150 Gallon Re-Scape Overhaul - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2018, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madcrafted View Post
Did you test that concrete with vinegar before placing it in your tank? Not all concrete is created equal. Some compositions are not really safe to use in our tanks. They can leech minerals and other unknown chemicals for quite a while. I would keep a close eye on parameters over the next few weeks.

Sorry if I rained on your parade. Something to think about, though.

I tested with vinegar, it definitely bubbles as I expected it too.

I'm expecting the pH flux to decrease as time passes, especially since its 150 gallons and I'll be changing the water several more times before my livestock actually go in the tank. Also, I'm no chemist but I would assume the CO2 will counter the bicarbonate driven pH jump at least partially, just like it would in a human body. As far as any other chemicals leeching into the water, I suppose I am taking a bit of a gamble. I'll be keeping a close eye on the parameters the closer I get to stocking.
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post #62 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-25-2018, 04:07 AM
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Amano suggested putting rocks you found in nature in a tank with high co2. the acids in Co2 will leach out the pH changing minerals.

Sometimes you just need a little more cake.
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post #63 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-26-2018, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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That sounds in line with what chemistry I know. I suppose time will tell.
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post #64 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-26-2018, 05:21 PM
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love the sand!
fallowing for sure.
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post #65 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-27-2018, 05:40 AM
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Man, that is one gorgeous piece of wood!

Just an old dog trying to learn some new tricks...
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post #66 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I've had a couple of issues with the tank, one I'm still troubleshooting.

Many of the leaves on my swords simply went too long in sub-par conditions, and as such, they rotted. As a result, I had to trim the swords down to almost nothing a few days ago, but I'm already seeing signs of new growth.

I received my purple cabomba in the mail, and its planted, pictures soon!


The main issue I'm having now is with the reactor. It's a Nilocg reactor that I ordered online, 24". It's currently connected to my Fluval FX6. The filter and the reactor don't have any inherent flaws or problems, its just that no matter how I adjust my flow or my reactor, I still get bubbles coming out of the output into the tank. I think its just because the volume of the tank requires a lot of CO2, but simultaneously, the bubbles I'm seeing come out of the output are rather large, not small enough to call micro-bubbles that you would get out of a diffusor.
I've tried putting a small bio-ball in the output to break up the bubbles, but it really kills my flow and, well, I still have a lot of bubbles. I'm wondering what solutions I have here. Should I place a secondary, small reactor with a few bioballs after the primary reactor to help make the bubbles smaller? Should I just get more tubing and attach? Any thoughts are welcome!
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post #67 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 06:08 PM
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Does the reactor have a bypass for the flow (I believe the Nilocg ones do)? If yes, try adjusting this to see if it helps.

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post #68 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Mariner View Post
Ok so I've had a couple of issues with the tank, one I'm still troubleshooting.

Many of the leaves on my swords simply went too long in sub-par conditions, and as such, they rotted. As a result, I had to trim the swords down to almost nothing a few days ago, but I'm already seeing signs of new growth.

I received my purple cabomba in the mail, and its planted, pictures soon!


The main issue I'm having now is with the reactor. It's a Nilocg reactor that I ordered online, 24". It's currently connected to my Fluval FX6. The filter and the reactor don't have any inherent flaws or problems, its just that no matter how I adjust my flow or my reactor, I still get bubbles coming out of the output into the tank. I think its just because the volume of the tank requires a lot of CO2, but simultaneously, the bubbles I'm seeing come out of the output are rather large, not small enough to call micro-bubbles that you would get out of a diffusor.
I've tried putting a small bio-ball in the output to break up the bubbles, but it really kills my flow and, well, I still have a lot of bubbles. I'm wondering what solutions I have here. Should I place a secondary, small reactor with a few bioballs after the primary reactor to help make the bubbles smaller? Should I just get more tubing and attach? Any thoughts are welcome!
FX6 has crazy flow and 24" isn't all that big. Mine on my 150 gallon is 38" - 40" and runs off an XP3. I would split the output into another canister. I know you don't want to buy another reactor, but I would think a single much larger one MIGHT work (still alot of flow) or another small one on another canister. My smallest reactor is 24" and it's on one of my 75 gallons running off of a 2215.

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post #69 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
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FX6 has crazy flow and 24" isn't all that big. Mine on my 150 gallon is 38" - 40" and runs off an XP3. I would split the output into another canister. I know you don't want to buy another reactor, but I would think a single much larger one MIGHT work (still alot of flow) or another small one on another canister. My smallest reactor is 24" and it's on one of my 75 gallons running off of a 2215.
Agree with above. On my 135gal, I run the FX6 as a dedicated filter and a Hydor canister as a second filter and as a feed to a 2ft x 3" RG reactor and heater.

From my experience to get no micro bubbles in the display tank and acceptable pH drop, you need to introduce back pressure in the reactor if the flow from the canister is too high. For your present set up, this is not possible as you will compromise filtration.

