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MexiMike83

Anyone use API CO2 booster?

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Not sure if this is the right spot for this question, so moderators please feel free to move it where it belongs. Thanks :)

Went to Petsmart today and came out with some API CO2 booster. I am thinking I will try it at 1/2 dose in the morning to increase plant growth. Has anyone used this before? Will it harm my plants?

My plants are:

1) 3 - anubias plants of different varieties

2) 1-anacharis narrow leaf

3) 1-Ludwigia palustrius (narrow leaf)

4) 1- narrow leaf ludwigia.

I've never used this stuff before, right now I'm using Seachem Flourish twice a week as the label instructs. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?

Thanks!

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It's a flourish excel equivalent, and while I haven't used it personally, a friend of mine has. Her tank is extensively planted, and she said that it worked great. :)

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As Daniel pointed out to me just a couple of days ago, these carbon sources (Flourish Excel, CO2 Booster) are aqueous solution of glutaraldehyde, a very toxic organic disinfectant.

Use with caution.

I have used it, but don't plan on continuing.

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Ya i noticed that. Ive used it to clean bronchoscopes in the hospital. Lucky for me, my gf is a CNA and we have tons of surgical gloves around the house. I hope to save up some money to get a pressurized CO2 system one day along with a sumo for this tank or go bigger. I have always wanted to aquascape, to do it with my goldies would be awesome. To do that though i mught have to change substrate with clay on the bottom? I dont know, im not there yet.

Ugh typing on this nook is such a pain. Sec going to grab the iphone...

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This is all so new to me. But I like puzzles so here goes :) I have so many questions. Like is my two t5 zoomed bulbs enough for my aquarium that is taller than most average tanks? How do you measure CO2 and what value should it be? What about flourish iron, potassium, and trace elements and how to measure those? Should I vaccum the bottom less so that the plants can use the waste as fertilizer? What CO2 system should I save up for as well as lighting system?

Lastly, what other external carbon source can I add to the tank that isn't a CO2 pump of some sort that the plants will use? Or maybe I should consider another fish later on for the extra biproducts of respiration. I don't know. So many questions. I need to subscribe so i can just ask questions in the chatroom. Plus I miss having a blog :(

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I have to say, the sumo thing did throw me for a second. :lol2

Lights, fertilizer, and co2 all have a very delicate balance. If your light is less than you would ideally need, most basic plants will still grow, just not as quickly. Because they won't grow as quickly, you'll need less fertilizer, and less co2.

There is a way for you to measure your co2 in the tank, by using your pH, but I don't know that it will work with the Glutaraldehyde that's in your tank. I think that it's only for actual co2, pumped into the tank by either DIY or expensive systems.

The liquid Glut is not as effective as the others, but is still a good carbon source that your plants will love. It is, as you know, a highly toxic biocide, and should be used with caution. When my tank was heavily planted, I did add a full dose, daily. Now that I have a tank full of anubias, and an amazon sword, I might use only half as much. Also, be consistent with your dosing, as not being consistent can cause plant melt. :doh11: Trust me. You'll need to keep your plant load in mind, when doing your dosing. Overdosing can be fatal, so please increase your doses slowly, and carefully.

As far as vacuuming the tank is concerned, don't vac areas that have plants in them; you don't want to disturb delicate root systems. DO vac empty areas, devoid of plant life; you don't want all that gunk building up, where it will be no use. Also, in my opinion, adding an extra fish, to fertilize plants, will not be very beneficial. Add some Flourish (or Leaf Zone, or dry ferts), and enjoy your tank.

This is just my two cents; I'm sure others will chime in behind me. :)

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This is all so new to me. But I like puzzles so here goes :) I have so many questions. Like is my two t5 zoomed bulbs enough for my aquarium that is taller than most average tanks?

Part of this will depend on what your light fixture is. I am sure you have gathered from your reading that some fixtures have better PAR ratings than others because they have better reflectors. My best guess is that you probably have at minimum medium light, and more than likely in the high light range simply based on the fact that you are running two t5HO bulbs, but without knowing what fixture you have it's difficult to make a better guess.

Here is an old chart that might give you a general sense.... this chart is outdated and not the best method anymore apparently, but still should be able to provide a general idea of lighting intensity based on the type of bulb and height of fixture. Unfortunately it doesn't go to 29 inches though.

