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Old 12-12-2003, 07:53 AM   #16
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How do you make green water? I've never had anything other than clear water, even when I was cycling! Sounds interesting...
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:29 AM   #17
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More light would be a good start, I always manage to trigger it in my ten gallon shrimp only tank by adding phosphate with the fertilizers. I let it run like that a couple weeks, let it build up a good population of daphnia. Then I start changing water with the other tanks, the infusion of "plankton" seems to encourage spawning. The other tanks never go green however.
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Old 12-13-2003, 08:43 PM   #18
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Now it's getting interesting. I went out today to buy a phosphate test kit, and "just ask about" bolstering my lighting. Of course, they put in my hand the answers to my prayers and one impulse purchase later, I have the proper aquarium fittings for two more bulbs. So by the end of tomorrow, I will have 120 watts of light instead of 60. Hooray!

Also, I tested the phospate of my water and got quite a shock. It registered at 5, the highest end of the scale :shock: . So I measured my tap water to see if it was just an organic waste problem in the tank, and my tap water measured just as high. Then I tested some water from the Brita water filter, and even that water had a substantial phosphate reading! So... I guess I'm beginning to discover part of the cause of my algae problems.

So now that I know that I have to constantly work at keeping the phosphate levels down in my tank, I went back out and bought one of those Phos-sorb sachets and have now installed that in my tank. I will take another reading tomorrow morning and see if it's helping yet.

I'm worried that with high levels of phosphate, and plants that are currently growing quite slowly, that when I suddenly turn on 120 watts of light, my tank will turn into a giant block of green slime. Any ideas on what to expect? And what to do? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-13-2003, 10:03 PM   #19
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It's always difficult to predict the outcome of a change to a tank. Doubling your wattage without getting the phosphate levels down could lead you to witness your first case of green water.

At the very least you have armed yourself with knowledge now and you know what is going on with your tank. Now you can make more informed decisions on the direction you want to go.
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Old 12-14-2003, 01:55 PM   #20
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On the Phosphate:
Yes, yes... Now that you have your kits, try to get your nitrate/phosphate levels where you want them (5-10/.5-1) before adding the light.

If your tap water has 5 ppm phosphate, and you let the phos-guard/plants use up the phosphate in the tank, then I'd suggest doing small partial water changes in the future. Theoretically, if phosphate in the tank was zero, a 10% water change would bring tank phosphate levels to .5 ppm. 20% would get you to 1 ppm. So you'd probably want to limit any single water change to 20% or less (with straight tap water)... then give the plants time to use some of the phosphate up before changing water again.

On the new lights:
Plants produce chloroplasts (the structures that use light to make sugars) in relation to the available light. If a plant has been in dim light, it will have made lots of chloroplasts. When you double the light, the plants may go into "overdrive" - having too many chloroplasts for the new light level. Crypts have been known to melt and grow new leaves in situations like this, for example. Well meaning people can sometimes literally "burn up" certian varieties of house plants by taking them outside in direct sunlight for extended periods due to this same effect.

Maybe you might consider not kicking in all the extra light all at once? I don't know if your setup would permit that. In any event, you'll have an interesting learning process - adjusting your fertilization routine - with the added illumination. You may have a battle or two with algae, but in the long run - with patience and monitoring - I'm sure you'll be happy with the results.

Good luck!

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Old 12-15-2003, 11:20 AM   #21
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I'm beginning to wonder just how high my phospates actually are. The test only goes up to 5. I've had the phos-sorb in there for two days and there's been no change. I wonder how far off the scale the phosphate in my tank is! I also tested the tap water AND the Brita filter water and all measure the same. :?

I haven't put the lights on yet, but when I do, I will do it gradually. Thanks for the advice. 8) My instincts told me it would be a bad idea with all those phosphates in there. Plus, I've spoken with a friend and fellow fish enthusiast and between us, we're going to design and build a new tank hood to house all those lights a bit better than if I just added them to my current hood. So there should be time to try and address the phosphates problem before the lights get switched on. Phew!

I did a whole series of tests this weekend to really get a good idea of what's going on. I tested my tank several times (day and night) and I tested the water from the tap and I even tested the water from the Brita water filter. I got some very surprising results.

My tank is, as ever, stable. Zero Ammonia and Nitrites, pH still at 7.8, Nitrates around 20-30. That part is OK. What was puzzling was, although my tank is, and has always been pH 7.8, when I measured the water from my tap, it was only 7.0. I did this test twice, once at night and once in the morning. My tank has no rocks in it, or anything that could cause this. Just silica sand, plants, bogwood and fish. WHERE is the raised pH coming from???????? The only other additive is the dechlorinator (Tetra Aquasafe). I don't know if this could raise my pH, but I don't see why it would.

