Coach's 29 Gallon - Cichlid Restart (Post #68) - Page 4
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:59 AM   #46
CAM6467
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I appreciate it bud! I'm not new to the planted tank scene, but I'm definitely not very accomplished yet. I'm hoping that this setup can be my first TRULY successful planted aquarium.
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Last edited by CAM6467; 12-09-2012 at 07:26 PM.. Reason: Mistake corrected
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:52 AM   #47
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Well, I've got a couple of things to be concerned about already....

1. My shipment from aquariumplants.com has STILL NOT ARRIVED!!!!

2. My hydor inline heater is leaking. It's a very small leak, like 1/2 tablespoon per hour type of leak. I have no clue where the leak is coming from. The inlet and output connections are solid. The leak was not there two days ago and all of a sudden appeared sometime today. I currently have a cup under the leak to catch the droplets, but I need a more permanent solution. Any suggestions?

I'm very upset about my plant order. Hopefully they aren't completely DOA due to this cold. Ugh! I'm just very annoyed.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:35 AM   #48
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Disassemble then reassemble if it still leaks take it back, demand a replacement.

You call them maybe they forgot...
I'm always tossing stuff if you're ever interested in stems again I'll mail them your way.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:20 PM   #49
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What is and where can I get Manzanita driftwood from PC1? What is PC1, and what their website?
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55 Gallon Planted

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3 GBR, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Juvenile Super Red BN Plecos, 9 Oto Catfish, 9 Bloodfin Tetras
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Rotala Indica, Cardamine, Crypt Spiralis, Pygmy Chain Swords, Dwarf Sag, Lutea Crypt, Wendtti Bronze and Red, and Floating Frogbit
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:58 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinbos View Post
What is and where can I get Manzanita driftwood from PC1? What is PC1, and what their website?
PC1 is a TPT member. Just search for that handle under the "Search" tab at the top-right side of the homepage.

If you're looking for some nice pieces, PC1 is the way to go!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:06 PM   #51
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Well, I believe that I've narrowed down why/how my inline heater is leaking. This past weekend I received a few plant orders in the mail. I decided to go ahead and plant them, so I unplugged the canister filter to limit the water movement during the process. Unfortunately, I forgot to plug it back in when I was finished. That tank sat for about 24 hours with only the Koralia circulating water. Sounds pretty innocent until you take into consideration that I left the hydor inline heater plugged in the entire time.

When I got home from work yesterday afternoon, I sat down to take a look at the tank. I noticed a spec of something flowing through the tank. As it passed in front of the spray-bar of my xp1, I noticed that it didn't get pushed by the current of water coming out of the holes in the spray-bar. That's when I realized that I had left it unplugged. I plugged it in, watched as the built up CO2 was pushed out and water began flowing again like normal.

I then left to go meet with my family to pick up some venison that I had processed after going hunting a couple weekends back. When I returned home from that trip is when I noticed the water collecting on the top of my canister filter.

After doing a little research last night, I'm convinced that the glass tube within the hydor broke when the colder water from the tank came into contact with it after I plugged the canister filter back in.

I know that this is my fault, but I read that Hydor has a fail-safe protection feature that is supposed to shut the unit off in the case of a cessation of water flow.

Is that true? If so, do you think that I could have my unit replaced? Any advice/suggestions/comments are GREATLY appreciated and anticipated.

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:24 PM   #52
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It looks like you may have some fighting currents in your setup as it stands right now.

I would put the filter intake, the filter spraybar, and the powerhead all on one side of the tank. Angle the powerhead up and across, aiming at the opposite corner, creating some surface agitation. This will help with gas exchange and loop the water through the tank, pushing detritus towards the filter intake.

I have a similar setup and struggled with C02 distribution as well as some oxygen issues. After everything was set up correctly, those problems largely disappeared.

I'm also amazed at how little dirt is spread through the tank. It all settles on one side.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #53
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I may have gotten lucky in my case but I have a Hydor inline heater in my 55g turtle tank. A couple of times my XP3 filter became clogged for maybe a week with the hydor still running.

