7 mth old planted betta journal, moving from low to high tech, lots of pics, diy co2
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:33 AM   #1
desertfish24
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7 mth old planted betta journal, moving from low to high tech, lots of pics, diy co2


Hey, First post here on this forum.
First thanks to all the people that help out here on the forums to make this a great site. I wanted to start a journal of my tank to help get some criticism and ideas of what to watch out for and what could be done better

Heres my tank. It’s a 10 gallon planted beta tank that’s been running about 7-8 months now.
Its always been a low tech tank, but wanting to transition to a higher tech in near future.

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when first set up-8-9 months ago

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6/24


7/21

8/6

8/21
Plants –
I’ve had crypts, anubias, amazon frog bit, sylvinia, anacharis, rotala indica, amazon swords, and java fern since the aquarium was set up, and just recently added some water wisteria, and have some java moss coming in the mail.


I do enjoy the tangled mess that the stems become if allowed to grow along the surface. Makes a nice place for the floating plants to gather and remain relatively still instead of circling all day in the current.
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Filtration – Have a hob running since the beginning, recently added a air sponge filter and air stone that only runs when lights are off. I’m planning on going sponge only once it has been colonized, or possibly moving sponge to start a new tank, and starting another fresh sponge in this one.
Hob has a water bottle out flow mod, and a piece of the crafters plastic mesh stuff to prevent floating plants from getting behind filter and getting into the heavier water circulation area.

Lighting – 1 x 15” Walmart daylight fluorescent 15 w, 2 x 13w compact flourescents both daylight, running from 1p-9p on a timer. Also have a marineland hidden led for only moonlight running during the day to about midnight.
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I have had the aquarium with only 2 of the 15w fluorescent bulbs for the past 6 months, but was hardly seeing any growth. Made the decision to upgrade once I placed a potted vine plant, that grows everywhere else in the house, by the aquarium. Within two weeks, all old growth was dead and new growth was very little with lots of space in between the nodes, so decided to step up the lighting and add co2 to get more growth.

Ferts – I do once a week 30 to 50% water changes, and during I add the recommended doses of flourish comprehensive, and about a half dose of nitrogen. I just recently added api root tabs as well mainly by the crypts and swords.
I also have a gallon that’s mixed with the same doses of comp and nitrogen that I use to top off in between w/c’s a few times a week.
Also use Marineland Aquarium Conditioner with each w/c.

Co2 – Just started using API Co2 booster about a week ago (half dosage daily), along with raising the light level, some noticeable new growth mainly on rotala , java fern, and water wisteria. No visible adverse effects that I’ve noticed.
I will be switching to a diy co2 rig hopefully by the end of the week. I’m planning on using two 1 ltr coke bottles, with a 2 week rotation, so that one bottle gets swapped every week.

Fish –
Just one female crowntail. Would like to have a small cleanup crew, but betta had decided she would rather have the whole 10 gallons to herself. Can’t blame her…
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aquarium-
Regular grreat choice 10 gallon, lowes glass cut a little bigger with a drawer handle superglued to top for lid as well as a few pieces of acrylic to cover back.
Would love to go open top if it wasn’t for the dang flying ants we have here.
Also have a fluval heater set to 79-80.

Just measured water parameters 3 days after a 40% w/c using an api master kit, as well as api kh/gh.
KH read 30-50ish, GH 50, ammonia .15, no 0, no3 0, ph 7.5


Just have a few questions.
I’ve had what I believe to be diatoms for more than a few months, already seeing it turn a more light brown green type color though over the past few week with more lighting and liquid co2. Can some one help confirm that this is diatoms? It also looks like some type of hair algae possibly on a few things, I’m not sure though. Any inputs appreciated. Here is some more pics
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Should I dose more nitrogen ferts being that I don’t see any during water testing?

I’ve read about ph swings when adding diy co2, is this really something to worry that much about? I will be using a bubble counter before the diffuser to help any leakage from the reactors. Would baking soda added to the yeast be helpful in my situation?

Also would it be recommended to continue the liquid co2 when I transition over to diy.

Any thoughts on the lighting and if it would still be classified as low mid or high light would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, feel free to share your similar tanks here as well.
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Last edited by desertfish24; 08-22-2014 at 07:20 AM.. Reason: updated pics
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:50 AM   #2
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Just got the bottles set up following the guide at http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/

I'm using 2 x 1 litre bottles instead with half the dose each, and hopefully a 2 week rotation with bottles.

