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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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    Hi BigAL :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I have no idea on that one :unsure: In England we don't need them that often :( Others will know more ;)
    One thing do not use active carbon in you filter/well not for long. It stripes out ferts & bad stuff ;)But if you don't change it when its fully loaded ??? it dumps it back into the water :eek: Others will know more on this Q to (y)
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    standard aquarium filter floss is really cheap. not any more expensive than scrounging from other places. If it was clean and unused I suppose it would be fine.
     
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  3. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Where can I get cheap aquarium filter sponges and floss? The only thing I was able to find was precut for canister filters with a hole or something in the middle. Is there a good online source that I could buy some?

    Also since I'm on a tight budget, if you were to get ferts, what would you get first? Nitrogen, trace, iron, potassium? What do you think would be most bennifical by itself?
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have to decide between ferts just get a comprehensive store brand like seachem flourish. You need all those elements.

    the precut stuff comes at a premium. just stop in to your local place and see if they have a bag of filter floss.
     
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  5. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi BigAL, Over to Shawn on the Online stuff :) Tight Budget :( Me and you too :cry: I use Seachem Flourish, But add it in each day rather than weekly In my 100Lt i add 1\2 ml a day ;) Hi Shawn posting at the same time :cool:
     
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  6. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Wow, thanks guys for all the advice. I really appreciate it :)
     
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  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL777

    Some of the USA members might be able to give you an online WWW in your area where you can buy most of your supplies.

    Your filter is it a sponge filter or a filter uses filter floss?

    As for the Ferts the only "Cheap" one are often shop or unknown brands and you will always get told they are just as good or they are even better, I think all the experienced plant growers have heard it all.

    I only use Seachem Ferts some every day and others once a day, they are far from "Cheap" but you are buying a quality brand that you can contact via their WWW.

    My suggestion is contact them tell them every thing about your tank and ask what water tests should you get done first.

    When you post back all the tests they should be able to work out what is required and how to used them.

    Keith:):)
     
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  8. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Oh ok, thanks again. Unfortunately I only have a basic test kit, you know: PH, nitrate, nitrite, & ammonia.
    My filter is mostly charcoal, it has filter floss around it, but it's just basically charcoal. I also have a biological type insert designed for my filter.
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi BigAL,

    A couple things:

    1) test kits are over rated and usually unnecessary. It is important to maybe test for ammonia when cycling a new tank before putting fish in it. The hobbyist titration kits are really unreliable and the measurements are subjective. I don't think they are necessary. I can't remember the last time I tested my water and all of my reagents have expired. A good KH test kit and pH if you want to estimate CO2 levels using the pH/KH chart. Learn to use your eye to monitor plant health and understand your plants needs. You will then not need test kits which could lead you astray anyways. I think dosing Seachem flourish how Roy described will be just fine. Again, no need to test. Dose daily according to instructions on the bottle and change 20%-50% of the water every week. At the same time make a new DIY CO2 mix.

    2) I'm not sure I agree that saturated carbon will begin to release the compounds it has bound. Once the carbon bonds have been saturated by various organic compounds there is not a process that will suddenly cause the carbon to release those compounds...at least a process occurring in our tanks. This is a wives tale if you ask me. The carbon essentially just becomes a home for bacteria making it a bio filtration material. Bio filtration is very important and your filter should consist primarily of bio filter material and not so much carbon and filter floss/sponge filter aka mechanical filtration.
     
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  10. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That's what I figured out, I haven't used my test kit in a long time, and if my little dwarf gourami is able to survive in my water without looking sickly, then it is fish safe, and if my plants are a healthy green, plants can survive in it as well.
    I'm also in agreement with you on the carbon, I figured after about the first week of a new filter pack in that the carbon would pretty much exhaust itself and so it becomes a bio filter with a small bit of floss around it for a little mechanical filtration.
    I'd like to get some time to go down to the river and see if I can find some more good stones to clean up before my plants grow out too much, when I find a few stones I'm happy with I'll level the front of the tank's substrate and build up the back. I just have to be careful not too build the back up so high that the filter hose has to be buried lol.
    I change 50% of my water every other day, and usually on a saturday or a sunday when I change the water I change the yeast/sugar mixture out. I also notice a lot of tiny white bubble looking things which looks like CO2, but I can't tell, I mean there are a lot of them, I don't know if you can see em, my camera isn't the best but they are really small. However they really don't float to the top.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you are probably right, the impeller is most likely chopping up the bubbles pretty well.
     
  12. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    What are some tell-tail signs that I would need a UV sterilizer?
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you don't need one :)
     
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  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    only useful if you get green water to clear it up...but that means some other things are going wrong like WAY too much light for too long.
     
  15. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    OK, cool I was thinking I wouldn't need one because of how frequent my water changes are
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL

    One big word of warning if you are not careful you could easily finish up as a nothing but a big worry tank.

    Relax let the tank develop slowly, before you do or buy any thing ask first.

    I only have a pH test set and the only reason over the summer months my water supply goes crazy.

    Re Carbon in your filter, its an excellent product to use after using medications.
    Apparently if used continually (not changed) as necessary all the nasties it has collected can be returned back into your tank.

    Even after using medications it must be changed about every 3-4 days other may say different but I prefer to play on the safe side.

    When it has done its job toss it away never reuse it.

    Shawn has given you some excellent advice if you are not sure what we are saying please ask again.

    Keith:):)
     
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  17. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think I'm going to bust up some smaller pieces of this big rock outside, it's a light gray color but at least it has no color in it, which is a pretty big difference in my current rock choice, I'll have to rescape everything so it looks like a busy night for me tonight! A 275lb man + a 20lb sledge hammer and a chizzle = new aquascape lol.
    I'll lay out two sheets of corrugate the size of my tank bottom and back and try different layouts before transforming my tank.
     
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  18. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Scape ideas:
    Pics 1&2 are the same scape
    3&4 are the same scape also
     

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  19. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I went with scape 1 because I liked the central upward jagged stone. I made a hill like with my substrate as advised and I ended up with a lot of leftover micro sword, like a lot....
    Anyway, I hope you guys like it, I know I'm pleased! (For once)
     

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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL777

    [​IMG]

    I had a play around with your Aquascape.

    The small red dots are approximately where you focal points are.

    The red line will give you an idea of your sight flow.

    A tall thin plant at the back RH corner will give you more height

    I would also consider colouring the back and sides a cheap plain coloured book sticky cover is ideal (no glue and easy to apply then removed when required.

    I reduced it to 3 rocks still keeping the main pointed rock you like.

    I moved it back and to the right also laid it on a slight slope to give it the same slope as the the other rocks.

    I also moved the middle rock towards the main rock.

    More substrate was added to the front to make it level plus more in the back RH back and side as I felt the substrate was too flat.

    A few things I would like you to consider, I am positive Shawn could also have a few ideas for you.

    Keith:):)
     

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