AQUARIUM CO2 AND AQUATIC PLANT FERTILIZING GUIDE + WATER PARAMETERS


Many of you guys, have asked us in the comments, to do a tutorial about CO2, about fertilization and about water parameters. We’re listening to you, here we are. Tutorial at Green Aqua for beginners. Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping! So, let’s begin with the CO2 system. What do you need to know about the CO2 canister? When you’re traveling with this, please make sure that you don’t put it in direct sunlight. This guys doesn’t like to be expanded or contracted. The CO2 pressure reducer takes 50 Bars of pressure and it reduces it to a 2 to 4 Bar pressure. If you don’t have the sealing ring inside, you’re gonna be in trouble, because the CO2 is a very tiny particle gas and it can escape from that. A 2 kg bottle for a 60 liter tank probably lasts 6-8 months, depending on what kind of CO2 system you have. CO2 is very important for the plant photosynthesis. About 1/4 of the plants will survive, will do okay without CO2. They will not thrive, they will not look perfect, But some of them will do fine with a CO2 supplement. The best CO2 supplement that I know, is the Seachem Excel. You want the CO2 to be in the water, before the lights go on, because plants will start to photosynthetize exactly at the moment when they’ll get the light. And they will need the CO2. This tap will control how much pressure you want to give to the output. The needle valve lets you control the exact amount of the CO2, that leaves. At this point, where you have to connect the hose, that goes to the aquarium. This is a pressure tolerant hose. Many people are not using this, but I would recommend you, to use it. And then, we are ready with the third part of the CO2 system. The solenoid valve is used in the system, to stop the CO2 for the night. When it gets electricity, it will let the gas through. When it doesn’t get it, it will not let the gas through. Did you hear that? Zero. Why is it zero? That was my eyeglasses. Why is it zero? Because this tap is not open. Bottle, pressure reducer, pressure tolerant hose, solenoid valve. The check valve has a little arrow on it, which will indicate the direction of the flow. The check valve will prevent the water from flowing back from the aquarium into this system here. The bubble counter is good for you guys, to measure how much CO2 goes into your tank. 40-60 bubbles per minute coming out from the bottom of this would be good for an average tank. You can fill it up with water, but I would suggest you to use bubble counter solution. It’s heavier than water. This solution will stay in your bubble counter for much longer. Filling up until say, 4/3. Four thirds? Three quarters. What am I talking about? This whole thing is not very smooth, is it? Let me tell you quickly, what we have here at Green Aqua. We have a 2 kg bottle. We have the pressure reducer, with the two indicators. A needle valve and a big tap, that I will show you how to open it. And we have a solenoid valve. ADA check valve, ADA bubble counter. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. And we have an Aquario Neo diffuser, small diffuser in there. This is a Neo CO2 diffuser, an acrylic dissuser. It’s quite good, we like it, we use it a lot in small tanks. I kind of think that this is a good budget alternative. This diffuser is an ADA Pollen Glass 30 diffuser, which I would probably use for a 60 liter tank as well. It’s too big for a 10 liter tank, but you could use it if you wanted to. If you’re planning to buy a bigger tank later, you could buy this diffuser and just use it later. This is a lot, right? Surface movement is important, because you need to make sure, that there’s proper gas exchange on the surface. You do not want to draw out the CO2 by moving the surface too much, like stirring the surface. For example, if the lily pipe from the external filter is too high, too close to the surface, then it will draw out the CO2. If you want a very efficient system, you should use a CO2 external reactor. We have the reactor, which is my very personal favorite. Much more CO2 goes into this tank and it’s being dissolved completely, because the bubbles are gonna go up, the water is being pushed down the reactor. So the bubbles are going against the water. It’s a 100% dissolve rate. We don’t need a bubble counter for this solution, but we’re using one for show purposes obviously. We have the Beetle Counter here from ADA. You need a strong filter, to run with that reactor. If your filter is not strong enough, to pump CO2-enriched water out of the reactor and CO2 gas will just go up to the top