20 Long - First FW Planted Build! - Page 10 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #136 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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I had some cloudiness from BDBS and I cleared it up by adding poly-fil to my filter.


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I'll give that a try, thanks!


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post #137 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 07:49 PM
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Wow! Just red all the thread and I must say this is an impressive build. So much efforts and dedication! Maybe I'm an unassumed reefer, but my favorite part is your sump and plumbing! I will have a 40 breeder soon and planning to close my 15G and 30G to make some space and use the 30G as a sump. The use of magnet is ingenious, I think I'll do it too! I have some small questions, maybe I just missed the information in the past posts :
1. If your light inside your tank for your sump is wired to the switch, do you use a timer or you just keep it on all the time?
2. What kind of paint did you use for the glass that goes inside the tank?

As I'm kind of a noob on this forum (last time I was on a forum was like 2005?), I don't know how to subscribe, but I'll check your thread! Keep it up!
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post #138 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! Just red all the thread and I must say this is an impressive build. So much efforts and dedication! Maybe I'm an unassumed reefer, but my favorite part is your sump and plumbing! I will have a 40 breeder soon and planning to close my 15G and 30G to make some space and use the 30G as a sump. The use of magnet is ingenious, I think I'll do it too! I have some small questions, maybe I just missed the information in the past posts :
1. If your light inside your tank for your sump is wired to the switch, do you use a timer or you just keep it on all the time?
2. What kind of paint did you use for the glass that goes inside the tank?

As I'm kind of a noob on this forum (last time I was on a forum was like 2005?), I don't know how to subscribe, but I'll check your thread! Keep it up!
Thank you for the kind words.

The lights are wired to the switch, and the switch wired to a plug. I just plugged the switch into the wall and turn the lights on and off as necessary with the switch. I considered doing something like a contact sensor so the light comes on every time a cabinet panel is opened, but never got that far.

The paint on the overflow is Krylon Fusion spray paint. I've used it in many reef builds in the past and have never had an issue with it, outside of turbo snails being able to chew it off...

Shoutout to @vvDO. The poly-fil worked like a charm. Still not crystal clear, but much clearer than it was.


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post #139 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Double post.


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Last edited by TheUnseenHand; 02-28-2019 at 12:37 AM. Reason: dbl post
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post #140 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Working on getting the pH drop where I want it. Here is a graph of pH over the last few days. As you can see, day 1 things were balancing out. I think I had the output pressure of the regulator a bit low and I didn't have the bubble count I thought I did. Day 2 I got a decent pH drop, but the pH started to climb as the plants woke up and started doing their thing. Though the max pH on the morning of day 2 bumped up which was nice to see. Day three and the max pH jumped again, close to 7. I increased the bubble count and got almost a 1 point pH drop and held it. that was a nice result to see. I'd like to be closer to that 1.5 point drop range, but knowing I can hold a 1 point drop is nice. Interestingly it looks like the plants start to shut down around 5 pm, three hours before lights out. You can see the pH drop again before the solenoid shuts the tank down. I guess that's why it's recommended to have the CO2 shut off a couple hours before lights out. I'll be interested to see how much higher the pH climbs. Water samples are going out tomorrow, so I don't plan to do any water changes until I get results to know what my starting point is.



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post #141 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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I managed to get the 1.5 point pH drop today! Held quite nicely for pretty much the entire day too. The plants are definitely happier at a 1.5 point drop than a 1 point drop. The tank is absolutely littered with O2 bubbles.



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post #142 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 03:14 AM
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I managed to get the 1.5 point pH drop today! Held quite nicely for pretty much the entire day too. The plants are definitely happier at a 1.5 point drop than a 1 point drop. The tank is absolutely littered with O2 bubbles.





Nice... when you decide to get fish, make sure you are dropping pH by 1.5 compared to your off gassed pH measurement (let your tank water sit out for at least 24 hours). Any pre-existing CO2 in the water and you’ll start with a lower than expected pH.


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post #143 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Nice... when you decide to get fish, make sure you are dropping pH by 1.5 compared to your off gassed pH measurement (let your tank water sit out for at least 24 hours). Any pre-existing CO2 in the water and you’ll start with a lower than expected pH.


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Definitely, thanks!

So, I'm guessing I have a leak in my system somewhere as my 5 lb. CO2 tank is empty after one week. Ugh. I doubt it's before the solenoid as I had the tank sitting for months with the reg on without the tank emptying, so at least that narrows things down a bit. I wanted to change the needle valve anyway, so it gives me that opportunity at least.


