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Newbie here, hi all! Lots of questions!!

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by BigAL777, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    BigAl, Bit hard to tell from the photo :confused: But from the shape i would say its a shrimp ?? :D
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    hi BigAL,

    A budget CO2 system: Aquatek CO2 regulator, fluval bubble counter, in tank CO2 atomizer. All can be found on Amazon. You will need CO2 proof tubing, a 5lbs CO2 tank, and a basic outlet timer. That is about as budget as a pressurized system can get.

    Light duration really depends upon how much light you are using. 8 hours is a good starting point. Don't go to 12 or 6.

    The small bug like creature looks like some sort of arthropod. It is fine and won't hurt anything. Watch out for dragonfly larvae though! I once had a couple of those. Ate all my shrimp and some small fish before I realized what was going on. There is an OLD thread on here from when I began with a question about identifying the freakish bug.
     
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  3. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thank you, I took a look at the prices, and right now it's out of my budget, and I'm not really sure where to get a 5lb CO2 tank and refills at the moment. But I will definitely look into it more. I found a small fluval kit and a box of inexpensive CO2 cartridges on amazon. It might be a long time till I can afford your recommended system since I don't get much of an allowance for hobby stuff, is there any way to still use the DIY yeast system I have but to better effect? Maybe recommend a better diffuser and the best way to keep it under control?
    I just bought a CFL bulb for my clip on desk light that I'm hanging over the aquarium now, so I just doubled my wattage for about $5.
    I also just looked into dry fertilizers and an EI method, and found a good site I think I would order from, I posted the link to the site I would order from on page 1. I was hoping to hear from someone who has ordered from them before to get some feedback. I read that ferts shouldn't be added for the first 3-6 weeks, and to do 50% water changes every other day for a few weeks too. I also read that fish food and waste can help to fertilize plants, so I threw my dwarf gourami from my big tank into this tank until I get ferts.
    Also is anyone able to identify my plant? I was told at me LFS that it was micro swords. But I'm not positive on the species though since there are a couple of different micro swords.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
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  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Not being able to get pressurized CO2 isn't a bust. We can work with that. My thoughts on DIY are that it can be a nice supplement in a tank that does not rely on it. Smaller tanks it can be useful, but you have to change the solution near weekly.

    On a ten gallon I would use 18watt T8 bulb, no more light without CO2. Could you tell me all the equipment you are running? Filter, lights, anything else?

    You could do a tank a lot like my low light 12 gallon tank in my sig. Runs low light, I put CO2 in there but it doesn't need it with the right plants. Plants you should look at are anubias species, cryptocoryne species, the micro swords might do okay, mosses, and ferns like java fern (needle leaf or trident are my favorites) or bolbitus. You can make a great tank with these plants, some stones and/or driftwood. Just be cautious about adding too much light or you can get algae.

    Fertilizing a low light tank won't require full EI dosing. You could cut that to a 1/3rd or even just use a standard commercial fertilizer like seachem flourish. I get my dry ferts from www.aquariumfertilizer.com or greenleafaquariums.com
     
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  5. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Its funny that you say change the DIY mixture weekly because I have been. I have my tank on my computer desk so whenever I'm home I monitor the tank. I'll post a few pictures up of my equipment when I get off of work, but my filter and heater were designed for small 10g tanks like mine. With my current setup I'm concerned with too much water flow with that power head and was wondering if a ceramic diffuser would work on a DIY co2 setup. I also found a ladder co2 diffuser on eBay that looks like it would work too, not sure which would work better for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
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  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    A DIY in tank reactor would be your best bet for use with the DIY. It will make the most of your CO2. Diffusers can waste some and you don't have enough working pressure for atomizers. Check you tube for some videos of good in tank reactors. You could do an out of the tank reactor too and hook it up to a water pump in the tank.

    Don't waste your money on a bubble ladder or even the cheap fluval kit. Save for pressurized.

    Try this to for your CO2: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/41-DIY-internal-Reactor-great-for-Yeast-CO2-users!
     
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  7. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I guess here's another dumb question, what's the difference between a diffuser and a reactor?
     
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  8. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Filter: tetra whisper ex20
    Heater: elive 50w
    Lights: marineland 18" T8 15w + clip on lamp w/ 13w cfl bulb

    Then I have my powerhead in there for co2 diffusion.
     

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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    a reactor will dissolve most of your CO2. The CO2 enters a chamber with a lot of current and the bubbles get broken down and eventually dissolved into the water. A diffuser bubbles it into the tank, essentially making your tank the reactor and you lose bubbles to the surface. It is less efficient. In a reactor the CO2 remains in the chamber until dissolved or the bubbles are small enough they exit with the current. You could follow the DIY thread I posted and use the powerhead you have to improve your systems efficiency.
     
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  10. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I can't see the pictures in that forum since all I have is free email accounts and they won't accept that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
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  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    these photos are courtesy Tom Barr and pulled from the Barr Report thread referenced above.
     

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  12. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    OK thanks. I really appreciate you being patent with me, there's no one around my area, that I know of, that is into this hobby.
    I rigged something up last night to help cut down the water flow of my powerhead (I was thinking the cheaper the price, the weaker the powerhead. I have a 158 gph powerhead lol). I'll take pictures of my rigg after work tonight, but it's just a piece of my syphon hose that I drilled holes into and used a piece of fishing line to make sure it doesn't shoot off of my powerhead. Think the muzzle of a powerful rifle, it's kind of the same thing. I found on amazon that i can buy a UV sterilizer for my powerhead, as an attachment. I would eventually like to house some shrimp in my tank, but I really don't think my tank is ready for that

    After doing more research on some of the more difficult plant to foreground with, someone mentioned a glosso as a good starter plant. I'm thinking I might have had better luck with something like that since my swords are seemingly barely growing and only growing up instead of horizontally. Also they seem to be dying off really quickly which I read is pretty common of micro swords to do when planted into a new tank. Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL777

    Looks like you are well on the way, with all the excellent advice you have received.

    Re that photo Shrimp??? see if you can catch it and place it on a white plate with a little water and try to take a better photo

    Keith:):)
     
  14. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ha, I'd never be able to find it. It buried itself under the substrate like 5 minutes after I took the pics.
     
  15. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Here's a picture of my tank in it's current state. And 2 pictures of my rigged up flow control
     

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  16. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Here's a snapshot of the plant that looked it was gonna die, you can still see some brown stems or grass or whatever they're called
     

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  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigA777

    What concerns me is the colour of those rocks, they just seem to clash with the substrate and become a great distraction.

    I think your Aquascape could be greatly improved with a black coloured rocks that have plenty of character.

    Re that??? it is not a shrimp if it burrowed into the substrate.

    Keith:):)
     
  18. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    What type of rocks would you recommend? Would a greyish, or even white stone work?
    And that thing was really small, looked like a shrimp to me, but I'm no expert.
     
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  19. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Big AL, Have a look round some garden centers for large dark river stones or lumps of slate;) That have been tumbled around a bit gives them that aged look :) G-Centers are cheaper than the Lfs for rock (y) Edit, Lava rock looks good to :D
     
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  20. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The stones in my tank came from my local river, I live about 10 minutes from a good fishing spot and thought I could find some decent stone there and liked these, but I thought something was off about my hardscape, just couldn't put my finger on it....
     
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