I ordered a regular ceramic/glass diffuser, and a generic bubble counter on [Ebay Link Removed] Should be here tom or next day. For the time being, i've mixed one bottle and left it gassing in a cup of r.o. drinking water, neutral ph. Hopefully i'll be able to get an idea of bubble count, worst ph swing possible..., and any other issues before its added to the tank.
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Definitely seeing visible signs of the liquid co2, increased lighting, and api root tabs, over the past 4-5 days. New growth on the crypts, java fern, and especially the rotala indica, some on the swords as well. I did find a few chunks of anacharis laying on the substrate instead of floating, they're still green and seem to be growing though. The diatoms? are also changing color on the outskirts of the colonies, hopefully dieing off.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:38 PM   #3
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Heres some updated pics

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So have one bottle set up now for the diy co2. Had a leak somewhere with the second bottle/check valve/t-valve, so just gonna keep it with one bottle for the time being. I'm using a cheap co2 diffuser from ebay, working good so far (24 hours). The bubble counter is showing about 1 about every 3 seconds.

Also got some java moss as well.

Pretty excited about the new growth using the api co2 booster with bigger lights thus far. Anacharis appears to be dieing, but everything else seems great.

Using the api 5 in 1 test strips, readings are 25ish kh, 10 gh, 0 no2, 7.5 no3, 6.7 ph. Ammonia is back at zero after a small spike when i added the root tabs and mixed up some substrate.

I'm trying to do at least 2 30%ish water changes a week, and both times dosing the ferts (Seachem flourish comprehensive and nitrogen both recommended dose).

A few other interesting things have been going on as well. Tank temp has reached 84 during the day here, pretty hot where I'm at. I found some thin kinda long white worm thing swimming around, watched it for about 3 seconds, before the fish saw and ate immediately. Also been having a good amount of flying ants around the house, and a fish that keeps getting fatter...

Anything would you people do different? I'm still wondering if its worth adding potassium or phosphorus, or anything else.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:31 AM   #4
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Tank looks good.

Why the need to go high tech? The plants you have should do well with half the lighting you currently have.

I had white worms in one of my betta tanks that turned out to be mosquito larvae. Like yours, they didn't last too long.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:40 AM   #5
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I don't think I'd mess with it . Everything's running smoothly for you , and it looks great . Though you might want to get rid of the duckweed , especially if you've got multiple tanks . The stuff spreads like wildfire . I've probably got 10 tanks overrun with the stuff .
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:10 AM   #6
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Re DIY CO2, sealant methods are all crap. Ive used silicone, hot glue, super glue, various epoxies, water weld, you name it, and never had one stay leak-free for very long. There's a much better way to do the connections ITT - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=659290 .

Thought that may give you some food for thought. Tank looks nice. Good luck!
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:20 AM   #7
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nice tank
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:32 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. To answer your question aguilar, I think i'm addicted... I was getting bored with the slow grow rate when I had the lower tech setup for about 6 months. It seems like there's more noticeable growth in the past two weeks, then most months before...

I can see why duckweed is illegal to buy or sale or certain states due to it being an invasive plant.

Just 2 weeks of growth...
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Great thread burr, I might have to try that in the future.

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:02 AM   #9
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so changed up a few things recently.

I took someoldguys advice and removed a bunch of the duckweed. Hopefully some no3 might stick around so i don't have to dose nitrogen as frequently.

I also planted a bunch of the rotala indica? thats been floating for awhile and is nice and curved...

I built a simple raft with airhose/connector to try to keep the salvinia in so hopefully keep growing..

The co2 seems to be producing at best around 1 bubble every 3 seconds, and at most 1 bubble every 5 seconds. I've been trying to replace the mix when it slows down to that point though, maybe every 4 days. It really does seem to be making a difference. First time seeing pearling in this tank.

After reading some of the great threads about par and cfls on here, I re-positioned the lights so they are more vertical, as well as a little closer from the top of the tank.

