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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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2 questions

Hello All,

First question; I use sugar yeast DIY or my CO2. I run the gas tube through a DIY bubble counter before it goes into the tank. I use it more as a pre-washer to (hopefully) wash out some of the sugar crystals migrating through the gas line. They don't seem to make it past the pre-washer so I guess its working. My hope is this also washes out some of the alcohol vapors that I'm sure are also mixed with the CO2.

Anyway, this line ends up under a power head and the CO2 gets ground up by the impeller before it gets spit into the tank. I have 2 of these, one in each back corner of my 55 gal tank. This seems to work well because it drops my PH from 7.8 out of the tap, to 6.8. The only thing I don't like is it makes my tank water look like club soda. All those little ity bitsy bubbles last for about the first week or so of a new mix. It will slow down after the first week until I have to mix up a new batch on week 4.But I do notice better plant growth when the bubbles are going good.

The question is, is there anyway make those little bubbles less noticeable? They kind of bug me.

Next is a nitrate question. Iíve read here most people struggle to keep their nitrate level up around 20 PPM. I seem to have the opposite problem. Iím happy when my nitrate level is under 30. Iíll do a 30% water change twice a week and it will come down to 15 to 20 PPM. I can keep it there as long as I donít dose any Fluorish, once I dose, my nitrate starts to clime within 1 hour of dosing. Iím only adding 1 cap full a week, as recommended by the instructions.

Does Fluorish cause nitrate to go up? Or can it just be putting the test off? The test kit Iím using is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.

The really odd thing is, my ammonia and nitrite never go above 0 to 1 PPM. So I donít understand what can be driving up my nitrate. Iíve tested the tap water and it tested out under 10 PPM. Other then that my plant growth is great, I have to trim once a week and my fish, frogs and shrimp are all doing great.

OK, OK, so it was 3 questions. But thanks for reading if you got this far.

Later,

Pharo
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 12:59 AM
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Regarding your first question, it's the nature of the beast, you are smashing the CO2 bubbles into thousands of tiny bubbles which slowly dissolve, getting smaller in the process so they are not really eager to go to the surface and disappear either.

One solution would be to use an inline reactor IF you use a canister filter.

Another solution would be to add a little mixing container underneath the powerheads. I use a small clear bottle for it... cut a hole in the side close to the bottom where the water goes out, and let the CO2 bubble into the bottle where it dissolves orderly.

Re your nitrate, I haven't noticed that Flourish affects NO3 readings, but it's possible. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to invest into a better (expensive) test kit. AP's kit can be a little difficult to read. Flourish itself doesn't contain NO3 in amounts, unless, of course, it is Flourish-N


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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Your nitrates will climb if you are heavily stocked with fish and lightly stocked with plants that use them ...

Add more stem plants and you will be in search of NO3
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Buck
Your nitrates will climb if you are heavily stocked with fish and lightly stocked with plants that use them ...

Add more stem plants and you will be in search of NO3
Hmmm, does this look like enough? Don't ask me what all they are, I don't really know. But plant load vs fish load is more plants then fish. But I do have a few fish. Just not enough to drive up my nitrates that fast. I still think the Fluorish is putting the reading off.

Thanks or the reply.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest
I guess the only way to find out for sure is to invest into a better (expensive) test kit. AP's kit can be a little difficult to read.
I paid $40.00 bucks or this one. Are you telling me it just gets worse?

Later,

Pharo
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 11:50 AM
 
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Nice lookin tank Pharo.
The two big Swords, the small amount of hairgrass you have started and the Apono I see in the left can be removed from the "Heavy Nitrate Users Club" which leaves you with the stems for nitrate use. I would call it low to moderately planted in that respect. Reading "0" for nitrites/ammonia is normal in an established planted tank.
I used Flourish for years and it never affected readings, how about plants in there that have any dying or rotted stems in the bases ? That can also affect nitrate levels. Are you overfeeding the fish maybe ?
Im 99.9% sure it isnt the Flourish so Im trying to offer other reasons for the rise...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 12:50 PM
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How often do you clean your filter? Detritus in the filter will eventually drive up the NO3.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharo
The really odd thing is, my ammonia and nitrite never go above 0 to 1 PPM.
In a well established tank (completely cycled) you will never detect ammonia or nitrite. As soon as they are generated, they either get converted into Nitrates or ammonia is consumed by the plants. Plants love organic ammonia. We just canít have too much in a aquarium as it kills fish.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Buck
Nice lookin tank Pharo.
The two big Swords, the small amount of hairgrass you have started and the Apono I see in the left can be removed from the "Heavy Nitrate Users Club" which leaves you with the stems for nitrate use. I would call it low to moderately planted in that respect. how about plants in there that have any dying or rotted stems in the bases ? That can also affect nitrate levels. Are you overfeeding the fish maybe ?
...
OK, I haven't noticed any rot but I haven't really looked for it ether. I'll take a good look as soon as the lights come today. I do remove any damaged leaves as soon as I see them. I also figured all plants used nitrate at about the same rate, but I see an error in that logic now.

The tank has been up since mid January and it is my first real attempt at a planted tank.

Thanks or the advice.

Pharo
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by danmhippo
How often do you clean your filter? Detritus in the filter will eventually drive up the NO3.
Ahhhh, now this I didn't know. I use hang on the back type filters and smooth out the return flow with sponges. I guess it's time to up the cleaning schedule and see if that helps.

Thanks,

Pharo
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pk-sd
In a well established tank (completely cycled) you will never detect ammonia or nitrite. As soon as they are generated, they either get converted into Nitrates or ammonia is consumed by the plants. Plants love organic ammonia. We just canít have too much in a aquarium as it kills fish.
Not even a little spike on the ammonia, followed by a little spike of nitrite? In the past, with tanks without plants, the spike (1 or 2 points) patteren would happen every once in a while.

Do plants really smooth out the spikes that much?

Later,

Pharo
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharo
I paid $40.00 bucks or this one. Are you telling me it just gets worse?

Later,

Pharo
Around here the AP Nitrate kit is only around $7. Must be an expensive place you live in For $40 you should be able to get a LaMotte kit.

Good luck figuring this out...


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Around here the AP Nitrate kit is only around $7. Must be an expensive place you live in For $40 you should be able to get a LaMotte kit.

Good luck figuring this out...
Well, it was a kit or combo type of test kit. It will also test PH, Ammonia, nitrite as well as nitrate. So 4 types of test, times 7 bucks per test would be about 28 bucks so I'm am getting ripped off. Oh, it also does High Range PH testing, but I never need to use that test.

Anyway I have no trouble reading the results. For now, I let my nitrate levels dictate my water changes.

Thanks again,

Pharo
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