DIYS Co2 injection results + yet another unknown plant
Basic design: 2 liters of water + 4 cups of sugar in a plastic bottle with
a plastic tube epoxied into the bottle cap. Needed to have the plastic
insert from the cap there and a touch of vaseline to ensure a pressure
tight seal. I let the bottle sit on top of my home-made wooden fluorescent
tube light fixture so it's warm when the lights are on (timer controlled).
The other end went inside the uptake tube of the Whisper power filter.
The initial bubble count was 1 bubble every 4 seconds. After about a week,
it has slowed to about 1 bubble every 8 seconds.
Results: Hygrophila polysperma and difformis show rapid growth, a noticeable
improvement. The Aponogeton crispus is showing new, vigorous leaves.
The Cabomba seems to be growing better (making a come back). The
Cryptocoryne wendtii is showing dramatic improvement in growth (from
very slow to noticeable growth). Echinodorus amazonicus shows similar
improvement. (following classifications are uncertain): Bacopa caroliniana
shows strong growth and the new leaves have no algae. Rotala (rotundifolia??)
is showing many new offshoots usu. from the tip of the old plant. These
plants had once been extremely vigorous and then were virtually decimated
by an attack of green fur algae. My two plant books show different pictures
of the plant Rotala rotundifolia. There are about 50 Rotala species. Mine is
a stem plant (narrower stem than Bacopa) about 1 - 2 mm, olive colored stem.
The leaves are green or olive, darker on the undersides and arranged in
pairs which alternatate at 90 deg. spaced about 5 mm at the base to very
dense <1mm at the tips. The leaves of the main stalk attain a width of about
3 mm and a length of 10 to 15 mm and are oval shaped. The end of the leaf
is hemispherical and the width is fairly uniform, tapering only slightly.
There is no stem or stalk to the leaf, it emerges directly from the main
stem with it's opposite mate. I have one plant which I can't classify. It's a
smallish stem plant, very green. The stem is about 2.5 mm and tapers
toward the tip to about 1.5 mm. The leaves are very round up to 5 mm in dia.
and are arranged in a spiral up the plant each at about 70 degrees from the
previous. There is no pairing of leaves. Each leaf has a short stem emerging
from the main stalk upto 5 mm in length. There has been no branching of the
main stalk so far but the plant is only about 7 or 8 cm. It too is showing
The Aponogeton Madagascariensis is in very sad shape now. It showed one new
shoot early this week, but the leaf has not shown the typical vigorous growth
from the early days. The remaining leaves are stunted and covered with
the fur algae. If no more leaves emerge in the next week, I think it has to
go into a plastic bag in the fridge for a few weeks. I hope the bulb is
still firm. :( I had added some fertilizer tablets around it but no luck.
The aquarium had been torn down a year ago when I moved and I cleaned the
gravel thoroughly then. The plants were growing well with regular additions
of liquid fertilizer. Unfortunately the ph seemed to be high, possibly due
to the action of the plants on carbonates. The Co2 is intended to address
this problem. With the rise in ph and a new light bulb there was an attack
of green fur algae which would cover the glass sides within a week and
would grow on all of the plants. The only places it couldn't grow seemed
to be on the rocks and other places that had been colonized by a darker
blue-green fur algae (makes dark clumps). I reduced the lighting from 12 hrs
to 8 hrs. This may also be sending the A. Mad. into it's resting phase.
The combination of Co2 and less lighting has made a dramatic change in
the algae. New algae growth on the glass sides is undetectable after
several days. I did a thorough cleaning early this week.
The other thing I did was stop adding Shieldex with the water changes. I've
been concerned about the possible use of chloramines so I got a chloramine
test kit. Our Vancouver (BC Canada) water is very good and I was surprised
that there was no detectable chlorine or chloramines in the water.
Now that I've seen with my own eyes the benefits of Co2 injection, I think
I will be investing in the 20lb. bottle and regulator per. George Booth's
FROG dingus later this year. I'll increase the hours of light in the tank
soon to see if the algae starts to increase. Pls. excuse the long post!
Do folks mind the detailed unknown plant descriptions?