of the reactor and just get there. We have external reactor below all of our (big) tanks. How do we measure, how much CO2 we have in the system? You’ve got to have a drop checker. You’ve got an indicator solution in the drop checker. And this solution is blue, when there’s not enough CO2. It’s green when there’s little CO2, it’s lime green, when it’s optimal and it’s yellow, when it’s too much. Place it in the water, near the surface. Somewhere not above this CO2 diffuser. One problem is that this whole system is not accurate to the minute. You can see that the drop checker is lime green color. And it shows the status of the CO2 two hours before. This is a lot of delay. It will take about two or three hours for the CO2 level to go up from 0 to 30 ppm, the ideal measurement. So you need to switch on your CO2 two hours before the lights. This way, you will need two timers. We have a central timer here. The central timer switches on at 7 o’clock every morning. The lights will switch on at 9:30. Everything will switch off at the same time. So CO2 and lights will switch off at the same time, at 5 o’clock. You don’t want to fluctuate the CO2. So don’t play around with the CO2 needle valve too much. Adjust it to a certain bubble count and leave it there for a couple of days. Observe what’s happening! If you do sudden changes with the CO2 system with the bubble count, you will have algae, CO2 related algae. I already showed you the Green Aqua drop checker solution. And I didn’t show you the Green Aqua nano drop checker. We have a small drop checker for small aquariums. The one that I used in the nano tank was way too big. I just wanted to use that for you guys, to see how a drop checker is used. This is a diffuser for air. Do you need aeration in an aquarium? I would say that you don’t need aeration in a Nature Aquarium. You don’t need an air-pump, you don’t need anything like that. But, if you wanna be on the safe side, you might want to put this on timer for the night. Please do not leave your system without CO2, even for a day. Your plants will suffer. A lot of CO2 will be toxic to your fish. If you have more, than 30 ppm CO2 in the system, hence the drop checker solution is yellow, Your fish will start to suffer, they will start to suffocate. Don’t forget, that the CO2 will decrease the pH. Decreasing the pH of your aquarium water will result in filtration problems. 6.2 is already borderline, too small. And the filter bacteria will start to suffer. Now let’s talk about the ADA gear! That we have right here! We have the Do!Aqua, which is a brand, that has been discontinued by ADA. The DOOA brand comes instead. Mini diffuser for small aquariums. This looks really sexy. ADA has also got a very nice CO2 regulator, which has only one indicator. As I told you before, the CO2 is in the liquid form in this canister. Transport it in vertical position, and always use it in vertical position. Do not let your children play with it. That’s it! CO2 done! Fertilization is really, really easy. What you have to do, is you have to get some good quality ferts, that are concentrated, or not concentrated, but are well-thought. And you will have to add them to your aquarium daily or every second day, or every week, depending on what kind of system you have. There are basically two types of ferts, that your plants will need. They will need the Macro and they will need the Micro ferts. The Micro ferts are basically trace elements. The biggest component of all of those is Iron. Iron is much needed by the plants, and actually it’s needed for the red plants even more. We, at Green Aqua have a very good fertilizer, called Micro. I have to dose one pump or one ml. per 20 liters of aquarium water. The ADA Mineral is kind of the equivalent, but not really, of the Green Aqua Micro fertilizer. The macro fertilizers are Potassium, Phosphate and Nitrogen, in form of Nitrates, usually. The Brighty K has Potassium in it. We’re using the Green Aqua ferts, when we want accentuated plant growth, we want nice red colors, we want lush growth. We’re using the ADA, when we wanna go for finesse, when we want to go for the Nature Aquarium very slow growth feeling and we quite like that. I’m trying to reach the 30 ppm Nitrate levels. And the 3 ppm for the Phosphate levels. Please try to do the 50% water change. If you do not do that, your nutrients’ level will just grow and grow and grow. Carbon suppliments are also considered kind of fertilizing, because Carbon is also needed by the plants. I would suggest you to buy quality fertilizers. Do not buys the cheapest fertilizers, because they’re cheap for a