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open trickle and CO2

Mike (taburnok at skyinet_net) asks:
> do you guys think i would lose much CO2 with this syster ..

I don't know about your sister (syster?) ;-)    but...

An open trickle filter is going to make it more expensive to maintain a
high concentration of CO2 if you are planning to regulate your pH that
way. You might be refilling your CO2 tanks every two months.

I'm not sure that really high levels of CO2 are that critical so long as
you have enough CO2 that the plants are not running short which results
in a climbing pH. 

If you have plenty of water circulation inside your tank, you may not
NEED 15 ppm of CO2. I bet your could get by with a lot less. 15 ppm is
just a number which is a safe, HIGH CO2 target, that will not cause much
problem for your fish. IMHO, you don't need near that much.

My advice:

1) If you're keeping a lot of fish, you may want the trickle filter for
biological filtration. You certainly don't need it if your primary
purpose is growing plants but you can still grow plants if you want to
use the big filter.

2) If you're following the Booth method, then follow it. I suggest you
build your trickle filter the way George does. I don't use trickle
filters but I don't keep Discus either. My priority is plants.