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Old 07-17-2003, 03:05 PM   #1
Bert
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Lessons Learned Board?


I got this idea from a diffrent forum that I visit and I thought it was great. On this board people could post well......lessons that they have learned over the years concerning planted tanks and other assoicated subject matter. I just thoght I would throw the idea out there, cause I know there are a lot of people here with invaluable experence that I am sure they would love to share with the planted tank commuty. What do you guys think?


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Old 07-17-2003, 03:18 PM   #2
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I think this is a great idea. I don't know if it merits a seperate forum, but I'll move this thread to the General Discussion forum and make it sticky. Let's discuss some of our early mistakes we made as newbies and what we could have done to avoid them.
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:59 PM   #3
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WOW I never thought this would become a sticky. Looks like I'm good for something after all .
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:05 PM   #4
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Great idea...

I honestly don't remember the mistakes I made as a newbie, like when I was 8 and had my first planted tanks. Nitrite spikes and CO2 reactors were not discovered yet Barely remember that the carpet was often wet because of one reason or another, and if the electrical connections (wires soldered together and "insulated" with band aid) got wet often the 220V made our hands flutter and my mother swear :lol:

More recent lessons:

1) A fancy heater cable will not promote plant growth if you need a chiller for 9 months of the year, and the other 3 months the light bulbs keep the water temperatur cozy.

2) It's easy to DIY a decent hood, but wood is heavy, and there should be some thought put into how to open only part of it for feeding, instead of having to lift the whole thing each time.

3) Need to spend more thought in what gadgets to buy... often they end up unused in the garage. Sometimes it is better to spend more money upfront for some high quality equipment which will last many years, than going through various levels of junk.

4) I need a quarantine tank.

5) High light plants rarely grow well under low light conditions :lol:

I am sure there are many more...
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:45 PM   #5
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I had been keeping fish for fifteen plus years before I gave planted tanks a serious try so I avoided a lot of the common newbie mistakes, but I still made quite a few.

1) With High Pressure CO2, I was a bit overeager and blasted my tank with 2 bubbles/second and killed a few fish before bringing the rate back to 0.5 bubbles/second. Start slow!

2) My one serious bout with Green Water was a result of the mistake of making far too many changes at the same time. Try to spread out maintenence over several days or weeks. I cleaned out my canister filter, uprooted quite a few plants (releasing Jobe Sticks dust everywhere) and removed a large mass of plants all in one evening. I don't think any one of these things would have caused Green Water. But doing too much at once is a sure way to cause problems.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
if the electrical connections (wires soldered together and "insulated" with band aid) got wet often the 220V made our hands flutter and my mother swear
LOL

Quote:
Need to spend more thought in what gadgets to buy... often they end up unused in the garage. Sometimes it is better to spend more money upfront for some high quality equipment which will last many years, than going through various levels of junk.
Very true, advice that should be followed. However if we did, things might be a bit less interesting.

Mike
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:13 PM   #7
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I think my very worst lesson learned was after I moved to BC from Ontario. The lesson was short and painful.

Chloramine does not dissapate the same way Chlorine does.

The second bad lesson was also painful, however in more a of a "searing" sort of way;

If you drop a power strip into your aquarium, do not plunge your arm in after it to retrieve it

I really have NO idea what I was thinking with that one...
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
If you drop a power strip into your aquarium, do not plunge your arm in after it to retrieve it

Nice, that one must have been fun. BTW, how did it drop into the aquarium in the first place?

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Old 07-18-2003, 02:17 AM   #9
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This thread is a great Idea!

I almost killed my fish twice with excess CO2. The first was when I first hooked up my pressurised system. I couldn't get the needle valve to flow consistently. I had the bubble rate down to about 1bubble per 2 seconds which was keeping the co2 level pretty consistent at about 20ppm. I went to work and came back home and all my fish were gasping for air and some were simply gasping literally thier last breath at the bottom of the tank. After reading some posts, I learned that most needle valves function better at a pressure above 10-15 psi, which seemed counterintuitive. I hiked the pressure up to 20psi and I could get the needle valve down to about 2 bubbles per minute consistently.
That was lesson #1: Never use the regulator to reduce the bubble rate, always reduce the bubble rate with the needle valve.

After that scare I bought a ph controller to avoid such situations, thinking the controller would shut off the co2 automatically below a certain PH level.

The second time, my little nephew came over for a couple of hours and decided he wanted to play with the pretty buttons on the PH controller that was mounted to the side of the stand. He had lowered the dial all the way down to 6.0. Again the fish were barely hanging on for dear life by the time I discovered that the controller had been fiddled with.
Lesson #2: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

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Old 07-18-2003, 03:34 AM   #10
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Do not buy food in bulk. I bought 10 lbs of flake food for the pond. In the 5th year I began losing fish. After 8 years, I simply gave up and left the pond bare with a fountain. In the 10th year I restocked and the fish began to die. I finally threw out the last 3 lbs of flake food. Now I buy little bitty containers and toss it out in a year.
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Old 07-18-2003, 02:12 PM   #11
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Excellent advice, anonapersona! I used to do the same thing, to try and save money. Although I used to have a lot more tanks (8 tanks, including African Cichlids, which consumed at least half of my food budget) the food still went bad after a year or two. Now I just buy small containers and feed a nice variety to all of my fish.
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Old 08-04-2003, 03:56 AM   #12
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I guess the first three lessons come from the same experience...

1. If you are at all impatient, get a pH controller for your CO2 and at first, set it so the pH will still be a bit higher than what you want it to be, then watch the fish and see what happens.

2. If a fish APPEARS to be dead due to CO2 overdose/oxygen deficiency, DO NOT GIVE UP!! I had 2 angelfish on their sides on the bottom of the tank, not moving, and they are swimming happily today. Some were swimming upside down, and one would keep "falling" back to the bottom. I didn't give up, and they are all normal today.

3. When you have a CO2 overdose and are "ressurecting" fish, keep them as close to the top as possible (for more oxygen). For fish like dwarf plecos, if you have a breeder trap, those work well.

Lesson 4 will be one I will soon correct myself.

4. GET A CANISTER FILTER and have proper tank ciculation! They are a lot more versatile than a HOB or most others (unless you have a custom filter of some sort).

By the way, great idea bert! It should act like a begginer FAQ planted tank guide!

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Old 08-12-2003, 09:29 PM   #13
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1-dont put big plecos in a small planted tank because they DIG, and are very hard to get out of the tank without destroying all your aquascaping
2-take your time and wash the hell out of your flourite!
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:33 AM   #14
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This board idea is a very good! I got a few horrible lessons of my own. I started this hobby just this year and I have probably killed enough fish, crabs and single shrimp for a lifetime- not that many, but it is quite a few.
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:21 AM   #15
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If you have to take the strainer off the intake of your filter to clean the mess of sugar due to improper mixture of DIY c02 bottle with no drip box,
be sure to either turn off the filter and put the strainer back on, so your zebra danios don't swim up the intake and get grinded by the spinning assembly. :shock:
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