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No CO2 plants

Kelly Beard wrote:

>What plants grow well without the addition of CO2?  Most of my plant
>experience is with Barclaya Longfolia, Amazon Swords and Anubias Bartari
>(?sp).  I'm guess most Anubias won't care, and I seem to remember from here
>and web pages that Crypts don't really seem to care either.

What plants will grow well without supplemental CO2 depends greatly on your
water conditions, substrate and light level.  It's not quite true that
Anubias and Crypts "won't care".  Both can be grown very successfully in
tanks without supplemental CO2 _providing_ that the light level is in
equilibrium with the amount of CO2 available.  At higher light levels,
they'll definitely benefit from some supplemental CO2.  

Plants are 43% carbon by dry weight, and they need to meet the need fro
carbon in some way.  Some can do it by using carbonates directly from the
water. Although this can be detrimental in the aquarium if you don't watch
your KH closely.  Vals and Ceratophyllum fit this category.  They will grow
well in a non-supplemented tank with a high KH, but will quickly fail in a
tank with very soft water.

Some people, including myself, feel that Crypts are better than some plants
at meeting their CO2 requirements via the substrate, and that makes them
good candidates for non-CO2 supplemented tanks _as long as_ the substrate
is adequate.

Other plants can meet their carbon needs in a non-supplemented tank by
developing floating and/or emergent foliage.  Water sprite, Azolla and many
other fit this category.

Many Anubias seem to be able to adjust their growth to whatever is
available to them.  Rather then failing if the nutrient mix isn't right, or
id light is inadequate, they simple slow down and hold on anyway.

So I guess the short answer is, "It depends."<g>

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association