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New tank start up advice!

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by ashby19, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    ashby

    It looks like you are trying to get every thing right, which is excellent but you are missing one very important detail that Roy and myself recommended .

    Your plants and all the inhabitants require fresh clean water 24/7 not
    Sorry to harp on this detail but its one of the details that must be done.

    Keith:):)
     

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  2. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Ashby,

    Neutro Ferts ?? Not one i know ,,, Is it this one http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/neutro-t-small-p-6360.html

    As to C02 thinner tubing will not increase pressure ??

    Ferts do not cause Algae to much light does.

    I would just dose as the info says on the brand of ferts you have. If you double dose you are just wasting money.
    I use Seachem Flourish then i break down the weekly amount into 7 and dose that amount each day In the morning,

    Pressurised CO2 When i change to this:whistle: I will be ordering from here http://www.co2art.co.uk/

    As to the bell i make my own Out of the plastic pot that the dip comes in when i order a curry :D I just make a hole in the side and push a sucker in ;)

    One photo 014.JPG
     
  3. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    OK Keith twice a week it is!

    Thats the one Roy!!! it seems to be one of the more complete pre made ferts. Most of their products have good reviews aswell. Its not that pricey either if you're relatively new/lazy to aquascaping! I was hoping the smaller space and tubing would increase the pressure in the system (n)

    The dosing says 5ml per 100L per day so I'm dosing just over 1ml ish a day. if its heavily planted should i be increasing the dose?That sites incredible! I never thought to use fire extinguishers, paintball and soda stream canisters as a CO2 source! Theres so many extras/options for a CO2 setup! :eek: Which diffuser would i even get, this http://www.co2art.co.uk/products/new-glass-co2-nano-aquarium-diffuser ? And does their DIY systems have enough pressure for a diffuser or atomiser, they offer it as part of the custom DIY setup?

    Would a diffuser with a bell above in the filter outlet stream be overkill or more efficient?!
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    ashby

    Great now I can pass the next step over to Roy knowing we have the water changes sorted out.

    Keith:):)
     
  5. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Anyone had problems with plants being against heaters?! i have the super fish nano heater (which is terrible) and some of my Cardinals keeps being against it and I'm worried it may burn it over a period of time? i know they're meant to be safe for fish but what about continual contact with plants?!
     
  6. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Keith been a massive help!
     
  7. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Ashby,

    Ferts at the moment i would stay with what you are doing.

    It is a great site seen some good reviews on there products too (y)

    Yes the diffuser will work with there system. It has more pressure in the system than mine.Its got a special lid that fits the bottle ?? As mine is home made it would leak in no time. Another member uses a system like this.They say its a great system:)

    Would a diffuser with a bell above in the filter outlet stream be overkill or more efficient?! No I think it would be overkill ???:unsure:

    Using the diffuser you want to get a mist of bubbles that flow around the tank and dissolve into the water;) Better than from the bell system so no need for the bell :)

    I think you can get a heater guard, The heater fits in side a sort of plastic tube with slits in. Plants ?? Others will know more ;)
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  9. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    HI ROY!

    ok! Im still slightly worried that my helferi towards the back of the tank is struggling. would it make any difference to dose the ferts and liq carbon directly over it to see if it helps concentrate it in the water column over the plant?

    What do you get with their DIY system? I spoke to them today about CO2 options and they were really helpful except about their DIY kits. They said the diffuser wouldn't work very well with the DIY system as like you said the pressure wouldn't be high enough. They went through loads of options and spec about my tank and said this is one of the best options for my tank

    http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections...get-sodastream-system-for-aquarium-up-to-120l

    We worked it out that aqua branded CO2 at 800g is around £35 but for 2 soda stream refills which would be almost 900g its only £20. So as long as you can get the soda stream refills, which they do for £9.99 on their website with free delivery (i thinko_O), then its much much cheaper. Turns out aqua CO2 is HUUUUUGLY overpriced! :rolleyes: Seems like great value as all the equipment is top of the range and its the same price/cheaper than most Branded CO2 setups!

    I can't decide on the DIY system for £35-£50 or the full pressurised setup for £77? And whats the consensus on reactors over diffusers? They have a mini reactor option for the DIY set!

    Yeah sorry I meant cardinalis not cardinals!
     
  10. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Keith! the super fish nano doesn't come with the plastic guard and i had it before deciding to plant the tank. Tbh i might just see if i can take back the superfish heater as it doesn't keep the water at the temp its set, its about 4-5 degrees off. I've also found better nano heaters for not much more that have the plastic protectors on.
     
