fluval flora newbie first atempt picture heavy. a little advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Post fluval flora newbie first atempt picture heavy. a little advice?

hi, ive had many aquariums as a kid and have experience with growing a wide range of plants and vegetables but this is my first attempt at merging the two hobbies together into a planted tank. i started with a fluval chi and fluval flora but had to shut the chi down so ended up with many fish in the flora. im currently experiencing some problems hoping the planted tank community can help.

tank: fluval flora 7.9 gallons

equipment: ditched all orignal equipment. eheim 2215 (turned down), milwaukee co2 regulator on paintball tank 90bpm set on timer 1 hour before lights and off 1 hour before lights through a nano diffuser, 32 watt 6500k cfl in a zoomed mini deep dome reflector sitting 5 inches above water line on timer 10 hours a day.

substrate: eco complete

fertilizer: seachem flourish dosing 1ml every other day.

flora: anubias on driftwood, hc, java moss, some kind of crypt, marimo ball, and an unknown plant.

fauna: 5 neon tetras, 2 cardinal tetras, 5 rummy red nose tetras, 3 rasboras.
also have 3 zebra snails, 2 crs, 2 rcs, and had a blue shrimp that died this morning.

started like this.


slowly comming together


got 2 here


tank as it sits today 9/21/12


plants


shrimp


equipment


tank has been running for about a month and fully planted for about 2 weeks. everything was going smooth up until the last couple days. my co2 bubble count shot up last night which seems to be known of these regulators, but looking at the fish, none seemed stressed at all. this morning i woke up to a dead blue shrimp, his body used to be all blue with a brown stripe but now has a big orange spot on his back. all my other shrimp are doing well at the moment. he was the largest shrimp, had him since the beggining of this whole experiment so im wondering what took place to bring him to his death. i thought about the co2 but everybody else is fine and none gasping. since then i turned the co2 down a little.

heres a picture before and after.


hc looks to be unchanged, not dieing but not thriving. hoping to find a way to improve growth. both unknown plant is melting, thought it was the new water but am unsure, it is melting fast. both are same species of plant just separated.






water parameters are unkown except ph is 7.3. i dont own any test kits except a ph pen. last week got my water checked at a lfs and said it was good. i know the water comes out the tap at 7.5 and in my tank lowers to 7.3.

what do you think killed the shrimp? disease, stress, co2? he was twice the size of my rcs and crs, no fish mess with him or any the other shrimp. he did activly swim on the top spray bar. my crs has become more active wondering if it was his time or if it was his keeper. the orange body has got me worried. also what do i do with the melting plant? how do i save it, can anyone identify it? any advice is appreciated thanks.

Last edited by vnghost; 09-21-2012 at 09:06 PM. Reason: added info
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 10:07 PM
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Hi, looks good. Are you dosing any other fertilisers besides seachem flourish? plants also need a source of micro and macronutrients. 90bpm, not sure what that translate to per second but try to aim for 1-2 bubbles per second. To me 10 hours is maybe too much. Try cutting it down to 8 hours per day.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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hi logi-cat thanks for the advice. since i turned down the co2 rate im getting 72 bubbles a second which is 1 1/5th bubbles a second basically 1.2bps. there is visibly less bubbles in the tank. fish seem to like that a little better so im gonna keep that rate. i was under the impression that seachem flourish an all in one fertilizer and that fish food and waste provide the rest. any recommendations on ferts?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:09 PM
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i use dry ferts which you make up your self depending on the size of the aquarium. A very cheap alternative compared to liquid fertilisers that you buy in bottle such as seachem flourish. If you browse the fertilisers and water parameters of the forum there should be something in there. This is what i achieved:

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=21180
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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your tank is beautiful. what is that big bushy plant you have in the middle, id like to have that in my tank.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:19 PM
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that is hydrocotyle sp. japan or sometimes called hydrocotyle tripartita.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:32 PM
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Tank is looking good! I am using the Eheim 2213 on my Ebi and I have to restrict it's flow just so my fish wont be plastered against the glass
Where did you get that awesome stand for your light? I have been looking for something like that for a while now!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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It's a zoomed lamp stand and mini deep done reflector. U can get a similar reflectors at home depot for like 8 bucks. I originally ordered a 2213 but it arrived broken, did a little more research and decided to up it to a 2215.

As for my melting plants, gonna pick up so more ferts and hope it helps.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 12:17 AM
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Here is a tip that helped me out. Use shrimp as a co2 indicator. As you noticed, shrimp are very sensitive to co2 levels. Much more sensitive than fish. The best way to set your co2 bubble count is to use your shrimp as a gauge. Every thirty minutes turn your co2 needle valve up in small increments. KEEP AN EYE ON THE TANK WHILE DOING THIS SO YOU DON"T ACCIDENTALLY GAS YOUR INHABITANTS. As soon as your shrimp begin to swim around the glass and circle the tank, you have reached your co2 max bubble count. Once you have reached the max, turn down your co2 valve to the previous 30 minute position. Temporarily aerate the tank with an air stone or create some sort of water surface movement to gas off the excess co2. Your co2 regulator should now be dialed in I like this method because I don't have to have any unsightly co2 indicators in my small Ebi. And in order for HC to be grown successfully, optimal co2 levels are a must!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the tip. I actually noticed this with the shrimp last night. My co2 bpm went up and noticed my blue shrimp swimming closer to the top. Other shrimps went about their business. Woke up this morning to a dead blue shrimp. Bpm remained unchanged and notice my crs swimming near the top. Turned down to about 72 bpm. All fish and shrimp seem happier.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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went to lfs and they recommended root tabs for my melting unidentified plants. they said they are probably melon swords and suggested root tabs might help them come back to life. also picked up 3 more rcs and a dwarf saggitaria plant. heres where it sits now. id really like one bushy type plant in the left back corner but we'll see, might be better to leave open swim room.



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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 07:47 AM
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Why not get a co2 drop checker instead of using shrimp as an indicator. Cheaper alternative.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logi-cat View Post
Why not get a co2 drop checker instead of using shrimp as an indicator. Cheaper alternative.
+1

Don't put your pets at risk needlessly in order to save your self a few bucks on a drop checker.

Also, these single stage regulators on paintball setups won't prevent an end of tank dump so you really need attention on the residual tank pressure.

If you are keeping inverts, a test it is a must. Tds, ammonia, nitrates, nitrides, gh, kh should all be monitored. Shouldn't cut corners here when going high tech.


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have a drop checker in the back and have never seen it once change colors. Been green no matter if I flood co2 or reduce co2. It's an u.p. co2 indicator. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yea your right I'm going to pick up a test kit. When I was growing vegetables and herbs hydroponically I found that once you create an optimal environment the need for testing stopped. I was so good at it I measured ferts and knew all my water parameters off the top of my head. Guess its not that easy with a planted tank. If its anything like growing plants indoors a well balanced environment is most important. I believe I have an imbalance somewhere and need to pin point it
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