New 20g Planted Tank (Epiphytes only) - 5/25/20 - Small photo update! - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 08:36 PM
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Tank looks great! Definitely following progress. When I recently installed my co2 kit it was recommended different working pressure depending on your diffuser, where the inline was rated the highest (I have that too).

Check your manual, I beleive for co2arts they recommended at least 30 psi for inline diffusion.
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post #32 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Besides the drop checker a standard way to measure is the ph drop. So you want to take some tank water and let it degas for a day or so and test the ph. Then test your ph with the co2 running for a few hours into the cycle. Generally your looking for a 1.0 drop. So if your degassed ph is 7.5, your aim should be 6.5. This usually indicates approx. 30 ppm and is a good amount for plants and fish in most setups.

As far as fish, that's really a personal thing. I usually go with what's available locally so I went with Embers. They have been extremely hardy. I haven't lost any since I started the tank, but you have to like orange. I think in most scapes one big school looks better than a variety of fish. I also have some Black Neons, which I really like, but they are actually too big for my tank scale wise.
Hi, right that's what I should double check to help me feel more confident - anyway I ordered a PH test kit.

I decided to order some ADA soft water as well and give that a try, wonder if it works!

Indeed it is, yeah you're right keeping it more simple without tons of different fish is best.

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Originally Posted by Hujeta View Post
Tank looks great! Definitely following progress. When I recently installed my co2 kit it was recommended different working pressure depending on your diffuser, where the inline was rated the highest (I have that too).

Check your manual, I beleive for co2arts they recommended at least 30 psi for inline diffusion.
Thanks a lot! Thankfully my regulator is a nice double chambered one with adjustable working pressure so I might continue to play around but I understand right at about 2 bar (~30psi) is where I should be with this diffusor. The only thing confusing me is that the bubbles from my bubble counter seem SO much slower now but also a lot bigger I would say.




As for stocking I think I had a break through last night... haha, very big decision

I think I will go for a ~15 group of Green Neons - I think the slightly smaller size and blue/green stripe should look cool with the darkness of the lava rocks and so on.

I still can't decide about the other fish for the bottom side of the tank.


Right now I am thinking about the following options:

-A small group of Dario Dario (ideally 3 females, 2 males?)

-A small group of a Pygmy Sunfish sort (likely elassoma okefenokee? likely the same kind of group size like Dario Dario)

-A pair of Apistogrammas (not so into it because I find they are all probably too big for scale here)

-6 to 8 or so of the Cory Habrosus


Besides that maybe eventually a few Otos... not sure yet, probably those later on.

Also with my stocking plans I can go with shrimps so I will definitely being getting amanos, and possibly a type of Neocaridinas.


I will be ordering this weekend, the online shops start shipping on Monday, no use ordering now as they only ship live fish Monday-Thursday here - so I have a bit of extra time to think it over. Also Dario-Dario and Pygmy Sunfish are sometime able to be found locally from hobby breeders, as well as Apistos - so I can consider that for them at least!

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post #33 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well I have a bit of a CO2 update here, I think I found my problem, the bolt that connected the bit that you push the co2 hose onto on the end of my regulator was actually really quite loose, I realized that when I was taking off the bubble counter, thinking that was the problem. Now I think it is more likely that it was those threads being loose! I am running it now with the bubble counter off, and anyway I will show you in the youtube video a comparison of the settings after that swap; the amount of co2 coming out was crazy after the swap, then I dialed back the co2 adjuster A LOT to get the current setting, which looks like quite a bit more than was coming out before the supposed leak fix - anyway the drop-checker after about 3 hours now looks a much more pure green tone than previous (quite a lot of blue in it). I am curious how much it takes to get it to start turning yellow but for now I am pretty happy with that troubleshooting.

I find the fine mist not such a problem visually but I am wondering if a little break here and there wouldn't be a bad idea, does anyone kick it off and on sometimes? It would be easy to do with my timer, for example maybe two afternoon pauses of like 15-30mintues or so. Is that a ok idea? I just am wondering also about what effect all that co2 has on the fish but I always hear 20mg is fine... wonder if I have enough oxygen really. No fish so far though.

I'll post some more photos too, slowly getting the wall sorted out with an old hanging plant of mine too, eventually it will be a really cool shelving system once I get a few more plants and better pots for everyone!



**Still wondering about the fish choice, I am pretty set about the Green Neons - just not sure about the bottom oriented fish yet. Any input about my choices so far appreciated! Dario Dario or Elassoma * are really high on the list right now.

First video is of the co2 after the threads being tightened and not turned down yet from previous settings.


Second video is the co2 at its current setting, many turns down from previous setting (but I guess not leaking):








Bubbles everywhere!


Misting hard!


Yummy bubbles?






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post #34 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well it turned out to be too much co2 in the end, the checker eventually turned quite yellow, so I dialed it a bit back but now the day here is coming to an end so I will have to see how it goes tomorrow.

I have definitely realized how senstive the dial is on this regulator now, 8th or even 10th turns seem to make a difference. Gonna have to develop a feel for it, happy to play with the range now for a bit before the fish come so I have a better feel for it later on.

Also couldn't help but snap a few photos of the tank during the magenta part of the sunset sequence, looks so nice!





