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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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New around here. C02?

I have been reading this forum lately and have found a lot of good information. Thank you to all that posted even the tiniest shred.

Here's my story in a nutshell. I started about 5 years ago with 6 Goldfish and a 30 gallon hex tank. Those stupid nasty fish lived for three years and ate about as much food as I did. They were just common fantail goldfish that I picked up at a pond store for the super high price of $.50 a piece buy 2 get 1 free (Hence 6 of them). I hated taking care of the tank and found out that golds are really dirty but my wife thought they were pretty.

When they died, I did a little jig and started asking some questions. I looked at a local fish store and gound out that while the 30 hex looks nice the dimensions preclude good fish keeping because they are tall and slender all around. So, I invested in a 29gallon package. My thought was to get live plants to help keep the tank clear.

This is where I thought I was doing everything right and making every mistake in the book. I now have a tank with about the right number of fish, too few plants, plants that need more light, no CO2 system, no way to light the tank adequetely, never fertilized. You get the picture. My only saving grace is the H.O.T. magnum I bought to help with the dirty golds.

In an effort to turn these things around I need a little help. I am goin to build one of those hoods and put the 1x55 CF kits in it from AHSupply along with the old tube fixture (moving from .7 WPG to 2.58) I have also started to dose with flourish at my biweekly water changes.

I want to start a CO2 system. I am going to use the two soda bottles (one to ferment the other to seperate) but I was wondering about the best way to dissolve it. With the HOT will just feeding the line in the intake work? I really will be lucky to build the fermentation system this weekend and won't be able to finish the reactor for awhile. Also, can I start the CO2 before I fix the lights?

Speaking of lights, would it be overkill to switch to the 2x55 unit this would give it something like 3.6 WPG?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 09:45 PM
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ok don't start goign off on goldfish.. if you aren't smart enough to know they don't belong in such a small tank it's your fault
chances are you know nothing about goldfish so i'm not even going to start
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyboy
ok don't start goign off on goldfish.. if you aren't smart enough to know they don't belong in such a small tank it's your fault
chances are you know nothing about goldfish so i'm not even going to start
He's just asking for help...you don't have to yell.

Welcome and good to hear you're learning. It is difficult to start out on planted tanks, but it gets easier, speaking from experience. Just take it one step at a time and use common sense (meaning your wallet and bank account) and make the right, best choices now to help you in the long run.

With a 29g tank, you can easily retrofit the existing light with the AH supply kit. With 3.something wpg, you are going to pump a lot of light in there, so the first thing you need to consider is whether you want to do DIY CO2 or pressurized. I had some success with DIY when I had a 29g, but I'm sure you can ask others who will say life is a lot easier with a pressurized system (I think Colin has a similar setup as you). BUT, DIY is possible, if you can get it to inject into your filter (what type do you have?), or use a power reactor (search google for DIY CO2 power reactor). You will definitly need CO2 and patience once you get your lights pumped up.

Also consider substrate. Again, use the search function and check on what's been discussed regarding fluorite, laterite, and eco-complete. You'll find even better information this way.

Start making a list of what you want to accomplish with the tank and we can go from there. Most of us are here to help others out. Good luck.

Re-boot!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 10:32 PM
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i wouldnt start the co2 until you got your lighting fixed. i would also buy some test kits-no3, po4, ph, kh, gh and test your water parameters. i wouldnt start dosing flourish just yet, since you say you only have a few plants and the tank is new. i change my water every week, it resets the tank so you dont have nutrient buildup. keep searching the forum and youll learn a lot, i know i have...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogg76
i wouldnt start the co2 until you got your lighting fixed. i would also buy some test kits-no3, po4, ph, kh, gh and test your water parameters. i wouldnt start dosing flourish just yet, since you say you only have a few plants and the tank is new. i change my water every week, it resets the tank so you dont have nutrient buildup. keep searching the forum and youll learn a lot, i know i have...
More good advice that I left out...ps Dogg you've got a sharp lookin' tank.

