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Thread: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

  1. #81
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    Re: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

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    Hey Patrick,

    1) For starters, simply using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia will do. It simplifies a lot of things, especially at the startup stage. I wouldn't worry too much about the NH4 spike because in the beginning, fish aren't supposed to be in there anyway. By the time the tank is ready to accept fish the NH4 is already gone and the tank is almost stabilised, assuming you followed Tom's advice of packing the tank full of plants from day one.

    And yes, you do still dose KNO3, KH2PO4 and Seachem Equilibrium but you can go without it for the first few months because of the nutrients in Aquasoil and the slow growth of non-CO2. You can wait till they are showing signs of nutrient deficiency.

    2) You needn't concern yourself much with the water parameters of pH, gH and kH, unless you're keeping fish that require certain levels. If you're using Aquasoil, the pH will almost definitely be below 7 which suits plants fine. gH and kH aren't that important but you can measure if you like. Anyway, Seachem Equilibrium will keep these levels reasonable. The whole point of non CO2 is simplicity.

    Water temperature wise, it will be ideal if you can include a fan or chiller but they do just fine without, because the lower lighting levels don't contribute to heat as much.

    I can't comment on the DSM as I have never tried it.

    The most important point to take from Tom Barr is that the tank must be packed with plants from day 1. Note how Takashi Amano also does the same. Any tank set up by them is chock full of plants.

    I have a 1ft cube non-CO2 that is going well, except that there's a lot of detritus and algae has already started. I have discovered that good plant mass and good water flow are a must. Light levels must be average and if you use driftwood and some of it sticks out above the water, try your hand at including some emersed plants. I have a fern that managed to lodge itself in my exposed driftwood from seed and now it's a rather nice addition.

    (TLDR) In a nutshell:
    1) Good plant mass from day one
    2) Use ADA Aquasoil for simplicity
    3) Good water flow/ surface movement
    4) Chiller/fan is ideal but they do just fine without any water cooling.

    Good luck!

  2. #82
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    Re: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

    Thanks for the advice!!!

    Will the NH4 spike at the startup stage cause algae growth? I seems to read somewhere that NH4 is one of the main culprit.

  3. #83
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    Re: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

    It shouldn't if you stock the tank full of plants from day one.

    Frankly speaking this alleged NH4 spike... I never really took it seriously. I just set up the tank as usual and add fish after a week.

  4. #84
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    Re: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

    I'' in the second month of my tank. And seem i'm having problem with finding Equilibrium, can i replace it with Flourish ? Or other brand fertilizer ?

    tks in advance

  5. #85
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    Re: Tom Barr's Non-CO2 method

    Great thread. The next thing I'll need to learn about is how to setup a suitable soil substrate for non-CO2 tank.

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