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Thanks again to the people that have left their advice here, and the plantedtank community in whole. Great website...
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:04 AM   #10
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You should be getting a lot longer out of your CO2 mixture, like closer to two weeks before seeing a reduction. Use a bigger bottle than 1L, more water=more CO2 for a longer period of time. Try that recipe in the thread I linked, a 2 Liter bottle runs for about 16-17 days before slowing down. If a 2 L bottle is too big space-wise or something, you can find 1.89L fairly easy, they're a bit more compact. I use one of those on a 20 gallon with about the same results as the 2Ls.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:05 AM   #11
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Thanks again burr. I'm gonna mix up a two litre and put it on tonight so hopefully it will be kicking by lights on tom. Great tank/journal on the 75 gallon too, interesting read.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:10 AM   #12
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Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:28 AM   #13
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so a new update, about one month since i've upped lighting and added co2 (both through liquid and diy) also figured out how to post higher res pics, so i'll try to do it that way now.











For the DIY CO2, moving from a ltr to a 2 ltr bottle has made a huge difference. 7 days with the same bottle and averaging between 1 bubble every 1.5-3 seconds, with a little shaking every now and then.

I've only added a small amount of api co2 booster if I've had to depressurize the diy setup, twice now since last update.

Plants seem like there loving life. Salvinia is coming growing back slowly but surely, even a branch of anacharis, which i've always had problems with appears to be thriving.

I've added a new bunch of API root tabs, except I broke them in half and put them at 3 inches apart around the plants (as opposed to the directions with one tab every 6 in). Between that and some pruning of the old diatom? covered growth, the crypts and swords are happy.

Since I got rid of 90% of the duckweed, my no3 has been testing a lot higher (around 15ish ppm), so I'm starting to lower the dose of the Flourish Nitrogen. Duckweed does make a heck of a no3 mop...

KH and GH were both around 40 today. Gh shows a lot lower with api test strips, around 10, but I'd like to believe the liquid api gh/kh test kit.

I'm planning on ordering some flourish Potassium soon. I was thinking of getting all the NPK macros, but i've read fish food is high in phosphorous (can any1 confirm), so i'll wait on that.

The brown algae crap (diatoms?) seems to have really slowed down on the front glass, but continues to grow in area of low light/current, I'm debating spot dosing excel, but i do really like my anacharis...

Really would like some input on this... Thinking of getting rid of the dragon and sponge filter/etc on left side of tank and starting some carpeting or other low growing plants. Any thoughts/ideas? I kinda like glosso, but wondering if the inch of flourite would make that a p.i.t.a.


Thanks again, appreciate all the comments/critiques so far.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:30 AM   #14
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another update...

tanks really starting to grow in now.





seems like i have to replace the co2 mix about every 5-6 days to keep it steady between a bubble every 1.5 to 4 seconds. Still works a lot better than I originally thought it would. Highly recommend it over the liquid stuff.

Seems like i'm getting some deficiencies though, Some of the newer crypt leaves are turning brown at the edges on one plant, and the other one (lower water current) has that in addition to some pin holes/chunks of the leaves missing...

And some new brownish hair algae stuff is popping up in the lower levels of tank with lower light/current. Any ideas? would rather not do any liquid co2.
Also still have a brown algae thing (maybe diatoms???) in some of the same areas, especially the darkest areas



I'm planning on ordering both Flourish potassium and phosphorus. I'll start with the potassium and see if that balances things out, then I plan on waiting to see what effect that has for a month our two. Then I'll add the phosphorus and see what that does.

All in all, pretty happy with the way this tank is coming along.

Also starting a new 20 gallon long, i'll link its journal here soon.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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Im no expert on deficiencies, but I do know it takes a full range of everything (N, P, K + micros) otherwise you will eventually have one. Plants are limited by whatever nutrient is in the least supply. (see Leibig's law of minimum) Pinholes in older leaves can be a sign of low potassium, not saying that's what it is though.

Quote:
seems like i have to replace the co2 mix about every 5-6 days to keep it steady between a bubble every 1.5 to 4 seconds.
From my exp using DIY currently on two different tanks, I can tell you that is nowhere near consistent enough to not have algae issues. On my 20 gal, a new bottle starts off at a solid 1 bps. After two weeks, it's down to roughly 2 bubbles every 3 seconds. If I let it go a third week, it becomes 1 bubble every 2 then 3 seconds. It is at this point that algae starts showing up. It happens every time.

Another thing is I cant understand why you arent getting more Co2 production, for a longer period of time. I just use plain old yeast/sugar and a tbsp of baking soda to get the previously mentioned rates out of a 2L bottle. Are you sure you dont have a leak somewhere in the connections? That is a strong possibility if you're relying on any sort of adhesive to seal it off. You can test them with soapy water. Just dab some on and if you see bubbles, there's a leak.

Tank is looking good, btw. I bet that betta is happy
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