Re-boot!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 12:55 AM
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Welcome to the forum Mr. Newguy

Please forgive that rude welcome you recieved earlier from fishyboy, its a rare case that this happens.

As far as your lighting goes I wouldnt start off to high in the watts, higher then 3 watts per gallon can get tricky, even for the old timers of the hobby. I would suggest starting off lower and easing your way in keeping it fun and stress free. There are a lot of nice looking plants that dont need a ton of light to grow.

2x55 is a lot of light for a tank that size...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 03:42 AM
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I have a 29 gallon tank with 110 watts of AH Supply light over it. And IMHO if you go that route you will need a pressurized CO2 system. DIY just doesn't give a consistent enough output for a tank with that level of lighting.

I run two tanks off my manual CO2 system. I built the whole thing from scratch and it works great. So if you are resourceful and have a bit of time and help from the forum a CO2 system need not be all that expensive.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 04:42 AM
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I've been keeping 2x65 watts over my 29g tank for quite a while... what I've found is that plants with that kind of light without pressurized CO2 will just burn themselves out; lots of quick growth then die on the vine. I couldn't even keep java fern under that light using DIY CO2. Stem plants would get alot of quick growth then look like garbage after a few weeks. The plants survived but by no means were they lush.

My advice, think about just what you want your tank to look like in the end and plan your costs accordingly. A 2x65 isn't as expensive as 2 1x65's (2x65's generally have better reflectors), pressurized CO2 is really quite cheap once you get past the initial outlay. You can always get a 2x65, then only run one bulb with DIY CO2... once money becomes available you can upgrade your CO2 and turn on the second bulb.

Just a thought... I've always had horrid luck with DIY CO2, YMMV of course. I've never been a big fan of the H.O.T.'s so can't comment on how they will run with CO2 being injected into the intake... I do it with my XP2 with no troubles, I don't see why it would be a big problem with the magnum. On a DIY I'd think about getting a bubble ladder instead, just so you can see what the heck that silly yeast is up to.

HTH
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyboy
ok don't start goign off on goldfish.. if you aren't smart enough to know they don't belong in such a small tank it's your fault
chances are you know nothing about goldfish so i'm not even going to start
You are correct sir. I didn't mean to start out on the wrong foot but, I knew absolutely zero about goldfish when I started that tank. It was a prime example of listening to the guy at the lfs (I hope that means local fish store LoL) adn not doing any research. It wasn't that I didn't like them it's just that I wasn't prepared or even aware of how dirty they are and how much cleaning you have to do with them.

Sorry I didn't say it earlier but the tank isn't "new". It's been running now for over 6 months and I have a few plants. A java fern (which is doing well), a radican sword (the one that has me worried) and a few others that I am not sure of the name.

Good idea about the 2x and leaving one bulb out. I can put the one fixture in the existing light strip and leave the other one unconnected until a dendable level of CO2 can be established.

As far as CO2 I will try the yeast and bubble ladder or at least something with a bubble counter so I can "see what that yeast is doing" I will let you guys know how it's going.

Thanks for your help
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 04:16 PM
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Yeah, goldfish can be very demanding on the filtration system of just about any tank. My grandma keeps some common feeders (I keep on telling her that the tank was too small, but she never listens ) in her 29. She has slowly thinned out her tank over the years, but still has 6 of them which are in the 8-10" mark (only thing that keeps the tank going is a power filter which cycles 600 gallons/hr.).

Like others have stated, I would start out with just one PC going (pick up the 2x retrofits and go from there with just one bulb going for now) and then bring the second one on after you have CO2 running. BTW, with that type of lighting, you are gonna have to eventually go pressurized (heck, I'm going pressurized myself, very soon), since the DIY yeast chambers won't be able to keep up. Also, I would prefer to go with the 55W kits instead of the 65, since there are more bulbs available for them (that and the fact that ahsupply doesn't carry them ).

Eric


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 08:09 PM
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You can run 55w bulbs in 65w fixtures... now you have even more options than with a 55w rig .
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