Non CO2 methods

helgymatt

Guru Class Expert
Sep 17, 2007
107
0
16
I'm going to quote this too...

"So a 20 gal using excel would get:
2 w/gal light
Dose 1/8 teaspoon KNO3 1-2x a week
KH2PO4, 1/16th, 1-2x a week
Traces, 2mls 2x a week
SeaChem EQ 1/8th once a week
50% weekly water change
Dose 1.5-2x the rec dosing for Excel"

I have a 20 gallon that I would like to go low tech with. I understand all of the above, but I want to know what substate will work. The tank has been set-up for many months with just regular fine gravel. Will this gravel work or should I look into something else? Onyx sand has been recommended for no-CO2 tanks, but is this the same case for an excel dosed tank? Should I look for some flourite or eco-complete? Also, would 2 -15 watt bulbs be enough (1.5wpg) or should I look for a fixture that holds 2-20 watt bulbs?

Is growth with this excel set-up going to be "faster" than the no-CO2 method?
Thanks,
Matt
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
1.5 watts per gallon is enough light, but only with good reflectors. If you have nothing to capture and redirect the light from the sides and back of the bulbs you don't get the full benefit of those watts. It isn't hard to make acceptable reflectors for a fixture using screw-in spiral CF bulbs. Here is how I did it for a 10 gallon tank: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ects/45208-diy-mod-perfecto-10-gal-light.html
 

helgymatt

Guru Class Expert
Sep 17, 2007
107
0
16
Looks good hoppy. I may have to give that method a shot. If I have two of those light units, would I want 4 bulbs @13 watts each (with two in each unit)? That would be more than the 2wpg. I think they do sell 10 watt bulbs also. What do you think?
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
Without CO2, with just Excel, I don't think you want to try really high intensity lighting. Excel only gives about a third of the growth rate that a good level of CO2 gives. So, you don't need as much light as with a CO2 tank. Intuitively I think something a bit less than 2 watts per gallon would be the goal. With those screw-in bulbs, maybe 2.5 watts per gallon?
 

derekparr

Junior Poster
Jan 23, 2005
23
0
1
To get back on topic. A little. I have to offer much accolades to Diana Walstad and her book. It was the turning point for me in this hobby when I got my hands on her book. Finally advice and information that was actually logical. On top of that, the book led to a web search of her name which led to me finding the APD list and then months later this site was created. Funny thing is that she happens to live here in the same town as me and when I first met her at our local fish club meeting I tried to tell her about how much her book helped me and to thank her. Suffice it to say she doesn't take compliments very well. She stared at me like I was some sort of crazed paparazzi and backed quickly away. Since then we get along great, now I just keep my compliments to myself. :)

With that said. My present method is more of a mix between Barr's and Walstad's methods. Generally with a thin layer of red clay (for Fe) and then a couple or more inches (depending on size of tank) of gravel/sand from a nearby creek. Plenty of plants. No more than 2wpg or for the 2.5's in my window, a little early morning sunshine. Appropriate feeding for whatever is living there. And adding a little nitrate (Watson type) and such when the plants seem to be asking for it. I often get lazy and let things go for weeks if not months on end though. Sometimes everything is still fine, other times tanks have crashed. Not perfect, but I have a better effort to results ratio than anyone else I know.
 

Holdingwine

Junior Poster
Nov 22, 2007
4
0
1
So if somebody that has high GH tapwater naturally (like me), we're better off to use a trace mix like CSM+B Plantex?

If so, what's the dosing for that?
 

Holdingwine

Junior Poster
Nov 22, 2007
4
0
1
So then you dose something like 1ml per 10 gallons a week for the traces?

I assume the rest of the ferts you dose dry, correct?
 

Mooner

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 9, 2006
311
11
18
Colorado
If you are dosing(not EI) for a non-carbon tank, you will only need small amount per your tank volume once weekly or two. CSB+B as mixed using the Nutri-calc can be used at near the same rate as TMG. Tom Barr has said if I recall correctly that you will get more Fe from CSM+B over TMG, but can't recall his mix.

Found it:

Tom Barr;23406 said:
A standard CMS mix is 1 table spoon to 500mls of DI water

Note: CMS is richer and has more Fe.

Personally I premix my dry ferts in DI water and dose in ML's. I don't think there's an issue with dry dosing either, your choice.

So, continue reading and follow the suggested rate in the article for non-CO2 and tweak as necessary(watch the plants)
 

inv1510nxtarz

Junior Poster
Apr 8, 2008
2
0
1
new to this...

i read thru all the posts but i still dont quite grasp it... can someone tell me roughly what should be used for a 20 gal long?

what ferts and how much?
can i use eco complete/fluorite by itself or should i have a layer underneath?
is 1wpg of lighting ok or should i upgrade to 2wpg?

i'll have about 6-12 schooling tetras, a 50gal aquaclear filter, and a bunch of low light plants.
 

