60" 120 high tech community planted tank journal - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Does your drop checker have 4 dKH water (distilled water with just enough baking soda to get to a KH of 4 degrees) in it? And, do you use pH reagent, like API pH test kits come with, in that 4 dKH water? Is it a transparent dark blue color before you put it in the tank?

One thing that might help you get started is to dilute your 4 dKH water 50-50 with distilled water, to make 2 dKH water. If you then use that instead of the 4 dKH, it will be green at about 15 ppm, and yellow-green at about 30 ppm. If it goes to yellow you will probably have too much CO2 for the fish to live with.
Hey Hoppy!

My drop checker does indeed have 4 dkh water, made with the formula that you posted on a different thread. So for all the questions in your first paragraph my answer are yes, yes and yes.

Currently, we've arrived at the place where after having turned on the CO2 for an hour before the lights with bps at 5-6, our drop checker turns nicely to a deep emerald green. The fish seem okay with that. I'm not quite sure why you're suggesting that I go to a 2 dkh solution, but I'm open to learning! Can you explain the benefit to me?

Tanks a bunch!

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post #32 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 04:01 AM
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On Sunday last, the grandkids were over. They loved the Wetter Chanel!
Really like this pic


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post #33 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Update: On Friday, we finally got the driftwood I've been waiting for. Because we were caught flatfooted with CO2, we had algae problems and some die off on the stalks of plants, and a few pockets of hair algae of some sort. We took out each plant that showed any form of distress, cleaned and pruned, and then replanted. We also vacuumed the substrate lightly and did a 50% water change, and added the driftwood with buce and anubias nana attached via brown all-cotton threads. This is my final hardscape, but not my endpoint with plants, by any means.

New plants are coming from Bartohog: 2 retrospiralis, 2 Hyptis lorentziana, 5 Bacopa Salzmannii, 3 Bacopa colorata, 1 Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze, and 2 bags red root floaters. As you see in the picture, I'm floating some Brazilian pennywort now, and like the look. My light is high, so I want to shade some of the tank while continuing to fight algae. The way my flow works, the two sides of the tank are relatively tranquil while the under-surface spray bar pushes back to front in the center, so I bought the red root floaters and we'll see if they work out well on the left side.

Bump: I have to give shout outs to those who have patiently helped with this tank so much!

1. Immortal1: Hubs is going to HD tomorrow to buy parts for a cerges reactor. :d) I'm excited about that.

2. Also, Hoppy, we adjusted the dKH for the drop checker, so it's at 2 now. More on how that does as the week progresses.

3. Burr: I'm dosing sparingly: about 1/4 of what I had been, and also getting more plants. Photo period is at 5 hrs, and CO2 coming on one hour before lights on and going off one hour before lights off. Too early to tell if this will beat our algae problem, but at least you've given us a direction to head.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I'm more than grateful to all of you, and for this terrific website that does so much to educate newbies like us!
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post #34 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 12:07 AM
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It looks like you are well on your way now. You are not going to recognize that tank once those plants start taking off.

And get the scissors ready.....hard to think of now.....but it won't be long and you will be trimming it all back!

Looking forward to seeing the updates as things progress.
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post #35 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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It looks like you are well on your way now. You are not going to recognize that tank once those plants start taking off.

And get the scissors ready.....hard to think of now.....but it won't be long and you will be trimming it all back!

Looking forward to seeing the updates as things progress.
You are also on my shout-out list, Gregg. Still pondering fish choices, but for sure rainbows. Thanks for all the encouragement so far!

Tanks a bunch!

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post #36 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Tonight my Hubs built a Cerges reactor for me. We're still fine tuning it (thanks to Immortal1 again!). When we fired it up, we saw a one-drip leak. Ahhhh!