reason. They basically contain a lot of water and they dilute it. As you can see, we have a few ferts here, at Green Aqua. What you see here and then on the other side, with the ADA shelf, is only half of it. We have Tropica, we have Dennerle, we have Seachem ferts, etc, etc. I’ve got two more ferts, that I wanna show you. One of them is the Easy-Life Profito, which is a really good fert for beginners. It’s really cheap. And I wanted to show you the Flourish Phosphors, which is a very, very good Phosphate addition to your tank, if you wanna have something, to fight the green algae. Usually, when you’re using a base layer fertilizing substrate, you will get enough nutrients from the base layer fertilizing substrate. If that substrate depletes for some reason, for example you’ve been running your tank two or maybe more years, then you would need the NutriBalls, the Dennerle NutriBalls. And you’ve got rootsticks from ADA and you can just put them into depleted soil. The plants will get the nutrients from there. Okay, enough of the fertilization topic! Let’s talk about water parameters! Most of the plants, that we are using in the aquarium are coming from the equatorial region. And the water there is very soft. What we do here in Hungary, is that we’re buying Reverse Osmosis systems. RO water is usually TDS 10 to 20. And then you can remineralize it to 120. Here at Green Aqua, we’re using the Green Aqua GH plus. How do you measure GH? You got a test for that. But I’ve got a better solution. You can measure the TDS, which is the Total Dissolved Solids. If you keep your TDS at around 120, then you have a GH of around 3, which is ideal, so you should be okay. About the KH, many people were asking us about the KH. We think that GH is more important. If you have the salts in there, then the buffer for the KH is already done. We are here in the water test goodies store! I’m not against tests, but I wouldn’t want to use them actually. The only test that I’m using is the TDS, or a pH test. So let me show you, how a TDS meter works! And Csabi has brought me some GH plus. So there’s an on/off button on it. Push it, it says 0 ppm on it. Put it in, 62 ppm. Seiryu stones are leeching a lot of Calcium into the water. 132. 164. You can actually see that the general hardness in that tank is much higher, because of the Seiryu stones. Let’s measure the TDS of the reverse osmosis water! And Csabi was kind enough, to bring me one. 7. Our reverse osmosis, it’s quite cool. And then I’m gonna drink it. Perfect H2O. The Green Aqua GH plus. Very scientific. I’m just gonna put it in the water. I’m gonna put a lot now. It’s already 109. 110. Let’s see, where Filipe’s tank is at! 122. Pretty accurate! So 122 for Filipe’s tank, which is destroyed. You can see on the picture. Sorry Filipe! After you used it, you have to just close it back. Don’t leave it open, because if this dries out, they will loose the accuracy. Water treatment heaven at Green Aqua! You’ve got all the different products, that are used for water treatment. If you are using tap water in your tank, you need to get rid of the Chlorine and the heavy metals. Seachem Prime, it comes in different sizes, it will help you to do that. Some people like the Easy-Life Easystart, but that has some bacteria in it, and it can get your water cloudy, so we would prefer to use the Seachem Prime instead. The temperature of the water should be around 22-24 degrees. If you do not have like discus fish, or some other fish, that would require the temperature to be higher, or lower. If you have the temperature above 24, that will profit algae, so you don’t do that. So try to keep it as cool as possible. If you would need heating, you can use an external heater like this, But I would prefer the Oase filters, because those filters already have heaters in them. The water temperature: You can actually see the water temperature on the external filter. It’s 25.5°C. It’s because of the summer heat here, in Budapest, as I said. So all tanks are between 25-26°C now. And I’m not happy about it. Okay, I’m drinking water! What happened to Green tea? Things are getting worse at Green Aqua nowadays. So guys, thanks for being here with us, I’m gonna make some order here and I’m gonna say – subscribe if you didn’t do so yet. Thanks for staying here, comment below, let us know what your water parameters are. I’m gonna see if I can help you with anything. And subscribe, if you didn’t do so yet… Did I say that already? I think I did. I’m talking here by myself, alone in this studio too much! Anyways, smash that like button, comment below, thanks for being here! Ciao!

