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Natural source for CO2


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Add more fish. They all exhale CO2. (Well in as much as fish exhale).  Adding more aeration might help also. Air has more CO2 in it than aquarium water. Which is why commercial aquarium plant producers grow plants emersed. If you throw enough air in, the water should absorb more CO2 from the air. I've been intrigued by the idea of putting an air stone under a plant so it gets bathed in air, potentially exposing it to more CO2 than the water could absorb. Think of it as a semi-emersed system. It might not work because emersed growth is different from submerged, but it might work. You'll want a plant well anchored or rooted though if you try that. The air will want to lift it. More fish, more air, both should get you more CO2 in the water. Not as much as you'd get from CO2 injection, but maybe enough to make a difference.

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Walsted method calls for organic potting soil without added fertilizer used under a gravel substrate.  You seive it to remove the larger particles.  You end up recovering about half the bag this way. The rest can go in your compost heap.

Once the aquarium is set up this way it can take a couple of months to get the ammonia levels down as the rotting organics release.

the rotting organics also release dissolved organic carbon wich the plants can use for their carbon source as well as CO2 from the organic breakdown.

you can plant right off, but best towait a while for livestock.

Stock plants heavily and fish lightly. Minimize gravel vaccing.  Once the soil is deplted of organics, the rotting mulm and poo and uneaten fish food replenishes it via cation exchange…

you might enjoy this link that discusses this verytopic.




it has photos of some very lush walstad tanks.

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