Mooner

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 9, 2006
311
11
18
Colorado
inv1510nxtarz;24355 said:
i read thru all the posts but i still dont quite grasp it... can someone tell me roughly what should be used for a 20 gal long?

what ferts and how much?

http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/2817-non-co2-methods.html
While trace mixes can be added, I decided to use SeaChem Equlibrium instead.
It has Fe and Mn as well as Ca/K/Mg/SO4.
I will add about 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gal tank once every week or two.
This greatly enhances the growth of the plants.
I also will add about 1/8" and 1/32" teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively once a week or two.

inv1510nxtarz;24355 said:
can i use eco complete/fluorite by itself or should i have a layer underneath?

A light dusting of peat(very light) and mulm. eco complete/fluorite would be great

inv1510nxtarz;24355 said:
is 1wpg of lighting ok or should i upgrade to 2wpg?

1-2 wpg of T12 or T8 with good reflector will work


inv1510nxtarz;24355 said:
i'll have about 6-12 schooling tetras, a 50gal aquaclear filter, and a bunch of low light plants.

Perfect, just add water:)
 

Neal

Junior Poster
Feb 3, 2007
6
0
1
Converting old tank

I have a 54 corner tank that I'm converting to this technique. I won't be replacing the substrate. It is gravel with laterite on the bottom. The substrate has been in use in either this tank or my previous 55 for 10 years now. I have crypt wendtii, anubias coffefolia, a. nana petite and Ludwigia repens in the tank now.
Will I need to supplement it with something or will 10 years of mulm provide all the substrate nutrients I need?

Thanks.
 

Mooner

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 9, 2006
311
11
18
Colorado
Hi Neal,

What are you converting from? Type of lighting, any additives used thus far?

Substrate sounds fine for this technique.

Let us know.
 

Neal

Junior Poster
Feb 3, 2007
6
0
1
Mooner;24891 said:
Hi Neal,

What are you converting from? Type of lighting, any additives used thus far?

Substrate sounds fine for this technique.

Let us know.

I'm converting from a compressed CO2, weekly water change regime tank. Lighting is 2x36 T5 and 2x13 T5 from AHSupply. This is a corner tank, so the lighting has to be a little unique.
I'm dosing 3/4 tsp Equilibrium, 3/8 tsp KNO3 and 3/32 KH2PO4 weekly.
 

Mooner

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 9, 2006
311
11
18
Colorado
The lighting will be to much. This method(non carbon) will slow things down a lot compared to what you have now. Make sure tank is packed with plants and the seasoned substrate should do well. Top off water only and a small amount of fertilizers will do.

Just out of curiosity, why are you changing methods??
 

Neal

Junior Poster
Feb 3, 2007
6
0
1
Mooner;24927 said:
The lighting will be to much. This method(non carbon) will slow things down a lot compared to what you have now. Make sure tank is packed with plants and the seasoned substrate should do well. Top off water only and a small amount of fertilizers will do.
Interesting. I didn't think that 98 watts over 54 gallons would be too much. I'll adjust the photo period so that the 13s are only on at dawn, dusk & noon and the 36s are only on after dawn through before dusk.

Mooner;24927 said:
Just out of curiosity, why are you changing methods??
I honestly just got tired of the water changes. I don't have time to do EI or PPS justice. Plus the look I'm going for in the tank doesn't require high light and high CO2 demanding plants.
 

Mooner

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 9, 2006
311
11
18
Colorado
It's not the watts per gallon that is a concern, it is the type of lighting. T5 and AH PC's with reflectors put out a lot of light. Generally, you are looking for T12 to T8 lighting over non carbon setups. Your current lighting would do well over an Excel type setup but would still require water changes, maybe bi monthly.

I currently have a 20 gal long ,non carbon, with a single T8 (17W) with an AH reflector. I'm able to go long periods without water changes. This tank is very stable and plants grow slow. Near zero maintenance.:cool:

BTW This forum is a great place to get help with gas if you ever change your mind:)
 

garfield9182

Junior Poster
Mar 27, 2008
1
0
1
hi, I have a few questions.No matter how big is the tank , non- co2 method can be use?Any brand of the phophorus and nitrates can be use?The aquatic plant centre that i go suggest me to change the soil every 6-12 months, is it necessary? and he also ask me to buy a fan...is it necessary too?..thanks..TAN