Comments 100

  • I love you guys!!!You are amazing!!!yes do a tutorial for lightning please!!!Love from Greece!!!!!!

  • YESSS !! Awesome clip super helpful , question; if I am adding tropica green bottle fert into my high tech planted system should I be adding any other ferts ? Like micros or macros ??

  • Cheers for all the info, I always take something out of your vids.🤘

  • for ada u just pay the brand. u have way better cost effective alternatives to ada out there 😉

  • would also avoid external reactors cause they leak yes and if u don't want a surprise when u come home go for diffusers 😉

  • Excellent video thank you, everything a beginner like me needed to know all combined.
    Question: my ph of my RO water is around 6.2, should I be buffering it in addition to the Seachem Equilibrium I'm adding or should I leave it. My tanks been running for about 5 months and I don't get ammonia spikes

  • Nincsen magyar szöveg a videón a többi videón mindig szokott lenni

  • Great channel, very informative, thanks!

  • Very informative video! (Y)

  • Hey, do u have any idea what will happen if the water it less than 120ppm?

  • Great video! Loved it, you guys should make more like this, yes there are other vids on this but none explain it better :). Also I love the end skits where Balazs walks past the camera or waves through a tank, keep up the good work! You guys are only making me more exited to one day come to green aqua :), every video that you guys make just makes me love the hobby more and feel more proud to be apart of this community!

  • Lots of Indian here..

  • Udv. Nagyon jok a videok, kar, hogy nincs magyar nyelven bar felirat. Amugy miert nincsenek magyar nyelven a videok? Tobb a kulfoldi kliensetek es nekik csinaljatok a videokat? Vagy nagyobb nezettseget szeretnetek es ezt magyar videokkal nehezebb?

  • Why should we add nitrates when nitrates are already building up in the aquarium? Thanks.

  • My tank has a PH = 5 index; TDS = 100, how to increase PH and TDS effectively? thank you!

  • Never heard of using tds meter instead of gh. That is a awesome tip! Thanks legends!

  • am learning alot from you guys!.keep it up👍👍..subbed from Philippines🇵🇭🇵🇭

  • that buce shirt is dope
    do you have a size L or XL?

  • Hi. You said to avoid PH floatation. Turning off CO2 at night won't increase the PH? Thank turn it on again won't lower it? I am confused…

  • Excellent guide, they are the best, have not thought about putting subtitles in Spanish? I think there must be many people in Latin America who see them and not all speak English fluently, it would be very good! Greetings from Colombia 🇨🇴

  • Great vid again. Too many bottles for me but I understand for every budget and situation you carry it.
    Hope your Masterpiece is doing well?
    .

  • Thanks a lot Green Aqua….
    You're great…
    greetings fromme germany

  • You are the best every day i learn something for you i love Green Aqua this year i come to visit green Aqua

  • you leave the water at 120 but when you put macros and micros do not raise the tds???

  • Very informative! Thank you.. Greetings from the Philippines..

  • Great job Green Aqua!! So useful <3

  • Excellent and perfectly useful information's. Thank you guys for this informative and amazing video 👍❤

  • Thanks for the awesome content!

  • Just started using co2 in my tank after watching your YouTube channel. Plants are looking good. Thank you for all your tips 👍

  • Shipping to America’s yet?

  • Loved this. 🙏🙏

  • Thanks Balazs for this informative vid… Much awaited from you… Well explained and i will start using seachem products for my tank now.. waiting for a vid on lighting from the genious aquascaper on earth..🤘🤘🙌🙌🙌🙌🙏

  • Love your oppening.. welcome in the beutyfull wold aquascape 😍.. to much co2 can kill good bacteria and then algae is coming.. that the poin.. right? 😅

  • Very good video! Wish I saw the co2 portion a year ago. However, I winced when you turned on the co2 hurricane. There should be a warning: "Do not do this at home" flashed on the screen and at that point you could have stated how too much co2 can kill your fish so start slowly. I'm also wondering about your using the tds meter in so many tanks and possibly spreading disease? Should you wipe it down? And then you drink the RO water after dipping (presumably) the same tds meter in the glass? Please dont be offended by my minor ciritcisms in what was otherwise great content….

  • hola GREEN AQUA felicidades por la explicacion y por videos como estos ayudan mucho ,sois los mejores , una pregunta ,para fertilizar con los abonos de ada cuanto abono se ha de echar al acuario ? depende de lo plantado que este o siempre es una pulsacion cada 20 litros saludos y gracias

  • Thanks for sharing Balazs. I think there was something to take away from this video for everybody, not just beginners. 👍

  • Thanks Balazs ! Your insight is greatly appreciated.

    It was interesting to see a different view on testing and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). My biochemistry and molecular biology roots may have led me astray as I was counseled to do, watch, and record the numbers religiously. in addition, TDS said to be only for "trends" as it was a "combined value." There are constraints in associating with "techies" with aquariums. 🙂

    Your articulate and concise vlog put the topic in perspective.

