommendable without CO2 injection. So, is it really difficult, or not? To me, it's not, as I'm quite content with its look as I've got it - narrow leaves of yellowish colour (and without chlorosis due phototoxicity).
Proserpinaca palustris. From time to time, it suddenly melts for reasons unknown to me. I suspect - again - that it's sensitive to organic pollution. Apart from that, an easy plant, and quite willingly getting reddish.

I could go on... I believe large majority of aquarium plants can be kept successfully without CO2 injection. The main disadvantage of low-tech - in my eyes - is that to keep various species, you need to learn and follow meticulously their preferences regarding environment (pH, alkalinity, nutrient ratios, substrate qualities, a.o.) and, as a result, you cannot keep all of them in a single tank. Beside that, you have to keep high oxygen and low organic content, which does not fit well with keeping more than just a few small fishes. These are apparent limitations. However, this is UKAPS community, so subjecting everything else to plants' health and prosperity is an admissible approach, I assume.
 
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