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Limitation in plant species in Non-CO2 tanks

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by PeterGwee, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom, is there any species of plants that does not do well in a non-CO2 setup even with the weekly dosing of nutrients?

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  2. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think light is more important to plants than CO2, although at high light levels carbon injection and dosing are necessities.

    Tom can grow just about any plant at any lighting or CO2 level.

    Bill
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Ask another, perhaps more appropriate question:

    Why should plants grow any different at non CO2 fertilized conditions other than slower?

    Isolate CO2 and provide non limiting conditions for the nutrients and the light level. This is rather easy to do. Adapting high CO2 plants to low CO2 takes time and acclimation. That is not always easy to do for some species.

    Some locations have high CO2 in nature, but many places don't, yet the plants grow there.

    So it seems reasonable to assume that they can be grown well in our tanks.
    I have a feeling there are plants that will do poorly but biomass, type etc make a large difference, some are much better able to get the CO2 that is there in scant supply than others, so things such as the competitor affect needs to be addressed.

    We see this with Java fern turing black and Myriophyllum still growing well at slightly limiting CO2 levels.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Crazymidwesterner

    Crazymidwesterner Guru Class Expert

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    Tom,

    This is the first post I've made in this forum but have spent quite some time reading it. First thank you for this resource.

    Now my question if I was to dose non limiting ferts, and non limiting light in order to try to grow these plants in my low tech aquarium wouldn't I encourage algae growth by having Co2 the limiting factor. I'm starting off with hard to kill plants but wanted to know for future reference.

    I will admit I am a complete novice at this as I am just starting my first tank period. It will be a 75 gallon low tech with the fert mix you suggested in your low tech post.

    After reading your low tech post I was curious if I could leave my ferts and lights at low tech levels and add some small amounts of excel for carbon and as a form of algecide. I was thinking maybe half the recommended dosage. I like the idea of maximum growth with minimal water changes. Maybe I'm completely off base. Any comments on that? I would test this myself but haven't even recieved my plants yet.

    Not to be a pest but I have one more question that I have been unable to clearly find an answer to. It seems elementary so maybe that why it doesn't get discussed. When cycling a heavy planted low tech tank are many water changes needed during the cycling process? I noticed in hi tech planted tanks many people do frequent and large water changes during cycling but not much has been said about cycling a low tech.

    Sorry for the length of the post, and thank you again for the resource.

    Crazymidwesterner
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think I can answer one question and comment on another: water changes are not needed to cycle a heavily planted tank. The plants consume the ammonia as fast as it shows up in a heavily planted tank, so you don't have to worry about cycling the tank at all. But, if you use ADA aquasoil as a substrate it pays to do some water changes in the beginning because that substrate releases a lot of ammonia into the water initially.

    The comment is: we very rarely will have a non-light limited tank. In fact it is likely that all of our tanks are light limited. Sunlight is far more intense than our best lights. Our goal it to make sure it is always the light that is the limiting factor in plant growth, not a nutrient. However, having the same conditions in the tank day after day is more important than having CO2 be non-limiting, as far as algae is concerned. Algae are more likely to start growing as a result of changes in tank conditions than as a result of a constant tank condition. That is how I interpret what I have been reading here for several months now.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    In non CO2 planted tanks, the plant adapts to low CO2.

    Once they do and that level of low CO2 is maintained in the tank, the plants do well and the algae have a very rough go of it.

    Now the plants will grow about 10X slower without CO2............but they will grow.
    I've grown hair grass and Red A. reineckii and Gloss in non CO2 tanks. They are rather weedy in high light/CO2 planted tanks though......

    Packing a tank right from day one will help.
    Doing lots of water changes right away on a non CO2 never alolows the plants to adapt to low CO2.

    You keep adding high CO2, then the tank is starved for high CO2 till you do another water change, that does not provide a stable system.

    Either maintain the CO2 very low or high.
    Not both, algae are the only things that will adapt well there.
    Adding CO2 also helps them grow, but they need to get a good jump first.
    The variation helps them to.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Crazymidwesterner

    Crazymidwesterner Guru Class Expert

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    Thank You

    Okay so stability via minimal water changes in my low tech is the way to go. That's what I was getting from what I was reading but a little reassurance helps alot. I can't wait until my plants come in!!! This is exciting.

    VaughnH

    That's also what I was deducing from the forum. Light should always be our limiting factor. Most nutrients don't cause algae however too much light or the above, instability, does. Fantastic. Thank you both.
     
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