Anyway, the end result of all this is that I've decided to start getting RO water from my trusty aquarium shop. They mix all the minerals, etc, back into that it needs to make it stable and good for the fish/plants, so it's just good water. No nonsense. And it's only like £3 (about $5?) for 25 litres. Which should do for a couple small water changes. I'm going to save up for my own RO unit and continue that way eventually. I know it's a fuss, but considering all the hidden nasties in my water and the problems I am trying to address, it just seems the best solution overall. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:40 PM   #22
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Off topic and I apologise...
Minders, can you recommend me a good LFS ? The ones I use looked at me like I was an alien when I enquired about CO2.
"What - CO2 in the tank?!"
Thanks
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Old 12-15-2003, 01:23 PM   #23
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Yes I certainly can. And happy to do it. If you just go straight up the (A4) Bath Road towards Bristol, just before the Park & Ride in Brislington on the left hand side is Wyevale Garden Centre. Go in the shop and, right at the back, is a totally separate shop called Maidenhead Aquatics (the sign outside might still read Bristol Waterworld or something like that, I think). They are the biz as far as fish are concerned. You will know from the minute you walk in and see their tanks. Most of the guys in there can help with most things, but there are a few that stand out above the rest IMO - and they are Nathan, Jason and Dave. Top guys and a top shop. And they stock CO2 units - various kinds. And can give you advice about them too. I wouldn't buy fish from anywhere else. 8)
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2ft - Apistogramma Panduro, C139 corys

2.5ft - Breeding colony Zebra Plecs
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:05 PM   #24
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Thanks for that..
I was hoping you knew of somewhere else though. I've been there and agree they have a nice selection. Unfortunately, while there my car was broken into and I was told by the staff that it happens at least twice a week in their car park - hence I haven't gone back.
I also have many more gripes with them and their 'knowledge' which I won't be posting.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond
Tom
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:12 PM   #25
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Oh, sorry to hear that. I guess because my car's old, no-one bothers! Didn't know they had that problem...

There is a new place that has opened up on Two Mile Hill in Kingswood. I believe they're called Total Control. I went in there the other day (to buy that Phos-sorb) and I have to say, his tanks looked really good. And he had a comprehensive selection of other things that most local shops don't carry. Apart from Maidenhead, it's probably the only other place I've been where I truly felt the shopkeeper(s) really cared about their tanks. Maybe try there?

I would avoid Cadbury Garden Centre, despite their cheery adverts. Their fish are a bit ropey (tons of white spot in their tanks) and the staff don't seemed to know much either. In fact, apart from Maidenhead and that place in Kingswood, most other places I've been to in Bristol truly horrified me.

I have had some place in Weston-Super-Mare suggested to me (can't remember the name but it's just off the Boulevard apparently). I keep meaning to go there and check it out, but finding the motivation to go out to Weston, especially this time of year... Well....
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2ft - Apistogramma Panduro, C139 corys

2.5ft - Breeding colony Zebra Plecs
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:23 PM   #26
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Thanks again for the help, I'll try to check out Total Control sometime. I find Cadbury are good for equipment - deffo not livestock. Jarretts (Near Bitton)also are OK for equipment. Most of the livestock they have is well dodgy though.
Again, sorry for hijacking your post..
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:24 PM   #27
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No probs! And if I find another place I'm impressed with, I'll try to remember to let you know! 8)
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2ft - Apistogramma Panduro, C139 corys

2.5ft - Breeding colony Zebra Plecs
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:46 PM   #28
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Its so sad that nice LFS are so few and far between, I now routinely drive a 50km round trip past at least 5 petshops to go to SAM's hey the guy can drive a bargain, went there on saturday to get 1 Millenium cartridge, walked out with 4, hagen diffuser, a powerhead and waterproof wire ends for the flourecent tubes which I have not managed to find at any local lighting place. I went to spend R20 ended up spending R280 again.... (bout USD30)
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Old 12-15-2003, 03:02 PM   #29
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Yes, it is a shame. Luckily, we have forums like these to share useful information with each other... like where the best fish shops are!
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2ft - Apistogramma Panduro, C139 corys

2.5ft - Breeding colony Zebra Plecs
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Old 12-15-2003, 03:11 PM   #30
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I see you are in the UK, know of any place in the london eye, I think its called, where I can get some laterite and or plant ferts, my other half is going there next year for a week, so she can at least bring me something from over the water. None of the local LFS stock anything but regular gravel or sand. some have round pebbles... I now also want SUBSTARTE of SUBSTANCE.

Sos, I think its the drugs, its still wearing off, can't speak properly yet, but I can type normal speed, weird.
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25 Gal. 54watt, DIY CO2 5 Angelfish, 1 male dwarf gourami + 2 females ,2 female betas, 3 albino corys, 2 pepper corys, 2 CAEs
15 gal. Dwarf gourami fry tank
10 Gal 3 variatus platies, 4 black sailfin mollies- 5 Gal guppy birth tank with dividers
5 Gal guppy frytank
1 Gal guppy frytank
40 Gal Pond with 10 female guppies, 1 male tons of fry.

On various pieces of furniture, 6 cats!
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