Originally Posted by andakin
We definitely have conflicts of opinions.
Can potting soil really generate CO2 naturally? I would like to find out more if that's true.
I make an effort to circulate the surface as much as I can. This helps produce oxygen for the fish to breath and reduces the surface layer of protein. Stagnant water is less than ideal.
As for CO2, you don't need a fancy system. A home made one is only a few dollars.
Producing Co2 is ONE of the main reasons people starting using soil in their aquariums....the Co2 is produced by the decomposition of the soil. That is not an opinion...it's a fact. Circulating the water is great...especially for a planted tank that has fish in it. agitating the surface is fine as well, but you are degassing the Co2 when this is done...which defeats the whole purpose of using a soil substrate.
Once you agitate the surface you'll need to inject Co2 into the water column to make up for the Co2 that is lost from the naturally produced gas caused by the soil, Which will be escaping the tank via the agitation....and once you do this you no longer have a TRUE NPT.
A true NPT has a soil substrate, is heavy planted, generally low-mid lighting and has no surface agitation and no chemicals used in the aid of growing plants. Circulating a true NPT is fine and is usually done with internal filters...the use of floating plants is also recommended.
The idea is to create a whole self sustaining system. The trick is balancing the whole system...very few can do it. I don't think I could.