There are some plants, mostly your bunch plants, like Hornwort, that takes the nutrients right out of the water column. They don't develop the heavy root systems like a plant like the Amazon Sword, you see tiny roots sticking out all along their stems. My sword plants have roots under the sand and some sticking out of the sand in the water column. So each is different on how they get their nutrients. I love the stem plants because they get thick and tall, which my little Tetras love, and they suck up the nutrients from the water, starving the algae, but I couldn't grow them for long without CO2.
I don't use the root tabs, tried them once and they just fell apart on me and made a mess before I could even bury them. Next time I do try I will get the Seachem Flourish brand, which I hear works better.
I dose my tank with Seachem Flourish a couple times a week and my plants do fine. They do not grow very fast (need CO2 for that) but I do see new growth and no die-off. I have used other ferts and found this brand is the best one.
I too just set up a CO2 system today. I bought a Hydor CO2 Green NRG Natural Set. Its basically a setup that has just a bubble counter and pump that breaks up the bubbles. Still waiting for the bubbles to show, been 2 hours.
I did read that you should turn off your air pump during the day and turn it on at night. The plants will provide the air (along with the filters) during the day and at night they sleep so need the air turned back on. That way while the plants are active the CO2 isn't being pushed out of the tank by the air stone.
I don't know about the ferts. I am going to feed as regular, maybe even more, figuring the plants will be growing faster with the CO2 now and may need extra.
So I have the same question for the planted CO2 people, more food?
Turn the air off during the day?
Anyone ever use the Hydro system? Here is a link to it:
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ct ... fermentset
I have always been afraid to use the do-it-yourself setups. I tried once and it plugged up and I got a huge bubble explode in the tank. Luckily I caught it in time so the fish were not harmed.
Another question, since this set-up runs on the yeast system like a DIY, do I have to buy the refill stuff or could I use my home made recipe when it runs out?
Sorry to steal the thread Nat, figured we both have basically the same questions, so why start a new one :-) Lets keep our fingers crossed these work! I REALLY want to fill my tank along one side with the stem plants, so maybe they will live longer now that I have CO2. The LFS I buy all my plants at wont get a new shipment in for a week or so, so hopefully the tank will have a good steady supply of CO2 by then. I only buy my plants there because they are always so healthy and no snails ever!
Good Luck! :-)