Re: [RML] Planted Tanks

caryho at
Sun, 03 Aug 1997 13:24:05 GMT

In The Dawn of the Third Age Larry Stein <lstein at> woke me from
my contemplation by writing:

>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 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?

I'm a big advocate for iron holding clay and CO2 in planted tanks. Yes
you can have a nice plant tank without it, but the results with it can
be very dramatic. By having an a substrate that holds the nutrients
under your gravel or sand, instead of free floating in the water, you
keep these nutrients away from algae. By having CO2 injection, you
increase the ability of the plants to utilize these nutrients and out
compete any algae. The only problem I find with using with tanks set
up this way, is the constant pruning so the plants don't over run the
I used to use the DYI CO2, but that limits the amount you can add
without getting pH swings, because you can't turn it off at night.
Since going to a CO2 tank with a solenoid valve, I've seen and even
greater jump in plant production, because I can add more and it turns
off with the timers at night.
An unexpected advantage I had with this system is all those prunings.
The amount was so great that I began selling them to other club
members and shops. This more than returned the cost of investing in
the CO2 system in first 6 months. So don't worry about the cost too
much if you have the ability to sell the prunings. You can recoup that

Cary Hostrawser

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