240 gallon planted tank set up - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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240 gallon planted tank set up

After being out of the hobby for 20 years, I recently got my 240 gallon aquarium (acrylic) up and running. It is approx. 6 feet (more like 67inches) long (thick acrylic) by 30 inches high by 24 inches wide. The tank has many rocks so let's say, on the conservative side, there is 180 gallons of water in the tank...probably somewhat more but let's err on the side of caution.

My goal is to set up a planted aquarium with many small fish such as Rummy Nose Tetras, Black Neons, Dwarf Corys etc. There will be some Plecs (peckoltia eg/ less than 5 in adult size). I've placed a list of fish below.

I am in NYC...my water is slightly acidic (6.8pH) and slightly soft....very god for many plants and South American Characins/Corydoras.

I have a Fluval FX-6 with just filter material. My goal is to use the filter to circulate the water and remove particulates in the water...but I want the plants to do the filtration in the tank (removing Ammonia directly, and as many nitrates as possible). I don't want a large biological (bacterial) filter because the end product is nitrate...I'd rather get submersed plants to remove ammonia, and if needed, some floating plants/emergents to deal with nitrates.

Lighting is 4 aquaray LEDs [squares] at 6500k (daylight) and their lights "balanced" for freshwater plants (and not marine inverts). Temperature in the tank should range from 73f in winter and 81f in summer.

Substrate is fine black sand - unlike Diana Walstead whose book I've read several times, I did not include a soil base. Instead I plan to use soil tablets from Seachem. Sand depth is 3inches on average.

MY QUESTION: I'd rather use plants as my "biological filter" in this tank than any external wet-dry (with bioballs) or other filter that does the NH4/3/NO2 [Ammonia] cycle. So my question is: if I plant like crazy on a Monday, how soon after can I add fish...and how many fish would be safe to add without either (a) killing the fish directly or (b) getting green water (microscopic) algae taking up the NH4?

I want to add the fish all at once, and am attempting to source them from one dealer, because it seems better for the fish from a disease standpoint...and for me, convenience. BUT if my idea of heavily planting the tank in no way will save me from an ammonia bomb in the tank, I can easily change strategy. Timetable is to plant in late April 2020...and add fish? That is where I need help...

Here are the plants I will be adding:

Eleocharis "Belem" Dwarf Hairgrass 10

Staurogyne repens Creeping Staurogyne 4

Microsorum pteropus Java Fern 15

Aponogeton crispus Ruffled / Wavy-edged Aponogeton 6

Aponogeton madagascariensis Madagascar Lace-leaf 1

Alternanthera reineckii Scarlet Temple 2

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Green’ Water Trumpet 10

Anubias nana Dwarf Anubias 15

Anubias barteri var. caffefolia Tall Coffee Anubias 6

Taxiphyllum barbieri Java Moss 4
=================================
These are the fish I'd like to add:

Corydoras pygmaeus Dwarf (Pygmy) Corydoras Catfish 35

C. habrosus Checker Cory Catfish 10

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi Black Neon Tetra 35

Paracheirodon axelrodi Cardinal Tetra 15

Aphyocharax anisitsi Bloodfin Tetra 20

Hemigrammus bleheri Rummy Nose Tetra 25

Nannostomus eques Hockeystick Pencilfish 15

Rineloricaria lanceolata Whiptail Catfish 6

Ancistrus sp. "Super Red" Super Red Bushynose Pleco 6

Peckoltia vittata Clown Pleco L-103 5


Melanoides tuberculatus Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Neocardinia heteropoda Red Cherry Shrimp 6
======================================
ANY ADVICE APPRECIATED! (apologies for all-caps but do chime in!)

Robert DeCandido PhD
NYC

Bump: Forgot to mention: I have a CO2 system for the tank (20 lb tank) that will do 3 bubbles per second...
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Last edited by rdcny; 04-09-2020 at 07:30 PM. Reason: added italics to "Ancistrus"
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcny View Post
After being out of the hobby for 20 years, I recently got my 240 gallon aquarium (acrylic) up and running. It is approx. 6 feet (more like 67inches) long (thick acrylic) by 30 inches high by 24 inches wide. The tank has many rocks so let's say, on the conservative side, there is 180 gallons of water in the tank...probably somewhat more but let's err on the side of caution.

