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Liquid carbon source or yeast type for starter tank?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by lulaface, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. lulaface

    lulaface Junior Poster

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    I am in the process of stocking my 55 gallon tank with low to medium light plants (mosses, java fern, anubias, etc). I currently have 80 watts NO fluorescent, but I'm building a hanging canopy that will hold at least two 55 watt PCs, maybe more if I need it. I had originally planned on a very simple, non-CO2 tank, but I'm thinking maybe I want more growth than that. I have a high bioload of fish, and I feed a lot, so macro nutients aren't a problem. And I do 20% water changes every 2 weeks.

    So, keeping with the simple and not too expensive theme of the tank, what sort of carbon source should I be looking for. Are the liquid supplements like Excel and Natural Aquarium Vital any good? Or should I add a yeast-type CO2 generator? I really don't want to get into tanks and nozzles and gauges much at this point.

    Any input?
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Many folks use Excel with good results. It should work for you based on your plant choices and size tank. Keep in mind that the higher the light, the larger requirement for ferts/carbon if you use/add all the lights. DIY C02 is somewhat labor intensive depending on how done and how much you need. Try the Excel for a while and see how it works for your setup.

    Also plant mass plays a role in all of this. The more plants, the more fuel needed to feed the mass.

    Good current will help distribute the nutes around the tank to the plants, and wash away detritus. This is pretty important, and current is good for the fish too.

    A quick search should uncover some basics on using Excel, as I have not really used it much. I am sure others will chime in.

    I would also suggest that 20% weekly is better than bi-weekly :) Just a thought, especially since you feed well and have a high bio-load.............

    Good luck.
     
  3. lulaface

    lulaface Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the input! Anyone else?
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Always have compatible goals. One should never have the goals of lots of fast growing plants, high light intensity, and no CO2 system. Compatible goals are low maintenance, low light demand plants, low light intensity, and no CO2. I think you are pretty close to compatible goals, but don't get carried away and add more than two 55 watt bulbs to that canopy.

    Tom has repeatedly pointed out that Excel is not as effective as CO2. You can get about a third the plant growth rate using Excel as with using CO2. DIY CO2 will work, but for a 55 gallon tank, that means more than one DIY CO2 generator bottle, with staggered start times, so you are replenishing a DIY generator at least once a week. The advantage is that you will then have the best source of carbon for the plants, and if you wish, you can increase the light intensity some more to get faster growth and use more light demanding plants.
     
  5. lulaface

    lulaface Junior Poster

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    Ok. So what about one of the kits that uses a yeast system and a small venturi powerhead. I think it's by Red Sea? Not sure. Anybody have experience with one of those?
     
  6. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    FWIW... If you decide to use Excel, watch your shrimp closely. There is something in Excel that shrimp do not find appealing, especially if you overdose. I've heard of some complaints with shrimp, even on the standard dose, much less overdosing.
     
  7. Ardell

    Ardell Junior Poster

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    In my opinion if you are looking to get into the hobby and be sucessful in the longterm, pressurized Co2 is the way to go. I fooled with DIY yeast and even one of the comercial yeast contraptions "just to see" and it only led to dissappointment. Pressurized seems like a big expense in the beginning but the convience coupled with the results make it worth it and then some. I would personally use excell and settle for slower growth before i considered the hassel of getting reliable CO2 out of yeast again.
     
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