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  11. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Ashby,

    I don't think dosing the plant directly will help ?? Could even damage the plant ???

    I Cannot grow Helferi :( ??? Mine like yours went yellow and just died :cry: Tried a couple of times in both my Aquascapes just cannot keep it alive ???
    While all my other plants grow well.

    Maybe there C02 kits Are not that great ??? Why sell it with a diffuser if it does not work well ??? I new that there would not be enough pressure I know i gave it a try ;)

    I would go soda stream ;) That's my next move :)Plus Argos do the soda stream bottles i think there £9.99 each Better to have two then you do not have to rush out and get more when one runs out:D

    Reactors ?? Never used one. Others will know more.

    Just did a Google http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/8424956.htm
     
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  12. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    HI Roy!

    The Helferi i have at the front is doing ok, its yellowing slightly but the one at the back seems to be struggling, its gone pale and hasn't got any new growth, it was uprooted a couple of times and needed replanting so I'm hoping thats why its struggling! :oops:

    These are the refills Roy! You have to buy the canister first for £20 and then its £9.99 when you trade an empty cartridge!

    I am going to contact them again and ask solely about their DIY options and see what they say when its just related to DIY, rather than a general consensus about all nano CO2 systems. The sodastream setup seems a little OTT but they did raise a good point that if i chose to go to a bigger tank then id already be set to go bigger with that setup rather than having a 30L setup and then having to buy another larger setup if i went to another/bigger tank!

    My Reineckii seems to be struggling and is a little dull. Any tips on red plants aside from Co2?

    Who would know about reactors. They seem like a legitimate idea that in theory gives you near to 100% dispersion of the Co2, but in reality.... o_O
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    reactors are the most efficient means of dissolving CO2, essentially non of the CO2 escapes the system prior to being dissolved. Of course that does not impact the natural off gassing from the surface of the tank. Efficiency of reactors depends upon the design. The more water movement/counter current/water mixing within the reactor the better it will be. I've found reactors have a maximum dissolution rate, which can be a limiting factor when pushing the light into the upper limits. Other methods are less efficient but do not have this limitation. It really shouldn't be a problem for most.

    DIY takes a lot of attention to maintain a fair amount of output. I think they are an unnecessary step in the move towards pressurized. I recommend either going pressurized or non CO2 setup. Roy is diligent enough to make it work. Most people are not. It also requires a small tank, no larger than what you have.

    CO2 is the reason for your plant troubles. There will be a low fert demand because there is a low carbon supply. Right now CO2 is the limiting factor in your plant growth/health. Downoi requires CO2 and good lighting.
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ashby

    I think Shawn has summed it up for you there, the further you move into High Tech the more concerns you can come across and, in the meantime any thing can happen.

    Any DIY is good if you know exactly what you are doing an have all the right bits and pieces to do the job.

    Keith:):)
     
  15. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Cheers guys

    Hi Shawn! Would this reactor ( http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections...fuser-multi-directional-max-mix-small-30l-80l ) be a better option in my 30L then compared to this? http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections...-nano-aquarium-diffuser-bazooka-atomizer-45mm

    I guessed it was due to the CO2 or lack of. I think the sodastream option is the one I'm going to go with, but not until the end of the month as its going to cost me another £100 on top of the cost of the tank re-scape. Plus i want to research and learn as much as possible about CO2 dosing, CO2 droppers and the effect it has on fish and shrimp in a nano tank before i take the plunge.

    Also I have finally gained a thin layer of algae on my driftwood! So whats the next step?! I did a 30%ish water change yesterday and had my water tested and its perfect 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates, my PH is quite low but thats due to it being RO water and the substrate is meant to lower the PH and Buffer it at around 6.5. Ive been looking at silent or fishless cycling in planted tank guides and have found varying info. The main discrepancy is an 80% water change after you begin to get readings of zero and then a retest after to see if the readings are still zero? Is there a thread on here already dedicated solely to cycling?

    I managed to get into an argument with the guy in the fish store after he tested my water because i said i wanted the PH on the low side because 1. the tank is planted and 2 i want to put in Crystal shrimp in (either red black or blue), and he said they like brackish water partly due to the calcium needed for their shells?! I have always thought/read/been told that Crystal shrimp need water around 6.5 ideally and they get calcium through feeding not through absorbing it in the water? I swear most good shrimp foods/supplements have calcium in in order to ensure good efficient shedding? Can someone either confirm or deny this for me? I know most shop shrimp like Amano are ok from anything from PH 6-7.6 and maybe a little harder?