My goal is to set up a planted aquarium with many small fish such as Rummy Nose Tetras, Black Neons, Dwarf Corys etc. There will be some Plecs (peckoltia eg/ less than 5 in adult size). I've placed a list of fish below.

I am in NYC...my water is slightly acidic (6.8pH) and slightly soft....very god for many plants and South American Characins/Corydoras.

I have a Fluval FX-6 with just filter material. My goal is to use the filter to circulate the water and remove particulates in the water...but I want the plants to do the filtration in the tank (removing Ammonia directly, and as many nitrates as possible). I don't want a large biological (bacterial) filter because the end product is nitrate...I'd rather get submersed plants to remove ammonia, and if needed, some floating plants/emergents to deal with nitrates.

Lighting is 4 aquaray LEDs [squares] at 6500k (daylight) and their lights "balanced" for freshwater plants (and not marine inverts). Temperature in the tank should range from 73f in winter and 81f in summer.

Substrate is fine black sand - unlike Diana Walstead whose book I've read several times, I did not include a soil base. Instead I plan to use soil tablets from Seachem. Sand depth is 3inches on average.

MY QUESTION: I'd rather use plants as my "biological filter" in this tank than any external wet-dry (with bioballs) or other filter that does the NH4/3/NO2 [Ammonia] cycle. So my question is: if I plant like crazy on a Monday, how soon after can I add fish...and how many fish would be safe to add without either (a) killing the fish directly or (b) getting green water (microscopic) algae taking up the NH4?

I want to add the fish all at once, and am attempting to source them from one dealer, because it seems better for the fish from a disease standpoint...and for me, convenience. BUT if my idea of heavily planting the tank in no way will save me from an ammonia bomb in the tank, I can easily change strategy. Timetable is to plant in late April 2020...and add fish? That is where I need help...

Here are the plants I will be adding:

Eleocharis "Belem" Dwarf Hairgrass 10

Staurogyne repens Creeping Staurogyne 4

Microsorum pteropus Java Fern 15

Aponogeton crispus Ruffled / Wavy-edged Aponogeton 6

Aponogeton madagascariensis Madagascar Lace-leaf 1

Alternanthera reineckii Scarlet Temple 2

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Green’ Water Trumpet 10

Anubias nana Dwarf Anubias 15

Anubias barteri var. caffefolia Tall Coffee Anubias 6

Taxiphyllum barbieri Java Moss 4
=================================
These are the fish I'd like to add:

Corydoras pygmaeus Dwarf (Pygmy) Corydoras Catfish 35

C. habrosus Checker Cory Catfish 10

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi Black Neon Tetra 35

Paracheirodon axelrodi Cardinal Tetra 15

Aphyocharax anisitsi Bloodfin Tetra 20

Hemigrammus bleheri Rummy Nose Tetra 25

Nannostomus eques Hockeystick Pencilfish 15

Rineloricaria lanceolata Whiptail Catfish 6

Ancistrus sp. "Super Red" Super Red Bushynose Pleco 6

Peckoltia vittata Clown Pleco L-103 5


Melanoides tuberculatus Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Neocardinia heteropoda Red Cherry Shrimp 6
======================================
ANY ADVICE APPRECIATED! (apologies for all-caps but do chime in!)

Robert DeCandido PhD
NYC

Bump: Forgot to mention: I have a CO2 system for the tank (20 lb tank) that will do 3 bubbles per second...
I agree, it is much better to add fish all at once and minimize the exposure of differing pathogens accumulating in aquarium from multiple introductions.

Every time you introduce organisms into a system, you increase the likelihood of a virus, parasite, or bacteria hiking in as well.


Ive done this several times before, adding many fish at once. With a "fish-in" cycling of tank ( Ive done fish-in cycling safely many times- even with discus), I changed water every day-- I was the biofilter until the nitrifying cycle could establish one. In cases where I added fish to an newly-established cycle (fish-less) I change water for up to 96 hours afterward to allow the biofilter the time to catch up with the new bioload.



