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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys...

Hello everyone. Ive just recently got a new tank after being wothout for about 5 years... Im not a total beginner, but this is my first serious attempt at a 'proper' planted tank, whatever that means lol. I decided on a Juwel Lido 120 which works out at 26.5 gallons (31.5 US) Its been up and running for a couple of weeks now. Im sticking with the supplied internal filter, although I may add an external later. Initially I was going to stick with the supplied lighting which was 2 24w T5's, but have upgraded (it arrived today ) to a shiny new 4 24w T5 luminaire type thing. It came with 2 10000k white tubes and 2 that were described as 'red growth tubes' My first real question is what light tubes will be best for me to use? Are the supplied good enough? There seems to be alot of conflicting info online and some personal experience would be appreciated. Im dosing CO2 with the waterplant system, which is pretty much the same as the fluval 88,, working from a small disposable cylinder. I have it running at approx 20 bubbles per minute. Does that sound about right? Ive ordered one of those test dealys that stays in the tank so ill soon be able to measure the amount. But like I said my main concern is the lighting and which tubes i should be using. Thanks alot guys
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 02:57 AM
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Hey there, welcome to TPT and your new obsession :p

The lights should work fine, the red bulbs are a plant specific waveform supposed to promote growth and bring out colors in your fish and plants.. you can decide on your own if you think they work :P I swapped mine out for a 6500 and a 6700K to go with my 2x10000K I already run. The 10000k will be fine. Some people prefer 6700K because it's a little more yellow-ey and looks the same as normal daylight from the sun but I tend to like the 10000k spectrum more for the cooler look it brings. Both will work fine for growing plants you may use any combination of the roseate bulbs or 5000-10000K but most people stick in the 6000-10000K region.

I'm assuming you mean a drop checker to check the CO2 levels, and if so then just wait until you get it. However I'm going to think that 1bps will not be enough for your 31G, I have a 36G bowfront with a (what I consider) moderate to heavy plant mass and it takes 4 bubbles per second diffused into my canister filter's intake (so probably upwards of 90% effective diffusion) to maintain a nice light green-yellow on my drop checker (green on a drop checker is usually a good estimate of about 30PPM co2 in your tank which is what you should be shooting for generally).

I'd say quit with the disposables while you can and upgrade to either a paintball Co2 system or even more financialy friendly a 5lb or even 10lb Co2 system. I have a 20oz paintball tank with a quality regulator and needle valve on my system and I usually get about 2-2.5 months per fill on 3-4bps running at 9 hours a day with solenoid. You'll be burning through those little cartridges so fast to maintain adequate co2 levels that in 2 months I'd almost guarantee you'd have spent more on cartridges than the startup cost of a good Co2 system. You can look on fleabay or even the swap n shop section here (put up a wanted ad) and get a great affordable deal if you can find someone else that lives in UK as to avoid shipping costs from the states.

Anyways, best of luck and ask any more Q's if you need.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking of a fire extinguisher or welding bottle set up, but not really sure where to get it from, will have to look into it more. ive sourced a TMC regulator that has a built in solenoid, just need to figure out where i can get a bottle with the right sized thread. Any UK readers got any idea? Im in plymouth btw. would i use the existing bubble counter/ diffuser? or should i have one of those ladder dealies that come with the expensive JBL CO2 set-ups? will have to wait till after christmas anyways- i justified the new lights by telling myself they were a gift from the dogs lol dont think i can do the same wth anything else!

Thanks for the help!!!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, one other thing, even with the relatively low bubble count it is like a snowstorm on the side o fthe tank with the diffuser... Its even more obvious when the main lights go out and a blue led night light comes on... I dont have an external filter so i cant plumb the co2 to run through that and i dont think i can incorporate it with the internal. Any ideas?

Thanks,
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 12:06 AM
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Lots of bubbles from the diffuser is the whole point of the contraption. Even when your CO2 is plumbed in through an in-line diffuser, there are tons of tiny little bubbles--more probably. You may want to add a powerhead to blow the bubbles around the tank so the CO2 is distributed evenly. If you cannot stand bubbles, you could look at CO2 reactors which work differently and produce fewer bubbles.

