flourite hell &othermanic misadventures of yet another n - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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first, you guys are all sick sick sick. i became immediately obsessed when i took a casual peek inside an aquarium store and saw their huge planted tank showpiece. i was hooked. immediately bought a 29g tank, stand, glass canopy, 2 bags of red flourite, 100w visitherm submersible heather, sticker thermometer, carbo-plus unit, tap water deionizing filter, and a 55w 9325 deg (i think) general electric cf bulb, and the eheim 2213. these were mostly the store's recommendations. cabbed all this stuff home, and got right to work.

this is where the trouble begins. went through red flourite hell. and boy did i rinse. wound up removing the gravel from the tank 2x to rerinse and rinse the tank as well (no small task). in the end i wound up removing the 2 bags from the tank completely and replaced with 3 bags of eco-complete with which i was quite pleased. it handled great, no cloudiness or dust problems with initial tank fill, and none when planting some flora. scratches left on the glass from the flourite ordeal seem like a small price to pay to have my substrate issues resolved. i knew that the red dust would always be on my mind, and on the leaves of the plants for as long as i had the flourite. 30 bucks down the tubes, and another 80 for the eco-complete, but a cold boot was the only acceptable option. i knew i would be seeing red forever.

anyway, then i stumbled on this site and now my real problems began. been staring at the laptop for so long my eyeballs are growing algae. i am a college basketball nut who was oblivious to the fact that championship week was going on. i missed selection sunday completely as well as the sopranos premiere.

this site has taught me 2 things. that i really want to do this, and that it's going to take a LOT more work than i thought. so far it's been more challenging than rewarding. for example, a few days ago i was on the phone with a friend (a physics westinghouse award finalist no less) trying to figure out what the heck kelvins have to do with measuring light. couldn't find anything in on the web and physics books that mentioned this. finally found an article that mentioned carbon heating and went to sleep at 5am.

my concerns now.

what will that 55w 9325K ge cf bulb on a standard 29g tank get my plants to do? my reading tells me my moneywort, hornwort, anubias nana and java ferns will do ok, but what about plants that need moderate to high light? fyi, until i do a few more months of research to know exactly what kind of co2 setup i want, i'm going with the flourish excel. thinking hard about returning the carbo-plus unit after reading some threads here.

will the AHsupply kit for my fixture, accommodate 2 55w bulbs? even though it came fitted for one bulb? if so, is 55w x 2 too much light for flourish excel treatments alone? i have the standard 2-fold canpoly with plastic back. would i need to replace this if i got more than one bulb?should i just junk my fixture to get a higher wattage one? bulb recommendations? how many kelvins?

im looking at the vortex mini reactor also. it says it's good for up to 30g. i love that its so compact and is not such an eyesore/space eater inside the tank. could i use this for my 29g? if so, i'm thinking i'll made some homemade co2 with yeast and do it for a while until i figure out exactly what kind of pressurized system i will use and incorporate the vortex into it. any faulty reasoning here? may even get one for my 10g if i upgrade my 2 spiral cf 15x screw-ins from the hardware store.

i'm just rifling off questions here. please excuse me. i just feel like i did a good job of buying exactly the wrong kind of everything. (bought all this stuff before i found this site). i know that as soon as i post this thing i'm going to realize that i sounded like a stupid little kid in a candy store and become completely embarrassed. any help would be greatly appreciated. i promise to post pics and give updates as my new project rolls along. trying to be optimistic but i can't shake the feeling that i'm going to wind up killing even the driftwood.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:11 PM
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Just chill out, set up what you've got, grab a cool one and kick back and watch a game or 20.

Everything you've got sounds fine to me. Don't sweat the bulbs - you're gonna need to replace them at some time anyway.

Too bad the flourite didn't work for you. But now that you have the eco, you can rest easy. Substrate is taken care of wherever you want to take the tank. And you will never have any reason to worry about your filter.