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post #35 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 08:44 PM
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If you can at all measure pH drop that will be key. I have had my drop checker that yellow before and things have been fine. Key is keeping an eye on all aspects of the tank (fish included when you have them!). I see no need for a break in CO2, consistent is best IMO. Good surface agitation make sure O2 levels stay high as well. From the pictures it looks pretty good!

Overall tank is looking great!



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post #36 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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If you can at all measure pH drop that will be key. I have had my drop checker that yellow before and things have been fine. Key is keeping an eye on all aspects of the tank (fish included when you have them!). I see no need for a break in CO2, consistent is best IMO. Good surface agitation make sure O2 levels stay high as well. From the pictures it looks pretty good!

Overall tank is looking great!
Well my test kit will arrive on Monday I believe, I put out some water tonight to compare with, might also do it tomorrow as well to have multiple samples.

Well it is a beginning yellow on a 20mg checker so perhaps not so massive of a concentration. Let's see what the PH test has to say!

Thanks

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post #37 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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So my test kit came in the mail today actually so nice I had that water set aside from last night, that was about 14 hours to de-gas so I think enough, but I will try a few more times, especially since the reading on the degassed water was looking to maybe even exceed the maximum value of this kit (6.0-7.6 PH).

I decided to order a 7.4-9 PH kit as well to be able to precisely know my max value. Berlin tap water is said to be 7.3-7.5 PH according to google. Though I have seen local forums that report higher PH (upwards of 7.8 PH). Berlin water is also very hard, tons of kalk in the kitchen and bathroom is something everyone here is used to! Really high GH/KH readings always.

Anyway I think I will give ADA Soft Water a try and see what happens.


Results from today:

Tank water after 3-4 Hours of Co2: 7.2 PH

Degassed water (ca 14 Hours): 7.6+ PH






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post #38 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 05:38 PM
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Test the PH later or turn the co2 on earlier to get another reading. You should be getting around a 1.0 ph drop. I think I see some of your plants pearling (visible o2 being released from leaves.) This is usually an indication of very good photosynthesis as o2 is being released faster than the water can absorb it.

If that's occurring you probably don't need to increase co2, inspite of the ph numbers which could be off anyway.


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post #39 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Asteroid, thanks for all your input on the PH/Co2 thing

I will be testing the PH a bit more in the next few days when the other range of PH test kit comes in the mail to double check as well. There is certainly some pearling

I will also be testing the o2 as well just to be sure.


So far I have been dosing 2ml of seachem flourish comp two times a week and before the co2 I was dosing 2ml of excel, is there any point to excel anymore? I thought maybe because of algae (already getting some starting up).

In the beginning phase should I be careful not to dose much ferts? Or is just some flourish comp no big deal?

I think I will have to have a look around for more info on ferts in general but I guess I ought to wait and see how everything seems with the fish in first maybe. But I guess my tank is pretty medium lighting with pretty good co2 so I suppose I could eventually use more ferts.

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post #40 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 07:30 PM
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If your setup has an inert substrate and includes co2 and good light you should probably be dosing NPK (Macros) in addition to micros. The Flourish Comp is good for micros for your setup (I use that as well currently.)

If your seeing some algae you might want to reduce photoperiod or raise light a bit or use a short peak period (if your light allows.) Algae in new setup is almost always a result of lighting, especially in a tank without fast growing stems. You want to stay on top of lighting and keeping water very clean to keep algae away.


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post #41 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Hey yeah I think I ought to cover some macros too, also I guess with the light period I have probably been a bit heavy handed, gotta open the chihiros app up again tomorrow and dial it down a bit and see if that helps a bit.


I borrowed my girlfriends phone with a wide angle on it and got a few cool shots - first being in the afternoon the last 2 later on during the sunset phase.







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post #42 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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So bored quarantine weekends during these strange times are dangerous for online shopping haha!

I decided to order my first round of livestock for the tank NPK ferts and a few other things.

I decided to stick with the green neons and then just get some shrimp. I will decide on the rest of the stocking for the tank later on. I still can't decide about the fish for the bottom end of the tank!



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post #43 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Small update, got some ferts in the mail, gonna start with that now!

Otherwise this ADA Softwater stuff, not sure - it seems pretty expensive actually, am I reading it correctly, per water change they recommend 1ml per 10 liters of the tank itself, so for me at about 80 liters I would do like 8ml a weekly water change? Would end up being pricey, anyone actually even use this? What would be a maybe better way to soften my water in your opinion? Oh and I got some ramhorn snails in to help with the algae a bit, algae started to pick up so I turned down the light and shortened it a bit, hopefully that helps.





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post #44 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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So the green neons arrived today! Got 15 of em in the tank, about 12-13 are really schooling around the front of the tank a lot already - 1 or 2 are I guess quite stressed and hiding (hopefully they make it!)

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post #45 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 05:45 PM
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Great to see, surely it's a good feeling to add the livestock! How "crowded" does it feel with 15 tetras in a 20G, would you say that's max or is there room for a few more? I'm soon to stock my 24G so thinking what's reasonable to aim for, I'll probably add them in at least two rounds anyway but curious to hear what you think.

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