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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-12-2013 09:42 AM
Jafooli Hey dprais1

Cheers for the advice, I only presumed it was heavily planted as Its nearly impossible to clean now lol, I will take it step by step and once I get used to the plants I got now and have them all healthy then maybe I will experiment with some less common med-fast growing plants.

I also made a thread about my EI dosing and got some great help there, so I will keep with what I'm dosing now, I just added some K2SO4 to the mix, as I found my stems and crypts had a potassium deficiency, so just learning as I go... and hopefully I've fixed my CO2 and I will keep focusing on my CO2 and also get working on adding another bottle.

Cheers again.
05-11-2013 04:11 PM
dprais1 Your tank does not look heavily planted to me and then a lot of the plants look like slow growers. I would try to modify the ei dosing a bit. for my 75 gal tank I would dose micros, potassium and some phos, 2x a week, med light and diy co2.

For my 20L tank with 6hrs t5no light, no co2, and planted a little less than yours I dose potassium and micros 1x a week or 1x every other week. I use osmocote root tabs and it is med stocked. My plants are growing fine, not fast, but fine.

my personal feeling with gravel vacuuming is that it depends so much on the depth. I wasn't vac the gravel in my tank, then I measured the depth. varied from 1"-2", I personnaly don't think this was deep enough to sort of keep the crap out of the water column, 2" maybe but not 1".
My only real point to this post is say that I would look at what some really lush tanks are doing as far as co2, ferts, etc and then adjust as you see fit.

If you have less light, less co2, less plants and more fish---why do you need the same ferts? but the whole idea of ei dosing is you are never short any nutrient so the things like potassium and micros I would still dose close to or the same as suggested.
05-11-2013 09:39 AM
Jafooli Cheers dprais1 for the reply and real people giving me advice is much better then no advice and maybe one day I can share what worked for me.

Thanks for explaining the CO2 bottles, I also did read people try to keep there batches going for 2-4 weeks and some even months, so I originally thought changing the bottle each week would not give me much fluctuation, but at the beginning of this thread, I was using 1tsp yeast , 2 1/2 cups sugar and like mentioned the yeast would of eat through the sugar real fast and the alcohol could of killed the mix or it was just dyeing out to quickly by the end of the week.

Now I am doing 1/2 tsp yeast 2 cups sugar, co2 is slower, but hopefully now its more stable, I made the mix Sunday and it was 1 bubble per 2 secs and its still the same.... but like you say if I'm around 50% I know your not 100%, neither am I, but say 50% is 15ppm CO2, I really want to be around the 25-30ppm to get faster growth rates?, so maybe another bottle is a good idea, its a shame a drop checker don't measure ppm accuracy, how accurate is the PH/KH chart? If the chart is not accurate, how will I determine to much CO2? fish gasp? I will do some research on it once I posted this encase no one knows of by hand. I do run an air stone at night.

Thanks for the info about organics, all I know is since the start of this thread my algae problem is 80% less than what it was,so I can only thank you again for everyone's input..... I guess all the following has helped me... I removed all decaying leaves, infected leafs, rubbed all the algae off healthy leaves, added 3 oto's and lowered my light period from 10 to 9 hours and adjusted my co2 mix to a longer mix and leafs are growing more now with out getting infected, I also added 8 Marimo Balls, 2 stems of blyxa japonica.

Also dprais1 I did a light vac on my gravel but I started to see Ammonia problems... the reason I did light vac as you mentioned is because people who plant there tanks said there shouldn't be any need to go deep... + I also added root tabs, but in the end I went back to a deep vac and it helped a bit, (Ammonia gone now) but I'm still not sure what's best, I think most of my root tabs have been vacuumed up now . I am heavily stocked for fish so maybe I should stick to deep vac and try get root tabs under the plants rather than beside them.

Sorry for the essay, and if anyone can help with my lighting which was mentioned earlier that would be great, and I also am thinking maybe in the future sometime, I might change out my normal black gravel nothing special, and replacing it with eco-complete to give my plants more of a extra boost, + I like the look of eco-complete, more natural than my black shop gravel. How much does a plant gravel help compared to a normal gravel, in mind I am dosing EI so I presume eco-complete would benefit root feeders the most?
05-10-2013 10:19 PM
dprais1 for two bottles you alternate refreshing your mix each week. Think of it like soda.

If you have one bottle it is carbonated, going flat, or flat.

If you have 2 bottles and you mix 1/2 your cup from each bottle, then as one bottle is going flat you mix it with 1/2 a cup of the new bottle...well, you get the idea.