Luckily, I shut everything down to clean out the tubing and restarted everything with no ill effects. Not sure if the cutoff took effect or it had sufficient time to cool as I removed the obstruction.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:24 AM   #54
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Just dosed the tank. I'm taking the EI strategy. Let me know if you think that what I'm up to is good/bad/in-between. I'm not new to dry dosing, but I've never really had time to learn the do's and don'ts. The last time I used dry frets, I was only able to use them for about 6 months (My 20L that is no longer with us) before I moved.

This tank, as you know, is a 29 gallon. I have 62 watts of t5ho (10,000k & 6,700k) lighting, pressurized CO2 running at about 5 bubbles per second, and PLENTY of circulation. I'm following these steps:

50% WC weekly
1/4 tsp KNO3 3x per week
1/16ish tsp KH2PO4 3x per week
1/16ish tsp trace 3x per week
Root tabs being used liberally (probably 10-15 in the substrate currently)
Seachem Flourish (full cap) once per week

Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:48 AM   #55
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Just ran some water parameter tests...
  • pH - 7.2-7.6
  • Ammonia - <0.25 ppm
  • Nitrite - 0 ppm
  • Nitrate - <5.0 ppm

I tried to test my GH and KH using my API test kits, but I could never see the color change that was referenced to in the instructions. My 5ml of tank water turned dark blue immediately and never budged even after 20 drops of the KH test solution. I had the same misery with the GH test kit. This is the second one of these kits that I've purchased over the years and I've never had any luck reading GH nor KH...

Some of my crypts are starting to melt. I've read that this is somewhat normal activity for newly planted crypts. Here are some shots of the crypts. Some of the melting is pretty obvious, some isn't. I'm assuming that it'll happen and, if I am lucky, the plants will regrow...





Sorry about the poor photographs. All I have is my iPhone, and I'm not going to be spending any big money for a fancy camera anytime soon! Maybe one of these days....

Anyhow, I'm pretty pleased with the progress of this tank so far. I called aquariumplants.com today and confirmed that my order will be shipped tomorrow morning with an ETA of this Friday. I'm glad that my package is actually going to be shipped, but it sure seems like a lot more than the 2nd day air that I paid for!

Sadly, my heater is still leaking. Luckily, however, the leak is very minor. I put a cup under the heater today to catch the droplets. In the 10 hours that I was away, I caught just about one full tablespoon's worth of water. I'm not happy that I have a leak, but I can live with this minor leak for now. I'll have to wait for my next pay check before I can afford to spend anything more on this tank (As my wife keeps reminding me)! I'm just going to order a new hydor 200w in-line heater.

I also just noticed that I have at least one good sized pond snail making its way across the back glass. I'm sure that I'll have an entire colony by the end of the month. Sounds like a loach is in order once this tank has sufficiently cycled.

Speaking of that, my water parameter readings above indicate that I have an obvious lack of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the tank. I've been adding fish food daily to add ammonia to the water column. I'm not sure if my readings are an indication of a thriving bacteria colony or if they are evidence of a lack of a nitrogen cycle. I used the same filter and media that I had for over a year with my MTS "swamp". I'm guessing that I probably have a healthy bacteria colony in my canister!

In the process of re-organizing the garage, I discovered my old plastic storage tub filled with aquarium stuff. Now I have access to my old CO2 drop checker. All I need now is to make some 4 dKH solution and I'll be able to visually see where my CO2 levels are!!

I'm so sorry for the novel that I just wrote! I'm just VERY long winded when it comes to this thread.

Thanks for reading,

Charlie
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:21 AM   #56
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Very strange times. My heater has decided to quit leaking sometime today. I can't even begin to explain that one boys and girls. I'll just keep an eye on the unit and the temp within the tank. If all stays good, I guess luck is finally on my side!

Great news. It seems that the delivery of my plants from aquariumplants.com is on the horizon. I received a shipment confirmation email this morning. The ETA is for Friday. I can't wait to get stuff planted!

Tomorrow is a HUGE day for me and my little family. Two years ago this April, my wife and I were blessed with a baby girl. Tomorrow, we go to the doctor to see what the gender of our new little one is. As any father would be, I'm hoping for a boy! Honestly, though, I'm really only concerned that our baby is happy and HEALTHY!!! Very exciting times!!!!!!!!

