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The power of more circulation

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Carissa, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    In my 30g low tech planted tank, I had been dosing Excel for a number of months but I was just not impressed at all with the results. The plants seemed to just be limping along. So last week I decided to add two airstones to what I thought was already good circulation (Aquaclear 50 hob and internal power filter rated for 50 gallon tank). Well one week later, the gsa that was on my front glass is gone, two of my anubias are flowering, my miniature anubias are both sprouting new leaves, my one stalk of ludwigia that I haven't managed to kill off yet is roughly double it's original height, and my echnodorus ocelot sword is sending up a flower stalk. So there you go.
     
  2. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    You imply the addition of airstones made this tank circulate better and therefore grow plants better. This is interesting and Im trying to figure out why. Most say the addition of airstones expidites the removal of c02 in the water. This makes me think the relatively high concentration of c02 in air is finding its way into your water columb and helping growth/suppresing algae. Did you just find the ultimate cheap simple way of adding c02 to a tank? How much light is on this tank? Do you atribute your success to more c02 in the water or 02 or circulation? How does an airstone increase circulation in your tank? How do you think this increase in circulation has helped the plants? This is curiouse and interesting to me thanks for the post. -Jon
     
  3. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Probably more co2. This tank is not co2 injected so it's limited by the amount that can be absorbed at the surface. More circulation to the surface = more co2 available. The tank has 60 watts of t12 lighting.
     
  4. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    surface turbulence has many for/against arguments.

    Basically there is an equilibrium level in water for CO2 and O. When you have zero disturbance and plants then this level depletes as expected. Having surface turbulence will 'assist' the gaseous exchange at the surface and therefore maintain the 'equilibrium' level better.

    Therefore in a non CO2 injected tank surface turbulence is a good idea. It brings O and CO2 into the tank.

    In a CO2 injected tank we are injecting over the 'equilibrium' level and therefore the water tries to return to 'equilibrium' levels. This means that zero surface turbulence makes the gaseous exchange slower and helps us keep higher than 'equilibrium' levels.

    However many of us still want surface turbulence and therefore have a good ripple on our injected tanks whilst compensating for loss by turning CO2 up a little

    :)

    AC
     
  5. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Very interesting!

    Are you able to grow any low growing foreground plants at that light level?

    I wonder what would happen if you were to discontinue the Excel with that improved circulation. The dissolved CO2 is getting spread around more with it.

    Bill
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    All I have in my foreground is anubias/miniature anubias and some short crypts (which are almost totally shaded by the echnodorus). I used to have dozens of tiny java fern plants until I got sick of them coming uprooted and clogging my filter so I threw them out. I haven't attempted anything more adventurous at that lighting level. Someday I'll get my hands on some microswords for that tank.

    I'm seriously thinking about upgrading to a Coralife dual T5 setup because my old bulbs are bad and the T12's I do have really shouldn't be in that fixture, for $40 I can get new bulbs and for $90 I can upgrade my whole fixture and also get bulbs with it, worth the extra $50 if you ask me. Which reminds me, does anyone have this Coralife fixture (dual T5 setup) and if so will it fit on a tank that's 1" wider than the spec? My tank is 31" and the fixture is 30". Annoying. The next size up 36" would be too big not to mention way too bright for my needs. Also does it come with a glass top of some kind? Guess I'm hijacking my own thread but it sort of relates. :)
     
  7. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I would think it would be pretty hard to grow low level foreground plants in that tank not because of the lighting. Because of the low CO2 level.

    The light IMO wouldn't be a problem as I consider these plants more a high CO2 plant than high light plant.

    AC
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The control here would be to use a small powerhead to see if the flow is responsible, or the CO2 from more of the aeration, the powerhead can increase circulation, with minimal surface turn over...........likewise, you can increase surface turnover also with the powerehead. Cannot do that with aeration.

    Something to ponder.

    In non CO2 tanks, an increase of 1-2 ppm is a huge amount.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The other thing/s you might try wit a non CO2 system and play around with if you use a small powerhead:

    1. Add a timer to feed air into the suction side.
    2. Try running aeration during the day only.
    3. Try running the air about 1-2 hours after lights come on til they go off.
    4. Try running air about 3-4 hours after the lights come on till they turn off etc.
    5. Vary the night time cycle so the air goes off about 1 hour prior to the the lights coming on.
    6. Run aeration only at night.

    I run aeration in some tanks(2) for about 12 hours, with 1 hour before and after the lights. This is more due to the fish load than anything and they do not have wet/drys. Not so much for plants etc but they are CO2 enriched also.

    With Excel, you can grow most species of foreground plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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