Frank's Planted Tank How-To Mini Novel - The Mini S Returns! New Layout - Page 11 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #151 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:05 PM
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Thanks! I always wondered about that! And what is the benefit of the pipes your using On this tank versus typical lily pipes with the bell? Added flow?
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post #152 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I always wondered about that! And what is the benefit of the pipes your using On this tank versus typical lily pipes with the bell? Added flow?
Well, the mini lily pipes being like that are able to mimic the flow pattern in a super jet in larger aquaria (more consolidated, more powerful) In addition to that, the bell shape tends to take up too much real estate in a nano

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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post #153 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:31 PM
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The model used here is the Mini P-1 (10mm, Mini P-2 is 13mm), the smaller size is suitable for an ADA Mini-M or Mini S. The Mini P-2 suitable for a mini L, 45-F or 60-F. The primary advantage of the Mini P series is that it consolidates water flow into a strong stream. You can't see it in photos, but the push of the filter + the lily pipe is enough to bounce the water off the opposite corner of the tank, then to the opposite corner, then back to the intake without losing much momentum.

So flow goes origin (front left) - front right - back right - back left. This is important to know for co2 distribution, and is why I have the diffuser situated under the output. Another trick, to change co2 densities in the aquarium is to switch sides the co2 is on, which will affect plant growth rates and allow manipulation of how things grow.
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Where the diffuser sits in the aquarium makes a massive difference to distribution effectiveness. For example in the 60-P at ADG, every 2 weeks we switch the side the diffuser and filtration are on, because the side OPPOSITE of the diffuser will grow thick and tall, while the side WITH the diffuser will stay shorter and not grow as quickly, due to how flow maneuvers co2 through the water before it's fully diffused.

So sometimes if you're experiencing problems with one side of the aquarium not fully growing like the other, simply switch where the diffuser and flow are.
Hm. I'm still somewhat confused on this... Since the CO2 is being dispersed all over the system (by the flow doing a loop around the aquarium) how does the density in different parts of the aquarium change? Wouldn't the diffused CO2 eventually distribute itself evenly throughout the system, or is it just that gaseous CO2 is more easily used by plants and results in better growth vs diffused CO2? Could you avoid this issue by just skipping the diffuser and going with something like a reactor?
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post #154 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:35 PM
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...Absolutely. Initially when plants are making the transition into a new aquarium, and are either A) making the transition from emmersed, or B ) were submerged but now have gone through the trauma of uprooting, trimming and planting, the most important factors are support of the beneficial bacteria (more oxygen at night), water change, and supporting root health & growth (additives).

Since the plants are all in a transition phase, for the first week their ability to take in nutrients, co2, etc is compromised, so we slowly, slowly start adding fertilizers and staging up co2 progression as needed.
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This is so key IMO. You could flood your tank with co2, but the plants especially in an Iwagumi are only going to do so much, so you need to support the bacteria and keep the tank extremely clean organically. Carbon, purigen, etc are really good when the bio-filter is just too immature as well some of the ADA product or using other methods. Unfortunately I think too many think of co2 as an algaecide. It's really limited to plant growth and mass, so in an Iwagumi as well as at startup it's not enough.
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post #155 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:08 PM
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Thank you for the journal Frank, I am really enjoying it and have learned a lot already. Thanks for the tips on the glosso. Just wanted you to know that I am performing the visualizations as you have described, I believe in their power and just wanted you to know somebody was doing it lol.

Like Dollface I would like to see an analysis of her angle diagram or were you guys just pulling my leg here?
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post #156 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:27 PM
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Wow, I just compared the the pics from day 1 to today. Thats some amazing growth in 8 short days. Another 8 and the carpet should be completely filled in.
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post #157 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:29 PM
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Well, the mini lily pipes being like that are able to mimic the flow pattern in a super jet in larger aquaria (more consolidated, more powerful) In addition to that, the bell shape tends to take up too much real estate in a nano
I see! Thankyou! I always wondered. I personally think the smaller ones look cooler.
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post #158 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:30 PM
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I followed along on this thread to see the scape development, but learned all kinds of stuff about spraybars flow inefficiencies vs lily pipes, planting carpeting plants like glosso and HC, the reason why I got an algae outbreak in the beginning with my ADA and how to trim my plants and do maintenance to the best advantage. Thanks for all of that.

