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Why CO2?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by PK1, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I am sure this topic has been discussed numerous times before but I wasn't able to find anything on it so here it goes:

    While many aquatic plants can grow in aquariums without CO2 (grow slower), I continue to read that some plants will simply not do well or die in an aquarium without CO2 or some other form of carbon such as Excel. Is this because:

    1. In their natural habitats the water already has higher levels of CO2 than regular bodies of water elsewhere? If so why?
    2. These plants are not 100% aquatic plants and grow emersed - either all the time or seasonally - and hence have access to the abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere?
    3. They are aquatic plants, and the water in their natural habitats has the normal level of CO2 (
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Most that will die tend to be plants that can only survive limited time spans in flooded conditions.
    With rich CO2, many species can flourish.

    There's always some CO2, the question is how much and is it enough for good growth.

    I have Java needle leaf fern outside in sponge filtered tanks, some RCS, maybe a few fish or two, feed 4X a week or so, no sediment, some driftwood , they grow great, slow........but great, but there are no other species in there, the light is a simple shop light.
    But they also do well with CO2.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Most that will die tend to be plants that can only survive limited time spans in flooded conditions.
    With rich CO2, many species can flourish.

    There's always some CO2, the question is how much and is it enough for good growth.

    I have Java needle leaf fern outside in sponge filtered tanks, some RCS, maybe a few fish or two, feed 4X a week or so, no sediment, some driftwood , they grow great, slow........but great, but there are no other species in there, the light is a simple shop light.
    But they also do well with CO2.
     
  4. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Interesting, so most of the ones that die are not truly aquatic plants. Seems like the only missing element to make them thrive under water is access to carbon, which excess CO2 in the water or other forms of carbon can fix. Essentially, by injecting CO2 we make an artificial environment for these plants to thrive, but one that is not sustainable in nature.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, they are truly aquatic in some locations, the same is true for all aquatic plants, depends highly on When and Where.
    You will not find plants below say 30-40ft(but mosses you can find 100's of ft deep), you will not find plants in very high flows, scouring, here the water is really hard or other issues.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, they are truly aquatic in some locations, the same is true for all aquatic plants, depends highly on When and Where.
    You will not find plants below say 30-40ft(but mosses you can find 100's of ft deep), you will not find plants in very high flows, scouring, here the water is really hard or other issues.
     
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