The 2Hr Way

A vibrant, enduring, algae-free tank starts with the right plant choice. Plants in 2Hr Tanks are chosen according to 5 key attributes: water parameters (hardness, pH etc.), lighting (primarily strength), nutrition (which includes CO2), space and upkeep- the skills / effort required for maintenance.
The technology behind 2Hr Tanks centres on (a) lighting, (b) water circulation (which is largely invisible but regulates air and nutrient distribution) and (c) nutrition, which includes the Capstone formula at the heart of APT fertilisers, as well as methods to optimise CO2.
While every tank is unique, all go through 3 distinct phases. The actions required at each stage are different, and collectively allow us to maintain tanks that can thrive and endure for years.

2hr choice Aquatic plants often look the same, but have very different needs.
For example, HC ‘Cuba’ looks merely a smaller cousin of Micranthemum ‘monte carlo’. However they are as different as night and day when it comes to the CO2 and upkeeping skills required, as we describe here.
The 2Hr Way starts with the right plant choice. And that begins with learning just a little more about the plants you plan to keep. Read more about these specific needs in our plant guides.

2hr tech A few pieces of technology make it alot easier to grow plants. One of them is injected CO2 (no, ‘liquid CO2’ doesn’t count ).
This is because >40% of plant mass is carbon, and due to gas laws, the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in tap water is very low. Read more about CO2 in planted aquariums here.
You can certainly have a lovely planted tank without CO2 injection. This limits plant choice and growth speed, but it can work with the techniques described

2hr journey During the Startup phase, plants adapt to the new tank environment. The tank’s biological system attempts to find a stable equilibrium. Weak plants may melt, unsightly brown algae might bloom.
Cycling a tank before planting helps. So does providing nutrition from Day 1, and increasing CO2 if available.
For tanks without CO2, this process can be surprisingly long, as growth rates are very slow.
At the heart of the 2Hr Way is understanding the 3 distinct phases of a tank’s lifecycle, and the actions at each stage to enable the tank to continue thriving over time.

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