I have these plants thriving in a 30gal w/ AH 55W and DIY CO2.
anubias -
1 nana
2 congensis
3 frazerii
4 java fern
5 small-leafed sag
6 crypt wendtii bronze?
7 crypt balansae
8 red hygro
9 corkscrew val
10 ludwigia brevipes (pointy)
11 ludwigia palustris (broadleaf)
12 parrot’s feather
13 giant hygro
14 bacopa

I have to do serious trimming on a regular basis. I have what sounds like the same canopy as yours. Yes, increasing light would require a new canopy.

While pressurized is probably better for numerous reasons, DIY is so incredibly simple and cheap, I suggest you start off with that. Then, when your head cools down and you feel like researching pressurized, you can toss it and all you've lost was $10-20.

Like I said, just set it up and start having fun with it. See if there are any local planted clubs around you - a great source for info AND plants and stuff.

IMO you need to take a deep breath, chill out, and just get some stuff planted. Then, the next thing will be to try to figure out your ferts.

Keep us posted.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:12 PM
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I'm going to say 'hi and welcome to the forum' because I get the feeling you're sitting at the computer waiting for someone to respond to you.

You piled a lot into that post so it is going to take a minute or two to sift through and figure out what you really need answered. BTW the ehiem 2213 tends to be a highly recommended filter, so you didn't buy the wrong everything.


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:33 PM
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tank, stand, cover, eco-complete, glass canopy, heater---all FINE

your light is fine too. If you ever go to pressurized CO2, then you might want to get more light, but you DO NOT NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING NOW. The bulb you mentioned comes highly recommended here. You should be able to grow all plants except those that require "high" or "very high" light.

return the carbo-plus unit, and go with DIY CO2. If you want an inexpensive diffuser, buy a hagen co2 diffuser (try to find in on bigalsonline.com)

Have fun with your new tank! And don't kill the driftwood!!! :lol:

John 3:16 Romans 10:9
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:40 PM
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That's why I use more rocks than driftwood -- they're harder to kill!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:41 PM
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Stay with the single 55W for now. Get your plants growing and get used to it. Adding another 55W will require more work at keeping up with the ferts and algae. I have a tank full of plants at 55W 6700K and they are growing great. My Ricca and a Banana Plants are growing like mad, and I've undertand they are high light, picky plants. Then again, the algae is growing quite well too. (maybe I'm not the best person to be listening too) Watch the use of that DI filter. If you have really hard water, the filter purchase won't be a waste. You can mix half filtered, half tap. But the DI filter will strip away many nutrients your plants need to survive. As for CO2, I would got with a DIY system until you really needed it. I have a 2 Liter bottle and a Hagel CO2 counter/diffuser and I do just fine.

Check out my AquariBlog for tank progress and updates!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 04:07 PM
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I'll take the Flourite off your hands!....
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2004, 04:55 AM
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Location: Centurion, South Africa
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Hi There

I just have to say that was on of the most entertaining posts that I have read on this forum.

Welcome to the forum and I am sure that you will succeed as you are prepared to read and research. There are far too many people that think this plant thing is easy and when it goes South they whine but refuse to read!!!!

Have a good time and remember this is a hobby and hobbies are meant to be fun.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2004, 04:21 PM
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duke tips off in half an hour, so don't miss that action.
i have found that having the game on in the background while surfing this forum keeps things in perspective...
carolina's on at 7...
remember what's really important...and let the dance begin!!

ps don't sweat the lighting, i am trying to go odn and it is driving me and my fiancee nuts...in the meantime, no plant has popped thier clogs
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2004, 04:27 PM
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Just want to chime in on the Vortex reactor. I'm using one on a 29 gallon (130 watts, pressurized CO2) and it works like a charm. It's small, fits in a corner and saturates the water with 25ppm CO2. If you can't go for an external reactor, I can only recommend the vortex reactor.

"Save me Jebus! And I don't even believe in Jebus!!!" Homer Simpson
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 03:03 AM
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Welcome to the forum. That was a great post, lots of fun to read.

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