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CO
2
is our saving grace in the fight against algae. For many years people have
attributed their algae breakouts in a planted tank to excess nitrogen and
phosphorous in the water column. This is often not the case and quantities of
ammonia/ammonium, often very small, are actually to blame. In CO
2
-injected
aquariums the most common cause of an algae outbreak is a lack of CO
2
or
unstable CO
2
.
Flow and circulation in the aquarium are extremely important. Plants feed
through the cells on their leaves. Constant nutrient and CO
2
-rich water passing
over them allows the plant to draw the necessary food from the water. In the
absence of nutrients from their roots, when the plant has no nutrients passing
over their leaves, they start to die off and in turn, release ammonia.
The most effective method of dosing CO
2
is via a pressurised bottle and a
regulator.These systems are more expensive than other systems but are a
worthy long term investment for anyone serious about growing plants.
Pressurised CO
2
gives constant, reliable CO
2
levels and cylinders are often
refillable.
Why do I need CO
2
?
A plant is made of 40% carbon and the easiest way for plants to replenish this
carbon for optimum growth is by extracting it via carbon dioxide (CO
2
). In their
natural habitat, the vast majority of aquatic plants actually grow above the water
line where they have an unlimited supply of CO
2
from the air. When plants are
submerged (as in planted tanks), they have to obtain CO
2
from the water
column, which is much harder for the plant. The AquaGro range of products
ensures you can supply your plants with this essential source of carbon, whatever
your budget.
How do I measure CO
2
?
Besides expensive electronic equipment, a drop checker is the most
accurate method of measuring the amount of dissolved CO
2
in your
aquarium water. The drop checker is filled with 4dKH water and three
drops of CO
2
reference solution are added, before placing the drop
checker inside the tank.The drop checker solution changes colour
according to the level of diffused CO
2
within the tank:-
A
blue
solution indicates the level is too low and your plants are not
receiving enough CO
2
.
A
green
solution indicates that you have the optimum level of CO
2
(around 30 ppm).
A
yellow
solution indicates that the level of CO
2
is too high for any fish or
inverts in the aquarium (although in a plant-only tank this level could help
you achieve some fantastic plant growth).
CO
2
in the Aquarium
FOR PLANTED AQUARIA
BY TMC
7
55055 - TMC AquaGro brochure JR rev-final:aquagro 18/04/2012 15:39 Page 9