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post #144 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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I swapped the CO2 tank last night and I think I fixed the leak, but oddly the safety valve on my regulator activated this morning. I have no idea why as it was fine all night, and the inlet pressure is well within the 3000 psi max of the reg. Now I have to figure out if I can swap the safety valve or if I have to swap the regulator.


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post #145 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Swapped the regulator and all is well again. Now it's just a waiting game for the lab results so I can start dosing. The Monte Carlo is definitely not handling the transition to submersion real well. Everything else looks tremendous. I'm actually hoping the Monte Carlo die off will kick off the cycle.

My initial low pH concerns are subsiding as I'm sure the Seiryu is beginning to help bump it up. I'm curious how high it will go now. It will be really interesting to see once the weekly water changes kick in how the pH will be affected.



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post #146 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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A quick question for @Greggz: I know there isn't an easy answer to this question, but how long would I safely be able to wait before dosing ferts without too adversely affecting the plants? I should have test results in the next couple days from the lab, but would also like to send out a second sample to get current plant fertilizer usage. Lab turnaround time is a week, so best case scenario I have those results mid next week. That would put me at a couple weeks since flooding before dosing or changing any water. Things seem good right now, though the Monte Carlo just isn't happy. Hair grass is definitely loving life.
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post #147 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 02:08 AM
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A quick question for @Greggz: I know there isn't an easy answer to this question, but how long would I safely be able to wait before dosing ferts without too adversely affecting the plants? I should have test results in the next couple days from the lab, but would also like to send out a second sample to get current plant fertilizer usage.
First of all, the tank is really looking great. I like the whole vibe you are creating there.

I really don't have any experience with the dry start method, other than what I have read. But if I were to speculate, I would say your plants are transitioning now, and that can be a tricky period. With good light and CO2, they should be hungry for ferts, and it should help them get a good start.

If it were me, I would start dosing something.

In the bigger picture, how are you going to use the lab numbers? Are you planning to base your dosing on plant uptake? If so, how so? Just curious what you have in mind.


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post #148 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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A quick question for @Greggz: I know there isn't an easy answer to this question, but how long would I safely be able to wait before dosing ferts without too adversely affecting the plants? I should have test results in the next couple days from the lab, but would also like to send out a second sample to get current plant fertilizer usage. Lab turnaround time is a week, so best case scenario I have those results mid next week. That would put me at a couple weeks since flooding before dosing or changing any water. Things seem good right now, though the Monte Carlo just isn't happy. Hair grass is definitely loving life.
Monte Carlo takes on a completely different form submerged vs emersed grown, mainly leaf size is much smaller submerged.

Also did you ever get any PAR readings?


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post #149 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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First of all, the tank is really looking great. I like the whole vibe you are creating there.

I really don't have any experience with the dry start method, other than what I have read. But if I were to speculate, I would say your plants are transitioning now, and that can be a tricky period. With good light and CO2, they should be hungry for ferts, and it should help them get a good start.

If it were me, I would start dosing something.

In the bigger picture, how are you going to use the lab numbers? Are you planning to base your dosing on plant uptake? If so, how so? Just curious what you have in mind.
Thank you!

The plan is to know with a higher accuracy than hobby level kits can provide the current parameter levels of the tank and my tap water to know how much to dose. Not necessarily dosing per plant uptake. I'm thinking of a variant of EI with smaller water changes. Just was curious what the uptake was to calculate the true starting point. The sample I sent to the lab is a week old now. Those results won't reflect the true current state of the tank. If I know the level at two points and how much it changed, I can calculate an uptake per day and get a good estimate of actual current tank levels.

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Monte Carlo takes on a completely different form submerged vs emersed grown, mainly leaf size is much smaller submerged.

Also did you ever get any PAR readings?
I did, but I can't figure out how to view the results I captured with the Seneye. I go to the site and it says it will display the graphs when the unit is registered. However, the unit IS registered. If I try to go to the registration page I'm just redirected to my account. It's quite frustrating.

Anyway, the PAR is crazy high under the middle of this light. I have it cranked right now and haven't changed it as things seem happy. Below is about what it is from memory. It would be nice to actually see the graphs...



I suspect the PAR on the sides is higher than it was reading. I know the Seneye kinda falls apart at wide angles.
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post #150 of 370 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I was wrong about those readings. I just checked and it's closer to 375 at the middle bottom and 430 at the top. Really cranking out the light.
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