I always assume a lapse between the addition of new stock and the biofilters ability to process it. If you assume this is the case, you never need to guess in error or risk your live-stock.



Yeah, the plants may take up the slack. They may not.

The water volume, plus plants, may be enough to handle the bio-load. They may not.

Better method is to just assume a mini-cycle and enjoy all your beautiful ( and pricey) fish.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 08:20 PM
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I think it can work... just prepare to watch parameters and perform water changes as necessary. Have a bottle of Prime ready in case of emergency ammonia "control".

As far as plants go, looks good to me, although none of them are particularly super fast growing NO3 / NH4 vacuums... My guess is your NO3 levels are going to rise to a fairly typical 40ppm +/- 10ppm that many planted tank setups reach before a water change. It's not just the fish... it's the decaying organic matter from plant tissue that will bite you in the long haul... Crack that filter as often as every week to clean out sponges and gravel vac to your heart content to remove mulm, remove all dead and decaying plant matter when you can as well.

Feed lightly to start... until you can judge fish health / plant health / tank health / NO3 levels.

What is your water change plan?

3bps in a 180 gallon is virtually nothing... Not to sugar coat it. I was running almost 5bps in a 25 gallon tank... Albeit it was a very high light, fast growing tank that receives large weekly water changes, but you should aim for a 1.0 drop in pH from using CO2. pH drops from CO2 are harmless to livestock (at and around a 1.0 drop) because there is no osmotic pressure change / change in TDS.

Best of luck... Start a journal so we can all follow long, take and share lots of pictures, you'll be amazed at all the people who will tag along with your journey / help you / encourage you as you progress with a tank, especially on pushing 200 gals.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 08:23 PM
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I like to wait two weeks after adding plants. One, any parasites that might harm the fish will have died by that time and two gives the plants time to establish themselves. As most nurseries grow their plants emersed the plants will go through a transition phase where there will be all significant amount of bio matter in the water comlumn.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank You (and add questions)

Thank You each for responding...!!!!

a few questions:

(a) what fast-growing plants that would take up NH4 (Ammonia) in a new aquarium would you recommend (planted in substrate); should I get some duckweed from a local pond or am I just asking for other problems with Lemna minor (Duckweed)?

(b) is the number of fish I am trying to add too many for a tank this size, even an established tank this size? I am assuming some fish are going to die when introduced, and others through time since they are not long-lived. (Cardinal Tetras don't seem to be long-lived.)

(c) - is this a "good" CO2 regulator - it gets high marks at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SNCQ4WS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The suggestion of waiting a week or so (perhaps two) before introducing fish is a good one...I will plan on at least one week. Thank You for that suggestion. The plants will have time to get established...

And yes there is (are) no knowns in this (my) case...only many known unknowns.

Like everyone else I'd like to do fewer water changes rather than more...In a perfect world I'd like the plants to uptake fish wastes (Ammonia), but plants create wastes of their own (leaves decaying). My guess is that if I had less fish (fewer individuals of each species) I could get away with less frequent water changes. Diana Walstad gives the impression she rarely did water changes in her planted aquariums...

Again Thank You for chiming in. Yes an ongoing diary/blog of what is happening would be quite helpful to all...it is time! I will try...but I am also trying to get my yard ready for tomatoes/squash...and Mexican Sunflowers (excellent to pull in migrating hummingbirds in August) - so many things to do! But I suppose I owe it to everyone if you folks invest time in advising me.

Thank You!

Bob (who started in the hobby at age 15 in 1974 when wild caught African cichlids were arriving - and the ACA was a new group...later was able to visit and swim in L. Malawi and L. Tanganyika (1996) and visit the export businesses in those countries...what was being caught in Mozambique on L. Malawi was amazing - wild caught fish at the time were amazing)...anyway I am a field biologist who works mostly with birds in different parts of the world...now home in NYC for quite a while - Thank You and go Dr. Fauci!

Last edited by rdcny; 04-09-2020 at 11:26 PM. Reason: added question on CO2 regulator
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 01:54 AM
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My $0.02 for giggles.

Do you really want a 240g Walstead-style tank in your living room? Personally, I'm ok with up to 10g, stuffed with plants, no filter, no heater. A 240g is a different animal all together. Just for starters, your plant volume and type is way to low. Aponogetons might catch up, but it will take a while.