Also, you don't need to have your CO2 running after the main lights go out. Plants only use CO2 when they are photosynthesizing, which only happens when the lights are on. Although some folks do run their CO2 24/7, most do not. I personally think it's better not to. I like to maximize O2 in the night to help the fish and the beneficial bacteria.

Good luck


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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ok, bubbles it is lol. Ive ordered a regulator/ solenoid so i will be able to do away with the expensive disposable and have cheap refillable running only during the day. I got a drop checker in the mail today. No instructions though. It says to add 5 drops of the solution the the 'bulb' and then fill to the line with aquarium water. No line though, so im thinking the solution (which came in a pack) and the bulb thing (which came loose in bubble wrap) are not meant to go together... thaks ebay!!! ive done the 5 drops and filled the bulb most o the way, but no idea if that is right... Any ideas? Water change and haircut for the tank today. Was getting overgrown so i must be doing something right, no?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:08 PM
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All the details of a drop checker are here: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...rs-Why-and-How

Basically, you need to fill the bulb to the line, or half way depending on the style, with purified water with a kH of 4. Then add 4-5 reagent drops to turn the water in the bulb very blue. Put the drop checker into the tank in a manner In which you do not pollute the bulb with tank water. Then wait a couple hours. If it turns lime green you are set. If it is blue you don't have enough. Turn it up a tiny bit and wait an hour or two. Repeat until you find the sweet spot. If it's yellow, turn it down. If the fish look lethargic or are gasping at the top turn off the co2 and turn on an air stone. Good luck.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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i think what i have is different to what you are talking about... firstly there is no line to indicate how much to fill it. secondly it says to fill with aquarium water ( i wouldnt have the first clue where to get 4dk water) and thirdly green seems to be the colour no blue with this particular set. ive emailed the ebay supplier asking for instructions but i dont hold much hope
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:58 PM
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What brand is your drop checker? You could post a picture There are some out there with incorrect directions. To my knowledge all drop checkers work according to the same principles. If you use pure 4 dkh water, all you are testing is the change in ph caused by the CO2. If you use tank water, there are variables other than CO2 that will confound your results making them useless. You can get 4 dkh water. Goggle will help you.


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Last edited by ghotifish; 11-27-2011 at 03:33 AM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 03:32 AM
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I Will save you the trouble. This appears to be 4 dkh water with the reagent mixed in. Call the green machine if you wanna be certain.

http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...-solution-60ml


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I havnt replied, this has been acting up... Not the best pics in the world, but this si the drop checker as it came...


Thats the solution that came with it. from the ebay listing it was made to sound like a kit, but the glass came in bubble wrap and the solution as shown... Instructions say add 5 drops of solution then fill to line with aquarium water. Like i said... no line to fill it to! Ill look into the 4dkh, thanks for that...
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 07:24 AM
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That's the drop checker we use. Fill the bulb 1/2 way with 4 dkh water and add five drops of reagent. I checked Ebay/uk and 2 people are selling 50ml of 4 dkh reference solution for 1.70£.

Good luck


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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thankyou... just ordered some now
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, i think something is wrong here... I got the 4dkh water, but it doesnt seem to be doing anything. it seems to stay the same colour green regardless of how much co2 i have running. can anyone recommend a new test solution? thanks
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghotifish View Post
All the details of a drop checker are here: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...rs-Why-and-How

Basically, you need to fill the bulb to the line, or half way depending on the style, with purified water with a kH of 4. Then add 4-5 reagent drops to turn the water in the bulb very blue. Put the drop checker into the tank in a manner In which you do not pollute the bulb with tank water. Then wait a couple hours. If it turns lime green you are set. If it is blue you don't have enough. Turn it up a tiny bit and wait an hour or two. Repeat until you find the sweet spot. If it's yellow, turn it down. If the fish look lethargic or are gasping at the top turn off the co2 and turn on an air stone. Good luck.
Did you follow these directions? When you added the reagent drops, did the water turn blue? The reagent is just bromothymol blue, which is pH test solution.


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