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Re: Need CO2?

Olga Betts wrote:

> I agree with you, but both you and the person who said "you need" should
> have specified "for some plants". Let's face it. There are some that just
> will not grow and do well without it. It's too simple to say either
> one,"you need it", or "you don't need it".

Shannon Wheeler wrote:

> well 'need' could easily be an exageration - it partly depends on what you
> call 'good plant growth'.

You both said it better than I did.  I would agree, personally, more with
Shannon's statement than with Olga's, because I have not discovered plants
that "just won't grow without CO2".  Perhaps it's just my "Magic Potomac Tap

I've experimented with CO2 (yeast bottle), and seen better growth.  Hands
down.  However, I had read enough posts that read "oh no, I hooked up CO2
injection and now my algae eaters are all dead" and "my test kit doesn't go
as low as the sudden pH drop in my tank" and "the yeast backed up into my
tank, how do I get it out" that I approached the experiment with some
caution.  And I still got a pH drop, and an ich outbreak.

On another occasion, I set up a tank with high input everything, including
CO2.  It failed spectacularly, and the poor swords ended up smothered in a
half dozen different types of algae.  I broke the tank down, started from
scratch with lower light, no CO2, etc., and worked it back up to the same
input levels as before, with much better success.  I don't mean to claim
that it was the CO2.  If anything, I think it was more the fault of the
initial choice of plants (not enough fast-growing bunch plants).  However, I
think it's the type of experience that a lot of people have, when they start
with the basic information that "you need 3-4 watts per gallon of lighting,
CO2 injection, daily liquid fertilizer drops, etc., etc."

I don't want to knock the tried-and-true, high-input recipes that have been
developed, used and praised by many others on this list.  However, I think
the slow-and-steady, incremental, drop some plants in with your fish, then
suft the web and read a lot of magazine articles and learn to grow the new
plants in your tank as you experiment approach works just as well.

BTW, please preface all statements above with IMO, IMHO, IME, AFAIK or YMMV
as you see fit.

(Shannon, I didn't mean that your two-day old post was an "old thread".  I
meant that this topic has been debated on the list before, and I wanted to
put in a disclaimer before starting an old debate anew.)

Alysoun McLaughlin
Wheaton, Maryland