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The middle line between high- and lowtech tanks

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by ArnieArnie, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Maybe it has already been discussed, but did anybody try to take the benefits of both methods?
    What bothers me the most is the water consumption of high-tech tanks. Because fresh water is getting more expensive and have an environmental impact.
    On the other end the benefit of CO2 usage is quite clear. It gives lusher, better growth and wider choice of plant species (IMO).

    So would it work to have a tank with low light, less water changes but with CO2 enrichment? Of course there will be some dosing. Would this get a plant growth that is not to fast but still is enough to deal with algae? Or am I forgetting something in this theory?
    Please give me your opinion as I am doubting what to choose (between methods).

    Greets

    Arnie
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    EI is a guideline, and doesn't have ro be applied rigidly. You can adjust it to your own liking. With low light and CO2 it's no problem to reduce waterchanges, like 25 to 30%, and as a result dose less.

    In a healthy tank with no overstocking this is no problem. The 50% waterchanges is just a way of avoiding high ppm's. This doesn't mean it's the only way.

    Water is still very cheap here, 1000 liters is 1 Euro.

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  3. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    I was more thinking of monthly water changes :) with medium tech tank. Less work but still CO2. Or would dosing than become a pain in the !@$# because you have to correct every week?

    For dosing I was thinking of first week dose a lot, than under dose a little 3 weeks (lowering ppm slowly over time). WC and than repeat cycle.
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I just came back from my holiday. One month without waterchanges. I couldn't notice disadvantages. So why don't you try? Just be cautious the tank doesn't run out of something. I think half of normal EI dosage would work well.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I think I will give it a try.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not rationalize the cost for water, it's the cheapest thing we use. Electricity on the other hand?

    That's much more costly!!!

    So where can we reduce the cost there and have less labor involved and easier management?
    Use lower light, not higher lighting.
    Plants still grow, but they grow slower.

    This means that CO2 demand is also slower. Which in turn makes dosing CO2 MUCH easier.

    When growth is reduced, CO2 is reduced, what would you predict the nutrient demand to also be?
    Reduced.......
    So now you have an easier time dosing without running out.
    Basically, if you want faster rates of growth, you need to do a bit more work for it.
    Less growth= less work.

    But this also extends to water changes and dosing.

    I do 1x a month water changes on this tank:
    [​IMG]

    Low light and easier to care for plants, high fish load, strong current, CO2 enrichment added, dosed 2x a week or so.
    I change about 50-60% once a month.

    I start with EI, then slowly, patiently, and progressively, reduce the dosing down little by little over 2-3 week intervals and observe for those 2-3 weeks time frames.
    If there is no negative growth response, I keep going and reduce further. If there is a negative growth response after 2-3 weeks, I return to the next highest dosing.

    Ideally many would like to balance the input nutrients with the output of plant demand.
    However the labor and management is not good for most aquarists.
    It requires more work and closer tabs than many realistically will do.

    So rather than testing, we can avoid it by reducing the entire method, reducing growth by all the parameters(light, CO2, and nutrients, not just one thing!!!).
    This is much more holitistic and geared towards a over all sustainable method.

    Not just nutrients and water changes alone.

    That's only a partial philosophy.
    To be honest, we should apply it through each aspect of the aquarium.
    Not just where it suit how we might feel about one thing.

    There's no rush either, we can optimize and make each part of the aquarium more efficient, just like around the house, the car we drive, take the bicycle/walk more etc.
    If we just pick on one thing, we end up being a hypocrite in many other areas of the hobby:)

    These are luxury items, so that also must be considered. Labor for the hobbyists is also critical.
    You can slow things down even more with dosing of Easycarbo or Excel or a DIY version thereof instead of CO2 gas.
    But this needs dosed regularly, which many do not like to do.

    I make water changes easy on myself. Also, water changes do not use that much water compared to toilets and many other things around the home.
    I live in CA and use all my tank water for the irrigation of the landscape plants.
    So it's not waste, the irrigation system has been turned off. This saves about 1300 gallons a week.
    I also have over 500 gallons of aquarium.
     
  7. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Water is only 1 Euro per 1000 liters here. So if I change 50% per week the cost per month is...... 1 Euro. I can't even buy a cup of coffee for that money. :)

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
    #7 dutchy, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2011
  8. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    This is the example I was looking for. TY. Even though water is the cheapest thing in the house, I still think it is a good practice to use it as efficiently as possible. Don't forget there also comes a whole lot of energie at play to purify the water and clean it when we flush. All my indoor and outdour plants also get aquarium water.
     
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