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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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New, with questions.

Hi there, I am new here and have a few questions. I am starting a small 15 gal planted aquarium. I have been reading up and asking questions the best I can but sometimes I don't know what questions to ask. I am going to start with substrate. Right now I am adding medium to low light plants but, eventually, when I can get the LED light system built, that I want, I will be adding more higher light plants to the aquarium. I want to know what kind of substrate I should use and how much. I will add some tropical community fish the aquarium later but the planting is what I am focussing on at the moment. A few more things about my set up; I have no heater. I bought a CO2 setup. A regulator, reactor and pump. I bought the wrong CO2 tank. So until I can get the one to fit the gas regulator I am using a DYI CO2 setup. This week I will be picking up a new filter. The Quietflow Power Filter 20. Lastly I am using a liquid fertilizer about twice a week and doing water changes once every two weeks.

Oh and I have 5 Zebra Danio's.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 12:16 PM
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Substrates gets confusing for two reasons:

1. People don't want to admit they need to save money
2. People don't understand CEC.

When people have multiple tanks each over 50 gallons they need to save money on substrate this leads them to use intelligence as a substitute for money. This is great, this what separates us from the animals. But it confuses people who are trying to learn about this for the first time. If you have a small tank you don't need Turface, earth worm excrement, or a whole bunch of things which makes owning several large tanks feasible. That takes care of point one.

Anyway, plants grow better in a substrate with a lot of surface area and a negative charge. That mostly means clay. Clay fits that bill the best. But I use eco complete cuz I like how it looks compared to clay. You need surface area and a negative charge for CEC.

If the substrate you buy doesn't have CEC when you buy it it won't ever have it. But if it lacks nutrients than root tablets and dosing the water can fix that.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jambes View Post
Hi there, I am new here and have a few questions. I am starting a small 15 gal planted aquarium. I have been reading up and asking questions the best I can but sometimes I don't know what questions to ask. I am going to start with substrate. Right now I am adding medium to low light plants but, eventually, when I can get the LED light system built, that I want, I will be adding more higher light plants to the aquarium. I want to know what kind of substrate I should use and how much. I will add some tropical community fish the aquarium later but the planting is what I am focussing on at the moment. A few more things about my set up; I have no heater. I bought a CO2 setup. A regulator, reactor and pump. I bought the wrong CO2 tank. So until I can get the one to fit the gas regulator I am using a DYI CO2 setup. This week I will be picking up a new filter. The Quietflow Power Filter 20. Lastly I am using a liquid fertilizer about twice a week and doing water changes once every two weeks.

Oh and I have 5 Zebra Danio's.
OK, now that we know your goals are eventually a high tech/high light tank, let me ask you...what's your budget? Money/cost vs. performance...where do you lean?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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OK, now that we know your goals are eventually a high tech/high light tank, let me ask you...what's your budget? Money/cost vs. performance...where do you lean?
I am willing to spend money to get a better performing product. Most things, except the lighting I am trying to get built, I can buy usually in a week. Like the CO2 tank, a 10 lb tank, I should be getting in a week from today. Only because I am working today. So cost is not really an issue for me if the product performs well.

Ok, I will read more on what CEC is and what it does for my tank.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 07:17 PM
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I'd get ADA AquaSoil, especially since your tank is relatively small.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'd get ADA AquaSoil, especially since your tank is relatively small.
Wicked I will take a look and see if I can find that at the store I go to.

About how deep should I have it?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 11:51 PM
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You want about 2-3."

You'll have to rehome the zebra danios if you go that direction, as ADA throws off tons of ammonia (people have measured in excess of 6ppm) for about the first month or so while it cycles.

It's definitely one of the highest nutrient content substrates on the market, though.





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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
You want about 2-3."

You'll have to rehome the zebra danios if you go that direction, as ADA throws off tons of ammonia (people have measured in excess of 6ppm) for about the first month or so while it cycles.

It's definitely one of the highest nutrient content substrates on the market, though.
Would sticking them in my 6 gal tank that houses my beta, moving him to his old 2gal and slowly changing the water in the 6 with the water in the 15 work?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
You want about 2-3."

You'll have to rehome the zebra danios if you go that direction, as ADA throws off tons of ammonia (people have measured in excess of 6ppm) for about the first month or so while it cycles.

