75g Dutch Weed Farm - Page 11 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #151 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Feel like a drive to Mississauga instead of across the border? Manus Abrasives carries Black Magic blasting sand. Supposed to be the same stuff as BDBS. I tried to get some but the closest shop is in Vancouver, and they wanted to charge me like $80 per bag to ship haha.


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They are 10 minutes from my work.

Tried them about a year ago. They only stock Black Beauty in Manitoba and they won't bring it into Mississauga store unless I buy a whole skid, 64 bags!

Might be time to give them another call.
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post #152 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 02:57 AM
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They are 10 minutes from my work.

Tried them about a year ago. They only stock Black Beauty in Manitoba and they won't bring it into Mississauga store unless I buy a whole skid, 64 bags!

Might be time to give them another call.
Great minds think alike, though fools seldom differ

Shoot me a PM on here or FB if you want to work out the details on that PAR meter.
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post #153 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Great minds think alike, though fools seldom differ

Shoot me a PM on here or FB if you want to work out the details on that PAR meter.
While looking to see where and how long it would take me to drive to the closest TSC store in the US, google took me to Canada's version of BDBS. Looking at the SDS sheet for it, it seems to be very similar to US Minerals BDBS. Then I just happened to be reading through journals and came upon @Quagulator journal and he is using it in his new 90gal setup, waiting on a response from him to see if he has had any issues with it at all.

There is hope!


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post #154 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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The 75 is really starting to fill in nicely!

I'm starting to see a small amount of twisting in the AR mini and variegated, so I decided to dose 2ppm Mg which is about 1 1/4 tsp worth. My latest water report says I have 9ppm Mg and 35ppm Ca, figured I had nothing to lose and I've heard that adding a little extra Mg has helped flatten out AR leaves. I'll give this a week or so, if I see it getting worse then it will be time to reduce my micro dosing, I'll drop down to 4 days a week from 5. I also need to thin this bunch out a little, probably not helping.




I know I've been talking about Mermaid Weed a lot as of late, but its such an interesting plant. As I mentioned above one of the stems sprouted a bunch of new plantlets right near the top portion of the stem. This morning when I turned the lights on to do a water change I noticed the top of the plant had stunted and was pale coloured. I would suspect all the nutrients and energy was going into growing the new plantlets, the top growth suffered. In the end I pinched of 8 new stems, I could only imagine the energy needed to grow this many new stems. You'll also notice the newer growth on the one stem that was stuck because the plant was not able to get any nutrients from the roots due to rot.



In other news. Because I needed the Co2 reg and tank from the 75 for the rimless, I switched the 75 over to the setup that I used on the two 40's. Basically its one solenoid split to two needle valves, each with there own bubble counter. On the original 75 Co2 system I could eye ball setting up the Co2 by the steady stream of bubbles in the counter, plus I have a monitor measuring pH 24/7. I move and setup the new split system, set the bubble counter to the normal steady stream I am used to see and head off to do other things. Few hours later just as lights are coming on I look over at the monitor and pH has only dropped to 6.6 normally at lights on its 6.1. WTF! I pull out my soapy spray bottle and spray everything done, thinking maybe there is a leak. No leak! I turn up the Co2 and bubbles are flying out the counter, maybe my eye balling levels is not so good after all. Then it dawns on me, the bubble counter on this setup is different then the one of the setup from the 75, quickly switch the bubble counters and low and behold I can actually count the bubbles coming out the old counter from the 75. Adjust the needle valve to see the bubbles the way I normally see them and within half hour pH is down to 6.1. The opening in the bubble counter off the 75 is much bigger and allows a bigger bubble to pass through it, meaning more Co2 per bubble. Might be time for me to invest in a flow meter, would have caught this right off the bat.



As mentioned already I found some BDBS at my local TSC store, which they didn't carry last time I was on the hunt for it. You're looking at four 50lb bags rinsed and ready to go, you'll also see the reactor I built yesterday for the rimless. I now have almost everything I need to set up the rimless, except the black vinyl for the back glass. I'm hoping to source something this week.

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post #155 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 05:41 AM
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Man that 75 is already a stunner!

What happened to the Mermaid weed when it started throwing out new stems, it became unhappy for some reason, first, and then produced new side shoots.

It's a survival mechanism that a lot of touchy species are prone to do. The plant gives up on the main top and put all its energy toward reproducing itself with new stems. As long as the main top is happy there'll be no side shoots

Depends on the species of course, a lot of plants make side stems naturally. But stuff like pantanal, most rotalas, mermaid weed, pogo kim, if these ever start throwing out side shoots the main top is about to stunt, or already has

Nice reactor!
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post #156 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Man that 75 is already a stunner!

Ya I'm pretty impressed myself how quick it has turned around. There is still some algae (BBA) growing on the substrate, but with each passing day it seems to be disappearing. Plus when I do water changes the AS granules with BBA seem to float easier and I'm able to vacuum a far amount of it out.

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What happened to the Mermaid weed when it started throwing out new stems, it became unhappy for some reason, first, and then produced new side shoots.
Ya, I'm pretty sure my current micro mix is a little on the heavy side when it comes to B maybe even FE. I'm up at .073 PPM B and .2 ppm Fe, 5 days a week, I'm going to reduce this to 4 and see what happens.

I am also driving this tank pretty hard light wise, I'm running all six bulbs for 6 out of my 8 hour photo period.

I know Nesaea and Ammania are not liking something. I've stopped worrying about them, I've learned to pick my battles, and they are not currently high on the list.
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post #157 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 12:12 PM
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I know Nesaea and Ammania are not liking something. I've stopped worrying about them, I've learned to pick my battles, and they are not currently high on the list.
Great words of advice. More should heed it.

