Rayfishowner

Piranha
MFK Member
May 2, 2017
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Hey guys,

I’ve been keeping my 100 gallon planted tank now for over a year now and it houses:
- 6x koi angelfish
- indo tiger datnoid (5 in)
- Nigerian lapradei bichir (14 in)
- mystery snails (cleanup)
I’ve always been a monster fish and planted aquarium finatic and really want to create a project that mixes the two.

obviously, the 100 gallon is not enough long term for all those fish and will def be rehoming the angels or moving the datnoid to a larger tank as they outgrow the tank.

However, for the next few years, I’m thinking of keeping a co2 system on the tank with the current fish.
my goal is to grow the taller background plants such as rotala, ludwigia, Val, wisteria in the back and have a montecarlo carpet in the front. As of rn, the montecarlo is super slow growing and I would love the idea of a monster tank with a large carpet.

What do you guys think of this? I’ve seen a 100 dollar co2 system on Amazon (use citric acid and baking soda) and the reviews all say it’s reliable, safe, and effective.

My fish (from experience with plants rn) do not dig them up and so I don’t think a carpet will cause any issues.

My only concern is the oxygen levels as the worst scenario would be buying a 100 dollar system that suffocates my fish 😓.

Let me know if you guys have any experience with co2 in “monster fish” aquariums. Any feedback is appreciated :)
 

robmcd

Redtail Catfish
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Jan 19, 2007
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With a bottom dwelling bichir your chances of growing a monte carlo carpet are pretty slim. My advice to you would be to concentrate on the angels, get some cories, larger bodied tetras, and a BN pleco or 2. Larger fish will really do a number on plants as they grow, even if they aren't grazing on it.

Also, where are you getting a C02 system for $100?. I pieced together mine online with a 5 lb tank and it was still $170. A 100 gallon aquarium will require a 10lb tank minimum. Anything smaller and you might find yourself filling it once a month, which can be a real pain.

Lastly from what I understand, C02 levels don't negate oxygen levels in the water column. You can run an airstone but with all of the surface agitation of the bubbles you reduce your C02 saturation and absorption.
 
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Rayfishowner

Piranha
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May 2, 2017
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With a bottom dwelling bichir your chances of growing a monte carlo carpet are pretty slim. My advice to you would be to concentrate on the angels, get some cories, larger bodied tetras, and a BN pleco or 2. Larger fish will really do a number on plants as they grow, even if they aren't grazing on it.

Also, where are you getting a C02 system for $100?. I pieced together mine online with a 5 lb tank and it was still $170. A 100 gallon aquarium will require a 10lb tank minimum. Anything smaller and you might find yourself filling it once a month, which can be a real pain.

Lastly from what I understand, C02 levels don't negate oxygen levels in the water column. You can run an airstone but with all of the surface agitation of the bubbles you reduce your C02 saturation and absorption.
Thanks for your reply! I agree the bichir is going to stir up some of the plants, but I think if I root it well or let it grow in by itself for a few months, it should take hold enough for any fish to do any damage. On Amazon and eBay, they have “high tech” diy co2 systems that are cheaper than pressurized co2 but have similar results. Obv not as good, but for the price and what others have been saying I think it would be worth a shot. Because this also does not use pressurized co2 and you mix baking soda with Citric acid, I have no issue replacing this on a biweekly basis as the materials are relatively cheap and easy to find.
What I said about the oxygen levels was probably scientifically incorrect and just one of my assumptions lol so thanks for clarifying and correcting me.
Either way, I’m probably going to purchase the co2 system anyway and I’ll just use it on my 30 gallon tank if it doesn’t suite the 100 gallon. Thanks again for your input!
 
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fishguy1978

Redtail Catfish
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Mar 30, 2020
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I have used a baking soda/citric acid system on smaller tanks before I spent the money on a pressurized system. Downside to the reaction systems is that the output is outrageous at first and quickly dwindles down to nothing. I wouldn't waste your money.
Co2 levels do need to be monitored as Takashi Amano attested to when a computerized system failed. The failure caused the CO2 injection to increase to fatal leaves killing all the fish. The plants were thriving though. If you are worried about O2 levels run an air stone on a reverse schedule of your CO2/lights. Plants only consume CO2 during photosynthesis but after lights out begin using O2.
If you are going to try for a carpet of monte, I would remove the bicher to another tank until the monte is established well. Your other plants should do well without the CO2 injection.
Also, :worthlesswithoutpic:
 

TwoTankAmin

Dovii
MFK Member
Oct 2, 2008
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Do not do DIY. When I was getting ready to do my 50 gal. hi tech tank I figured i would try DIY to start, Fortunately, i was in a forum back then with some real planted tanks pros. They gave me the best advice I got re doing that tank. "If you can afford to do pressurized, start with that." And I did,

Carpeting plants do not root real well. I would not even have a bristlenose with them. Try otos and/or frolowellas instead. Over the years it changed some.





