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Re: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

Adam Michels wrote:

Medium light? That's good too. I'm sure the swords and some of the
Aponogetons appreciate the stronger light (not the laces). As for the
Aponogetons liking cooler water, I've had the two Madagascar Lace Plants
for more than eight months, even through what I figured was a dormant
period. They're in the background, behind one of the bogwood stumps and
get less light. Now they send out shoots every few days. I heard the
Lace plants like cool temps like you've said, but the A. crispus and A.
boivinarius (spelling?) are not supposed to mind the higher temps,
right?. And they're big; taller than my 75-gallon. One of my smaller
Aponogetons has produced six flowers consecutively.
As for the discus, I don't know why people keep them in
bare-bottom species tanks, other than for breeding, because they look
absolutely beautiful in planted tanks, and the larger ones don't seem as
sensitive as the juveniles (and they don't get sick as much!).

I'd like to hear more about how to keep them, too. Currently got BGA in my tank (bleahh!) and yet fairly high N going, so I suspect that I let my tank's TDS get too high, not enough water changes, for discus.

I guess there aren't any major problems with my tank, but my C02
levels are pretty low. Maybe when such plants are grown in less strong
lighting, compared with my 4WPG tank where I keep all my bunch plants
and glosso, they don't need as much CO2. Plus, of course, the discus eat
a lot of frozen foods, and the additional build up of dissolved organics
may help my CO2 levels. However, I do 33% water changes at least 2-3
times a week.
For a couple days no members were chatting, so I thought I'd
bring up a subject I've had trouble finding information about. And I
regard highly all of your experience and expertise and figured you could
offer some tips to optimize light levels, temp, CO2 and water chemistry
in what I consider my low-light tank.
I still have one question regarding DIY CO2 yeast reactors: more
yeast = more CO2?

Nope. They reproduce so rapidly they fill to capacity, as I understand it, within a few hours. Also, they can only ferment so long before they poison themselves to death with their own wastes; there's discussion whether the wine yeasts make much difference, being resistant to higher alcohol content--can't help you on that one, I only used baker's yeast. There was a rather nice article on it some months back in the AGA magazine which mentioned using protein powder to supply traces and using baking soda to counter the increased acidity, so your final (and unavoidable) limit was that alcohol content. Also, don't bother raising the sugar content way high, about 1 cup in a 2-liter bottle or so as best I recall--the yeast can't survive the alcohol it would produce in any more. I *did* find both the protein and soda very helpful tips to extend useful bottle life.
I found it extremely helpful to run a whole gang of bottles into auirline check valves, then into several reasonably good airline gang valves (not great) and fron there to single airstones, or up to those CO2 yeast ladders (your yeast bubble counters!). I used to swap out a quarter - third of the bottles every week, to keep a more stable level of CO2 going, because it does ramp up and down (mostly down!). I used the big 3-liter bottles, I think I had about 15 to 19 of them (varied, depending on what cap was leaking that week or not...) going for a nominally 90 gallon tank. For a 3 liter pop bottle, I used about 1 1/2 cups of sugar.

Thank you, Adam

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