Hopefully I'll have some pictures in my next post. Thanks for reading,

Charlie
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Last edited by CAM6467; 12-13-2012 at 04:22 AM.. Reason: Bolded the more important part...
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:26 AM   #57
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Well, today was an awesome day! My wife and I went to the doctor and found out that we are going to have our second daughter in early May!!! I couldn't be more excited! I want a son very strongly, but there's something special about a daughter. It'll be interesting to see how they both get me wrapped equally around their little fingers!

Anyhow, I went ahead and rigged up my drop checker:


It's been underwater for about an hour. No color change so far. Blue as can be...

Crypts are melting away to nothing mostly. I'm assuming that they were grown out of water and are just getting used to the immersed life.

Other stuff starting to show some signs of life.

FTS shots to show growth (12/8/2012 vs. 12/13/2012):



Not much growth to brag about, but things are starting to perk up.

On a side note, I'm having some trouble with my CO2 system. I have the working pressure adjusted to ~40psi going through the solenoid. I adjust the needle valve to allow probably 5-10 bubbles per second. What ticks me off is that I have to readjust this thing daily to maintain that type of output. Why does the rate at which CO2 gas is released through my bubble counter constantly changing even when nothing is changed as far as the regulator and needle valve are concerned? This has me pretty upset right now...
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:26 AM   #58
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First Off CONGRATS on the News of your Daughter!!!!

I really like the scape of the rocks and wood! And your plants seem to be coming along well! The crypts were probably grown immersed, like you said, if you purchased them on-line. Some people here also grow immersed plants, so I would check with who you bought them from! Melting is a normal thing for them though, even going from one tank to another in my aquariums has made a few different types go through a melting period! But usually you will see new growth in a week or so!

For your question/problem with the bubble count, I will try to help. I looked back in the journal and from the pics I can't tell what kind of needle valve you have. When I first started using pressurized Co2 I had a Cheepo Ice Maker Needle valve, and even though it worked, I had trouble adjusting it daily! I finally just started leaving it on 24-7 and running a air stone at night so the count wouldn't go haywire! Finally I went to a good needle valve , a Nibco nv-55 IIRC, and it has solved the problem! BUT even with a good needle valve it took a few days of playing with the pressure the regulator was set at and adjusting the needle valve to get it where I wanted it! I think it is set at 35# from the bottle was the sweet spot I finally found!

SO after all that spill, IF the needle valve is a good one, then you will probably need to play with the output pressure from the tank to get it to set where you want it! Sorry about the rambling!

On the lack of Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, I would probably guess you still have good bacteria in it, and it is working on the food waste you are adding to the tank. OR it could be the plants, or a combo of both! BUT I would GO SLOW when adding fish, because with not much of a bio load in the tank the bacteria colony will "Shrink" to the amount of waste in the tank that it can feed on! So if you add a bunch of fish at one time it very well could start a Cycle since there won't be enough bacteria to take on a big load. At least that is in a fish only tank, but with plants you have a bit of a buffer "built in" but the plants can only consume so much!

Also since the filter was off for a extended amount of time the bacteria in it could have been killed off as well, so I would just recommend to go slow with fish or inverts!

Have you found the leak in the heater yet??? That would SCARE ME, BIG TIME!!! After seeing how much damage can come from a leaking canister filter overnight, I would FIND THE LEAK ASAP!!! A little water goes A LONG WAY on the floor!!!!

Well I hope I didn't talk your eyes dry!!! AWESOME NEWS on the Baby!!! We had a boy the first time out, and we stopped there, but I have 2 nieces, and I LOVE them to death!!! So I can only imagine having 2 Daughters!!! Yall are truly Blessed!!!

Holler back at me if you need any clarification on what I wrote! LOL Ya know Us Texas Boys have to stick together!!!

Best of luck, have a Merry Christmas!
Drew
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #59
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My shipment from aquariumplants.com came in today!! I got a healthy portions of jungle val, lilaeopsis brasiliensis, blyxa japonica, a small portion of cryptocoryne parva, one red melon sword, a new anubias nana, and a red tiger lotus bulb. Everything looked great, so I'm pleased. It seems that I ordered my plants at exactly the wrong time to receive them on the same week of order. The guy told me to always order before 7:00pm on the Sunday before if you're wanting your plants the following week.

