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Old 05-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #46
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I find it easiest to add ferts in the substrate. My favorite at present is natural charcoal.
Where do you get natural charcoal? Not the activated carbon for filters, or the bbq briquets, right? And how do you use it? just insert into the substrate like root tabs?
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #47
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Where do you get natural charcoal? Not the activated carbon for filters, or the bbq briquets, right? And how do you use it? just insert into the substrate like root tabs?
I found it at Ace Hardware Store. It cost $9. It is a good source of carbon and iron. You can crush it up and put it under the substrate or just put some in a fabric bag from pet store and push it behind the filter. If you want to crush it you have to let it soak in water for at least 24 hrs, then wrap it in a towel or window plastic and hit it with a hammer etc.. I got the idea from Zer0zaz at APC

I emptied my aquarium of all but the substrate and dug holes in the substrate for the charcoal. Some floated up after I moved the substrate around. Also I put some in a cotton bag and put it behind the filter, for new plants are struggling to adapt to my non co2 tank. Since I added the Ludwiga has started growing.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:03 PM   #48
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Awesome, thanks for the tip, I will have to try that in my low tech tanks.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:10 PM   #49
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If that doesn't improve things try to make some mineralized soil.

After seeing people, like Hoppy, whom all of the high tech gadgets I have come to think growing plants is difficult if you have no minerals in the water column.

So how many tanks do you have and what styles are they.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:03 PM   #50
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Yeah, I dose the water column EI style in all my tanks. The biggest problems I have had is BBA when there is some sort of imbalance. My tanks are:

CO2, 65W PC 20 gallon, with Florabase
CO2, 140 W T5 125 gallon with inert gravel
non-CO2, excel, 28W 15 gallon long with Eco Complete
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:24 PM   #51
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Yeah, I dose the water column EI style in all my tanks. The biggest problems I have had is BBA when there is some sort of imbalance. My tanks are:
How about a picture?

If it gets real bad I found taking the plants out and spraying them with excel helps. Then rinse them in water with conditioner. Also contrary to experienced 1s KNO3 helped it from coming back in my tank. Thus I wonder if you increased dosing if KNO3 if it would balance your tank. Experience 1s say BBA due imbalance of Co2 and per circulation in the tank.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:32 PM   #52
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Yup, it's a CO2 problem and circulation. I start to have problems whenever the tank gets overgrown. It's mostly my laziness in pruning that starts it.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:48 PM   #53
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Yup, it's a CO2 problem and circulation. I start to have problems whenever the tank gets overgrown. It's mostly my laziness in pruning that starts it.
What do have growing in that tank?

Then cut back on light and Co2 so you don't have to prune as often.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:08 PM   #54
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I had a lot of jungle Val, which I have mostly culled or given away. Also some Bacopa Carolina. The rest are slow growing plants like the L. Arcuata, the L. Aromatica, Anubias ,etc.

The light is already raised by legs. I think what I need to do is adjust the location of my diffuser, which I am going to experiment with this weekend.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:19 PM   #55
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I had a lot of jungle Val, which I have mostly culled or given away. Also some Bacopa Carolina.
I have seen Bacopa grow out of the tanks at site of seller. You may just have to toss it to keep it promoting algae conditions. Anacharis may be a good replacement for it. It is a floater but can be planted and good for absorbing toxins.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:53 PM   #56
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Mine don't grow that fast...compared to the jungle Val. I don't like the look of the Anacharis. I just need to prune back the plants enough and change the circulation pattern. The reason for the problems is that we've been renovation the house and we have a second kid coming (in 3 weeks) and I'm changing jobs, so I just haven't had a lot of time to spend on the tanks (I have to move a tank at work home because of that too). I hope to have it under control next month with some serious changes. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:20 AM   #57
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we've been renovation the house and we have a second kid coming (in 3 weeks) and I'm changing jobs,
You sure have a lot on your plate.

I wonder if an extra air stone on a dead spot would help the consistancy of Co2 through out the tank. Just perhaps a quick fix.
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:44 AM   #58
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I wonder if an extra air stone on a dead spot would help the consistancy of Co2 through out the tank. Just perhaps a quick fix.
Possibly. I just moved the diffuser under the Koralia nano instead of under the Fluval outlet, so I'll wait to see what happens.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:19 PM   #59
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It might be interesting to see a comparison between white painted reflectors vs. metallic colored or mirrored reflectors. I've read that some europeans think white is just as effective as the high tech mirrored ones we prefer.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:29 AM   #60
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HI jeremy (i4x4nmore) I am really impressed with your research regarding PAR values. I would just like to know though, most of the people I talk with compare the efficiency of different type of bulbs (in terms of the light it produces against the consumption) in order to have the best lighting in the cheapest electrical bill.
Do you have any research comparing different type of light bulbs using their PAR value against electical consumption so that we may also know which type of bulb is best.

Thanks in advance!
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