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Added cylinder CO2, A. reineckii doing better
Well, you can now move me from the gravel/yeast-CO2 camp to the soil/
gravel/cylinder-CO2 camp. My tank had reached a plateau that I've now
surpassed with the new setup.
I moved recently and took the opportunity to re-do my 45g (wide). My
previous growth was fairly slow, with bursts from time to time. The
Alternanthera reineckii looked pathetic, leggy and slow-growing. The
Echinodorus tenellus was staking out new ground, but slowly. I thought
it might be the lighting (3-36W T8's), but it could've been the sporatic
yeast DIY CO2 injection. I used PMDD without nitrates because I have a
lot of fish. The tank had been stable for 15 months.
This time, I bought the basic cylinder CO2 setup (~$150). Same lighting,
but I made terraces along the sides and the A. reineckii is on one, closer
to the light. I followed some long-ago advice from Mark Fisher and added
some soil under the gravel. The lower terrace (E. tenellus and E. osiris)
has easy access to it, but the higher terraces (A. reineckii, E. bleheri,
others) have to work their roots down to reach. This wasn't intentional,
I thought of terraces after I already had the soil and gravel down and had
leftover Texblast. The plants were arranged by aesthetics, not soil
requirement (there are some Crypts on the second terrace).
While the setup has only been up for 2 months, the A. reineckii (same ones,
not new ones) is growing beautifully and at a constant rate. The E. tenellus
really took off and is almost finished covering the bottom terrace. The E.
osiris and E. bleheri have recovered and have been putting out new leaves,
so I'm watching all of the plants for deficiency symptoms and growth-rate
changes to see if I need to return to nutrient dosing.
Carlos E. Munoz <cmunoz at crystal_cirrus.com>
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