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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-01-2003, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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in my 90 gallon planted tank, something strange is going on and i can't quite figure it out. maybe you all can help some.

everything is fine all day, and then at night everyone goes to sleep. something happens when their sleeping, as in the morning when i go to turn on the light i find everyone gasping for air at the surface. i wouldn't think this too weird from the discus as they're pains, but my 6" L091 is up there too gasping for air.

after i turn on the lights for an hour or so, everyone goes back to normal and all is well again.

i have turned off all co2 for about a week now, and nothing has changed in that time in tank contents.

stats:

90 gallon
2 fluval 404 canisters
water changes 2x week, 30% each
NO co2 for the time being
pH 6.8
Gh 4
Kh 2

i added an air stone to the tank tonight to try to help with whatever might be going on, as i'm at a loss as to why this is happening. the readings are the same at night and in the morning, there's been no change in water source, and all water parameters have been stable for ever now.

anyone got any idea as to what's going on, and what i can do about it?

thanks!!!
amy
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-01-2003, 12:29 PM
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Well from what you have told us it's not an excess of CO2 but a lack of O2. I'm betting that you almost no surface turbulence. So what it would seem is happening is that the fish are using the O2 in the water during the night when the plants are not pearling. Also if I'm not mistaken plants uptake O2 during the night also. So either increase or add some surface turbulence or put an air stone on a timer to run at night.

One thing to consider is that with a kH of 2 is you should be getting some pretty big pH swings without the CO2 running. And with a pH of 6.8 you would have a CO2 level of over 9 ppm.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-01-2003, 12:51 PM
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I'll second Rex's suspicions. Even after I reduced my CO2 levels from 40ppm to 20ppm, the fish still gasped in the morning, before the lights turned on. I had ZERO surface agitation at that time. Now I have a small powerhead skimming the surface and both the plants and the fish are actually doing better!

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plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the input, and i think that you guys are right. i put in those air diffusers last night, and this morning all was well with everyone. they were up and looking for food.

i'm thinking about the powerhead idea, i saw the new rotating powerheads that they have out. anyone tried that yet?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 12:54 PM
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I used a rotating powerhead in my reef. It really helped eliminate dead spots in the live rock where detritus could collect. I don't think I'd want one in my planted tank, though. It might wreak havoc on newly planted stems. I just use a small 600-1000 lph powerhead and aim it horizontally, a few inches below the surface. Just enough agitation to help out at night, but not create too many losses during the day.

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plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-04-2003, 01:02 PM
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My relatively new tank (3 months) has much the same experience. I transferred fish from an old tank into a much bigger one whe we moved house and added Co2 set-up to enable me to grow plants (previously this had been a complete failure due to lack of light, no Co2 etc in old tank).
Result is fish go to surface soon after lights out time and only resume normal swimming in morning when light back on.
At risk of losing Co2 due to surface movement I might try an oxygen source timed to come on when light is off. Presumably plants might appreciate extra oxygen as well as fish, so it could be a win-win decision.
What does anyone think? Good idea or bad?

Stephen Hart

Juwel Vision 260, Co2 set-up, Numerous plants & fish
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2003, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hart
I might try an oxygen source timed to come on when light is off. Presumably plants might appreciate extra oxygen as well as fish, so it could be a win-win decision.
What does anyone think? Good idea or bad?

Stephen Hart
Are you talking about adding oxygen? If so, to me that sounds like over-complicating the whole issue. You probably CAN, but I would think it might be easier to increase water movement, perhaps only at night if you are so concerned about losing CO2.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2003, 01:31 AM
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Instead of adding an O2 source why not just add an air-stone on a reverse timer?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2003, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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that's what i did. i've got 2 small diffusers in there on opposite sides of the tank. when the lights go off, the air comes on. although i'm debating about keeping them on all the time, the clowns seem to love the bubbles.

would it greatly effect the co2 levels of the tank to have the extra surface agitation?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2003, 12:30 PM
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Yes. You can either run the air stones and forget about trying to obtain decent CO2 levels or you can turn them off and have decent CO2 levels. Don't forget what I said about raising your kH either.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2003, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for the replies to my question about extra oxygen.
I meant to say that I was thinking about an airstone to achieve this rather than a source of pure oxygen. I agree that that would be too complicated, so an airstone timed to come on when the Co2 is off would seem suitable.
My current set-up gives me enough to worry about already without extra concerns on relative Co2 and oxygen levels. A cheap and cheerful airstone sounds the best idea, at least I can experiment at little additional expense

Juwel Vision 260, Co2 set-up, Numerous plants & fish
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2003, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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i've been working on raising the Kh, but i'm not really having any luck just yet. i tried the calcium carbonate route, but i didn't see any noticable increase in 4 weeks with it in the filter. i think that i might just go with the baking soda route and see how that works. i don't know what else to do.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2003, 02:20 PM
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If you want to raise your KH You could also use calcious rock for example Tuffa rock or other likewise material(often found in rift valley Chichlid tanks) I had a friend (or indeed LFS) that let me have a small peice of this rock I put it in a stocking and placed it in my tank you could also place this somewhere out of the way in the tank and just break small peices of it and let it leech into the water column...

This is not as acurate as say adding K by Calcium Carbonate or Baking soda but it will prop your KH up

HTH
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