Thanks everyone! I'm really excited to see how this goes!
Current issues and concerns--
--I think our fish--especially the rummy noses--don't like the bright T5HO lights. When the lights are off they swim around happilly and when the lights come on they cower with all the other fish under the shade of the Hygrophilia. Hmmm. I've read that some aquascapers run lower light for most of the "daytime" cycle and higher light for only a few hours ("high noon" in tank land). That might be less stressful for the fish.
??? Have any of you tried this?
--I think 78 deg F is too warm. I've read that the amount of CO2 and O2 that can be dissolved in water is decreases significantly as the temp rises. More CO2 and O2 should be good for the fish, the plants, and the good bacteria, and bad for the algae. Most of our fish can go down to 72 without a problem, according to Veterinarian Dr. Google. The Pleco likes it above 73 and the White Clouds like it below 72. I've turned it down to 76 today and in a couple days I'll turn it down to 74. I'll see what that does to the plants and fish.
??? What temperature do you keep you tank and why?
--the solenoid on our regulator is broken (always on) so I have to control the CO2 manually with our overly sensitive needle valve. I can't bear to send it back for repairs right now with my new plants coming in a few days... Tricky situation...
--I've been pushing my CO2 up as high as I can--light green with a hint of yellow in the drop checker--to limit algae and promote plant growth. Sometimes our fish look a bit lethargic but they don't gasp at the top. I bought some new rummy noses yesterday. I acclimated them in the typical way for 1.5 hrs before adding them. They hit the tank and almost died. They were gasping at the top and so stunned that they couldn't swim in the current created by the powerhead. I felt TERRIBLE! I turned off the CO2, lights, and power-heads and turned on the airstone and they recovered in about 2 hours. Then I was able to gradually resume normal (with a touch less CO2) tank conditions in a few more hours. Close call. I hope that the other fish aren't suffering in silence as well.
??? Has this ever happened to any of you?
I really need to get the regulator fixed! I feel really gullty when I hurt my fish.
That's the news for today
Please let me know if you have any experience with any of these issues. I'll update as my experiments progress.
Last edited by ghotifish; 11-08-2011 at 03:12 AM.