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post #159 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:49 PM
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Wow, I just compared the the pics from day 1 to today. Thats some amazing growth in 8 short days. Another 8 and the carpet should be completely filled in.
For the lazy/short attention spans (like me):












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post #160 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hm. I'm still somewhat confused on this... Since the CO2 is being dispersed all over the system (by the flow doing a loop around the aquarium) how does the density in different parts of the aquarium change? Wouldn't the diffused CO2 eventually distribute itself evenly throughout the system, or is it just that gaseous CO2 is more easily used by plants and results in better growth vs diffused CO2? Could you avoid this issue by just skipping the diffuser and going with something like a reactor?
I may need to draw a visual aid, don't worry, it's a bit of an advanced concept, and in a nano tank it isn't as critical due to size and scale, you see it much more readily in larger aquariums where the co2 has to travel farther (you begin to really see the effects first hand in 10-20 gallon aquariums).

Here's the 411:

I ended up drawing a picture (edit, it's on the bottom).

Example: Filtration is on the left (intake and output) and the diffuser is on the left (as pictured in my nano). What this means is that the greatest density of water saturated with Co2 is "pushed" by the flow to the right side of the aquarium.

Think of Co2 as a consumable, limited resource (i.e. we only have X amount in the aquarium, and won't have more than X unless we add more).

As X (water saturated with the appropriate amount of Co2) is moved by the flow from left to right, the resource is being consumed. So we have X - consumption.

Visualize the flow of a nano lily pipe modeled like the Mini P-1 and the regular P-2. It creates a jet stream that hits the opposite pane of glass.

You can follow the flow circulation by looking at how a lily pipe moves water, but if you don't have one, you can look at the picture below and picture this: out of the lily pipe water follows this path: it goes straight across (left to right), and when it hits the right pane, the water flow goes in two directions: down towards the substrate (so the water flow goes down along the right side) and then diagonally dispersed evenly across the whole right panel.

Now, as water is traveling, Co2 is being consumed by the plants, this means that the areas of greatest flow receive the most Co2. So, Remember, X is a consumable resource and if we say that all plants across the front (concentrated flow, 1 flow stream) is being -1 Co2, and the right panel, (being -5 Co2 spread across 5 flow streams), by the time the Co2 has gone across the right panel we have:

X-6 = Co2 left available in the water column

Which means that, if our total value of X is 10 (these numbers are random for visuals), then X-6 = 4, and we have 4 Co2 left. That means that 4 Co2 is being swept away for the entire remainder of the aquarium, the back panel and the left panel.

Now, over time we have Co2 that escapes the pattern and builds up to saturate the total water volume with Co2. Which means that over time we have a build up of say, .5 Co2 after displacement (loss of Co2) of 1 (again, these numbers don't mean anything except as a visual aid).

The important thing to know that, then due to where the flow is going the highest volume of Co2 in the water is against the opposite panel of the Co2 diffuser.

This means that plants on the opposite side of the Co2 Diffuser grow faster, greener and healthier because they receive the greatest volume of water saturated with Co2.


There are two methods of getting adequate Co2 into an aquarium:

1. Flood the aquarium with Co2.

This is not advised since too much Co2 leads to oxygen shortage which harms fish, inverts etc and harms the beneficial bacteria. Good for a short term solution, but long time you compromise yourself by cutting yourself off at the ankles. (Fish actually contribute greatly to the health of a planted tank via waste, etc they are a huge part of the cycle).

2. Manipulate the positioning of the diffuser.

The best method: physical manipulation in response to how plants are growing by being able to switch the positioning of the diffuser and "target" areas for growth. In larger tanks, this usually translates to having two diffusers, one on each side of the aquarium (typical of 4ft - 6 ft aquariums)

Reactor vs. Diffuser

I will always argue against a reactor since you need to compensate with extra Co2 and you're limited to only option #1. You're more or less fixed on where you're going to put your co2 to plants, the same phenomena occurs as with a diffuser with flow.

"But, I could just move the filter couldn't I?"

Yes, you could, but you wouldn't be able to manipulate flow AND diffuser positioning for the BEST results dependent on your plants.

A third solution is to put the highest demanding plants on the opposite side of the diffuser (in my case, the most riccia and HC is on the right), and the ones that have the least demands (mosses, etc) on the left, (maybe now my layout will inspire an "ah-ha" moment, for being both aesthetic and practical). This is best used in Nano aquaria where their small size lends themselves well to this design.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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post #161 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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This is so key IMO. You could flood your tank with co2, but the plants especially in an Iwagumi are only going to do so much, so you need to support the bacteria and keep the tank extremely clean organically. Carbon, purigen, etc are really good when the bio-filter is just too immature as well some of the ADA product or using other methods. Unfortunately I think too many think of co2 as an algaecide. It's really limited to plant growth and mass, so in an Iwagumi as well as at startup it's not enough.
You've got exactly the right mind set my man! See post above.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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post #162 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the journal Frank, I am really enjoying it and have learned a lot already. Thanks for the tips on the glosso. Just wanted you to know that I am performing the visualizations as you have described, I believe in their power and just wanted you to know somebody was doing it lol.