Hubs is going back to HD tomorrow to get parts and replumb that top section. He's so great!
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Last edited by Tanks!; 11-30-2016 at 01:53 AM. Reason: *
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post #37 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 01:41 AM
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I would suggest a plastic based 5 minute epoxy instead of silicone
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post #38 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Meanwhile, we're trying to fine tune the cerges as is. We're finding that with the bypass all the way open, and a fairly low rate (3 bps or so) the cerges gurgles every 30 seconds or so, and then "belches" visible bubbles into the tank. I'm wondering if the CO2 is even dissolving at all... seems like the CO2 might be collecting in the cerges for 30 second and then just coming up all at once? If so, this is not working as we'd hoped, for sure!

Tanks a bunch!

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post #39 of 206 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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I would suggest a plastic based 5 minute epoxy instead of silicone
Hey: I think he's just going to go ahead and rebuild the top tomorrow. That way we won't have to worry about it ever. We may re-engineer it. It seems like we don't need the bypass. It works better without it! When we open the bypass, the CO2 goes with that flow and bypasses the filter. Any reason that we NEED a bypass?

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post #40 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 01:44 PM
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Curious how things are going? Did you get the leak fixed? Is reactor working any better with full filter flow going thru it?


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post #41 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Curious how things are going? Did you get the leak fixed? Is reactor working any better with full filter flow going thru it?
Thanks for asking! I tried to post an update last night, but this website wouldn't upload pictures. The cerges--well, it's a mixed bag. Scott went to HD and redesigned it (see pictures: from first one to second one). Basically: it works. We don't have fizzy, 7-up water anymore.

That said, it doesn't work perfectly... we still have SOME tiny bubbles in the tank, especially at the high point of day's injection, and at the rate we pump it in (constant stream in bubble counter) there's a constant clicking sound, like a loud clock. Furthermore, yesterday after running about 5 straight hours, there was a 1" bubble of CO2 at the top of the housing.

I'm wondering if that bubble will push its way into the tank as microbubbles without my intervention?
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post #42 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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General update:

Besides the changes to the cerges, we acquired some new plants and did some rescaping. Additions were:
2 retrospiralis
2 Hyptis lorentziana
5 Bacopa Salzmannii
3 - Bacopa colorata
1 - Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze
2 bags red root floaters

The lorentziana and the crypt suffered from the trip: the plants were late--delayed by the holiday rush.

I also added a fine gold gourami and two denison barbs. They look so gorgeous under the lights! (I wish I was a better photographer, but the pictures below give an idea. The last one is of my daughter's puppy, who lives with us. She is fascinated with the fish! (And I thought only cats were!)
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post #43 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 06:13 PM
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The 1" bubble will dissolve into the water eventually once your cO2 turns off. Basically what is happening is the cO2 is being injected faster (say 20bps) than the reactor can process (say 18bps). Try a slightly slower stream of bubbles and see if the the same bubble develops.
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post #44 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 09:08 PM
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Gold gourami is impressive!


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post #45 of 206 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 10:02 PM
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. Basically: it works. We don't have fizzy, 7-up water anymore.

That said, it doesn't work perfectly... we still have SOME tiny bubbles in the tank, especially at the high point of day's injection, and at the rate we pump it in (constant stream in bubble counter) there's a constant clicking sound, like a loud clock. Furthermore, yesterday after running about 5 straight hours, there was a 1" bubble of CO2 at the top of the housing.

I'm wondering if that bubble will push its way into the tank as microbubbles without my intervention?
My guess is that you might have been better off going with a 20" filter for your reactor. That's what I use on my 120G, and no visible bubbles at all. With a 120G, we are pumping a pretty good stream of co2. Basically the bubbles have to travel further down into a 20" so more dwell time.

That being said, if you can vary the flow on the outflow of the filter, I would play with it a bit and see if you can find the sweet spot. A little slower flow might provide more dwell time and less bubbles. Trial and error is the only way to find out.

But it sounds like maybe you are close enough that the few aren't going to bother you? The clock ticking sound is interesting. Not sure what that is?


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