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10 Gallon Iwagumi Style - First Aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by J Art, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    jagermelifter

    KIS I do not add the last S as it does not apply to members of ASW

    Wabi-Kusa Tutorial: Cube by James Findley



    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  2. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    How do you know when to add more light?

    Right now I'm running the lights 6.5 hours a day and they are about 3 inches from the surface of the water (about a foot from the substrate).

    Growth seems good. CO2 levels are around 25ppm, water is clear, algae has almost completely disappeared, plants are pearling.

    Will lowering my lights an inch give me even faster growth or is this a bad idea? I don't have any idea what my PAR is, only wattage (20 watts total of LED 6000k).

    Or should I maybe slowly move up to 7.5 hours of light and not adjust the height?

    Things are running good, so hesitant to make any changes....
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Your instincts serve you well, young padawan :ROFLMAO:

    Everything is going smooth...and you want to change something? This is where we get into trouble :whistle:

    I would not adjust the intensity of the light. If your plants are growing well, then no need to turn it up. You do not need more. If you want to carpet faster add more hair grass not more light.

    That being said, its nice to have as much viewing time as possible. So you could try upping the duration by an hour and see how it goes. Good things happen slowly...bad things quickly. Read the Emerson quote in my signature if you need a reminder :p One more option with the lighting, you could add a controller that would allow you to dim the LEDs. Dimming is great because you can run at a very low intensity to lengthen the time the light is on. My 90 cm light has a dimmer and runs from 9 am to 10 pm. The hours outside the 8 hour photoperiod are at low intensity and do not contribute to algae or growth.
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Personally I would leave it alone but, if making any adjustments do it very gradually.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  5. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That's what I sort of figured, but needed the reinforcement. For years I never even considered light duration in my fish tanks. The lights were just a means to see the fish for however long I wanted during the day. Planted tanks have so many more relationships to factor in.

    This is a cool idea. My brother in law is an electrician and will be over in a couple days. I'm sure he'll have some cool suggestions about this.

    As a side note, I just happen to have one recessed light at about a 1'oclock position above the tank that I turn on in the evening. The distance from the water, low intensity, and kelvin temp. make it look extremely convincing as moonlight inside the tank. Especially the water reflections on the hardscape. The further the light...the more distinct the shadows from the surface aggitation. That's where some of the 'moonlighting' in the aquarium world fails. They concentrate on color/brightness, but not on distance. If you want really realistic moonlight, get the light as far as possible and directed as narrowly as possible towards the tank from above. A low powered LED zoomable flashlight at ceiling height comes to mind as an example of something that would give the effect.
     
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  6. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think for now I'll only extend my light period a half hour.

    Completely off topic, but I can already see a difference in growth/lushness/color since adding the pressurized CO2.
     
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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    An option to try and get a PAR measurement would be to see if there are any local stores that have one or local clubs. A saltwater specialty store could have one you could rent.
     
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  8. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have this leftover DHG from my initial planting. I put it in some flourite as a dry start method experiment. Just some window light and plastic over it and it's grown some runners. I'm sort of surprised it lived....

    Would it be a good idea to add this into the aquarium? Or would I end up going through another diatom cycle?

    Just looking to speed along the carpeting process.
     

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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It would not induce diatoms. That has more to do with the maturity of the system than new plants.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Looks like every thing is travelling along nicely for you now.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yes, not too much to update here. Runners are slowly appearing. Removed some of the small insignificant rocks on the parameter and back side as the DHG was hiding them and I'd rather have that area carpet.

    Added a bit more grass from my leftovers, so anticipating a bit of melting there, though they look fine so far.

    Purchased a 2nd timer to run my CO2 separately from my lighting. Going to start CO2 an hour before lights-on and end an hour before lights-out. Towards the end of the day levels are getting up there pretty high, so I'm keeping an eye on things to find the 'sweet spot'. Been noticing my Ottos getting a bit restless towards the end so I'm probably pushing my CO2 limits.

    Saw a few micro shirmp swimming around. So I think these guys are multiplying already. Counted 21 or so yesterday. They remind me of bees buzzing around the tank almost like they're pollinating. Kind of cool.

    My ottos like to 'fly in formation'. I might have to name them 'Goose' and 'Maverick', haha.
     
  12. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Why run the co2 on a separate timer? I'd assume to get an hour of extra co2 before "lights on" in the morning?

    Funny Ottos.
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    CO2 should always be on a separate timer. It needs to start before lights on, so you can have good levels once it is needed when the lights come on. The first part of the light cycle is the most critical.

    @J Art , what does your surface ripple look like? Any chance you could share a quick video of the surface? I'm wondering about O2 and CO2. You could be getting a build up over days if not off gassing enough at night. You could add aeration on a third timer to run at night after lights out. I try not to run aeration because I hate the splatter spots from the water...but it can be a remedy. I don't need it in tanks where I run an eheim skimmer. In smaller tanks I would consider having an eheim skimmer on a timer and run only at night to clear the surface and aerate the water.
     
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  14. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, I forgot about the HOB. Should be no problem with build up. Your hairgrass isn't too demanding, if you feel like you are pushing your CO2 too much...shouldn't be a problem cutting it back a little.
     
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  16. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Noticed today about 4 hours after lights out that the solenoid is not completely stopping the flow of CO2 once it's shut off. It slows it down considerably (around a bubble per 15-20 seconds or so), but isn't completely stopping it.

    Turned on/off the solenoid twice, but still the same thing. I'm sure it isn't enough to be worried about over night as far as gassing fish or shrimp or anything though.

    Sent email over to GLA, I'm sure they'll be in touch in the morning as they seem pretty good. Slightly annoying though o_O
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art
    Sounds like Shawn is getting like me forgetting things.

    Looks like Shawn has every thing under control and giving you excellent advice.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It could be residual pressure in the line. How long did you observe it? If given enough time it may stop. The atomizers run at a higher (although still relatively low) working pressure. The needle valve restricts flow as does the atomizer, which can lead to a build up of pressure within the line. When the regulator shuts off, the pressure may still be sufficient to force and CO2 to move out of the atomizer for a time. What is the working pressure at on your regulator? 30 psi is all that is needed for an atomizer.
     
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  19. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    working pressure is at 35. the guy at gla suggested removing the bubble counter with solenoid off and needle valve open and then turn on and off a couple times to blast out any residue that might be in there. going to give it a try tonight.

    this morning was still pressing a few bubbles per minute through.

    I'll lower the working pressure a bit tonight as well when adjusting.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    any water getting in the line on its way back to the needle valve? The atomic bubble counters with built in check valve don't seem to hold up too well and I had to run a second check valve.
     

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