    Im currenlty thinking of stocking the tank with either pygmy puffers (providing i can find a somewhere that does captively bred ones) and dwarf corys, betta shrimp and may dwarf corys or guppy's dwarf corys and shrimp?
     
  16. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    * the 80% water change is after some small hardy fish have been added to create a bio load for the nitrogen cycle and then removed then the next day the water is tested!?
     
  17. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple things, ashby:

    1) "my water was perfect" is quite a loaded statement. When growing plants you want to have nitrates as that is food for the plants. So zero nitrates would indicate some problems and you would need to fertilize.
    2) do not worry about the pH. pH is an indirect measure of other more important factors like dissolved minerals and ions. I have never heard of CRS needing brackish water. They even reproduce in fresh water. Some shrimp have a larval stage that requires brackish water. In addition, brackish water refers to salt content not dissolved minerals like calcium. Low pHs dissolve Calcium from solid sources, so shrimp need it in their diet to ensure they can molt. You do not need brackish water, what you need is a lower TDS for CRS. (TDS=total dissolved solids). They like soft water (this does not necessarily mean low pH although the two tend to go together because of the associated properties of dissolved minerals/ions)

    I plan to get some CRS for a small nano. Because it is only 3 gallons I will be using some store bought RO water to ensure it is soft. Its not cost prohibitive for a small tank, nor is it difficult. Are you adding back some minerals to your RO water? If you are using straight RO it will be devoid of nutrients like magnesium and calcium. Look into a GH booster or a product to reconstitute the RO water.

    The puffers may eat your shrimp.

    Do you have a picture of the algae? can you describe it? Most beginners mistake fungal growth for algae on driftwood. Fungus is common in the beginning and will soon go away on its own. You can remove if you'd like.
     
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    In regards to the CO2 setup. I use an atomizer in my 30l tank. The difference is efficiency. Reactors don't waste any CO2. Atomizers/diffusers do allow some to escape to the surface.

    You need a decent external filter to run the reactor. An eheim 2211 would be good. CO2 in small tanks is a lot easier to provide in sufficient amounts.
     
  19. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi Shawn

    I meant my water is perfect in terms of adding fish. So no ammonia and nitrate and nitrite levels are low enough to safely introduce fish. I had just done a water change earlier in the day and re-dosed my tank with ferts and liquid CO2 so i don't know how reliable those results are. honestly I think i may up the dose slightly with the ferts as i am dosing around 1ml at the moment but I think i still need a little more as the tank is quite heavily planted.

    PH is a measure of hydrogen ions no? The KH and GH would affect the amount Calcium and other minerals. Thats what i meant though that Ive always read CRS need lower PH values normally, so brackish water would be a higher salinity content with a higher PH and to have "extra" calcium in the water you would have a higher KH so it'd raise the PH by fixing the extra Hydrogen ion? Either way the guy seemed to be talking out his backside and Im going to keep my PH at around 6.5 and just supplement it using a good food mix for the shrimp!

    Im thinking maybe some amano shrimp too as they seem to be the best for cleaning up tanks especially compared to CRS. Where in the UK has good quality shrimp online?

    I use RO water with added minerals (Tropic marin re-mineral) to give it minerals and keep it stable but I'm guessing the combination of the substrate, plants and possibly DW made it drop more than expected. Its still within safe parameters. (y) Thats why I'm partly worried about using CO2 and it dropping my PH.

    I wouldn't have the puffers with shrimp, only with corys. Its either:
    -puffers, corys
    -betta, shrimp and corys
    -guppys, shrimp and corys
    I'm mostly worried about the puffers and them beaking all my plants, but it seems to revolve around what type personality the individual puffers have.

    I think its Brown diatom algae? Its a brown slimy layer on the DW. It is exclusively on the driftwood though so maybe it is fungal rather than phytoplankton, I've not seen it on DW in my previous tanks.

    I have an internal filter and I'm dubious about CO2 effecting the PH so i want some surface loss i think. That Atomiser has some great reviews both for size, cleaning and efficiency so i think that'd be my best option.
     
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  20. ashby19

    ashby19 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also what is a good complete test kit? i have the API test kits all individually at the moment but I'm thinking of investing in a full test kit that does everything all in one. Whats the most accurate and value for money?
     

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