LightIntensityTable.jpg

Here is another one that shows general PAR readings based on bulb type and height of fixture (again, this is an older chart and I have seen the person who collected this data, Hoppy, redirect others to the link I sent you before regarding PAR, but this could still be used as a general guideline I'm sure). Based on this chart you *should* be in at least the medium light range, but again I am sure this also depends on the quality of your fixture. Medium light is good if you do not have pressurized co2 ;) With high light the demands for co2 and nutrients are increased, so if you cannot provide these the plants don't do well, regardless of how much light you have.

PARvsDistVariousBulbs2.jpg

How do you measure CO2 and what value should it be?

Co2 can be measured a couple ways. Most people use a drop checker which I gather is the most accurate (although still not totally accurate) way to measure co2 content in the tank. The drop checker is filled with a solution that is exactly 4dkh and bromothymol solution (basically pH drops) to make it a blue color. When the drop checker turns green you know you have about 30 ppm co2, when it turns yellow you have co2 levels that are dangerous to fauna in the tank and need to dial it back. Around 25-30 ppm of co2 is generally considered desirable.

There is also the chart Tammy referenced where you can take you tank pH and kh to figure out co2, this method is widely used, but there are a lot of factors that can make it inaccurate.

ph-kh.jpg

What about flourish iron, potassium, and trace elements and how to measure those?

There are a couple major types of fert dosing - PPS pro and Estimated Index (EI). PPS pro you basically try to figure out exactly how much of each fert your specific tank needs for the type of plants you keep, with EI you basically overdose the tank a bit so that all nutrients are available in abundance, and do large water changes to balance things out. I am personally doing the EI method with my tank. There are charts that will tell you for tank size what you should be dosing of each. I would encourage you to read the links on this page, I found them very helpful https://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html I am still learning about all this, but I *think* those with lower light tanks might cut the number of recommended ferts, I think generally the recommendations are based on higher light, heavily planted tanks, and with a lower light tank the plants would not require as much so you can cut down the recommended numbers a bit :idont but I am not totally sure ;)

In terms of measuring, I know you can get a potassium measurement kit, and phosphate, iron and obviously nitrate. I am not sure about anything else.

Should I vaccum the bottom less so that the plants can use the waste as fertilizer?

You should skim the surface around the plants to get any obvious large particles, and in unplanted areas do a normal gravel vac as Tammy said.

What CO2 system should I save up for as well as lighting system?

There are so many choices :idont I know the finnex LED lighting systems have become pretty popular in the planted tank world, but I don't know much about these. Some say that they don't grow/show red plants as well. T5HO lighting systems like you have are still kind of the standard I think at this point for larger tanks. If you want high light you *might* need one with 3-4 bulbs? but I am not sure. Catalina lights come up relatively often in my searches http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/store/index.php?cPath=71 I would just try to do some research :idont I still love my aquaticlife light and from what I have seen it has good reflectors on it :)

In terms of co2, again there are so many options. I personally didn't want to go the DIY route simply because I am new to co2 and didn't want to mess up and accidentally gas the fish. I know this method works fine for a lot of people though. There are also paintball setups which can be a bit cheaper initially, but long term cost will probably be more because you have to get new tanks more often and they are more expensive than filling the large co2 tanks. You can buy already made co2 regulators, then you get into single stage and dual stage (dual stage is superior but more expensive) Victor, Concoa, Matheson are some of the major regulator brands I have come across, I know people buy them on ebay.

Generally, I think most planted tank folks seem to agree that the best regulator is one that you actually build your self from different parts. There is all sorts of info out there on how to do this, it seems to be more expensive than buying one that is ready to go, but that you get way better quality for the price :idont I chose not to go this route because all the info quite honestly made my head spin. I personally just bought a complete setup from green leaf aquariums. I am really happy with it so far, but it has only been about a week.

Again, I would just start researching co2. There is a lot of info out there. I am still trying to figure it all out.

Lastly, what other external carbon source can I add to the tank that isn't a CO2 pump of some sort that the plants will use? Or maybe I should consider another fish later on for the extra biproducts of respiration. I don't know. So many questions. I need to subscribe so i can just ask questions in the chatroom. Plus I miss having a blog :(

I have no idea :P but I wouldn't add another fish ;)

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