The learning curve

If you do a Google search for 'planted tanks' you soon start to see beautiful underwater jungles full of lush green leaves. This is what inspired me to attempt to create my very own planted aquarium.  I started buying lots of different aquatic plants for a few sources online. Reading up about plant requirements along the way, I was confident I would succeed.
Things were going along fine for a while. My Amazon Sword was getting huge and my water lettuce was growing like crazy. I could spend an eternity sitting watching my fish swimming between the stems and defending there own little areas.
After about 6 months, things started to change. Slowly my amazon swords started to melt. I'd trim away the dead leaves and gradually it all but disappeared on me. Then the rest of the plants failed one by one. During this stage, algae got a foothold and aided the destruction by covering 90% of my Anubias. This was especially gutting and also the final straw. I made the decision to pull out all the remaining plants and rethink my approach.

After doing a lot of talking, reading and more reading, it's obvious where I went wrong. Plants produce oxygen and feed from CO2. I needed a source of CO2 in order to produce healthy plants and keep the algae away. Algae sneaks in when plants are not quite right. Keep healthy plants and algae should stay away.

Providing a source of CO2 for your plants comes in various different methods. You have liquid carbon, pressurised co2 cannisters, tablets and Dosing with EI salts. Each has their own unique benefit and flaws.

Over the next few months, I'm going to look at each method in detail. I'll be looking at the costs, maintenance, simplicity and effectiveness of each method. I hope this will help others understand these methods make it easier to maintain aquariums like the ones on the Internet.

Bye for now

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