Will my plants survive if I remove the CO2?

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AC Members
Jun 24, 2019
This is my vivarium cube tank. I think the tank is already densely planted and I don’t really want the plant to overgrow the tank and let it look messy. So I am planning to remove the CO2 injection to slow down the growth and I wanna to use the co2 set up for my farm tank instead. Do you think the red plants and the rest of the plants will survive once I remove the CO2 injection? Should I dim the light if I remove the co2? Here’s a before and after picture (3 months apart~)
I am still looking for a fish for this tank 😊

Plant List and Equipment Set Ups:
  • lucky bamboo
  • dwarf sag
  • Needle fern
  • Tradescantia zebrina
  • Buce giant island
  • Rotala mexicana goias
  • Green pothos
  • Lobelia Cardinalis Dwarf
  • Limnophila aromatica mini
  • Limnophila rugosa
  • Ludwigia Arcuata
  • rotala rotundifolia

Equipment set Up:
  • JC&P Clip on light and full spectrum light with built in timer and full color/brightness control
  • CO2 at 1 bubble per second
  • You can use any hang on filter with just sponge

IMG_7855 copy 3.jpg



Mar 29, 2005
I want to say it should be fine...

But have you measured or calculated the level of CO2 in the actual water?

I would say to turn it off, but not put the CO2 equipment away for a couple of weeks to see how it goes

I'm not sure how much CO2 would remain in the water when using a HOB filter.
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AC Members
Sep 3, 2008
Atlanta GA
The HOB will probably drive off much of the CO2 you are injecting. If you are trying to simplify your life some and no longer want to inject CO2 but still want to boost available carbon, you might consider something like Seachem's Excel.


AC Members
Jun 7, 2019
Beautiful tank!
I would agree with the advice above given - I don't believe the CO2 is doing much for the plants at this time, as it is being dissipated with the open top and the surface agitation. So you may not see a big difference once stopped. Leaving the system in place may be a good idea, for the possibility of changing your mind in the short term.
It is possible that some of the more demanding plants may suffer a bit, such as your beautiful reds. But most may be just fine.
You may find a need to reduce duration of lights, if algae begins to appear.
Excel may a good option, but your Sags may not like it.
Good luck!


Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
West Falls NY
Real Name
Just to add to the above excellent advice, I would reduce the lights on time if you are throttling back on the CO2 you are adding to the water column. Like said, teh actual amount of CO2 in the water column may not be as much as you thing with that HOB stirring up the surface.


AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
Well, from my past experience getting plants from co2 clubbers, some of those will slowly fade away...but many will be fine if not as pretty.

I like the suggestion you keep the co2 ready to go...or lower your expectations...you may like what you see :)


AC Members
Jun 24, 2019
Thanks for the suggestions! I will have a co2 on my 10 gallon maybe I will switch it to my 7 gallon every other week. I might dose co2 as well. I have this co2 liquid I bought from this diy guy years ago. Does carbon liquid expire? So I should dim the light right, I dont need to short the light hours?

I already moved the co2 tank into my farm tanks and the Ludwigia repents has been growing like a weed LOL I cannot wait to grow Rotala HRA on the left tank and some moss on nice scapes :)

If I remove the CO2 the red plants might loose the red color but if I dose iron, would that keep it red without the CO2?Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 5.55.14 PM.png


Mar 29, 2005
don't switch between, fluctuating levels are one of the causes of black beard algae (among other things)

you can lower the photo period, if you want to reduce algae from the lack of CO2, unfortunately if you go much below 7 or 8 hours (or do a 'siesta' period) you won't be giving your plants long enough to actually photosynthesize, so they won't be doing terribly well either way.

'liquid carbon' is likely some form of gluteraldehyde derivitive, that acts more like an algaecide (it's actually a biocide used to disinfect hospitals) that kills off the microalgae on plants letting them use thee little atmospheric CO2 that makes its way into the water than a source of available carbon in the water.

My choice would be to stop CO2, if things take too much of a turn for the worse, add CO2 back (permanently, not temporarily) or rethink what plants you are keeping.

raising the light physically, or dimming it may also reduce the need for CO2, and just let your plants grow more slowly.
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