Okay, this probably just makes me an idiot...and I'm assuming the CO2 has something to do with the Ph in the tank? (free hydrogen and oxygen and all that) But what is the purpose of more or less CO2? I thought the Ph in the tank was pretty much determined by the Ph of the water/conditioner you put in it?
Thanks in advance for answering my probably stupid question. :)
Oh, and the bubble thing is really cool. ;)
Adding extra C02 is a process aquarium users with high plant life use to help keep there plants healthy or boost the growth of there plants if the fish they stock are low C02 producers or the plants are high demand otherwise adding it is not a priority
To add a bit to what Kai said... CO2 basically is a balancing tool in a planted tank. If you have more light, you need more CO2 otherwise your extra light is doing nothing, so you leave yourself open to algae bloom. With more light, plants need more CO2 than they produce. So, adding CO2 helps the plants grow faster and prevents algae bloom in a situation with high light.
It also does drop the pH, and it's VERY important to have a stable kH that is above 5 when you add CO2 to prevent large pH fluctuations from day to night.
Tho iv had a large 4ft planted aquarium my window is east facing and my front door is south facing so other than 4am-3-4pm over lighting has never been a problem in my tanks and the plants have all coped well hence my basic understanding of the C02 infusion tho i may read into it for my friend her room gets both sunrise and sunset shes constantly fighting green tint to her water
Also im looking at buying a 6ft L shape tank and heavely planting it so i may need to add C02 infusion there
When you first start an iwagumi, chances are you have some rocks, and a species or two of carpeting plants. You probably have a CO2 system of some sort, and pretty powerful lights and a fertilizing schedule. The aquarium probably looks pretty barren, aside from a few sprigs of plants strategically placed. Fast forward 3 weeks and you probably have a mess of algae that has covered your rocks, plants, and even substrate, suffocating the remaining carpeting plants into submission.
What happened? You created a perfect environment for algea. When you set up a tank, it's critical for your aquatic plants to establish a dominance, soaking up all the nutrients they can. If you don't have enough plants, algae moves in and will smother everything, thriving on the excess nutrients your plants aren't using.
So how can you avoid this when you set up your first iwagumi aquascape? The key is fast growing stem or floating plants. Add as much of these as you can, without shading out the carpeting plants. They are excellent at soaking up excess nutrients and some even release chemicals that retard the growth of algae (called allelochemicals). They don't have to disrupt your pefectly planned iwagumi layout, simply float them in your aquarium for the first few weeks, or until the carpeting plants have a chance to take hold and spread. Also, hold back a bit on fertilizing until your plants really start growing, and fertilize in proportion to the amount of plants you have in the aquarium. Gradually up the fertilizing, keeping track of algae and reducing it if you see the algae starting to crop up. This helps swing the balance in favor of your aquatic plants, and algae won't have as much of a chance to gain a foothold.
Some plants that work particularly well at keeping algae at bay in the early weeks of a newly set up aquarium are Hornwort, any hygrophila species, or any floating plant (although these can quickly become a pain to get rid of since they grow so quickly and tend to hide in everything--I'm looking at you duckweed!).
If algae does get out of balance, the best thing to do is reduce your lighting period, reduce fertilizer dosing if you are dosing too much, make sure your CO2 is steady and wait. As long as everything is balanced, your plants should be able to outcompete the algae and your iwagumi will be back on track.