    Thanks for making aquaspaping approachable for us new to the field,

    Jim

  • really good video. Maby a followup video of this about the diffent algea there is and why ant what to do about them ?

  • Good guidance Bala , and what about your glasses

  • Жаль нет русских субтитров, красиво но не понятно )

  • What is The composition of bubble counter, can i use glicerin?

  • Hi balaz! Please tell me what’s is ur seachem excel dosing regime like? Even if you’re using co2 cylinder do u still dose seachem excel?

  • I add supplements but I still have a deficiency in my plants which take up nutrients from the water column. Everything grew perfect until 5 months ago, and my second new tank does not have the problem. Now everything seems to be in a dormant state, where it doesn't die nor grow.

  • Awesome learning

  • Perfect information, I've been struggling with an aquarium for 1 year, will be taking all this information into developing a better aquarium set up. Thank you.

  • Hi thank you for advices. Do you know a good brand for a tds meter ? Would like to buy a good one that will last for a few years. Also I’m using ada (brightly K, mineral and iron) in my 37 liters. my java fern is getting brown even if it continuous to spread young plants and my buce are all in flower but have sometime a hole in their leaves. Do you have a idea of what is missing or too much ? Thanks

  • thank you green aqua! love the channel and the information . a newbie to freshwater/co2. keep those vids. coming . hello from CH

  • Great video again thanks. I'm setting up a 200lt tank. My tap water has a tds of 500ppm and sometimes higher it's virtually liquid rock 😁. However I use ro water on a daily bases for work that is 0ppm it comes out of the membrane at about 14ppm and then goes through Di resin to get it to zero. My questions are , is it safe to use the ro water that has been through the Di resin and what would I actually need to add to bring up the tds to a good level or would you recommend mixing with the tap water although water changes would be easier just using ro.
    Thanks again for the videos there great and hope the masterpiece is coming on well.

  • Excellent presentation and I learned some new things. I know it gets said a lot but I am going to say it again anyway – I wish you had a shop in the USA! Thanks for the videos, I appreciate each one.

  • bro , before i use all seachem product , you have tips for make own fertilizer? , i try make macro fertilizer, phospate nitrat and potasium,i have problem that,my bottle solution fertilizer is always have crystalize at bottom of my bottle fertilizer ?

  • Please do guide when TDS is on higher side ….. Reasons 4 the same,

  • Four thirds of your videos are awesome but the rest are rubbish. 😀

  • Thanks for this vid is really helpful. May i ask if 22-24°C water temp will be enough for Betta fish? Love you guys ciao ❤️

  • Great stuff. Always learn something new. Only regret is you don't ship to Hong Kong

  • How much is the water tester in this video in U.S. dollars.And how do I get one

  • Which timer do you recommend for CO2 and lights? Thank you

  • Hi Balazs, my nerite snail shells had erode may be caused by co2 injection which make the water became acidic..can you suggest any action that shall I take to solve this problem.

  • I give this video 4/3's of a thumbs up !! 🙂

  • Great video! Love that CO2 reactor

  • Hey, I have a BARE BOTTOM PLANTED TANK WITH NO FISH in it. There are onlY anubias and bucephalandra attached to lava rock. I SEE brown organic waste (like dirt) at bottom of the tank. Even when I clean it during weekly maintenance, it will come back again by next water change. My question is I dont have fish in the tank and no feeding. How is that brown organic waste(like dirt) building up at bottom of my bare bottom tank??

  • thank you so much!!! i needed help with the fertilizer part

  • Extremely informative…….Thanks

  • You need to have the girl more on your videos. Also she could be quality tea control.

  • Thanks …..it helps a lot…. please suggest treatment for black beard algae…..love from 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 INDIA

  • Fantastic.. now lights please 🙂

  • Great information. Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to 100K! Congrats! – Little Bobby

  • Great video, thanks. You only spoke about fish and CO2. Although I am sure too much CO2 will also kill shrimps but what are your recommendations for injected CO2 in a planted tank with shrimps?