My main point: I personally have not seen a low maintenance 240g tank that did not smell.

On some specific questions:

- the co2 regulator you linked is for a paint ball canister. My 140g tank goes through 10lb of co2 in a month with relatively low light. Spend $200-400 and get a commercial-grade set-up. Spend once, cry once.

- avoid duck weed like a plague.

- putting root tabs into a 30" tall tank will get old, quickly. Also, keep in mind that all root tabs will fertilize the water column. If you are set on root tabs, consider Osmocote based home made ones. Feed the plants right and save a bundle.

- bushynose plecos, if you like your plants moved and rasped on. They also require driftwood.

- get a submersible water pump (or a Python, if you must) and your ~80g water change will take < 45 mins per week

- I am all for adding all the fish at once. But plan for it and minimize the tears. Add 2-4 ppm of household ammonia daily, add fish when ammonia is 0.

- 15 Cardinal Tetras look and behave differently then 50. Same goes for most Tetras. Personally, I would go with fewer schools of much larger size.

- plants are great filters. When they are healthy. Otherwise, they are a major source of water pollution. Which plants will do well and which will die in your specific environment and maintenance routine will take trial and error. The "best" nutrients absorbing plants are the ones that grow a mile a second. You either take the pollution out via plant mass or via water changes. It is still maintenance. Floaters take up nutrients the fastest but they will shade the plants below. My point being: there is no free lunch.

Above all, enjoy, have fun, and welcome to TPT.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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OK really good advice that is making me revise plans:

(a) the plants will have at least two weeks to get established in my tank before I add fish. I can bump up the CO2 delivery to 5 bubs/sec...and that is a good idea to measure the effectiveness of the CO2 delivery by measuring drop in pH rather than # of bubbles per second.

(b) doing water changes for the first week (would you suggest 50%; 90%) is a good idea. Also being ready with "Prime" as emergency back-up is good suggestion.

Can someone explain "mini-cycle?" As for "enjoy all your beautiful (and pricey) fish." (Yes pricey...I remember as a kid in 1971 getting three Head-and-Tail Light Tetras for $1. It used to be that salt water was the arena for astronomical pricing...I am surprised at how much tetras cost these days...and hence my desire to make a large purchase at once so as to recoup some cash in volume discount purchasing...and again it is better for the fish if everything goes in at once rather than subsequent introductions of stock along with parasites/disease etc.)

My tank is about 15 feet from a sink; it is not in a living room (nice guess but what assumptions were made for that guess? No matter no big deal); every tank has that fresh water smell...I rather like it - unless it is the smell of dead things or rotten eggs (anaerobic decomposition) - I've not had that in my tanks but certainly have tramped through enough fresh and salt water marshes to recognize that smell...

As for equipment, the one is always on the lookout to save money with quality equipment...no need to spend 5x for something! The big problem I see in every hobby is the ease at which people throw money around...and while quality equipment is always important...knowing what is needed and what is overkill is more important. More equipment or bigger tanks should not be the ultimate goal here...rather doing something well, learning...and answering questions is/are priceless! If the equipment furthers that end - then it is worthwhile. So someone's suggestion that I spend $200-$400 for a commercial CO2 regulator is nice...but the one I linked to (if you read the description and users comments at Amazon) gets consistently high marks..is less than $100 AND has the option of using it on paintball (small) canisters BUT if you read comments from users, they are using it on 20lb CO2 cylinders with fine results...My only negative about that model is that it only has one gauge (so I can set it to 35 pressure to feed the aquarium), but not a gauge to see the amount of CO2 left in the tank...otherwise it gets great marks - and does the job just fine. I'd rather spend the money and get an in-line UV filter to deal with green water (free-floating microscopic algae) and pathogens. The problem with UV in freshwater is the amount of diatoms/algae that grows over the glass covering the UV light...

and as someone correctly surmised - a 30 inch tall tank is a daunting task to reach down into...so one needs special tools to get tabs into the substrate (in addition to a ladder!). The Osmocote root tabs are a great great idea ("live and learn")...I'll read more about them today, but here is some basic info: https://www.myaquariumclub.com/a-qui...tabs-6167.html

and yes perhaps fewer species overall and more individuals of each...I remember the Hockey Pencilfish as a kid and wanted to try them again. I bet they are rather sensitive...I can also skip the Cardinal Tetras...that is a great comment on bushynose plecos - I can skip them...Which plecos would someone recommend that stay small; don't rasp plants and do well in slightly acidic water that gets to 81-83f in summer?

