Does liquid CO2 replace pressurized CO2 gas?

When it comes to planted aquariums, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. However, one of the most important decisions is how you will fertilize your aquatic plants. There are a few different options available, but in this blog post, we're going to focus on two of the most popular: pressurized CO2 gas and liquid carbon. Both have pros and cons, so let's take a closer look at each.

aquascape by Bruna Andrade

Many planted tank experts agree that aquatic plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) for photosynthesis, which is how they convert light into energy. In the wild, plants get CO2 from the air. However, in a closed system like an aquarium, the level of CO2 can drop quickly. Pressurized CO2 can overcome this challenge. By having a pressurized CO2 system, you can ensure that your plants always have the CO2 they need for healthy growth.

Pressurized CO2 Can Make Your Plants Grow Faster

If you are looking for increased plant growth, pressurized CO2 can also help! Just like with any other living thing, plants need food to grow. In addition to light and water, plants need nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. When you add pressurized CO2 to your plant tank, it gives your plants an extra boost of nutrients they can use for growth. As a result, your plants will grow faster and be healthier overall.

Pressurized CO2 Can Help to Control Algae Growth

One of the most frustrating things about having a plant tank is dealing with unwanted algae. Uninvited algae will quickly take over a tank if left unchecked. Fortunately, pressurized CO2 can help to control algae growth. Like all plant life, algae needs light and CO2 for photosynthesis, just like plants do. So by controlling the amount of light and CO2 in your tank, you can prevent algae from taking over.

Are there any issues with using pressurized CO2?

There are some drawbacks to using pressurized CO2 gas, however. One is that it can be expensive to set up and maintain. You'll need to purchase a CO2 regulator and tank, and you'll likely need to refill the tank regularly. Additionally, if not appropriately used, pressurized CO2 gas can be dangerous. Always ensure good surface agitation to allow adequate gas exchange and atmospheric equilibrium. Finally, as with all equipment we use in and around our aquariums, it is recommended to understand how it works before using it.  After all, it's all about easy CO2 aquarium functioning.

How to add CO2 to the aquarium

To enjoy the benefits of pressurized CO2 in your planted aquarium, you must have a pressure regulator, diffuser, drop checker, bubble counter, and, of course, a source of high-pressure CO2 (fire extinguisher, paintball cylinder etc.). Connecting your regulator to your chosen source of CO2 makes it possible to control the flow of co2 as it travels from the source through the regulator and bubble counter into the diffuser via tubing. Avoid using regular aquarium airline tubing as this will crack and leak over time due to the carbon dioxide. For help deciding on the best CO2 kit for your aquarium read this blog.

 Dosing liquid carbon is easy and low cost, but is it effective?

What is Liquid CO2 for aquarium? 

Liquid carbon is simply carbon in solution, made by dissolving pressurized CO2 in water. Liquid carbon can be produced from other sources like dry ice or wood vinegar. When used in a planted aquarium, liquid carbon provides a source of carbon for plants to use for photosynthesis. It also helps to lower pH and can be used to reduce algae growth. 

There are many benefits to dosing liquid carbon in a planted aquarium. The most obvious benefit is that it provides plants with a carbon source for photosynthesis. This can lead to faster growth rates and healthier plants overall. Also, liquid carbon can help lower pH levels in aquarium water. Some plants prefer lower pH levels. Lower pH levels are generally less inviting for unwanted algae.

It's becoming increasingly popular among hobbyists because it's relatively easy and inexpensive. Add the recommended doses of liquid carbon to your aquarium water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and you're good to go! 

Several species of fish also require a significantly lower pH range for breeding. Therefore, having a bottle of liquid carbon dioxide available allows fish breeders and fishkeepers, in general, to provide the best care for their fish.

Why use liquid carbon for aquarium purposes?

One of the most significant benefits of using liquid carbon fertilizers is that they are straightforward to control. Pressurized CO2 systems can be challenging, at times, to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide being injected into the aquarium water column. Too much or too little can be detrimental to your plants and livestock. 

Working with liquid carbon is a great way to give many aquatic plants the necessary nutrients without overdoing it and causing algae problems. 

With liquid carbon, however, you can add a standard dose depending on your underwater plants' needs and aquarium size without worrying about overdoing it (as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions). 

Another advantage of liquid carbon is that it's gentle on your fish. Liquid carbon dissolves quickly in water, so there is no need to worry too much about the gaseous exchange on the water's surface or the poor placement of a diffuser. 

Are there any issues with liquid carbon for aquarium?

There are some potential drawbacks associated with using liquid carbon. Many people raise a question: does liquid CO2 work at all? One is that it is less effective in promoting plant growth than pressurized CO2. Although despite many aquarium companies promote this idea through various products, many aquascapers say it's a poor replacement for pressurized carbon dioxide, having minimal influence in this area. Furthermore,  if you don't know how to add CO2 to aquarium in liquid form, it's likely to cloud the water if the wrong dose is applied. 

Conclusion: 

So there you have it—a brief overview of some pros and cons associated with dosing liquid carbon in your planted tank. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when selecting a fertilization method —you'll need to try out pressurized carbon dioxide gas and liquid carbon in your planted aquarium to see what works best for you and your underwater garden and what will be your CO2 booster :) 

Dosing liquid carbon in your planted aquarium is a relatively straightforward process that can have many benefits for both flora & fauna. If you're new to the hobby or have been doing it for years, we hope this blog post has been helpful! As with anything related to planted aquariums, it's always important to do your research beforehand to understand the needs of everything within your planted aquarium. 

If you have a planted aquarium or are thinking about starting one, you will need to consider what type of CO2 gas system to use. Pressurized CO2 and best liquid CO2 for aquarium are both effective ways to raise the level of dissolved carbon dioxide in your tank water, but they each have pros and cons. With some research and talking to other hobbyists, you can figure out which system is right for you. When it comes to aquariums, research the needs of your planted aquarium, including the inhabitants, before making any changes to your setup.

Thanks for reading, and we wish you the best of luck with your future aquarium endeavours! 

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our support team via support@co2art.us any time!