RENA Filstar XP 3 Canister question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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RENA Filstar XP 3 Canister question

Over and over again I see people on this site using and praising this filter. I currently have a 50 gallon breeder with a heavy bioload. I currently have 11 cories, 9 neons, 3 clown loaches ( i know), 2 lyretail swords, 2 mollies, 2 congo tertas, an otto, and a royal farlowella. My tap water has a nitrate level of 20ppm and currently my tank is between 10 and 20ppm. Right now I have a aquaclear 70 and an aqueon 30 (without floss or carbon on the aqueon) doing the filtration. I was wondering if I were to upgrade to the RENA XP 3 would I be able to change my nitrate situation? I have not lost any fish but I would like to lower my nitrate levels. I am also considering donating my clowns, congo tetras and mollies to the LFS in order to lower the bioload a bit. I'm really not trying to spend that kind of money right now but if it will make a difference I will find a way by selling some stuff I have laying around on ebay. Here is a quick pic of my tank too.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 02:35 AM
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10-20ppm nitrates isn't a problem, and even if it were, a filter with mech and bio filtration wouldn't fix it. If you want to lower nitrates, add more plant-mass.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 04:04 AM
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Never trust a nitrate test kit result as a justification for any action, unless you calibrate it first. It is very unlikely that your nitrate level is that high when the plants appear to be growing well.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Never trust a nitrate test kit result as a justification for any action, unless you calibrate it first. It is very unlikely that your nitrate level is that high when the plants appear to be growing well.
The only plant that I feel is trully growing is my spiralis on the right side. The Java ferns I bought like that and I have not seen them do anything. Out of the 3 crypt parva I on the left front left one seems to be taking off but the others look the same. All my other plants (anubias, red flame sword, mariselia minuta, crypt wendtii) have little to no new growth. I was thinking of trying dry ferts but don't know what I'm lacking.

I have found a thread on how to calibrate; however I do not have any KNO3 which the author says you can use. Is it worth it to order some just for the calibration? Also I have a 20L tank with 3 fry and one shrimp and a load of snails that has been up and running for almost a year. When I test the nitrate in that tank I get a reading of between 5 and 10ppm. I thought that could be an indication of my kit being close or is that silly?


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10-20ppm nitrates isn't a problem, and even if it were, a filter with mech and bio filtration wouldn't fix it. If you want to lower nitrates, add more plant-mass.
Thanks for the info. I was not sure if it would help. I will just have to by more plants!!! Are there any suggestions for what plants I should add. I need low tech plants. I have a coralife 36" dual strip with a 6700k and a colormax bulb running for 8hrs a day and a flourite gravel mix for substrate. I am not happy with the java ferns because they look the same as when I purchased them from a lfs ( should have waited to buy from S&S like some of my other plants have been).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 12:20 PM
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Really, any plant will do, but especially any fast growing stem plant. Some good low tech ones are wisteria, waterspright, and star grass. there are many others. the last one, star grass is also a good nutrient indicator species, just by looking at the plant you can see nutrient deficiencies... google this to find out how. I'd trust that more than a $5 kit.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 02:36 PM
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I had high phosphates once. Dosing nitrate lowered the phosphate. Bet you need to start fertilizing the tank. Using EI and big water changes is easy and works.

I am extremely fond of pennywort. Leaves are small if it is unhappy and the roots kink if there isn't enough of something in the water. Forget which one, phosphate I think. Grows super fast, very graceful and oriental looking can be a bush reaching for the surface or a more organized floater as the stem holds it together. Love the way wisteria and pennywort can out grow algae, prune and what algae? Any of the stems mentioned would look great in your tank and complement your existing plants beautifully.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 04:58 PM
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I don't think we know enough about your tank to guess what is causing the slow plant growth. How much of what light are you using, do you fertilize, do you use CO2, what substrate, etc.?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 06:21 PM
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You should be proud of that. I have a 55gal with a HEAVY bioload on it. 20ppm out of the tap. Tank heavily planted has pressurrized, and gets EI ferts minus KNO3. I know my test kit is fairly accurate. I still see about 40ppm of nitrates in the tank. I just trimmed about 2lbs of plants out of it as well. The test kit is just numbers though. My rummies have nice red noses. Boesemani and emperor tetras spawn happily. So I don't really worry about anything if the fish and plants are happy.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I don't think we know enough about your tank to guess what is causing the slow plant growth. How much of what light are you using, do you fertilize, do you use CO2, what substrate, etc.?

light: 36" dual coralife T5NO strip with a 6700k bulb and a color max bulb on for 10hrs ( i thought it was 8 but was wrong)

substrate: gravel and flourite mix about 50/50

No CO2 and no ferts currently
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 07:08 PM
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some ferts would proabably help with growth. Try reduced EI if you want. I would hold back on KNO3 unless your nitrate levels get too low during the week.
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