Help me out, change H20 often or not?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Low Tech Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-26-2006, 06:10 PM   #1
frostby
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 148
Default

Help me out, change H20 often or not?


I am new(to posting, not trolling) to this forum - So, HI Everyone...

For those who are running a successful low tech planted, with mostly DIY stuff, I would really love to hear what is best for my fish and plants.

Because of this forum, I have upgraded my lighting to 2 T10 32W 4ft lights, on a 55gal tank, built my own CO2 PVC reactor, tried painting the back of my tank wall(that - a whole new post right there), and built my own hood to hide the mess. Bought GW ferts, and the list goes on.

But to the point, WATER CHANGES, I hear do them, I hear don't do - just top off the water.

My tank grows crypts, duckweed, and BBA fine, not so fine amazon swords, and weak looking vals. I have recently started fertilizing potassium.

If you were in my shoes, and wanted MINIMAL ALGAE, and healthiest possible looking plants, crystal clear water(which is also hard due to lack of surface aggitation, driftwood, and maybe more) What is everybody else doing - who's happy with their lowtech setups?
frostby is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-26-2006, 07:02 PM   #2
TAF CAF
Wannabe Guru
 
TAF CAF's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Posts: 1,172
Default

I have a set up similar to yours (or did until I upgraded to 3- 40 watt bulbs) and never could get my sword to grow well... I think it was light issues. I moved it to a high natural light tank, and it took off wonderfully.

If you have a lot of duckweed, it will shadow your other plants. You may need to thin it down.

My best tank had some natural morning sun light, a fine mist of co2, and didn't dose any ferts. I had a big break out of green thread algae on the wall that the sun hit at first, but it cleared up when I added the DIY co2 and the plants started growing in well. I only topped off this system and did about a 25% water change about once every two to three months to replace trace minerals and such that the plants had taken out.

(ramble-ramble-ramble)

In any case, I am one for infrequent water changes and pretty much just do a water change if the nitrates are running a little more than the plants can keep down (as in the case of my angel tank -- they eat all the plants).
__________________
Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 2.5g Planted Shrimp, 10g Planted Killifish, 60g Planted Kribs, 120g Planted Community, 90g Salty Reef with 55g Salty Planted, 180g Planted Goldfish

Colorado Aquarium Society ___ www.2000webdesign.com ___
TAF CAF is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 07:20 PM   #3
Brilliant
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Brilliant's Avatar
 
PTrader: (20/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On a Vista
Posts: 879
Default

Do you have fish? What kind?
__________________
Want to see more...check out my website UpperOrchard.net
Brilliant is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 07:40 PM   #4
saint27
Planted Member
 
saint27's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: East Helena, MT
Posts: 260
Send a message via MSN to saint27 Send a message via Yahoo to saint27
Default

I would say from what my reading in this forum has taught me. If you add CO2 do water changes, if not then do them less frequently.
__________________
saint27 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
Naja002
Planted Tank Guru
 
Naja002's Avatar
 
PTrader: (50/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 2,600
Default

I am wondering where the bba has come from.....Are you doing water changes?

If so, then either add C02 or stop doing frequent WCs.

In a non-C02 tank--bba comes from the rapid increase--followed by the rapid decrease of C02 that occurs with the new water. That favors algae--not plants.

If you have high and consistant levels of C02---bba should not be a problem with WCs.

Plus with the duckweed--your light levels are probably a lot lower than you think. You are already well under 1 w/gal. without anything blocking the light---, and that's not factoring in the "Quality" of the reflectors.

If it were me, I would: Eliminate the duckweed, increase lighting to 1.5-2w/gal, add C02, dose weekly and do WCs every 2 weeks or so....