 

Rayfishowner

Piranha
MFK Member
May 2, 2017
595
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I have used a baking soda/citric acid system on smaller tanks before I spent the money on a pressurized system. Downside to the reaction systems is that the output is outrageous at first and quickly dwindles down to nothing. I wouldn't waste your money.
Co2 levels do need to be monitored as Takashi Amano attested to when a computerized system failed. The failure caused the CO2 injection to increase to fatal leaves killing all the fish. The plants were thriving though. If you are worried about O2 levels run an air stone on a reverse schedule of your CO2/lights. Plants only consume CO2 during photosynthesis but after lights out begin using O2.
If you are going to try for a carpet of monte, I would remove the bicher to another tank until the monte is established well. Your other plants should do well without the CO2 injection.
Also, :worthlesswithoutpic:
Thanks for the input. Just curious, did you use one of those soda bottle diy systems or something more like the one I linked to Rob on Amazon. The one on Amazon has a solenoid which can act as a timer so I was only going to turn it on for a few hours a day. I understand that pressurized is much better but I’ve always been super curious of the baking soda and citric acid system in the cylindrical system I’m currently looking at. Also for pics, my tank is a mess rn. I will definitely update if I get the co2 system and honestly worth a try. If it is really garbage, this thread could potentially help someone who was planning on buying it and I’m sure I can get some kind of amazon refund/compensation. Thanks again 🤗
 

Rayfishowner

Piranha
MFK Member
May 2, 2017
595
466
77
Do not do DIY. When I was getting ready to do my 50 gal. hi tech tank I figured i would try DIY to start, Fortunately, i was in a forum back then with some real planted tanks pros. They gave me the best advice I got re doing that tank. "If you can afford to do pressurized, start with that." And I did,

Carpeting plants do not root real well. I would not even have a bristlenose with them. Try otos and/or frolowellas instead. Over the years it changed some.





Thanks for your input. The tank looks super good. Really love the reds and greens and the contrast. Will consider a pressurized system but I am curious about the diy route as well... worst case, I’ll do it on my 30 gallon and stick it with some nice nano fish. Great input once again!
 

fishguy1978

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 30, 2020
1,572
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154
Washington
Thanks for the input. Just curious, did you use one of those soda bottle diy systems or something more like the one I linked to Rob on Amazon. The one on Amazon has a solenoid which can act as a timer so I was only going to turn it on for a few hours a day. I understand that pressurized is much better but I’ve always been super curious of the baking soda and citric acid system in the cylindrical system I’m currently looking at. Also for pics, my tank is a mess rn. I will definitely update if I get the co2 system and honestly worth a try. If it is really garbage, this thread could potentially help someone who was planning on buying it and I’m sure I can get some kind of amazon refund/compensation. Thanks again 🤗
Not like the one you linked to. I tried a google search but I don't remember the brand.
 
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Rayfishowner

Piranha
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May 2, 2017
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Not like the one you linked to. I tried a google search but I don't remember the brand.
Okay Thxs for the info. The reviews all say it’s very reliable and a good product for the price so I’m inclined to give it a shot. I know the output is going to be a bit low for a 100 gallon but I’ll give it a try lol. If that doesn’t work, I’ll probably scrap the idea of a co2 system with monster fish until I can afford one of the actual co2 ones. I’ll keep this thread or maybe a new one updated with the process to see whether these are any worth the money.
 
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burntrubber

Piranha
MFK Member
Feb 5, 2010
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I think TS is talking about this? I read a review somewhere which I linked previously, saying it would last about a month or so between refills.

On the other subject about monster fish and plants, I've kept lima cats in a 200g with swords and crypts, they do knock over plants frequently until established but still break stalks, no way for a carpet. You can look at youtuber pecktec's channel where he keeps a bichir in a planted tank and note the plants he uses.
 
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