Low Cost Tanks (Crypts and CO2)

Low Cost Tanks (Crypts and CO2)

Tom Price wrote:

> I have abandoned the DIY CO2 as too much trouble.  Although grow
> dropped off somewhat in my South American tank, all of the plant
> still growing well.  Karen Randall also claims best growth for h
> in a tank without CO2 (as I recall).

It is true that my best Crypt growth was (is) in a tank that did 
not have CO2 on it for a long time.  I am _certain_ this is NOT 
the reason that the Crypt growth was better.  The tank has an 
organic (peat) substrate, which keeps the pH lower in the 
substrate than my other tanks.  It also has _very_ strong water 
movement from a water fall and a secondary powerhead hidden in the 
back.  I think these two factors are what keep the Crypts happy.  
Incidentally, I _do_ have CO2 on the tanks now.  The stem plants 
are doing much better, and the Crypts have not suffered.

Whether you can get by without supplemental CO2 depends to a great 
extent on your local water supply.  If it is moderately soft with 
a neutral-ish pH, you'll be able to do a lot without it.  If your 
water is harder, or worse, as a very high pH, you'll be quite 
limited as far as the number of species you'll succeed with if you 
don't use supplemental CO2.  That said, a tank that is mostly Java 
Fern, with a few Anubias and Crypts for interest can be beautiful 
and low maintenance as well.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA