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Re: Fabulous plants & CO2

Macon Cowles asked about Fabulous plants:
My favourite is Aponogeton madagascariensis however these are tricky 
to grow, difficult to find and expensive. As a centre piece I would 
suggest Echinodorus osirus or E. horemanii (dark variety). These can 
get fairly large and the dark coloration looks very nice. I also have 
an E. barthii which has dark coloration with lighter markings that 
will be very striking if it gets larger. I also have a very large 
Cryptocoryne balansae. Aponogeton ulvaceous or other rare and more 
expensive Aponogetons can be very striking too but none can match the 
beauty of the lace plant. I wouldn't rule out A. crispus, the easy to 
grow hybrid which is very commonly available although it doesn't seem 
to grow to the size of the sword plants.
No tank would be complete without contrast plants. There is no end to 
these but I include the following:
Bacopa - very interesting coloration and leaf shape. Grows quickly and 
easy to propagate. Doesn't get covered with roots or drop lower 
leaves. Looks good with proper nutrient balance and algae control.

Mayaca - fast growing, fine leaves. A nice contrast plant. Need to 
trim it to keep it looking good and in control.

Rotala mac - nice color and leaf shape. Need a proper nutrient balance 
or the lower leaves look ratty.

Crypt wendtii - a nice filler plant but it can get big with a good 
substrate. Doesn't need the attention and trimming of stem plants.

<<From: Andrew Knechtel <andrewk at eicon_com> 
Subject: C02 DIY system
I have been itching to start a C02 DIY system [snip]If any of you out 
there can point me in the right direction.>>

There is a pretty good description of the yeast and bottled CO2 systems 
on the rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants FAQ which gets posted monthly there. 
I suspect the same material is also on the Krib. Reactors are described 
numerously and in detail in the APD archives. I use a powerhead myself. 
Best to contact folks in a local plant club about where they've found 
equipment. Otherwise start calling the phone numbers quoted in the FAQ to 
track down local distributors for needle valves. ARO needle valves are 
carried by Acklands in Canada. You'll have to track down local suppliers 
for the misc. parts unless someone in your neighbourhood has broken the 
trail for you. Start at the friendly welding shop!

<<From: "David Jones" <pommie at concentric_net> Subject: CO2 
One question I have wondered about from time to time is the quality of CO2 
variable i.e. from a welding supply shop or a soft drink company.
What equipment would be needed to supply seven tanks, the idea of seven 
regulators is not real appealing.>>

Don't worry about the quality of CO2 from welding supply; it's just fine. 
Soft drink CO2 is even more strictly controlled since its for human 
consumption! It's really not an issue because there's not much that can 
contaminate liquid CO2. (gaseous O2, N2?)

You don't need seven regulators; just one. But you will need to create some 
sort of a manifold from Y junctions or some other hardware so that you can 
attach 7 needle valves to the output of the regulator. You'll need to have a 
needle valve for each tank so that you can regulate them independently. 
Attach them as follows:

tank = regulator = manifold - needle valve1 - tubing - CO2 reactor in tank
                            - needle valve2 ...