  • What do you think is good for aquarium to have pause my light start 9am to 12pm and again start 16:00 to 21:00 and co2 start with one hour before and stop with one hour before what do you think is good?
    Ex
    Light 9am-12pm…16:00–21:00
    Co2 8am-11am….15:00–20:00

  • 17:29 Chào

  • Informative👌🏻

  • Viktoriaaaaaaaa…. 😍

  • Guys thank you so much for your video, but I have a question, I am bit confused with using your greenaqua ferts (micro and macro) Do I need to use them DAILY??? I am doing 50% water change twice a week, but use 2,5 ml for my 55 liters tank just after every water change…So do I need to use micro and macro every day? (approx 2 ml per day??)I think this is what you sad in this video 🙂 Thank you very much for your kind reply in advance 🙂 Pavol

  • Superbly produced video with excellent content. Well done GA 🙂

  • As always quality information. Thank you 👏👏👏👏👏👏

  • May I know where to keep the CO2 diffuser inside the tank please

  • gostaria muito de poder ter tudo isso,mais sou só um simples aquarista com seu simples aquario tudo isso esta fora da minha realidade. Belo vídeo

  • Full of educational vedio…you r best person..keep it up..this vedio give motivation to Everyone

  • Some fertilisers recommend dosing daily whilst others recommend a large weekly dose following a water change. Which method is better? Right now i fertilise daily in the belief a steady flow of daily nutrients is better. Thanks for the informative video! Love your work at Green Aqua.

  • I have a question , when you break the surface Co2 will be drawn out of your tank.

    But in a planted tank without a Co2 system .
    What will be the effect of breaking the surface ?
    Do i still have to minimise this ?

  • I'm wondering what will you post for the 100K Guys!
    I see it Coming Soon!
    Well Done!

  • Is 30ppm nitrate okay for fish? I though it shouldn't be higher than 25ppm..

  • Great video, keep then coming.

  • my tank is always at TDS of 180 to 220, how do I reduce it?

  • I can watch this video a hundred times and still won’t get tired of it! 😁and your shop it’s amazing! A haven for any aquarist! I just have a question do plants 🌱 have a Water parameters? Like for example tropical fish prefer more on the warm water but how about plants? Do they prefer a warmer water temperature or is it best for for them to have a cold water? Thanks for this knowledge you are sharing with us 🙏🏻🥂👌🏻

  • Hi Balazs,
    Any particular reason for your tanks to have optimal temperature of 24c vs 25c/ 26c as mentiones in minute #17?
    Thank you

  • I see the bubble rate in the am1000 is pretty low mine is way higher and I get a dark green dropchecker.. I keep the flow in the reactor as low as possible with an bypass.. My tank is 300liter am I doing something wrong?

  • I start co2 one hour befor lights start and turn it off one hour befor lights going off .. am I do it right ?
    AND my tank capacity is 144L without any meterials so I have to adjust fertilizer based on this (144L) or less?

  • I tend for NO3 5ppm and 0,25ppm of PO4 on my tank. Trying to get some reds on the Rotalas but nothing 😅. Using Aquarebel Nitrate and Aquarebel Phosphate on a 200L tank (120L of water). Dosing 12ml each once a week. Potassium 3 times a week 5ppm

  • Does anyone here know if a solenoid would work with Tropicas nano CO2 system? The 95g cylinder system.

  • Very helpful thanks..

  • Heyy, do you switch your lights off?😁

  • Hi balazs great tutorial.
    One question if u can halp..
    I keep a steady ratio of 10ppm n and 1 ppm p, co2 is about 25-30 ppm… i have hi led lighting (chihiros wrgb) that works around 70% for 6 hours. and i just cant get rid of the green spots algae.. what would you advice to do? Increase the light intensity or just lower bit the co2? Maybe increase the co2? Or maybe even tweek with the ferts?
    Love your channel by the way, thanks a lot : )

  • Green Aqua is aquarium paradise. 🙂

  • Hello from U.K. Great video with awesome information as always. I have mixed rainbow fish, would 22-24 temp be ok for them. Mines a touch higher. Thx

  • Great source of information and quality products.

  • I need advice from the top planted tank pros. I have many successful planted tanks in the 76degree F range. But I cant grow anything in my discus tank witch is at 83 degrees F. What should I try?

  • I watched the whole thing even though I only speak broke and is all low-tech for me, but it's a great guide. Next thing will be lights right? Great vid

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