Hope this Helps
__________________
Naja002 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 08:14 PM   #6
TAF CAF
Wannabe Guru
 
TAF CAF's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Posts: 1,172
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
If it were me, I would: Eliminate the duckweed, increase lighting to 1.5-2w/gal, add C02, dose weekly and do WCs every 2 weeks or so....
Of course... that does kinda get out of the paramaters of a 'Low Tech Tank'. LOL
__________________
Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 2.5g Planted Shrimp, 10g Planted Killifish, 60g Planted Kribs, 120g Planted Community, 90g Salty Reef with 55g Salty Planted, 180g Planted Goldfish

Colorado Aquarium Society ___ www.2000webdesign.com ___
TAF CAF is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 09:37 PM   #7
frostby
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 148
Default

Oh boy! You guys aren't making this an eas decision for me. I have 5 fish in the tank now. 2 cichlids, 1 jack dempsey, and 1 firemouth, 1 reg pleco... They were adopted...and the poor cichlids - are stuck with living in a planted tank LOL...

You confuse me a little with the lighting. if I have the equivalent of 80W NO flourescent - that puts me at less than 1 WPG? I have room to add an additional 4ft T8bulb. Will that help, or would it be a waste of $$?

I have been adding DIY CO2 via inline reactor. Would it be BETTER for me to remove it, and have a CONSTANT low CO2 level, or stay with it and have it fluctuate +-10ppm for a day or two every 3 weeks?

As fancy as these 3+WPG tanks are, I really can't afford to give 1/2 hour every other day in maintenance, not to mention purchasing a $300 light.

I do water changes, some weeks better than others, but basically I pull out 1/4 to 1/5 of the water level and replace it with new... It seems to help with the yellowish tint.. .that may come from my driftwood?

I've had BBA and a combination with Brown algae in all my tanks from my first 5gallon guppy tank with a 10W bulb to a goldfish bowl(as a kid), and a 45g tall, my x-35 hex. All these tanks were around before I discovered the forums and knew about co2, lights, and fertilizers. I guess I am a natural BBA grower. I think if I knew how to make cookies, there would be BBA on that too!!!!

I like the low tech - just wish I could have the benefits fo a high tech!

But thanks all who have replied, so far. Keep up the advice. I'm quite impressed with this forum, the average user here seems much more knowledgeable than some of the 'other' forums

ps..consider the duckweed gone - easier said than done LOL!
frostby is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2006, 10:19 PM   #8
TAF CAF
Wannabe Guru
 
TAF CAF's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Posts: 1,172
Default

I acctually grow duckweed and then give it to my angels as a special treat. I would have though with chiclids you wouldn't have any.... but maybe my angels are just particularly vishious with plants. (They will eat a stem of anacharis in a few days, and view all money-wort as their favorite dessert.)

I am certainly NOT an expert, especially with the high tech tanks, but have had several very successful low techs.
That said, I would personally add the 3rd light if you have the room and money for it, slightly reduce your ferts, and go with a smaller water changes less often. Maybe it would also be helpful to de-gas your water change water before adding it to the tank.

If your water yellows too much, it may be the wood, and it should eventually stop leaching so much. (I have also learned recently, that if you tank looks too yellow, you might try getting higher K bulbs. I did, and my tank looks so much crisper.)

Oh, and another help might be to run two co2 reactors. I have two on my 55 and start them 2 weeks apart... that way I have a much less significant variation of co2 when I have to re-start one.
__________________
Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 2.5g Planted Shrimp, 10g Planted Killifish, 60g Planted Kribs, 120g Planted Community, 90g Salty Reef with 55g Salty Planted, 180g Planted Goldfish

Colorado Aquarium Society ___ www.2000webdesign.com ___
TAF CAF is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 02:04 AM   #9
tritan
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
tritan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Grand Rapids ,MI
Posts: 302
Default

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...cant-look.html

Look at these pics from this thread. No ferts, just light and weekly water changes. CO is introduced in a low tech tank by regular small water changes. If you want more co this more freq small water changes other wise a 2-30 percent change a week is all that was done with these tanks.
__________________
20 gallon Hex planted tank
55 Gallon Hex planted tank

My 75 gallon thread.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...75-gallon.html
tritan is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 02:49 AM   #10
frostby
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 148
Default

Since I am most of the way through making my new hood, I will add more light. I have 2 options here... please offer your preference.

1. Add 1 additional T8 32W 4ft bulb

or

2. Add 2 Compact FL 15 watt screw in type bulbs

Would 1 benefit me more than the other and still allow my minimal CO2, ferts, and water changes...