Water changes via a python (and I have that giant extra long extension already from past iterations of this 240 gallon tank).

Thank You all...and yes I will start a diary.

Robert DeCandido PhD
NYC

Last edited by rdcny; 04-11-2020 at 11:26 AM. Reason: spelling god to good!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 02:06 PM
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I respect a thinking person and you are getting on the right track.

Quick follow-up comments:
- I've used the UV sterilizer once, to see how it works. It's now 10+ years old and is sitting in the garage. Why? For it to be effective, you have to get the wattage and flow just right (i.e. dwell time). It only kills what it kills and only what passes by the bulb. Do the calculations and check the price tag on something you just might use.

- co2 regulator, I glanced through the reviews. That collection of parts will be in use 24x7x365. One stupid mistake or a part failure will not be pretty, I've been there too many times. Think what happens if you cannot fix / replace a stuck. open solenoid yourself. Can you replace a defective / not "right" needle valve? General questions to think through, not just for that specific regulator. And do go by the pH drop because you will not be able to count bubbles in that tank. A right flow meter is another $50 well spent.

- I would not get fixated on "× weeks after the plants go in". I would fixate on getting to rock solid stability. There is also the notion of tank maturity: the bacteria, algae, microorganisms, substrate, driftwood, plants etc etc settling in. People put sensitive fish like cardinals, clown plecos, what not in a two-week old "cycled" tank and then we read their sob stories on forums.

- Appogenons: you will get bulbs, maybe with 2 leaves. How long will it take for that bulb to turn into 2'x2' plant with 20 leaves? You will be trimming hairgrass for months before it starts affecting the nutrients uptake.

I am not being my usual [censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored], I am trying to help you to succeed and to stay in the hobby. Please take my comments in the spirit they were meant.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 02:55 PM
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My general theory on new tank - Set them up, plant as much as you can afford on day 1, get the plants thriving / CO2 balanced / water change schedule dialed in / lighting dialed in, and then add fish. By the time you've done the prior, the tank will have accumulated enough microbe colonies to sustain fish, and plants will be actively growing helping out with the nitrogen cycle.

Yes, please use the pH drop. Please consider a flow meter, no way to count bubbles in a tank much larger than 40 gallons at a pH drop of 1.0 let along 200 gallons.

Mini-cycle would be a cycled tank with X amount of cycling capability (no fish, just plant waste for example) and then you add a bunch of fish, it can create a mini-cycle because the original cycling capacity has been overwhelmed and needs time to catch up to the added livestock load. That is a typical mini cycle. Or the reverse can happen: You remove cycling capability (by killing off bacteria for example) creating a mini-cycle while the system catches back up.

I agree that quality equipment is a good investment. But, even at cheaper price points, you can get quality. With that said... I would like save money on substrate, lighting and filtration, DIY items... and I would like to spend said saved money on a quality CO2 system with the added goodies for redundancy (pH controllers, pH probes etc.) or on a quality inline heater to keep equipment out of the tank, or on temperature controllers, smart Wifi power bars, monitoring systems, quality bread fish and shrimp and plants, quality food to display the best of said livestock, quality water treatment options such as reverse osmosis etc etc.

Save money on substrate by going with an inert sand / gravel...
Save money on lighting by going with a horticulture unit instead of one made for planted tanks (or... more accurately speaking, one the manufactures think is best for our planted tanks, not usually the case).
Save money on filtration by buying respected budget friendly brands like SunSun, or by buying slightly used quality brands like Eheim (my personal preference because they are dead nuts silent, incredibly simply and easy to maintain, and last a lifetime).
Save money building your own stand / canopy / CO2 reactor etc.


