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Optimizing CO2 in non-injected tanks

MichaelJ

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Rams are a bugger to keep at the best of times due to mass farming and inbreeding etc, I think if you've gotten decent stock then they may well tolerate slightly lower temps but I've personally never had any luck with them below 25⁰c.
@John q Yes, I am mostly concerned about the Rams. I think the stock I have are decent. I am hovering around 25 - 25.5 C right now. I might be able to squeeze the temp a tiny bit more - perhaps 24.5 C. Of course the point of all this per my OP is to slow the plants metabolism a bit - lower the CO2 demand and slightly increase CO2 uptake from the air. I have no idea how much to expect - maybe a ppm of CO2 perhaps.

I have vallis in lowtech softwater tanks 2~3 kh and 3~4 gh and they grow like weeds. I add a few catappa leaves to lower the ph a bit, not sure if this helps them in any way.
The Vallis are not doing terrible, just not as well as they used to. Could be they liked the water that was a tad more acidic. They should have a fairly wide tolerance range though. I think they may bounce back eventually - I had that happen before.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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sparkyweasel

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What about a fireproof cabinet with a tiny gas burner and an air pump in it?
From one of my dad's old books, Tropical Aquariums, Plants and Fishes by A Lawrence Wells, 1937;
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zozo

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From one of my dad's old books, Tropical Aquariums, Plants and Fishes by A Lawrence Wells, 1937;
View attachment 170261View attachment 170262
I've also seen drawings like this with candles from victorian times. Where the bottom of the tank was described as from a thick piece of slate to withstand the heat. But that's a nice book you got there dating 1937... :thumbup: Seems to be in excellent condition as well... Keep it like that, one day it might be worth something.

I guess back then they didn't really know the benefit of CO² in the planted aquarium or else there definitively would be an air pump in it as well with a gas flame. Since CH4 + 2O2 -> 2H2O + CO2 :)
 

zozo

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Amtra do an Oak extract but crazily you can't get it in the UK

I only found it once a few years back as New Old Stock, but unbranded, in a very old LFS and I bought it. And I actually don't know why... I guess I was intrigued, but never really used it all. Still have that bottle standing somewhere with at least 1/3 of its contents. :)

Edit:
Found it... This is bought about 8 years ago, never seen it again somewhere.

It says in English Oak Bark Extract.
IMG_20210603_213557645[1].jpg
 
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John q

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Of course the point of all this per my OP is to slow the plants metabolism a bit - lower the CO2 demand and slightly increase CO2 uptake from the air. I have no idea how much to expect - maybe a ppm of CO2 perhaps.
Probably very marginal gain by dropping the the temp by 0.5c, a much better gain would be gotten by reducing the light intensity; simple cheap and easy, but folks can't grasp it.
Could be they liked the water that was a tad more acidic. They should have a fairly wide tolerance range though.
Maybe, maybe not. The oak leaf solution mentioned above lowers the ph, adds tannins and humic acids. Catappa leaves do a similar thing.. maybe it's the tannins that help?
 

MichaelJ

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a much better gain would be gotten by reducing the light intensity; simple cheap and easy, but folks can't grasp it.
Absolutely agree.. low light intensity (not necessarily the hours in my experience) is the key for low tech tanks... and probably the one key reason my plants in both tanks are doing so well without injection.

Cheers,
Michael
 

tiger15

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Since indoor air has higher CO2 than outdoor air, good surface agitation / aeration can enhance CO2 recharge from the atmosphere to replenish depleted CO2 from photosynthesis. I am deducting this from monitoring the CO2 level in my zero tech shrimp bowl in which CO2 is stripped to 0.2 ppm at the peak of sunlight period. If I could provide good aeration, it would restore CO2 to equilibrium level with the atmosphere of at least 3 ppm.
 

Tim Harrison

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JozefSC

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Hello everyone

I am not worried about CO2, it is in the title non CO2 tank, you just have to go with the flow it slowly growing tank and it always will be, that's the beauty of it, low maintenance, plants stay nice for longer same size no need for constant trimming. Once the tank is established it is very stable environment with no hassles, no algae etc. The CO2 is there, it come from fish, plants at the night time and surface movement.
If you want bust your CO2 just do DIY CO2 that will bring the CO2 higher but not too much, it will be big difference to it, and don't worry about fluctuations of CO2 as long you periodically refill the bottle and don't increase you light and you have the right temperature.


