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Power in Chaos

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by lucasgg, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    mr_ED

    That is drastic advice but the way that tank is proceeding it could be the best way to solve more than one concern.

    Keith:):)
     

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  2. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    @mr_ED is right. I should do a complete restart of the setup, and replace the sand with a new medium. The only thing holding me back, is back in April, my grandfather died and since then, my grandmother has been wanting to move. When she moves(has yet to find a decent home), we will move into her current house. It's a beautiful midcentury modern style, and has a lot more square footage then our current house. When that happens, I am going to redo my 10 gallon so I don't have to transport an established aquarium(wouldn't that be a nightmare?).

    I don't plan to use pressurized CO2 any time. I can get my plants to pear with a little Flourish Excel and a lot of surface agitation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    If that is the case I would pull the tank down now and start planing your new tank.

    I you want to keep the DW and any plants they will still grow in a tank without substrate and it will be easy to relocate, empty tank and wrap all the plants in damp paper.

    Keith:):)
     
  4. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    No can do keith. :) I've got precious livestock that I don't want to disturb. I'll still clean the sand when I can.
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    That is a very good reason not to pull down, keep cleaning the sand and regular maintenance.

    Keith:):)
     
    lucasgg likes this.
  6. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Probably should take some pics.
    This one is right after today's water change. No sand cleaning this time around. Plants are all doing fine, and the new plants are growing nicely. I have yet to to a decent trim, but should do one soon.

    IMG_5622.jpg
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas
    [​IMG]


    What fish do you have other than those Neon Tetras?

    I suggest you move the filter outlet to the right and have the outlets facing down as sketch.

    What filter are you using and what medium do you use?

    Neons like plenty of cover I suggest you get a few pieces of a cheap floating plant and let them float on the
    surface, this will also help with your water.

    What medium do you have under the sand as it looks rather black at the front of the tank.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Replaced the sand with natural looking gravel, about 1/8th of an inch in diameter. Cyano has gone down, especially after scrubbing the drift wood since it has collected a nasty film of hardened detritus or something. Now my water has been growing foggier slowly. It's sorta a brown/white/brown fog when it gets thicker. I'm still using my black carbon filter btw.
     
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    Is this the first time you have told us about the Carbon?

    Carbon is an excellent produced when used correctly that is after using medications.

    It is possible that the carbon has collected a lot of ??? and could be returning it back into the tank.

    I very strongly suggest you remove the carbon immediately and replace it with either a sponge filter pad or filter wool.

    Did you give the new medium a very good wash?

    Try doing 3 x 30% water changes a week this should help to clean the water.

    Syphon the water out with a good deep gravel syphon.

    Keith:):)
     
  10. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I use sponge, filter floss, and carbon, all mixed together. And yes, they have been rinsed many times before.
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    How is it mixed together is a granular type, washing will not remove all the ??? from it.

    Keith:):)

    Here is some very interesting information on Carbon for you.

    The use of carbon in the aquarium system


    Activated carbon is used quite commonly as part of the filtration system in aquaria. There are many myths and misunderstandings about its use of what it can or cannot do. Some of these myths have been repeated so often it has caused many to believe them to be absolute truths!

    Carbon is considered chemical filtration. The effectiveness of activated carbon is based on a three-step process:

    First is absorption. Static forces will attract particles absorbing them onto the surface of the carbon. Bacteria that settle on the carbon surface will further consume the waste.

    The second process is the diffusion of gases. Absorbed into the carbon the gases are detoxified (i.e. Ozone O3 into oxygen O2)

    The third process is called chemo sorption, where particles are irreversibly bound to the carbon.

    Carbon will remove a range of substances from water, including:

    Organic pollutants, some of which discolour the water with a yellowish tint

    Dissolved organic molecules - this is the primary reason to use carbon in most aquaria.

    Medications, antibiotics and dyes - this can be useful for removing excess/residual medication, but also means that carbon should be removed when using medications, to avoid removal of the medication during the treatment phase.

    Chlorine and chloramines

    Fertilizers containing minerals in cheleated form. These cheleates will be absorbed by the carbon as organics.

    Certain heavy metals - the amounts will depend on factors such as the solubility of the metal at the pH of the specific aquarium.

    Removed organic particles and substances absorbed by the carbon will remain biologically active. Trapped waste particles will still decay and remain part of the aquatic system. Once the Carbon is saturated it “can” release “some” of the absorbed substances back into the water. This is why it is best used on a short-term basis and/or replaced regularly. Indeed carbon is quickly used up and can be removed after just 24-48 hours.

    It is important to note that there are certain substances that carbon will NOT absorb any significant amount of, which include:

    Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate

    Phosphate

    Inorganic salts (like sodium chloride)

    Trace elements, making it safe to use in reef systems. The uptake of substances like iron, manganese, molybdenum, cadmium, zinc, and carbon dioxide are extremely limited and is insignificant if used only occasionally.

    The quantity of carbon needed for an aquarium is approximately 1 teaspoon of carbon for each 30 litres of water.
     
    greenfinger 2 likes this.
  12. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Thanks a million Keith. Maybe my carbon filter pad needs to be replaced. It's reached it's "critical mass"... :)
    My filter floss & carbon & sponge are all in pad form too.
     
  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    Not replaced completely remove it for ever unless you have to use one to remove any chemicals after applying medications.

    Then you buy a new one use it then throw it out.

    Depending on your tank, fish and filter how often is it pulled down and completely cleaned?

    Sponges can have a long life span but filter floss only has a short life span.

    What filter and model are you using?

    Keith:):)
     
  14. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Eheim 2211, with the original media that it came with. Media is about 3 years old...
    I try to clean it every week, but comes out about once every 2 weeks.
     
  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lucas

    Which method do you use (top or bottom photo) to the best of my knowledge Eheim do not supply a carbon sponge as standard.

    Washing every 2 weeks is very good, do you clean the impeller as well.

    I only had the Eheim Pro 2 & 3 which were fully cleaned monthly.

    Keith:):)
     
  16. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I have blue sponge, white sponge, and black sponge, in that specific order on the very bottom. I'm not sure why placing blue sponge on bottom with other 2 on top would be any better than my current setup
     
  17. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I got some sick driftwood for future use!
    IMG_1380.jpeg IMG_4687.jpeg
     
    greenfinger 2 likes this.
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas
    The colour of the sponge is usually an indicator of a course or fine filter, course being the first.

    That is not even a contest the first simple aquascape is very simple and basic that looks great.

    Keith:):)
     
  19. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    It certainly is a nice piece of wood. It look O.K. with the other driftwood that I have if done right.
     
  20. Gary Murphy

    Gary Murphy Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Have you stripped down your tank and starting a fresh?
     

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