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First attempt to aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by kabriolet, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you Zeus for helping kabriolet re his lighting.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  2. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    You can also get a controller to control it TC421 or TC420 not to expensive. Will give much finer control of the intensity and you can have a sunrise/sunset with it slowly increasing/decreasing. One can be controlled by phone via WiFi.
    Caution with the light and your setup, your low tech and no ferts ATM. Thinking of adding CO2.
    If you plan to add CO2 do it well from the start or don't bother. Lots of folks add CO2 then have CO2 problems, low tech tanks don't have CO2 problems.
    You should sort some ferts out IMO even if staying as you are tech wise. If adding CO2 EI dosing with dry salts is very popular and cheap and solutions easy to mix.
    Plus going high tech your maintance must increase. Your plants nutrient uptake can increase ten fold and their waste production too. Tank flow will also need to be addressed.
    Don't get me wrong high tech is great, but it has many issues which low tech tanks don't have. Both Kieth and Tim have done fantastic beautiful low tech tanks, which take a little longer to get their, slightly less plants you can use but much easier.
    So back on the light. If you do go for it, run it on a low, if not lowest setting, slowly increasing the intensity over weeks, first signs of algea turn it down. Also not too long, both my tanks are on for 6hrs that's all. You may need more but increase slowly over weeks at a time. Don't run it on full power just to try and get your plants to pearl. They will pearl OFC then they will fail to grow well due to insufficient nutrients/CO2 leaves will get holes algea will love it and your slowly improving tank will be a mass of dieing plants and algea.
    Listen to a recent podcast from Shawn's and Arts aquascapers series and G Farmer said after years of experience it's only in the recent years he has come to the conclusion that you don't need as much light as you think.


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  3. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The lights are on for 6 hours a day at this moment. I installed the CO2 yesterday, but the ceramic disc needed to soak up water for 24 hours before the bubbles can get through, so I expect it to work today. Added a magnetic valve, so I can time the CO2. I start it one hour before the lights come on.

    Interesting to know that adding CO2 requires more nutrition as well. The CO2 for me is mainly to keep the carpeting plants low in hight. I didn't think about nutrition yet because the soil contains some and I expected that to last for about a month or so. Maybe I've been too optimistic about that.

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  4. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Adding CO2 to your tank with your present light will be beneficial if done right. You need good flow and stable CO2 levels. One hour before isn't enough. At lights on and first 3 to 4 hours of photo period CO2 levels need to be at their best. So CO2 on 2/3 hours before light on would be better. It will take a few weeks for the plants to adjust their use of the extra CO2 so give them time before upping any light levels.
    No ferts, big mistake IMO. How well do plants grow in sand with lots of light. Algea does well in that environment. At least go for EI salts adding macros one day and micros three days later. Your plants will love you for it. If you do go higher light increase your EI dosing and maintance OFC.
    Once you add CO2 your Flow in tank is the most important, it must be good. If your plants don't sway side to side they will suffer.

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  5. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks. The CO2 still didn't come out today. Maybe the 24 hour soaking of the ceramic disc was too close to the end of the cycle before the timer turned it off again. Otherwise I'm doing something else wrong here.
    The pressure is around 1000 psi. I can see some fog kind of colouring on the inside of the CO2-cable where it's outside of the aquarium. Inside I don't see that fog and the diffuser stays mute even though it looks like some air is at the bottom of the diffuser or maybe that's just the way the diffuser is built (see picture).[​IMG]

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  6. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    The 1000psi will be the pressurend in the clyinder not the working pressure. Working pressure varies OFC but about 40 to 50psi. It should have some bubbles coming out. Unless you have CO2 leak and the pressure in the tubing never gets high enough to overcome the non return valve In the atomiser. You could always take the valve out short term. What CO2 regulator are you using?

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  7. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The CO2 regulator is the one that came with the set. It's a Colombo Advance regulator. I don't think I have a leak, I don't hear anything. I guess you'll hear it somehow when there's a leak somewhere[​IMG]

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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    kabriolet

    As long as the suspected leaks are not in the water a mix of Kitchen dish washing liquid with a little water and spray or pour over the joints if there are any leaks little bubbles will appear. Its a little trick gas plumbers have been using for many years.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    True, I remember the same trick from a flat bicycle tyre.

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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    kabriolet

    As many say it's an oldie but a good-dee. (Not actually a word)

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  11. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    One trick I do to force water or air though diffusers is to use a small plastic syringe, it fits perfect on the 6/4mm tubing. I use it to flush citric acid though the ceramic diffuser speeds up he descaling, then some Milton's to break down any proteins/organic waste. But with just air in it creates alot of psi esp if you have a small one, I use the 5ml size. Handy for measuring fert solutions too.

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  12. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I suppose you don't flush the citric acid into the aquarium itself? ;-)

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  13. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Correct, but the citric acid would do little harm in the tank due to the dilution factor, if any residue of it if left over. Milton's on the other hand if used I would flush with solution of Prime. As I don't what to kill the bacteria in the tank.

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  14. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I can't find any information about that Milton's. What kind of product is that?

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  15. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Milton's Bleach.

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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  17. kabriolet

    kabriolet Aspiring Aquascaper

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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  19. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Technically any bleach would be suitable for the denaturing on the organic deposits. however domestic bleaches have lots of additives which our tanks wouldn't like. Yes as long as we flush them out there isn't an issue. I rather get a product which potentially has less issues, if available locally at a reasonable price.

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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Zeus

    Would it be available at Health Food Stores?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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