I see many posts about an individual problem plant, when rest of tank is going well. Most times better to just let it go than jeopardize the health of others. Then find more that like the soup you are serving.

That being said, we have all banged our head against the wall with some plants. But reality is EVERY planted tank has certain plants that simply don't flourish in it. And Ammannia are one of the usual culprits.
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post #158 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 01:47 AM
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Finally, I put together this bad boy, 24" x 3" reactor. Added a burp valve on the top so I can bleed the air out after I clean the filter. Current one is a PITA, I have to flip it upside down to get all the air out, which is no easy task. I'm Planning to put it to the test tomorrow, if it works out I will make another one for the rimless.

Looks nice!

I just made a new one for my 120, but went 36” x 2”. Any thoughts on wider vs longer?

I see people going with both a “tee” and an elbow for the bottom fitting. I went elbow. You went “tee”. Any thoughts on the difference between the two?

And how do you get you CO2 into it. Just the classic drill a hole and pull the tubing through?




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post #159 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Looks nice!

I just made a new one for my 120, but went 36” x 2”. Any thoughts on wider vs longer?

I see people going with both a “tee” and an elbow for the bottom fitting. I went elbow. You went “tee”. Any thoughts on the difference between the two?

And how do you get you CO2 into it. Just the classic drill a hole and pull the tubing through?

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I had a 2"x 30" on the 75 before this and was getting bubbles into the tank. The one you see above is 3"x 24" and I have yet to see a single bubble since I hooked it up to the 75. My understanding is the water moves slower through the 3" pipe and allows the Co2 to dwell longer....

I just built another one, pictured below. I went with a 90 on the top of this on, for no other reason then I forgot to buy another couple and had the 90 on hand. I'll let you know if there is any difference.

On these models I stoled burr's design and went with a 1" tee in line before the reactor. I will run the same 1" tee design for the Co2 line.



Here's the other reactor I just made. The small tube coming out the top is for bleeding the air after I clean the filter.

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post #160 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 11:16 AM
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My two big reactors both have elbows on the bottom. But it seems like having a T might do better because the water isnt just wooshing out in the same direction. It sorta has to stop and change direction, probably swirls around a good bit right there before getting pushed in the other direction.

Using these ball valves has shown me what a big difference even a slight increase in resistance at the end will do, via more internal pressure.

Idk just thinking out loud, but I would not be surprised if a T is more efficient


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post #161 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 11:36 AM
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My two big reactors both have elbows on the bottom. But it seems like having a T might do better because the water isnt just wooshing out in the same direction. It sorta has to stop and change direction, probably swirls around a good bit right there before getting pushed in the other direction.

Using these ball valves has shown me what a big difference even a slight increase in resistance at the end will do, via more internal pressure.

Idk just thinking out loud, but I would not be surprised if a T is more efficient
I would think the T would cause more back pressure, helping to dissolve the CO2, where as to your point, the elbow is less restrictive and 'wooshing' the water out! And yeah those ball valves are great for small adjustments.



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post #162 of 164 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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My two big reactors both have elbows on the bottom. But it seems like having a T might do better because the water isnt just wooshing out in the same direction. It sorta has to stop and change direction, probably swirls around a good bit right there before getting pushed in the other direction.

Using these ball valves has shown me what a big difference even a slight increase in resistance at the end will do, via more internal pressure.

Idk just thinking out loud, but I would not be surprised if a T is more efficient
I re-read what @MCFC and see that he was asking about the bottom and not the top of the reactor.

As @burr740 and @Grobbins48 mentioned I felt it would cause a little more back pressure compared to the sweep of a 90.

Another reason for the tee was I added a 2" threaded plug in bottom so if in the future I want to add bio-balls or something like that I have access to the inside of the reactor.

Like others I also added a ball valve on the outflow which I have slightly closed. It seems to be working. I'm not seeing any bubbles in the tank at all, but I won't say I am using any less Co2.

I'll throw up a picture of the finished product before I hook it all up.

On another note I have been considering splitting the line again and adding a in tank diffuser. Not because I need to add anymore Co2, I am currently getting the drop I need, mainly to throw a fine mist of Co2 around the tank. We'll see.
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post #163 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 04:30 PM
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Dang that's impressive. TLDR so did you figure out the chemistry? As in the phosphates for the reds/iron ratio?

The colors just pop and looks great.

And FWIW, any recommendations on a "purchasable" CO2 reactor? I just don't have the time nor energy to build my own like I had 10 years ago. This rinky dink contraption from Amazon seems to work OK, but I believe I need something more sustainable.

Nice scape. Very nice.

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post #164 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Dang that's impressive. TLDR so did you figure out the chemistry? As in the phosphates for the reds/iron ratio?

The colors just pop and looks great.

And FWIW, any recommendations on a "purchasable" CO2 reactor? I just don't have the time nor energy to build my own like I had 10 years ago. This rinky dink contraption from Amazon seems to work OK, but I believe I need something more sustainable.

Nice scape. Very nice.
I don't think I'll ever figure out the right chemistry, I'm changing things all the time. This tank has become my grow out tank that's why I don't update it much anymore. If interested you can have a look at my rimless journal I list my current dosing routine. That tank has been pretty stable with the same dosing route since it started, everything seems to be happy. I also switched gears and went away from Aqua Soil and went with an inert substrate.

As for the reds popping, a lot of that has to do with my bulb combination. I am still messing with different bulb combinations on the rimless, so far I have not found one that allows the moss wall to pop but keeps the plants looking 'good'.

The only commercially produced reactors that seems to be good are from nilocg.com. But honestly if you have 30 minutes to spare you can throw together a DIY reactor, they are actually pretty simple to make.

Here is the 75 as it currently sits. Things look really red because of the heavy red colour coming from the bulb combination being used.

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