Like Dollface I would like to see an analysis of her angle diagram or were you guys just pulling my leg here?
Hah! I will make an analysis of the diagram sooner or later. Rather I don't so much need to do one for myself: as I design with these angles in mind naturally (you'll get there too with practice, you just get an "eye," for what "feels," right with practice on principles of placement.

I'm glad someone is doing the visualizations! Maybe you'll inspire someone else to share if they've done them!

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Wow, I just compared the the pics from day 1 to today. Thats some amazing growth in 8 short days. Another 8 and the carpet should be completely filled in.
Thank you Chrome, anyone who follows the philosophy and skills described here is capable of the same. For the record: the layout has only been up since last friday (6 days). You can see in Dollface's post of progression how growth has gone "slow, slow slow, explode" the explosion phase is beginning.

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I see! Thankyou! I always wondered. I personally think the smaller ones look cooler.
Not a problem! It's important to remember that these products aren't designed with just aesthetic in mind: they are functional and made for a reason first and foremost, then the aesthetic applied after.

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Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2 View Post
I followed along on this thread to see the scape development, but learned all kinds of stuff about spraybars flow inefficiencies vs lily pipes, planting carpeting plants like glosso and HC, the reason why I got an algae outbreak in the beginning with my ADA and how to trim my plants and do maintenance to the best advantage. Thanks for all of that.
I'm happy it's been of value to you! The previous post with the flow diagram I posted should be of extra value to you.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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post #163 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:12 PM
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Absolutely. Initially when plants are making the transition into a new aquarium, and are either A) making the transition from emmersed, or B ) were submerged but now have gone through the trauma of uprooting, trimming and planting, the most important factors are support of the beneficial bacteria (more oxygen at night), water change, and supporting root health & growth (additives).

Since the plants are all in a transition phase, for the first week their ability to take in nutrients, co2, etc is compromised, so we slowly, slowly start adding fertilizers and staging up co2 progression as needed.

This leads to a successful growth pattern of: planted, getting adjusted / established, spreading roots, growing a little, growing a little then BAM explosive growth.

The key is to minimize algae during the transition phases. I can already see some traces of algae coming in (imports from the last tank the riccia was in) which requires some trimming and will require the addition of Amano's soon to make sure it doesn't become a problem.

As plants melt, they are removed with small airline tubing and trimming scissors to get rid of the debris in the tank, this encourages growth of NEW plants.

The trick to know is: no matter where we are in the growing cycle, we're always encouraging new growth. It's the healthiest, most vitale and algae free. Which means that we're constantly trimming back old leaves and algae-ridden leaves to prevent an infection of algae from old to new.

Makes sense, the pattern you describe is true for any horticulture situation as well.
I just recently had to trim the roots on our hydroponic tomatoes because they were getting too long and the leaves showed wilting the very next day after trimming the roots.
They have recovered now and look healthy and are even more vigorous than they were before, but of course there was a recovery period.
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post #164 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:28 PM
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thank you sooo much! you have no idea how much help this thread has been tome and everyone else, and how much help it will be to everyone who reads it in the future! thank you!

i totally understand about the diffuser! makes so much sense!

ps. i do the visualizations too
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post #165 of 1094 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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thank you sooo much! you have no idea how much help this thread has been tome and everyone else, and how much help it will be to everyone who reads it in the future! thank you!

i totally understand about the diffuser! makes so much sense!

ps. i do the visualizations too
I'm glad you have found great value here. This is the compilation work of years of experience, mostly doing things the hard way to figure out the easy way, and you get to benefit from it!

The next visualization:

Start in your mind with an empty aquarium, aquascape laid out, misted and ready for planting. Then play like a movie in your head the action of taking a pair of pincettes and planting every plant densely, following similar planting patterns found in this thread. What plants are you using? how will they grow together?

If you use riccia, visualize tying it to stones with riccia line, not mesh. Visualize tying moss to driftwood or small stones. Rinse and repeat once a day. Watch the aquarium grow in to your final picture over time like a movie.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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