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Ann
10-15-2003, 10:06 PM
I have a planted 40G tank with 2 anubius, 2 swords and val as the main plants. It has only been setup for about 4 weeks. The plants are not looking as heathy as I would like. I have been adding iron, trace elements, potassium etc but do not have CO2. I was just wantng to know if it is better to go with a DIY CO2 or is the Flourish Excel a better way to go. I have not added any Excel as yet as just wanted to find out before I go out a buy some or setup a DIY CO2.

There are 4 discus, cardinals, corys and a few bristlenose in the tank.

All help would be appreciated.

Ann :)

luke_potts
10-15-2003, 11:20 PM
Hi ann,

i can only recommend the diy Co2, as that is all that i have used.
I have found that this is really good for me as i am using it in a standard 6' tank and the plants also seem to be doing well. The whole setup is really easy and cheap and it last about 2 weeks.
i'll try and find a link that i had to a really cool site for DIY Co2. I'll post it wen i find it

HTH
Luke

ChloroPhil
10-16-2003, 12:04 AM
Ann,

I've kept discus in both CO2 and Excel tanks and both methods work. However, both have pros and cons

Excel-
Pro:

1. Easy to figure out, pretty much hassle free.
2. Cheap in the short run, will cost about the same for a year's supply as a pressurized CO2 canister.


Cons:

1. Not good for most fast growing plants.
2. Easy to overdose (and kill your fish)
3. Needs to be a part of the WHOLE Flourish line, not just piecemeal.
4. Less consistent
5. Gets expensive over the long run


Pressurized CO2 or DIY CO2:

Pros:

1. Plants photosynthesize enough to oxygenate the water well.
2. Plants do much better than with other Carbon sources.
3. Helps to keep the pH down.
4. Very stable when used properly
5. Very cheap to maintain over the long term.
6. Goes well with all fertilization regimens.

Cons:

1. Can be overdosed and wipe out a tank.
2. Not cheap in the beginning
3. Takes up room underneath the aquarium
4. (DIY/Yeast) Very unstable CO2 output
5. (DIY/Yeast) Insufficient gas creation for large or high-light tanks.
6. Increases the metabolism of an aquarium/more algae prone.


All in all though, I VASTLY prefer a pressurized CO2 canister to any other method. It's much more natural, stable, and produces the best results across the board.

Dissident
10-16-2003, 02:40 PM
Adding co2 in your tank will help your plants, however your tank does not sound too heavily planted. Or at lest planted enough to warrent pressurized co2 unless you want a low-hassle solution (not low cost). If you have a lot of lighting and good amouts of co2 in your system Biotypical is right you could get more alge then you will want.

If you are serious about adding co2 on a gregular basis use a pressurized system. DIY can become a hassle IME however i have not tried the Excel router which might be your best bet in your situation. You can add it when you need to and as you need to. DIY systems can be problomatic since there is now easy way to regulate the ammounts of co2 you get. Pressurized can be costly at first ~$200-$250US but long term costs are not bad, $3US to refill a 5lb tank of co2 that will or should last you 6months. IMO I would only use pressurized if you are serious about growing plants with your discus, be sure to do your research first.

Ann
10-16-2003, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the replies and information.
I was worried about the regulation of the DIY CO2 as well. Since the cost of pressurised CO2 makes it out of the question for now ( once I finish my PHD at the begining of the year might be able to get pressurised CO2 setup) I might give the Excel a go and see how it goes.

Ann

Dissident
10-16-2003, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the replies and information.
I was worried about the regulation of the DIY CO2 as well. Since the cost of pressurised CO2 makes it out of the question for now ( once I finish my PHD at the begining of the year might be able to get pressurised CO2 setup) I might give the Excel a go and see how it goes.

Ann


Good choice, in time if you really like to go the planted route then go pressurized. IMO I have always like the way discus look on a lush background of crypts, swords and mosses. Hopefully I will get a nice pair or two of adults to add to my tank, if i can find such a thing in my area.

RAWesolowski
10-20-2003, 11:36 PM
Ann,

I use Flourish, not Flourish Excel, in my planted tanks. Results are good without the use of CO2. However, I use flourite as my base in both tanks for substrate.

Crypts and swords have done very well to the point that I took out the amazon swords because they were eating my tank!

Ann
10-23-2003, 01:06 AM
Well my Flourish Excel arrived today so I will let you know how it goes. I am also going to be adding a home made mix of iron and trace elements as I am doing my PHD in plant tissue culture doing a home made mix seemed the best way to get all the things I wanted at a reasonable cost. Once my iron test kit arrives tomorrow I will add it all and let you know how the plants do.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

Ann
;)