It's definitely one of the highest nutrient content substrates on the market, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jambes View Post
Would sticking them in my 6 gal tank that houses my beta, moving him to his old 2gal and slowly changing the water in the 6 with the water in the 15 work?
Look up the ADA cycling instructions on a forum called ShrimpNow. Done diligently, I've never had huge ammonia spikes past 6-7 days. However, you will still need to correctly cycle the tank to establish the bacteria.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 12:14 AM
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Would sticking them in my 6 gal tank that houses my beta, moving him to his old 2gal and slowly changing the water in the 6 with the water in the 15 work?
Yes, moving the danios and betta temporarily into smaller tanks would work.

I would not put water from the 15gallon into the 6gallon after putting the ADA in the 15gal, though.





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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 12:24 AM
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Yes, you could fill the 2g will water from the 6g and move the betta, then empty the 6g and fill it with water from the 15g and move the danios. Then add the aquasoil to the 15g and top off with new water.

If you're really concerned that the water between your 6g and 15g are very different, that is.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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Look up the ADA cycling instructions on a forum called ShrimpNow. Done diligently, I've never had huge ammonia spikes past 6-7 days. However, you will still need to correctly cycle the tank to establish the bacteria.
I cannot seem to find it. I will check when I get home. But for sure I will read it before I do the change.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Yes, moving the danios and betta temporarily into smaller tanks would work.

I would not put water from the 15gallon into the 6gallon after putting the ADA in the 15gal, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadelin View Post
Yes, you could fill the 2g will water from the 6g and move the betta, then empty the 6g and fill it with water from the 15g and move the danios. Then add the aquasoil to the 15g and top off with new water.

If you're really concerned that the water between your 6g and 15g are very different, that is.
Thanks guys. I think I will do the changes at water change time. Two birds, one stone.

I went to Petsmart today to pick up my new QuietFlow but they did not have any at the one I went to they also do not sell the ADA. I guess I will have to go to the fish store on my day off and see if the have anything.

I know it is not the right area but, filter wise is that QuietFlow a good option? And is there anything I should do before or after I make the switch?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 06:44 AM
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If you want a quality HOB filter, get an AquaClear. My rule of thumb for any tank is to use a HOB that's rated for twice the tank size. So, for a 15g, I would use an AC30.

I understand you're in Canada, but are you sure you have the wrong type CO2 cylinder, rather than the wrong type fitting for your regulator? Regulator nipples and nuts are generally easy to change.

ADA products can be bought from the ADA website.

CEC, for our purposes, is simply the ability of your substrate to absorb nutrients. Flourite and EcoComplete have high CEC's, while being inert (that is, they add no nutrients to the tank on their own). I've heard great things about ADA substrate (once people get past the ammonia spike stage), but remember that any substrate that comes stocked with nutrients *will eventually become inert*. Yes, it'll take a couple years, but it's something to remember.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
If you want a quality HOB filter, get an AquaClear. My rule of thumb for any tank is to use a HOB that's rated for twice the tank size. So, for a 15g, I would use an AC30.

I understand you're in Canada, but are you sure you have the wrong type CO2 cylinder, rather than the wrong type fitting for your regulator? Regulator nipples and nuts are generally easy to change.

ADA products can be bought from the ADA website.

CEC, for our purposes, is simply the ability of your substrate to absorb nutrients. Flourite and EcoComplete have high CEC's, while being inert (that is, they add no nutrients to the tank on their own). I've heard great things about ADA substrate (once people get past the ammonia spike stage), but remember that any substrate that comes stocked with nutrients *will eventually become inert*. Yes, it'll take a couple years, but it's something to remember.
Do you think with my aquarium I should think of not using a hob and getting a canister filter?

Yeah I went cheap and just grabbed a small paint gun cylinder mostly because I am not interested in getting a 10 lb tank. I am going to look around and see if I can find a 2 or 5lb tank in the city.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Look up the ADA cycling instructions on a forum called ShrimpNow. Done diligently, I've never had huge ammonia spikes past 6-7 days. However, you will still need to correctly cycle the tank to establish the bacteria.
I have tried looking for this and cannot seem to find it... I will try again tonight after work unless someone has a link.
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