Then, I can get away with $200-$400 in CO2. Trust me on this, once you gas a tank full of fish and shrimp (it's going to happen to everyone at some point, especially during the learning phase of dialing CO2 in), you will understand the value of going with a better built CO2 system.


Research, research, research first, and back up all that hard research work with practice learning (expect to make mistakes, but learn from them). It's our job to point out our own failures and fortunes as you venture into your tank build, and to help sway you from the same mistakes that cost us.

Please don't think we are jumping and stomping on your plan, it's a good plan, we are all excited to see you set up a tank, we are just pointing out the things that have bit many of us in the past.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 05:20 PM
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As a guy with a tank the same dimensions (though mine is a 210), I'd suggest getting a set of those long grabber things that people use for picking up trash without bending over. On my last aquarium (37" tall) I got proficient enough to be able to put root tabs in and plant with them. You can also do root tabs with a piece of 1/2" pvc and a dowel that will fit inside and is about six inches longer. Drop the pipe to the substrate, pop the root tab in, then push down into the substrate with the dowel. Gets a bit monotonous, but works. I am also a fan of a low tech tank, which I think works better in a tank this size. I can't imagine the maintenance on a 30" tall high tech tank.

Edit: what is you PhD in?

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 06:41 PM
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You've received a lot of good info on this thread. Just wanted to throw in my experience with 100gal I setup, no filter with only a power head to move water around. And no offence to OVT, but it didn't smell. I know you have experience with Walstad tanks, way more than I do.

Tank was an old saltwater tank, the kind with those way too small compartments in the back corner outfitted with way too little bio-balls and a drip tray that you had filter floss in. Bad for saltwater but great for fresh. When I made the switch to plante, I removed all the bio balls and just had the pump moving water around. It was enough to make the leaves sway a bit. Really wish I had pics of it but it was back in the early 2000's and my pics from that era did not survive the several moves I have made over the years.

I planted it with a bunch of different crypts as well as some different hygrophilias and a large group of Vals. The ones that were the most prolific was sunset hygro and the Vals. I also employed the use of duckweed as a nitrate sponge(hygro did well at that too).

Substrate was just regular aquarium gravel. No soil. Although it had been in a tank for awhile collecting detritus.

I stocked it with 100 cardinal tetras and a largish group of sterbai tetras(I think it was atleast 12, I'm remembering more but it's been a few years) as well as a smattering of other fish (gourami or 2, some rasboras). Funny part is that visitors always remarked on the red male betta I had in there. Never on the large school of tetras.

The key to this tank doing well was the growth of the plants. I didn't add the 100 cardinals until the plants, specifically the sunset hygro was growing well and I was trimming once every 2 weeks (no co2 in this tank). I didn't have any perceived die off with that addition (it is hard to get a good head count on 100 tetras). And the key to having good plant growth is to remove dissolved organics and add fertilizers that the plants need. For this tank it meant atleast every 2 week water change to remove accumulated mulm. And I used plant tabs (no water column ferts) roughly every 5-6 months. I could tell when it needed more as the growth slowed. Your tank will definitely be different. Even more so as you are adding co2.

I can remember letting the tank go to 1 month between water changes from time to time and that's when plant growth slowed and algae growth really ramped up. I'd do a couple big water changes, really concentrating on removing dirt from the top portion of the substrate and around plants and algae growth would subside and good plant growth would kick into gear.

If you take anything away from the above, it's that it's really important to remove dissolved organics from the system so that your plants can grow. That growth is the filter. In my opinion one of the best out there.

And I second the 1.0ph drop (guideline, not hard and fast rule). Do yourself a favor and spend the money on a ph meter that sits in the tank 24/7. They're not that expensive and really give you a better insight as to what your tank is doing at any given moment.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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OK to answer some questions...PhD in Evolutionary biology; scientific publications in refereed journals on birds (mostly raptor migration/raptors); plants (flora of NYC)...these days doing much educational work in Central Park working for me (im my own crazy boss)

OK purchased this flow meter: Dwyer Instruments RMA 151:specifically: RMA-8-APF-BV (2 inch scale; 10-100 SCFH air; APF [Pointer Flag]; BV (Brass Valve) - but see immediately below...this is the wrong one so don't repeat my mistake!

