Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #471

> From: Controller <mike at odg_com>
> Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 14:00:57 -0500

> I received a lot of offers for help re: putting together a reasonably 
> priced pressure tank + regulator system. I am afraid I misled you a little. 
> I already am using such a system on one of my tanks.
> The purpose of my post, however, was to find true *alternatives* to bottle 
> and yeast.

I know what you mean Mike.  I like to toy with system designs that use
natural mechanisms to achieve artificial results -- that's the aquaria
hobby in a nutshell. 8)  Anyway, I'm moving to a new house, and I'm
considering putting a few holes in the floor and putting equipment in the
basement, with only display tanks in the living room.  I've been
contemplating the various ways I can use the extra space to create large
filtration systems which can be made inexpensively, but which will allow a
large bio-load in the (comparatively) small (and quiet) display tanks
above. The large volume of water will make things more stable, but I'll
need a lot of water for changes.  I'll likely go with slow, continuous
water changes going on down in the basement.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the idea of an organic CO2 generator
consisting of a decent amount of  decaying plant matter.  Hey, we use
bacteria to process ammonia, nitrite, and in some cases, nitrate, why not
use them to intentionally raise the CO2?  Unfortunately, I'm having a hard
time balancing the needs of such a system: the large animal bio-load will
need O2, but I don't want to aerate the water, or I'm releasing the CO2.
If I feed water from the organic CO2 generator straight to the display
tank, where the plants are, the display will be oxygen depleted, which is
bad for the fish and plants at night.

Then there's the feeding question.  Given carbonaceous material and a
nitrogenous food supply, the bacteria should happly cause decomposition
and CO2.  But that implies they will compete with the plants for the
nitrates/ites/etc.  It's so many unknowns that it sometimes makes my head

It's probably just a pipe dream, but it's fun to ponder.  If anyone has
any good ideas or references, I'm game.  If I roll with it, it will be
run in by the summer, and people can stop by my new place and check it out
if they're in NJ.

                                       --  Edziu