You should end up with a range maybe in the 50-75% of max range instead of 0-100% for co2 production because one bottle always balances out the other. Those numbers are just made up and honestly if you are doing a new batch every week I don't know if there is going to be all that much fluctuation. When I say I don't know I mean I don't know! Either way with 2 bottles you will def have more co2.

for organics i found that even though my filter was working fine and flow was still good it had a lot of trapped debris. if I gently clean it bi-weekly the bacteria is fine but the amount of organics, or as i call it-crap, is greatly reduced. for gravel tanks a gentle vacuum is good, just going along the surface without actually disturbing the gravel will remove loads of said crap.

this is just what seems to work for me and others on here as well, but I don't claim to be an expert so take my advice for what it is and no more
05-10-2013 12:05 PM
Jafooli Thanks dprais1 sounds similar to what I wanted to do, I might just hook bottle 1 and 2 to a t connector then into the bubble count, but like you said with my method it will be harder to tell what each bottle is doing, where as your method you have a better idea.

Can I just ask if anyone knows, why does adding a second bottle make the system more stable? The way I see it, if you have 2 bottles, and one is slowing down, the CO2 will still fluctuate the same as if you had just one bottle slowing down, only difference your have more co2 with 2 bottles, or am I missing something? and my drop checker indicates green now so if I add a second bottle, its going to basically double my co2, so what happens if its to much and my drop checker goes yellow, I don't actually no my CO2 ppm, so it could already be near 30ppm?

I guess organics can mean quite a few things in an aquarium, I did buy a 25 plant pack of Ebay and a lot of them did die back and rot but now they are all rooted, maybe this didn't help and also a lot of my Java moss arrived brown and I attached it to driftwood but its not doing much, I think I should remove all the brown, and maybe clean my filter sponges more?, but I don't want to lose to much bacteria from them. I also did a massive trim and clean up few days ago and the tank looks much more healthier and growth looks nice again, I can't see signs of new algae growing on leafs no more, the leafs on my stem plants are getting really long now, and are nice and clean where as before algae would weigh them down and make them rot... So maybe all them rotting leafs didn't help.

I guess I should up my maintenance and during the week pick any dead or infected leafs, remove anything rotting, clean my sponges weekly rather than when I see flow slow down, and keep an eye on Ammonia as I'm not sure how much bacteria the sponges have compared to my biomax chamber, and I already feed tiny amounts once a day so cant do much there. I've never had a planted tank before, so I guess its getting to the stage now where I have to do regular trims and wipe healthy leafs clean of algae if it does grow.

Thanks for everyone helping me out here and offering your own advice, I only had my tank heavily planted now for around 3 weeks, before that I had about 3 stem plants.
05-10-2013 09:24 AM
dprais1 I do the line game with my diy co2. run one tube from bottle #1 into bottle #2. This line, for me, is below the water level in bottle #2. run another line from bottle #2 to you bottle with just water. then another line from water bottle to tank.

this way I can somewhat gauge what each bottle is producing.

really reducing organics seemed to help control algae in my tank.
05-10-2013 09:11 AM
Jafooli Cheers for confirming that Smeagol,

I was originally thinking of making a 3rd hole in my cap but my bubble counter cap is a little on the small side, could work but don't want to risk leaks, might have to just use a new bottle instead, I have seen some people use brass t connectors but not sure if they would create co2 leaks... I also must admit I did use a checker when I first started but the more topics I read a lot of people said even if the CO2 stopped and the tank siphoned down the line, it shouldn't leak as the whole system should be air/water tight. Reason I removed it is because it slowed my system down a lot.
05-09-2013 11:30 PM
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
Also Smeagol, do you have both 2l bottles connected to a bubble counter and if so do both co2 lines go into your bubble counter or do you have both bottles connected to a t connector then into the bubble counter, if you use a bubble counter that is. I was thinking it would better just to have both bottles connected to a t-piece then the line into the bubble counter if that makes sense.
I do not use a t-connector. Both CO2 lines from the generating bottles run directly into my bubble counter bottle. In other words, there are 3 holes in the cap of my bubble counter: 2 flowing in from the generator bottles and 1 flowing out to the tank. I even use a different color of airline tubing for each generator bottle. This makes it easy to count the bubbles coming from each bottle separately. Also, don't forget to use check somewhere along the way.
05-09-2013 09:24 AM
Jafooli Cheers for the help Smeagol and Jojoba

I will get working on adding a second bottle to my mix then during the weekend, I also mentioned my mix is at 2bps in the bubble counter, what I meant to say was 1 bubble per every 2 seconds lol.