EDIT IMPORTANT - OK for anyone interested in a Flow Meter, it has to read small amounts in CC (Cubic Centimeters per minute) and not (as the one above) in SCFH which is standard cubic feet per hour. SO, the product I need for a very large tank (>100 gallons) is this one from Dwyer: RMA-150-SSV Flowmeter [SSV is Stainless Steel Valve], range 10-100 cc/min air. ±8% accuracy. For a smaller tank (less than 100 gallons), get the 5-50 cc/min model. If you purchase it directly from Dwyer, it is a few dollars cheaper than on Amazon (in April 2020 it was $67 at Dwyer plus $10 for shipping). It is this model (link to Dwyer): https://www.dwyer-inst.com/Product/F...ry=RMA-150-SSV

Also needed is a pair of 1/8 npt -> 3/16" barb fittings or 1/4" push tube. I'll ask a question about what is/are the best ones to get in a follow-up comment below, so if interested go to page 2 of this thread. These fittings allow the tubing to enter/exit the flow meter...so essential. Amazon has them.

It is better to use a flow meter to adjust the amount of CO2 into the tank than (only) the needle valve on the CO2 regulator.

and pH meter: Apera Instruments AI311 Premium Series PH60 Waterproof pH Pocket Tester Kit, Replaceable Probe, ±0.01 pH Accuracy. EDIT IMPORTANT! One of the kind members here informed me (his comment is below mine) that this is a better model to continuously monitor pH and pH changes as CO2 is added to the tank: Pinpoint pH Meter KIT Lab Grade Portable Bench Meter Kit - about $98 at Amazon in April 2020 (this hobby is not for the faint of heart the way one can throw money around).

https://www.amazon.com/PINPOINT-Port...ustrial&sr=1-3

Yes buy used to save money!

I'll look at a different regulator for CO2 and come back here to ask for an evaluation of what I selected.

"long grabber things that people use for picking up trash" - yes have one already

Hygrophilia - OK I will get some bunches

Last edited by rdcny; 04-11-2020 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Added more info on which Flow Meter to purchase and why/where; and also the pH meter with link
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcny View Post
and pH meter: Apera Instruments AI311 Premium Series PH60 Waterproof pH Pocket Tester Kit, Replaceable Probe, ±0.01 pH Accuracy (at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
That's ok but I was talking about a ph monitor that stays on 24/7 like this: https://www.amazon.com/PINPOINT-Portable-Precise-Digital-Measurement/...

With a pen you only get a snapshot at the time you test, which you have to get the unit out (if not already), turn it on, ideally calibrate before every test. You don't get the same picture with that process as you do with a monitor that you see the ph at a glance. Of course the ultimate would be to log that data but that's some serious money.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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OK switched to the Pinpoint pH submersible monitor (American Marine) - Thank You!

In my initial reading regarding continuous submersible meters, several people on Amazon wrote that the probes clogged with small debris over time (one month) from the aquarium - but if you recommend it, I'll try it.

Thank You
==================================
Looking at this CO2 regulator - I would need to get a dual gauge from Ebay to supplement the kit

https://www.diyco2regulator.com/co2-...body-kit-1-12v

any comments/recommendations appreciated

rdc

Last edited by rdcny; 04-10-2020 at 08:21 PM. Reason: use "bold" to call attention to question re CO2 regulator
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rdcny View Post
OK switched to the Pinpoint pH submersible monitor (American Marine) - Thank You!

In my initial reading regarding continuous submersible meters, several people on Amazon wrote that the probes clogged with small debris over time (one month) from the aquarium - but if you recommend it, I'll try it.
No problems with debris but I did have 1 probe that always had growths on it about every week or 2. Reminded my of coldwater marine sponge growths but had the consistency of mucus. I later switched out the probe and now no growth. Although I did read somewhere, not sure if it was pinpoint or another probe manufacturer (you don't have to stick with pinpoint probes), that it is recommended to scrub the probes with a toothbrush at regular intervals, which I do. Plus you need to calibrate every couple of weeks atleast. But these tanks are living ecosystems. Stuff grows on everything, lol!
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