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Re: Carpet Plants for Medium Light Tanks

Shireen Gonzaga  gave some good tips on growing a
carpet-like plant in moderate levels of light (e.g. 2
watts/gal).  ...

She said, in part:

> . . .try CO2, even for your low light levels.
> I've read somewhere, one of Karen Randall's
> articles, I think, that CO2 does not necessarily
> have to be used only in high light levels. . .

Also, Tom Barr has mentioned this before, and Claus
Christensen reported some summary research results at the

Plants with added light (or high light levels) grow faster
than those with less light. 

Plants with added CO2 grow faster than plants without added

Plants grow fastest with both higher light and added CO2.  

The effects of added CO2 without high light were slightly
less than the effects of high light without added CO2 on
the plants used in the research.  

In each case, adequate nutrients must be available for the
plants to take advantage of the increased light and/or CO2.

Claus had an explanation of why this works this way, which
was rather complicated, but essentailly, the plants have to
expend more resources when they have low light or low CO2
levels, for example to gather carbon.  When they don't have
to spend as much on that, then they can devote more
resources to growth.

If I haven't said this just right, the mistakes are mine,
but the basic point is that adding CO2, even in a low light
tank, should increase growth rates, at least for most of
the plants in the hobby.

Based on the above, *if* you are only going to add one or
the other, I think it makes more sense to add CO2 rather
than more light.  If you are going to add them in steps, I
think I'd add the CO2 first, add lamps later.  The added
CO2 without added light is a situation that is less likely
to prompt algae than is added light without added CO2 --
although some us can grow it under almost any circumstances

Comments? Corrections?

Scott H.

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