Also Smeagol, do you have both 2l bottles connected to a bubble counter and if so do both co2 lines go into your bubble counter or do you have both bottles connected to a t connector then into the bubble counter, if you use a bubble counter that is. I was thinking it would better just to have both bottles connected to a t-piece then the line into the bubble counter if that makes sense.

Jojoba if I have med/high light I would be over the moon lol, but I must say I doubt it to be the case I have tried so many carpeting plants, and just have no luck... can you tell me how you worked it out if its not to complicated, you say Hoppy's chart which I looked at, says high light is 50+ par, I went to the chart and looked at Hagen Glo 24" as it didn't have the 18" it says at 15inch depth its a par of 60 if I'm correct? then I went down and it says T8 bulbs, and that puts me around 40par, so does that my mean my par is around the 40ish+ as my bulbs are 6700k and 18000k, my lights also do not say PAR on them only the LUX and Lumen so I cant check

Like I said I presumed my lights were not very good, so I spent hours of research looking for upgrades and in the end hit a dead end, so then I tried to learn a bit about bulbs, and a lot of people said Power-Glo and Life Glo, had the best red and blue spectrum in the Hagen series.

Also its a double ballast so one light cant be turned off I'm afraid, I have lowered my light from 10 hours to 9 and adjusted my co2 mix but I guess its still early to see any difference, I read it can take a lot of patience to see changes so everything has to be done slowly, I was going to opt for a black out for 3 days but in the end just lowered my light period, I am thinking of maybe going down to 8 hours, how much is a difference going from 10 to 9?
05-09-2013 03:19 AM
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
Cheers Jojoba, I did take a read on that a while back, I presumed I would need a Par meter so I kind of found it complicated as I cant work out my par.

I just know a lot people dislike T8's, I am probably the only person on here who still uses T8's lol, so that's why I presumed low lighting and also my tank is a tall tank at 15inch depth If I remember correctly.
Yeah, it according to Hoppy's chart you're most definitely high light (his scale is 50 PAR+) or by another guy (his name escapes me but he has a pirate for a logo, not too dissimilar from Captain Morgan) you have nearly high light (his scale is high light starts at 80+ PAR). At any rate, it seems your algae are going to be having the time of their life! Maybe drop down to one light for a little while and see how that fairs. The planted tank guy at my LFS consistently raves about how CO2 is waaaaaay more important to growing plants than lighting.
05-09-2013 02:00 AM
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
....have 2x 2ltr bottle at 1/2 tsp yeast and 2 cups sugar, and change one bottle each week? so basically one bottle is going to operate for 2 weeks....
Yes, that's exactly the process I use in my 20 gallon tank, along with a Limewood diffuser. I'm very happy with the results I'm getting. It's not a perfect system by any means. I do get a gradual drop in CO2 in the last few days of the week before replenishing a bottle. But it's good enough for me. This is my first live planted tank... and to be honest, if my plants grew any faster, I wouldn't be able to keep up with pruning and trimming!

Originally Posted by herns View Post
I would go pressurized. No more pain mixing your stock every week ......
I actually enjoy mixing the CO2 bottles every week. It's fun!
05-08-2013 10:35 PM
Jafooli Cheers gSTiTcH, lol it is good to know that people are still using them, Its hard reading about everyone else's impressive light fixtures , its a shame my tank came with a big black rim around it at the top making it harder for me to upgrade.. and the tank is in my bedroom next to my tv so a hanging ballast was out of the question, unless I watched tv wearing shades lol.... but plants are growing so its all good news in that aspect, and dam algae seems to be happy as-well, hopefully my CO2 is on track.

Hopefully if I can keep it at 2bps all week that will look much more promising then my old mix which lasted 3-4 days then died slowly.
05-08-2013 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
I just know a lot people dislike T8's, I am probably the only person on here who still uses T8's lol, so that's why I presumed low lighting and also my tank is a tall tank at 15inch depth If I remember correctly.
It if makes you feel any better, I run four 48" T8 bulbs on my 55g. They're not even super expensive plant bulbs. D: 6500K Philips Daylight bulbs.
05-08-2013 04:32 PM
Jafooli Cheers Jojoba, I did take a read on that a while back, I presumed I would need a Par meter so I kind of found it complicated as I cant work out my par.

I just know a lot people dislike T8's, I am probably the only person on here who still uses T8's lol, so that's why I presumed low lighting and also my tank is a tall tank at 15inch depth If I remember correctly.
05-08-2013 03:59 PM
Jojoba As far as the lighting level goes I found this to be incredibly helpful:

You might have a much higher light level than what you think
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