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[APD] co2 expense

I've been running more or less the same CO2 equipment for 10-12 years now.
The original investments mean nothing to me now. Since I swap tanks and
don't refill them there will never be a time to replace the tank itself.
I'd be surprised if the cost was $5/month.  Even if you divided the original
cost into the mix.

There is a thing called barrier to entry though.  I'd think twice, and three
or four times before dropping $2-300 on a piece of equipment before I knew
how useful it would be. Turns out co2 was a much, much better investment in
terms of equipment than a lot of things I have bought for the aquarium. I
didn't know that when I was plunking down the cash though.

When I get a setup really cranking I often turn down the CO2 as a way of
controlling plant growth.

One thing to remember is that you can do great without CO2. The first thing
is you've got to manage the situation properly from the start, keep the
water surface laminar. You can set things up with water returns so that the
surface basically doesn't move at all.  It'll get scummy and sort of dusty
but you can skim it once in a while.

Under conditions like these I have had strong pearling early in the day, so
no problem with 02.  I've had nutty plant growth outdoors in ponds and in
tanks and had fish breed while doing nothing at all, not even feeding. The
bugs feed them. Imagine that.

If you're not blowing off the co2 to start with you can do pretty good, even
indoors. This is 'specially true of you have some ariel growth.

To me co2 allows me to be sloppy and have a wider margin of error when
getting to that magic point.  Usually when plant growth is very strong I
turn things down to a trickle so I don't have to prune so much. You don't
need it to get to balance point if you like, as I do, severely
underpopulated tanks as far a fauna goes to most aquariests eyes.
Nevertheless, it really really helps.  The "magic knob" that controls the
co2 can really ramp um growth and stabilize things if you have the light to
match it.

It's a required luxury for me, at this point.

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