Quag's 3' 25 Gallon - Page 18 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #256 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 05:21 PM
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Have you considered using a small powerhead to mist CO2 into the tank rather than using a reactor on such small canisters?

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #257 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Have you considered using a small powerhead to mist CO2 into the tank rather than using a reactor on such small canisters?
I used to use ceramic diffusers, but quality control has been a joke with any diffuser I bought. The only ones that were usable were the Fluval mini black plastic ones, of which would blow the lines off because of the amount I was trying to pump through them.

I don't want any more equipment in the tank, which is why I built the reactor.

It was all fine running my Rena XP3, it has only been an issue after it blew and I had to swap to the Eheim.

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post #258 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:01 PM
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I've got a 2211 and a 2213 on a 10g tank and it doesn't seem as bad as it sounds. I would imagine a 2217 & a 2215 on a 25g won't be as bad as you think.

300g 8' acrylic aquarium acquired, in process to build/setup/plan setup

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post #259 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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I've got a 2211 and a 2213 on a 10g tank and it doesn't seem as bad as it sounds. I would imagine a 2217 & a 2215 on a 25g won't be as bad as you think.
Problem is I have to throttle them back so as to not spit bubbles out of the reactor into the tank. Throttling back dissolves more, so either way (2213 or 2215 plus the 2217) I'm running the same flow in the tank - throttling back either combo to where CO2 is no longer being lost out the bottom of the reactor.

The other problem is finding a "Y" fitting that will work. Only place I can find are non-franchise aquarium specific / pet stores that offer plumbing parts (looking for 1/2" "Y" barbed connector).

$4 fitting ... $15 shipping... plus tax (13%) welcome to Canada everyone
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post #260 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 06:23 PM
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Problem is I have to throttle them back so as to not spit bubbles out of the reactor into the tank. Throttling back dissolves more, so either way (2213 or 2215 plus the 2217) I'm running the same flow in the tank - throttling back either combo to where CO2 is no longer being lost out the bottom of the reactor.

The other problem is finding a "Y" fitting that will work. Only place I can find are non-franchise aquarium specific / pet stores that offer plumbing parts (looking for 1/2" "Y" barbed connector).

$4 fitting ... $15 shipping... plus tax (13%) welcome to Canada everyone
What're your thoughts about putting the reactor on the intake side, if you haven't already?

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #261 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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What're your thoughts about putting the reactor on the intake side, if you haven't already?
No way to control back pressure if it's on intake (surface skimmer won't work / stay constant enough if I'm messing with intake flow, not to mention I don't want to throttle back flow before the filter impeller) also don't want bubbles escaping the reactor into the filter.

It's a simple fix, more flow into reactor, throttled slightly back after the reactor, 1.3 point drop in pH with no gas bubble build up. I've done it for months on end with the Rena, just need more flow from the Eheims. I'm not buying a larger filter as of yet because I am moving houses and will likely be getting rid of this tank in favor of a larger one within the next while. Exactly why I haven't bought a flow meter / pH prob etc. Renovations to the new house are taking priority over 20 gallons of water and some plants

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post #262 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:32 PM
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Ah, I was thinking you were using a different type of reactor.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #263 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, I was thinking you were using a different type of reactor.
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post #264 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:56 PM
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If flow through the reactor is too much, you could always modify your reactor to have a larger diameter tube to allow the CO2 an easier chance to dissipate in the reactor. I'm running a 4' tall 4" diameter one myself with a pretty heavy 400-500gph flow through mine. Or you could do one of those staggered size ones, have like 1" to 2" to 3" as it goes from top to bottom to help it dissolve the CO2 without getting a big gas bubble built up.

300g 8' acrylic aquarium acquired, in process to build/setup/plan setup

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post #265 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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If flow through the reactor is too much, you could always modify your reactor to have a larger diameter tube to allow the CO2 an easier chance to dissipate in the reactor. I'm running a 4' tall 4" diameter one myself with a pretty heavy 400-500gph flow through mine. Or you could do one of those staggered size ones, have like 1" to 2" to 3" as it goes from top to bottom to help it dissolve the CO2 without getting a big gas bubble built up.
See quote No more building for me.

Again:

Flow is not an issue, never has been.
CO2 was not an issue - when I was running the XP3: no bubbles in tank, no gas bubble in reactor, 1.3+ drop in pH capable.

All I need is to increase my flow to what the XP3 was cranking out, hence running another canister into the reactor, both outputs into the coast-coast spray bar. Eheim quick connect for flow control.


