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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Question a newbie here

Hello I am wanting to start a Co2 tank I am willing to spend $500 on supplies and things to get started. I am in the USAF and don't always have all the time in the world; so it needs to be auto if pos. any recommendations on a system and how big of a Co2 tank? I have a 55 gal with 3 yoyo's, 3 clowns, 5 corys, 2 platys, 2 guppies, and bushy nose pleco male. Ph is 8.3. I am using 2 hydro V sponge filters w/ a 60 wispers air pump (blue dome) a Coralife 2x 64wt freshwater light and adding a canaster filter with biowheel haven't decided what kind as of yet. also please help with PH my fish are fine but i belive if i start getting more plants that i will kill em or eventually harm my fish. thanks [email protected]
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 04:57 PM
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WELCOME!

That PH does seem a bit high. The first thing to do is find out why it is high in the first place. I assume you are getting water from the tap... set some out in a bucket for a couple days and check it's PH... If it matches what is in your tank, then your tap water is just high... however, if it doesn't match, then there is something in your tank that is spiking up the PH (sand, corals, shells, rocks, all can do this if they are not 'innert').

One reason water is often high in PH is the bicarbonate hardness, or KH. They are linked to each-other. Some KH is good for plants, since they break carbon out of it (I don't really know the specifics) and lots of plants will slowly reduce the KH and PH, but not if there is something in the tank pushing it back up again. And I am not too sure if the plants would be affected badly by that PH or not. They seem quite happy in my innitial 7.8 PH.

CO2 artificially lowers your PH, but the hardness and TDS (total disolved solids) will still be there, so can still be long term damaging to your fish, if your fishies are sensitive to that.

I am sure more people will chime in with help, but in the mean time, I would definitly find out if it is your tap water or something in the tank that makes your PH high.

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. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 01:40 AM
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1) Get rid of your sponge filters. (and give them to me, LOL) - $0
2) Get rid of the airpump. - $0
3) Get a canister filter, forget the biowheel attachment. Maybe two 2213s or 2215s. - $130 for two 2213s. Probably $160 for two 2215s.
4) Get a 10# CO2 (biggest you can fit in your stand, really) - $70 local
5) Get a regulator w/ solenoid. Azoo, JBJ, Milwaukee, or Rex Grigg. - ~$140 from Rex Grigg
6) Get a needle valve/check valve. Rex Grigg - comes with the Rex Regulator.
7) Get tubing. Clippard, Rex Grigg. - $0.70 a foot from Rex I think.
8) Optional: Get a pH controller and plug the solenoid into there. - $80-90

That'll put you under $500 I think.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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I use two 5 gal buckets with "stand by water" in them 2 weeks before my water changes i do them every 2 weeks 1/4 of tank. yes city water and i hate it but oh well, Ph is high everywhere here 8.1 - 8.9 thats Dover for ya. why is everyone so against sponge filters? my friend has them and its all he uses he raises corys. has 25 tanks.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 07:51 AM
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I like sponge filters. They are great for holding bacteria... in fact, most of my tanks run with no other media.

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. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 01:42 PM
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Sponge filters will help to quickly out-gas the CO2 you are injecting. Also most people find them unsightly in a planted tank. Sponge filters are great for breeding tanks and growing tanks. They are gentle on eggs and fry, they have a huge biological filtration capacity, the provide a source of microscopic food for fry. In a planted tank not so many benefits. They don't provide a lot of water movement. The plants provide the biological filtration. Raising Corys and having a nice planted tank are two different things.

There is no reason at all to let your water sit in a bucket for a week. Not one.

If you want CO2 then dump the sponge filters, dump the air pump. Forget getting a canister filter with a Bio-wheel. The only canister filter that comes with one is the Magnum 350. IMHO it's a poor choice for a planted tank due to the limited media capacity. I prefer the Rena Filstar canister filters. The XP-3 would be a good choice.

Then read my Guide. Read it a couple of times.

There is no reason to spend $500. And if you don't do the research then you will spend $500 and still not have what you need.

Get a Pinpoint pH controller (I would swear I answered this same question on another forum).
Get a good regulator.
Get the cylinder.
Get a diffusion method. I like a external reactor plumbed into the output of the canister filter.

Set it up and go.

DO NOT buy a "complete" system from any large mail order pet store. They contain parts that are not of the quality you want/need and in many cases have parts that are not suited to the task.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 05:52 PM
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Ahhh ::Blush::

I missed the part about Chadwick's sponge filters being powered with bubbles. Most of mine are media in my filters, or powered by power-heads.

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. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Duh

oh ok i get it now the bubbles comming up from filters release the co2 into the air thus eliminating the consistancy on co2 in h20 makes since now lol. reason for the water in buckets is that the clorine content is so high here i can still smell hints of it after that long. AFB has strict guidelines.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 05:41 PM
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Talking

A lot of us use Chlorine/Chloramine remover. Especially in city water, the clorine will de-gas after sitting in buckets, but the Cloramine is added specifically because it doesn't de-gas (or at least not until it is broken down into chlorine and amonia). Also, if you ever end up with sensitive fish and/or shrimp, some of the treatments will neutralize heavy metals and make the water even safer to fish/shrimp.

There are lots of brands out there, but what you want to look for is one that also neutralize or 'de-toxify' heavy metals... you usually have to read the back to see if they do or not.

I am not too fond of the ones that 'improve slime coat'... they are harder to measure for me, but that is all personal preference I guess.

If you do lots of water changes, or have lots of tanks (like me), my favorite is 'API, Tap Water Conditioner, Super Strength'. It is really concentraited, so you only need one ml for 5-20 gallons (depending on your chloramine content). Of course, to measure accuratly at that level, it is VERY useful to get a needle-less siringe (can get easily from a vet for dosing medicine to pets).

Most of the brands work 'instantly' which makes your water safe for adding to your tank right away. (Some of us acctually run a hose right into the tank and dribble treatment as it fills!)

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. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 06:08 PM
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Now for the high PH...

There are a few methods for reducing your PH. The only one pretty guaranteed to be agreed upon here is that chemicals (like 'PH Down') are NOT the way to go. Most people (in my experience and reading) experience that it works fine to start with, but then, even weeks later, it can cause crazy PH crashes that are VERY diffucult to battle and recove from.

Other methods... (and I am sure there are more)

1. Cut your water with RO (available at some fish stores that sell salt-water fish), or 'Distilled' water from the grocery. Of course, this method can get pretty expensive for a 55g. However, once you get your PH down with cutting your water, if you don't do really frequent or really large water changes, you don't have to 'cut' it again for quite a few water changes. Of course, since this method could lower the PH (and disolved solids, etc.) quite quickly, you should be rather carefull not to decrease the PH more than about .1 an hour or so. (When doing this, I like to 'slow drip' the water into the tank with some air-line from a bucket above the tank if I am changing more than 25% to distilled water at one time.)

2. Add 'peat' to the filter in a media bag (or panty-hose). This method is mild, but seems to slowly work, however, if you do really frequent water changes, you will not see much effect.

3. Some drift-wood leaches 'tannins' that acidify your water... though they also make your water tea-colored, and it would be hard to control the release rate, etc, and some don't leach much at all.

4. I am currently using 'Keta-Peat, Nuggets' by Marc Weiss Companies, Inc. It doesn't contain copper (VERY bad for shrimp), and works similarly to peat, but seems to work quite a bit better. (At least in my experience so far.) This will also need a filter bag or panty-hose bag.

I guess the note here is... if it says it works in anything less than a week, it is probably not a good idea. Slow changes are really the way to go with PH issues.

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. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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