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Non-CO2 Guidance

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Targaryen, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Targaryen

    Targaryen Junior Poster

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    Perhaps someone would be so kind as to offer, or point me in the direction of, some suggestions for managing a non-CO2 planted tank with a robust fish load. I totally get the EI approach and have had some successes (and some failures) with high light + CO2 methods. I got burned out on the maintenance, including the pruning, and have gone in a different direction. I've pulled out everything but the java fern and anubias in my 90g which has a Flourite substrate and some driftwood. I have 5x54w T5-HO so I can go from 54 to 270w of light. I'm thinking of toning down the lighting and turning off the CO2, perhaps going with Seachem Excel. I'm sure through trial and error I'll get things dialed in but I'm wondering if you'd expect to have to continue to dose macros in this scenario. Anybody gone down a similar path or have any insights? Thanks so much.
     
  2. evanluke

    evanluke Lifetime Charter Member
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    You could take the light down to a single bulb.

    With a heavy fish load and low light plants, you could probably get by with gH booster if the water changes are frequent and perhaps some occasional potassium dosing and trace dosing.

    Are you planning on doing frequent water changes?

    Does you tap water have a fair about of Calcium and Magnesium?
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Many have, 2 bulbs and Excel will do most of the goals you seek, while still maintaining good frequent water changes with the high fish load without worries.
    Dosing 2x a week light(about 1/3 of EI basically).

    Too much light= headache.........
     
  4. Targaryen

    Targaryen Junior Poster

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    Hey - thanks for the replies. I'm in the habit of doing weekly 50% water changes so that won't change. My tap water is ~very~ soft so I boost the GH of the w/c water but I haven't been adding GH during the week.
     
  5. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Why do a WC weekly on a non-CO2 tank? I thought that was a big no no? Even with Excel would it not be better to do less water changes to get good mature water that takes care of itself? I would think BBA would pop up in no time with weekly water changes (shifting CO2 levels)? Or am I wrong here?
     
  6. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    I use the middle ground CO2 approach on two tanks. Excel daily with EI, 50% WC weekly, single bulb T5HO on a 29 and 55 gallon. I have not seen a tuft of BBA since I started a year ago. A little GSA from time to time, a little BGA under the substrate on the front glass. The only issues in the plants I see are light related, as I use the Coralife Aqualights with the mounting legs, so my light is a bit too intense with no way to raise them until I get around to building a suspension kit for them.
     
  7. Cyclesafe

    Cyclesafe Guru Class Expert

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    OP has a "robust" fish load so some more frequent water changes are necessary.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yep, hence the suggestion with that trade off(large fish load and feeding) to go Excel type dosing and keep the large water changes.

    Slows things down 3-4x.
    Since the tap is rather soft.........the GH booster added after water change only should help.
    I add about 1 tsp per 40-50 gal of tank.

    This should be about right for the tank.
    I'd still dose a little KNO3/KH2PO4 as well and certainly traces.

    This can be done 1-2x a week.
     
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