How To Setup a Planted Aquarium Without Co2

In this article, I will explain how you can grow your plants to be very large and healthy, and how to set up a planted aquarium without Co2 or any fertilizer.

Planted Aquarium Without Co2

Change The Water, Less Frequently

You want to vacuum your fish tank and change the water about 1-2 months instead of weekly. What this does is it leaves nutrients from the fish waste in the water and acts as a fertilizer of sorts.

Gravel Vacuum For Fish Tank

Now doing this you definitely want to test the water a lot more frequently than you would normally do, to make sure that there are no ammonia spikes and that your nitrates and nitrites are in check.
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll have to start off with changing it every 2 weeks and then go up to 3 weeks and then to a month, but after a couple of months, you should only have to change it once a month or so.

Monte Carlo plant In Aquarium Without Co2
Monte Carlo plant In Aquarium Without Co2

Aquarium Lighting For Plants

I think this one is the most important one, you want to have 2 to 5 watts of lights per gallon in your aquarium. And by that, what I mean is multiply the 2 to 5 by the number of gallons you have in your fish tank. So for example with my 65-gallon fish tank, I would 130 to 325 watts of light.

What a lot of people don’t understand about this, is that’s equivalent watts, not actual watt. So if you have an incandescent bulb, then yes it’s the actual watt, but if you’re using compact fluorescent or LED, you want to look at the equivalent watts and not the actual power drop.

And especially for a large fish tank, I would suggest getting LED or compact fluorescent lights, it will end up saving you a lot of money on your electrical bill in the long run. Usually, compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs will have an actual power drop and an equivalent power drop. Now the equivalent power draw is usually like 50-150 but the actual power drop should be like 5 to 20 watts.

Trimming Aquarium Plants

If you have large and small plants, you want to trim the leaves up taller plants, so that the smaller plants can get light as well. This is very critical and I’ve had several plants die because of failure to trim the plants, plus it just makes your fish tank look nicer anyway.

That’s really all it takes to grow healthy plants very quickly. This is the method that I’ve been using for the last 2 years, and I got all my plants from a couple of inches tall and they now they big and healthy.

For more tips how to grow healthy plants in your planted tank.