75g salt to fresh conversion/build. Advice welcomed! - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 06:53 PM
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Oh, another thing. Use a lot of stem plants and floaters at first. Your substrate's going to put off a lot of nutrients in the beginning. Maintaining a lean water column will help reduce algae issues. If you're able to be patient and let your tank run without lighting for a month or so you can cycle your tank and mature your substrate at the same time. That should help minimize algae issues.

I did my MS research developing substrates for mass culture of aquatic plants using mixes of commercially available materials. If you have any questions about soil substrates and how they work, feel free to ask.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #17 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks man.

I am most interested in substrates just like you. I guess you can say besides fish, im a soil and bug guy. Lol. Going to be a science teacher in a year or so.

I boiled all the wood i am going to use today. Tomorrow i am breaking down my reef tank and taking everything to the live fish store for credit. I hope that i will have enough time tomorrow to go by the hardware store to get some egg crate, miracle grow organic and lava rocks. I have plenty of zip ties.

I think i will be able to modify the phosphate reactor into a co2 reactor. Think i could run carbon in the reactor as well? I think i can rig it up where the pump will pull it in, or i can put a line on the intake.

Ill post more pics as i get things done tomorrow. Thanks for joining in the conversation!
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post #18 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 12:51 AM
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Snake,

Yeah, you can put carbon in the reactor. Your best bet is to do a needle wheel or mesh mod on the impeller, run the CO2 line to feed into the impeller to chop the gas up, and have it feed into the reactor rather than pulling through. That way you'll get a lot greater dissolution and reduction in microbubbles.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #19 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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You mean actually taking out the impeller and cutting it to modify it? I'm well aware of these methods for modifying impellers for protein skimmers, but never thought that information would be helpful or useful for freshwater tanks. I'll think about doing it when the time comes in a few weeks. Thank you for the additional information.

Tomorrow I will be gathering my supplies and getting ready to do the conversion. It's a complete dry start right from the start. I won't be putting any water on it for a little while, mainly because I want to concentrate on getting my small 10g tank up and going to transfer some of the stuff out that I like into the small tank. A few trips to the hardware store and some trips to the LFS and I'll be getting my feet wet again.

I'll take some pictures of the process tomorrow for anyone that is interested. But, for now, a few pictures of driftwood will have to suffice.



Nice pieces? I went through a bunch that didn't make the initial cut. Then, I scraped and wire brushed the rest as best that I could. Then, I rinsed them off with tap water to get most of the dirt off of them... and then boiled them for about four hours. The water was dark brown. I'll get the sticks home tomorrow to start soaking in the 40g breeder tank on my front porch for a couple of weeks to see about water quality etc.

I guess I'm doing OK so far?
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post #20 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 04:56 AM
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Sounds like you're on the right path. If you're up for spending the cash, I highly recommend mixing a calcined clay product, like Turface, to your soil 50/50. It really does make a big difference.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #21 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Is turface better than something like gypsom, lime or an osmocote fertilizer?
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post #22 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 04:32 PM
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No, it's basically a baked clay granule about 3-5mm long used for baseball diamonds and the like. The same material is available as oil absorbant and kitty litter. A google search of calcined clay will bring up a boatload of options.

Adding it to your soil will reduce compaction which provides many benefits. In the treatments that included turface I found much more extensive root penetration, lower bulk density, and qualitatively, decreased redoximorphic features compared to pure soil treatments and the soil control. Just make sure you mix it in rather than layer it; although a layer of the stuff at the very bottom under the soil/turface mixture wouldn't hurt.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #23 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Kitty litter or oil dry? You talking about the red bag of kitty litter at the dollar store?

Im doing this conversion this weekend. Working on getting materials right now! Just bought the soil and other stuffs.
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post #24 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ill go pick up a bag of it for a dollar and take a pic of it to let you see it its the right one.
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post #25 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 06:42 PM
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If the ingredients say calcined clay you're golden. Some kitty litters are just lightly baked and will disintegrate over time in a tank.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #26 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. Ill look at it. Thanks. Ill go by there and look at the ingredients before i buy.

I am getting my driftwood, my ten gallon stand and my plants this afternoon as well.

I have two hours to turn in my saltwater fish this afternoon or else ill have to wait another week.
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post #27 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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I made my aquascape. Dirted the tank. Capped it with black diamond blasting abrasive. Set up my ten gallon salt tank. I got some plants from a friend. Didnt have time to put water in the tank today. I might tomorrow after i get some dechlorinator.

Getting all my ducks in a row. Im starting to get happy. The corals left in my ten gallon tank are looking up. Some of them are starting to come out. Im happy that things are looking up.
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post #28 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 03:19 AM
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Congratulations!!

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.

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post #29 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks bud. I zip tied the driftwood to egg crate and weighted it down with lava rock, dirt and black diamond. It shouldnt float at all. I have some photos of the whole thing if i can get them uploaded.
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post #30 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Oh i did put 3 gallons of ro water on the bottom of the tank to soak the miracle grow a bit and get it going. Ill add another three before bed. Maybe another three in the morning.
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