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Do I need CO2 in my 3 gallon tank?

Discussion in 'Planted Aquarium Journals' started by I_Smell_Fish, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. I_Smell_Fish

    I_Smell_Fish New Member

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    I have a 3 gallon, 9.25" long x 8" wide x 8" height and my light is a Finnex Planted + 10" cliplight, 7000k, 4 watts, 1.33 watts per gallon. The light sits 4.5 inches from the water's surface, and 14" from the bottom of the tank. Depending on where I read, the light is good for medium light plants or low-medium light plants.

    Will I need CO2 with this setup? I'm thinking the tank is so tiny I would just go with liquid CO2?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Darrien
     
  2. StandbySetting

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    With the myriad of lighting options available nowadays it is so difficult to gauge whether or not a tank is likely to need CO2 unless you can actually measure PAR, I'd try without for the mean time and see how you get on, if the plants don't thrive then it will be obvious that there is a nutrient deficiency.
     
  3. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

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    To be honest, trying Co2 in such a small tank is not going to be easy to avoid algae issues.

    With the small volume of water, fluctuations in water parameters as well as nutrient levels will make this for a fairly tricky high tech set up.

    I agree with StandBySetting in trying this without co2 in the meantime, new lighting units, especially LED's make it hard to know exactly what youre getting, PAR readings would be ideal but this is a expensive meter and only used once or twice makes it not worth buying.

    Trial and error is going to be the name of the game on this tank I think.

    Do keep us posted on yoru plans and what you do, I for one would be interested to see how you get on.
     
  4. I_Smell_Fish

    I_Smell_Fish New Member

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    Thank you both! Great advice. I'll report back with my tank results. Right now my LED light does not have any red LEDs, just white and blue. I'm going to get a newer light that includes red, too. Thanks!
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The one benefit is that with a tank as small as 3 gallons, you won't have any fish in it, so the probable fluctuations that will occur will be less harmful to plants than they would to fish. Algae may be an issue though, as others said.

    When looking for the light, it is the spectrum of the white light itself that is crucial. I have tried LED units with white, red and blue LED s and found them completely unacceptable. The red and blue has to be in the white mix. As an example, I use T8 fluorescent tubes that are high in the red. blue and green wavelengths, around 5000K to 6500K. The light is "white" but composed of the necessary colour wavelengths for plants. There are comparable LEDs, so I believe anyway.

    Byron.
     
  6. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    In my opinion Most CO2 systems on the market are not capable of stable very low flow of CO2 a 3 gallon tank requires. Also plants need light plus 16 other nutrients to grow. In my experience with a small tank with good aeration and a good fertilizer with he 16 nutrients will provide all the pants need without the expense of a CO2 systems.

    Furthermore my experience with white LEDs indicates red LEDs are not needed. White LEDs do produce a substantial amount of red light mixed in with the yellow, green and blue light.
     

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