Re: [RML] Planted Tanks

Craig Bingman (cbingman at
Sat, 2 Aug 1997 13:17:44 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, Larry Stein wrote:

> I have had a heavily planted tank for a long time and so far I have had few
> problems except for the growing of more of the exotics. I was wondering
> what the group thinks about added CO2 and Iron. I have tested for both in
> my tank and with CO2 I get a very low reading (or I am doing the test
> wrong) and with IRON I use a liquid plant fertilizer and when I test for
> Iron I get a ZERO reading.

I'd refer you to the FAQ of the planted aquarium newsgroup. It has a lot
of very useful and relevant information. My feeling is that "for the
aquarium market" CO2 equipment is not worth the money, but doing it
yourself is. A five pound bottle of carbon dioxide will last a good long
time. DIY "generators" are probably not worth the hassle factor.

> I have read about adding CO2 but is really worth the cost? The Ceomat250
> seems pretty expensive and I am not prone to making my own CO2 generator.
> As for Iron supplements what does this group of people recommend?

IMO, Florasan is a good additive.

> While were at it.... What is the basic school of thought on Carbonate
> hardness(KH)? I have had mine checked and it was about 2 degrees... I can
> not find many if any products that raise this value to 5-8 degrees...

People generally use either sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate
to increase the total alkalinity in planted tanks. The latter is more
expensive, but it will help the system to not run out of potassium, which
can be a real problem in rapidly growing planted tanks.