Carbon dioxide is necessary for planted tanks which are essential for keeping certain species of fish in their best condition. Planted tanks are not just beautiful for aquascaping but also useful for fish health. While plants found in planted aquariums are many and widely varied, they all need a constant supply of carbon dioxide to grow successfully, nuturing your aqua life at the same time.

 CO2 in nature

In a natural setting, water plants can take in CO2 from the nutrient-rich soil and from the air that is constantly being dissolved in the moving water. But in the case of an aquarium where there is hardly any soil and the water barely moves, the carbon dioxide ought to be supplemented by the CO2 system. The aquarium system, therefore, is necessary to keep plants growing healthy and strong. Consequently, the CO2 injection will also affect fish health beneficially.


The reason that aquarium plants need so much CO2 is because it aids in the process of photosynthesis. In aquarium plants, carbon dioxide combines with water and light and therefore produces sugar- which is energy for the plant. Oxygen is the waste byproduct that results from the whole process. This oxygen is very essential to the fish that draw oxygen from the aquarium water through their gills.

From what is outlined above, it is now clear that aquarium carbon dioxide systems provide aquarium plants with the means to keep the aquarium fish healthy. Without much CO2, the aquarium plants would hardly be able to undergo photosynthesis and thereby make energy and provide the fish with the much-needed oxygen levels.

Are the fish not enough to produce CO2?

Some may not see the necessity of a carbon dioxide system as they think that the CO2 fish give off when they breathe is sufficient to sustain the entire heavily planted aquarium. They couldn’t be more wrong. The CO2 that fish give off during breathing is not enough at all to sustain an entire tank of aquatic plants. There is a need for additional CO2 supplements in planted aquariums to keep the aquatic plants healthy and constantly growing.

In nearly all cases, the fish can derive a direct benefit from CO2 system. For instance, many species of fish- such as barbs, discus, tetras, dwarf gouramis fish etc- prefer tanks with well-growing aquatic plants. These aquarium plants are necessary for the provision of shelter, the supply of extra oxygen to the aquarium water, and contribution to chemical and biological filtration.

The type of fish that a CO2 system is suitable for usually depends on the kind of plants in your aquarium, fish species and other factors unique to your planted tank. Consider all the factors before choosing a carbon dioxide system for your fish tank. It is also worth noting that no two CO2 systems are the same and there can be a huge difference in quality between any two systems. However we would always recommend you use equipment sold by a reputable retailer. Our prices at CO2 Art start at a very reasonable rate and we can guarantee the reliability of all our equipment.

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