You can either feed your reactor with another canister or a smaller pump like a Rio 1100 or similar.
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post #70 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. I appreciate all of your input. However, I’ve decided to try one last strategy before I put another filter on this tank. I’ve spent about $12 and started building a tiny reactor that’s going to serve solely as an agitator. Planning on attaching it in-line directly after the original reactor. At the very least, this should get me smaller bubbles by the time they reach the tank. If I’m getting the “carbonated” look after that, I’m planning on converting my filter output to a spray bar that terminates behind the driftwood, out of site. The downward direction of the water to the spray bar will also essentially result in more reactor length, and if any bubbles remain they will have a longer journey to the surface. The only thing I’m worried about here is flow. If the spray bar results in not enough flow, I’ll revert to the original output, suck it up, and get the extra filter. I just really want to minimize the amount of equipment in the tank. Pics below of the reactor parts, including the bioballs I’m using epoxy to attach to the internal lumen of the agitator.

Last edited by Sub-Mariner; 12-09-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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post #71 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think the spray bar will be necessary, after all. I attached my homemade agitator, and then turned the valve on the in-line reactor to the lowest current setting. From what I can tell, turning it to the lowest setting essentially extends the reactor length by splitting the current between two paths. Coupled with the agitator, I've been watching it for about an hour now and I haven't seen a single bubble come out of the output. Barring any setbacks (leaks, etc. from the agitator), I think the CO2 issue is likely resolved. My next investment will be in a drop checker just to make sure, and then I'll just watch the plants closely until my test kit tells me its time for shrimp.
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post #72 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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So I need to retract a few things I said in my previous post. Been busy the last few days so a lot has happened!

1. Turns out, the bubbles were just backing up to the top of the reactor and sitting until the reactor finally "burped" out a bunch of them. So, I added the spray bar. I painted a few feet of 1" PVC, bought a 1" fitting and elbow from Home Depot, then after assembling all of it, I ran the PVC from the top of the tank to the bottom, and turned it 90 degrees to run behind the driftwood. I camouflaged it a bit with a couple of rocks. Now, with adjusted reactor settings, I'm still seeing a few bubbles, but not nearly as many. I'm satisfied with the result for now.
2. I added an old 1st generation Hydor Koralia for some current to help circulate the water while the plants are still growing in.
3. A couple of the swords I trimmed back didn't make it, so I replaced them with a St. Elmo's Fire, a Melon, and a Marble Queen Radican. These along with the remaining two Amazons and two Fire swords should provide plenty of color, and when they get bigger I may need to re-home a plant or two for the sake of space. Plus, the Cabomba is already showing growth- root systems and small leaves at the crowns so far.
4. I checked my pH to make sure the cement block holding down the wood wasn't going nuts, and so far so good. pH was around 7.6-7.8. I did a 50% water change today anyway just to make sure. Plus, my TDS is sitting around 400 (tap water), which is in stark contrast to the 650 it ran this time last year. I'll have to keep an eye on that for my Discus' sake.
5. Going on vacation next week, and then the wisdom teeth are coming out (ugh). In short, this means the tank will have a couple more weeks to mature before I start doing final parameter checks to place livestock. First, planning on a few cherry shrimp culls just to test the water (and because if they live they'll be snacks later anyway). If they do well, I'll add the Amano's and the Cardinal Tetras, followed finally by the Discus. Also considering a small group (5-10) Sidthumunki Loaches, but they're usually expensive in this area ($12-18).
I will be posting pictures of this all tonight, as when I photograph during the day, the window across from the tank leaves a terrible glare and ruins the photo, regardless of what I do with the blinds.
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post #73 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 01:03 PM
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My first high tech tank had a spraybar along the bottom too. Then I got a custom reef tank (used) that had been drilled a few inches from the bottom, so those became spraybars too. The first tank was the return outlet. The CO2 was feeding directly into the pump (had a sump) and the only reason I got bubbles was because it wasn't turned upward enough. The second tank was purely a CO2 outlet. Both worked out really well. I think you'll be pleased with your change.

$12-18 sounds pretty reasonable for sidthimunki. I haven't seen them for less than $12 anywhere.
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post #74 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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As promised, pictures! The St. Elmo’s was larger than what I though it would be when it arrived, and it looks a bit rough, but it should color up nicely.
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Last edited by Sub-Mariner; 12-09-2019 at 11:39 PM.
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post #75 of 100 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Returned home from my vacation to find that the Cabomba has grown to the water’s surface and all of the swords are really taking off. I’ve pictured 3 nice wine colored leaves that have started on the St. Elmo’s. I trimmed the Cabomba and re-planted the stems. However, I am finally growing algae, mostly brown and possibly diatoms, along with some green spot on the glass. I’ve started dosing excel, reduced my light period by a couple hours, dimmed the Tuna Suns just a touch, and the cherry shrimp (50 or so) will arrive on Monday. I’ll do one more large water change along with a glass cleaning before they go in the tank. Ph sitting right at 7.6, temp at 78. Will eventually turn up the temp when the discus are coming back.

Last edited by Sub-Mariner; 12-09-2019 at 11:39 PM.
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