Inconstant CO2 as of recent was because of the XP3 blowing itself up, and then the tank ran out of gas shortly after during a super busy week. I paid the price (GDA, diatoms, hurt plants etc.) Which has now been cleaned up + major trim + filter clean + substrate vac.

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I am moving houses and will likely be getting rid of this tank in favor of a larger one within the next while. Exactly why I haven't bought a flow meter / pH prob etc. Renovations to the new house are taking priority over 20 gallons of water and some plants
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post #266 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Massive trim + replant (Met14 + water soaked most stems for half hour or so).

Filter clean, glass scrub, good substrate vac, bumped up CO2.

Massive algae outbreak, brown algae + green algae both of which came off no problem, GDA as well, but not nearly as bad as the other kinds.

All because:

Filter broke, took me 2 weeks to dial back in with new filter. (still need more flow, but "ok" for now).
CO2 tank ran dry, took 2 days of messing with CO2 prior to end of tank dump symptoms, and then 1 full day without CO2 at all and no one home to turn lights down + a late water change.
Another week or so to get CO2 re-dialed back in.

The struggles of cheaping out and using old equipment. When I set up a new tank, whenever that will be, I'm moving up to a full quality system - Reg, tank, control-ability and redundancy.

Now, ready for my next move? Idiotic or not I'm doing it. Swapping back to 100% non-softened tap water. Life is getting too busy for the time being to mess with 100% RO, even only with 11 gallons worth per week for water changes + another few gallons for top-offs.

Tap readings:

15 degrees kH
17 degrees gH - of which 15 degrees is Ca
8.2 degassed pH

Now, I recently did a 50% water change using 75% RO / 25% Tap. Next water change will be 50/50, then 25 RO / 75 Tap, and finally 100% tap on week 4 water change.

I've kept great tanks at these levels before without any issues - heck I could actually grow Rotala species with ease at these levels. I'm sure some plant's won't like it, but oh well. I've had my fun with RO and looking for a slightly new adventure.

I am assuming tap has 5ppm Mg, and will be boosting it 10ppm, no additional Ca obviously. Micro's will stay the same, although I may need some Ferrous Gluconate for the high pH.







Random pic of the pond tank (soon be going back outdoors). No ferts, few water changes, medium PAR, messy fish:


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post #267 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:41 AM
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Have you thought about using HCl instead of RO? If there's one thing I took from Vin's talk at AGA it's that plants tend to do worse in high KH. Anyways, I'm excited to see what happens.

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post #268 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Have you thought about using HCl instead of RO? If there's one thing I took from Vin's talk at AGA it's that plants tend to do worse in high KH. Anyways, I'm excited to see what happens.

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I've had my fun playing with desired water parameters, and am moving to a more basic approach. I am well aware plants seem to do better in softer water but all of my previous tanks were just fine in liquid rock:










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post #269 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:07 PM
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OMFG Quag, those look terrible! Hurry, you must subscribe to La Methode du Jour!

Oh, I'm full of [censored][censored][censored][censored]. You picked plants that clearly do well in your water and the tanks look great!

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #270 of 282 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Plants got nuked somehow. Massive stunting, no growth, algae seems to have stayed away for the most part...

CO2 is back to being consistent, lighting is moderately high, but not too high like I have been running it. Life and work have been crazy these last 2 weeks.

I tested NO3, was deep red. 50% water change and then a full week of no dosing at all - No macros, no micros. I figured something was being built up and it finally reached a point where most plant species were succumbing to some sort of toxic reaction. Twisting and stunting of new growth, literal melting of older stems and leaves etc.

Tested NO3 after a week and it was a solid orange. Not light orange, but not deep orange / red. So I performed a 50% water change and dosed 20ppm NO3 + 5ppm PO4 and whatever K that gives me. Micro's will be dropped by 25% this week.

I will perform another 50% water change early this week - today or tomorrow - and hope that will reset the tank farther. I am not at 100% non-softed tap, and so far no issues.

Tank was sitting 25ppm TDS above the tap after my last water change using 3:1 Tap : RO. Tap TDS reading is 305ppm.

Might just swap back to CSM+B and Flourish Iron for the time being, just trying to get the plants to make it through until I grab a new (and larger ) tank and start fresh. Now that I'm at 100% tap water again, I can increase my water changes - not sure if I want to change more once a week, or change 50% twice a week... Still debating that in my head. No pictures for now, not much growth has occurred anyway....

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