I had low tech tanks for ever(mostly for breeding fish), in my low tech tank I don't use liquid CO2, low light up 8 hours, 23'C, tab water, quite small internal filter, lean fertilizing and gravel no soil, but I have been adding some tropica tablets recently, up to now I wasn't, just fish waste and I believe big part of success in this are snails red-rimmed melania they are helping with oxidation in the gravel for bacteria and movements in there and I don't siphon the gravel at all(I know sounds mad) I have plants rated medium such as Monte Carlo, rotala, super red mini and rotala wallichii rated advance, I am not saying that the plant are thriving in its best, but they are growing slowly and healthy, even my rotalas are getting bushy after trim 2-3 stems coming out of one stem. Anubias, buce are flowering regularly. I don't want to spam it here with my photos for visual "prove". There are some photos of the low tech tank on Instagram @jozef.sc but if you are interested I can put some here. It fully planted tank with no more space for plant so I guess the amount of plant mass is not the issue, I would say more the better.


I have learn from old school guys to don't put crypts and vallesneria to the same tank as each plant is changing the environment to its own standards and one doesn't like the other, depends which plant is stronger in the tank, or if there is balance or big volume of water then can be doable. Please don't quote me on this one, I have never used both together, so non experience with it.

Regards
Joe
 

MichaelJ

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If you want bust your CO2 just do DIY CO2 that will bring the CO2 higher but not too much, it will be big difference to it, and don't worry about fluctuations of CO2 as long you periodically refill the bottle and don't increase you light and you have the right temperature.
Hi @JozefSC I was thinking about that, but then again, if I go down that route I might just get a small CO2 system and inject low levels for a couple of hours before and after the lights come on. My goal is to keep it as is and work with whatever I can do to squeeze out that extra CO2... it seems like I might already be there with the addition of a slight tweak to temperature.

I don't siphon the gravel at all(I know sounds mad)
I've backed away from being too rigorous with the gravel siphoning as well (gravel cleaning is detrimental according to D. Walstad - a bit extreme perhaps...). I just get rid of obvious plant waste and detritus.

I have plants rated medium such as Monte Carlo, rotala, super red mini and rotala wallichii rated advance,
Impressive. I've tried Rotala W long ago (bought in ignorance not knowing its a "high CO2" plant) - faded away in a week.

I am not saying that the plant are thriving in its best, but they are growing slowly and healthy, even my rotalas are getting bushy after trim 2-3 stems coming out of one stem. Anubias, buce are flowering regularly. I don't want to spam it here with my photos for visual "prove". There are some photos of the low tech tank on Instagram @jozef.sc but if you are interested I can put some here. It fully planted tank with no more space for plant so I guess the amount of plant mass is not the issue, I would say more the better.
Your tanks indeed looks great! - yes, please share 1-2 pics of your low-techs (as not everyone here is on instagram).

Cheers,
Michael
 
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JozefSC

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Well great is a bit too big word, it is my first planted tank and it will one year now since I started focusing on plant and scape.

Now I am hoping that my plant identification was correct as I brought the plant without label and emersed, Rotala W should be the one top right corner.
Photo 7th April
IMG_47931.JPG



8th May
IMG_52101~2.JPG
 
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MichaelJ

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Well great is a bit too big word, it is my first planted tank and it will one year now since I started focusing on plant and scape.
I like it... so much going on there in a good way!

Now I am hoping that my plant identification was correct as I brought the plant without label and emersed, Rotala W should be the one top right corner.
Photo 7th April
Not sure if it is... the Rotala W I got looked like this - for a few days at least :)

Cheers,
Michael
 

JozefSC

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Yes, definitely not that colour, structure is same. I am sure someone here will know and tell us.
 

MichaelJ

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Hello, how is the tank? Did go CO2 or not?
Both tanks are doing great. Besides what I mentioned in the OP, the only change I ended up doing with respect to "CO2 optimization" was lowering the temps to 24 C. I never really considered going down the CO2 route - it's too much hassle for what I possibly could gain with the plants I keep. I believe I found a very good balance between fertilizer, light intensity, filtration/flow and plant mass - I just have to try and maintain that.
Cheers,
Michael
 
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