Pre-planting FTS:


Post-Planting FTS:


Shots of different plants:






My drop checker is a nice green color today. I'm please to see it working properly. I dosed the tank again just after planting. I'm hoping that the tank really does well over the next couple of weeks. I'm just going to let it grow like crazy. Hopefully that lilaeopsis starts to spread a little. I got the c. parva hoping that it would be a little bushy. It looks like I didn't research well enough. Luckily, it's the type that can spread out as well! That could look pretty cool. Time will tell.

Time to let it grow. Thanks for reading!

Charlie
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #60
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Quick update, sorry no pictures...

Most of the plants are doing well:
  • Lobelia Cardinalis - Growing like little weeds. I'm pleased with their progress. I've seen pearling under the leaves every night that they have been in my tank. Hopefully I'll be able to separate some babies from momma plants within the next month or so. I'd like to be able to make this a staple plant along the front/right side of my tank.
  • Crypt Wendtii Tropica Red - They seem to have adjusted just fine to my tank. A few of the leaves from a few of the plants melted away to nothingness, but the majority of what I started with is thriving. I'm even seeing new leaves develop! I'm just curious how others are able to make this plant really thicken out. Maybe they just need time to fill out...
  • Anubias nana - All of these guys seem to be doing fairly well. I'm seeing new leaves sprout from the rhizomes, so that gives me confidence that they're ok.
  • Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - I'm excited about what I'm seeing with this foreground plant! I planted it so that the portions were more or less in a checkerboard pattern. I'm starting to see little sprouts coming out of the substrate all around each of the portions that I planted. I guess this means that little runners are already starting to sprawl. I'm glad that this is going to live in my tank! I've always wanted a decent foreground carpet, but I've never had one! Maybe this will be my first...
  • Red Melon Sword - It's looking healthy. No melting or fading or wilting at all. It has even put out two new leaves since I planted it. I guess that good light, high CO2, and regular doses of dry ferts helps this plant! I'm hoping to see some big growth out of this guy soon!
  • Blyxa Japonica - Unfortunately, each of the five portions of this plants that I ordered have either melted completely to nothing or are heading in that direction. I'm at a loss. Internet research has given me some hope for their recovery, but it's not really looking very good at this point. What was initially five healthy looking little bushes is now five rather slimy and puny looking heaps of crap. Oh well. If this plant crashes and burns, lobelia cardinalis will replace it!
  • Red Tiger Lotus - Another awesome plants. I plopped the bulb in the tank and let it settle amongst the driftwood and crypts. I honestly forgot I even had this bulb in the tank until yesterday. I checked for new growth on my crypts and saw this brown ball with little red triangular sprouts coming out of it. I'm pretty pumped to see how this thing turns out. I'm going to relocate the bulb to a more accessible location next WC.
  • Jungle vals - Growing like a friggin' weed! I placed a single order and was shipped 10 separate plants. I only used three of the ten because the other seven were pretty puny and didn't look good. Those three have put out probably 3-5 new shoots since I planted them. The shoots that already existed are probably 5" longer. This plants is truly a weed!
  • Flame moss - I tied it to some driftwood near the Koralia Nano 240 to get maximum flow. I'm not sure what is going on with this plant, but it's developed some sort of white feathery looking stuff on it. I don't know if it's some sort of algae or a weird variety of new growth. I'm going to just let it do its thing without worrying about it. I've learned that, with moss, you can't be too impatient. It's like waiting for water to boil when you're waiting for moss to grow........sometimes it just doesn't ever happen!
  • Crypt parva - This little patch of green is not really doing anything yet. It's not dying, but it's not really growing either. Oh well, it'll make a move one of these days!
  • RAOK stems - They are growing very well. Here in another week or two I'll trim the tops and replant. I'm really glad to have them now that they're here!
  • Java Fern - New leaves developing... Healthy looking...
  • Frogbit - Multiplying daily. This stuff can sure grow in a hurry...

The EI method is working pretty well so far! I'm glad that this new setup is closer to the front porch (in my office). It's easy to get the water-hose in and out of the house. WCs are simple and quick. I just did a 50ish% WC last night. I dosed my dry ferts, threw some Seachem Flourish in and added a few Flourish root tabs while the water level was low. I'm sure that things will start to explode in the tank fairly quickly with my dosing regime.

I have LOADS of pond snails now. I found a single snail a week ago and now the little boogers are everywhere! Looks like I need some snail control...

Sorry about the novel. I promise some pictures within the next few weeks....
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