Thanks for all your help - I really do appreciate everyone's advice.!
frostby is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 03:33 AM   #11
TAF CAF
Wannabe Guru
 
TAF CAF's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Posts: 1,172
Default

That is deffinitly out of my league as to which would be better, but it might be good to check the kelvins available and costs of lights. If they give you the same output, I would guess it would be better to go with the lower cost. But I imagine several people here are better able to give you input on that.
__________________
Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 2.5g Planted Shrimp, 10g Planted Killifish, 60g Planted Kribs, 120g Planted Community, 90g Salty Reef with 55g Salty Planted, 180g Planted Goldfish

Colorado Aquarium Society ___ www.2000webdesign.com ___
TAF CAF is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 02:34 PM   #12
frostby
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 148
Default

The screw in bulbs - definatly have a higher "intensity" for lack of the proper term, compared to the T8. Would either make a considerable difference when determining how many WPG I would have....?

And TAF CAF, I appreciate your input and your honesty.... thanks .. really!
frostby is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 03:55 PM   #13
tazcrash69
Planted Tank Guru
 
tazcrash69's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Posts: 3,207
Default

Screw in bulbs have a notorious amount of re-strike (wasted light due to hitting the bulb again). They can be used, but are not as effecient at getting light into the water.
__________________
Walter
Visit my 125 profile and gallery or my 5 gallon low-tech. Proud member of:


--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
tazcrash69 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 03:56 PM   #14
Naja002
Planted Tank Guru
 
Naja002's Avatar
 
PTrader: (50/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 2,600
Default

Quote:
You confuse me a little with the lighting. if I have the equivalent of 80W NO flourescent - that puts me at less than 1 WPG?
Apologies, my Thinking was Faulty on that.

Quote:
Of course... that does kinda get out of the paramaters of a 'Low Tech Tank'. LOL
Maybe so, but it still offers the benefits of "Low-Light"--which is what I think most people looking at "Low-Tech" are actually seeking: Low Setup and Operational Costs/Maintenance/Hassle:

Quote:
As fancy as these 3+WPG tanks are, I really can't afford to give 1/2 hour every other day in maintenance, not to mention purchasing a $300 light.


On a 55g, 2 1g jugs of DIY C02 should be no problem, unless its just more work than You want to keep up with. It should not gas Your fish and should put out enough C02 to prevent BBA. And with the Low- Light you should only need to dose about once/wk and WC about every 2 wks or so.....

Quote:
I like the low tech - just wish I could have the benefits fo a high tech!
There Ya go......Re-read above. On my tanks: Maintenance is less, Dosing is less, WCs are less, but they are still beautiful, algae-free and grow the plants at a slow steady rate. "Low-Tech" / "Low-Light": Mostly semantics. Not completely, but Mostly.



Quote:
Oh, and another help might be to run two co2 reactors. I have two on my 55 and start them 2 weeks apart... that way I have a much less significant variation of co2 when I have to re-start one.
That's the Ticket. Just use 1g Gatorade/Mott's Apple Juice/Etc jugs. I use: 6 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp Baking soda and 1/2 Tsp. yeast.


Quote:
but it might be good to check the kelvins available and costs of lights.
Sound Advice. The SCFs are available at Walmart in "Sunlight" which is 6,700K--they would work fine. But, if you go with the CF, its the Watt output that counts--Not the equal to. 26w=100w incadescent--Its the 26w that counts.

Quote:
2. Add 2 Compact FL 15 watt screw in type bulbs
You can always consider the 13w kits at AHSupply.com. Since You are building Your own hood--The cost shouldn't be too bad.

I use some SCF and they work.

You may also want to consider what plants You choose.....Fast-growing stem plants are always going to be more work than slower growers. Plants that don't grow as Tall--generally require less pruning/maintenance/effort.

Hope this Helps
__________________
Naja002 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2006, 05:44 PM   #15
frostby
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 148
Default

I guess that just about covers all the unanswered questions.. .thanks!
frostby is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012