Avoid the Blankets ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Avoid the Blankets ?

Excuse me if I'm wrong but over the last 6months I've been learning things that kind of contradict about 80% of the normal advice you'll hear on several internet sites and LFS about plant tanks and bubbles so I'm shouting out for some ya or neys ...

Most of the articles and "pros" at the LSFs say surface agitation is best achieved with the OTB (over the back ?) or power head and air filters bubbles are not necessary and will do little help for a planted tank, bubble steal the CO2 from the surface water and if you're using CO2 injections (filters) it's just a waste because it's robbing CO2 from the water...

Now, I do believe the surface agitation does dissipate CO2 from the water; However, I've learned in the past months (and even more in past weeks) that 1. Not every plant benefits from CO2 injections including "easy to grow" plants like Bacopia, Money Worts and Aluminium Plants and I'm sure a bunch more I don't have the time/energy to research ATM. And 2. some fish that need plant vegitation in their diet (such as Ballon Mollies) also like/do well with air bubbles (and related current created) in the tank. I'm sure there are a bunch more fish that may also benefit from air stone bubbles and current that I don't have the time/energy to research ATM ..3 Also, I have a Aqueal Power head and mini canister UW filter on the way (found some left over US products in stock at www.frogpoundaquatics.com) but in the mean time a small air stone is kicking up a nice small/medium circulation current (that the mollies need/love for happiness) in the 10gallon WHICH IS doing much nicer for circulation than the OTB and helping to combat the BGA problem that developed in my near stagnant 10gallon thanks in some part the sucky undwater OTB circulation. Rephrased> the tiny, cheap, 17 cent air stone plus pump is doing very nice ciruclation and near perfect (not to much not to little) surface aggitation with minimal cost that benefits both the Ballon Mollies and the resistance to BGA clinging to surface rocks and plants.

So, am I wrong or am I right to say that about 80% of the time the no bubbles necessary is correct (especially, if you follow the common cookie cutter java fern, swords, etc etc and grass reciepe) BUT, in essence, it can still come down to 1. what plants you have in your tank 2. what fish you have in your tank and 3. the individual needs of each and the eco system based on what you have 4. any other contributing factors like using gentle steady current to minimizing BGA foot hold on gravel/plant/rock surfaces...etc, etc.? In other words... blanket advice may not always cover you so do research on your own plants/fish and eco system first etc etc... might save you a LFS refund trip for dead unhappy fish and more chemicals lolz

I welcome the replies but not the flaming ... Correct me if I'm wrong please but GENTLY I'm learning too.

Last edited by Retroactive; 06-27-2012 at 04:04 AM. Reason: adding content and spelling/grammar checks crit 10k
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 03:40 AM
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you really don't need air bubbles. plants add oxygen to your tank. sponge filters and HOB (hang on back (i think the same as your OTB)) filters also aerate the water really nicely.
any plant will benefit from CO2, it's just that not all won't grow without it. even moss can be helped by CO2 injection.
not all advice will be helpful to you, that's true, but this advice will.
welcome to TPT, by the way!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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you really don't need air bubbles. plants add oxygen to your tank. sponge filters and HOB (hang on back (i think the same as your OTB)) filters also aerate the water really nicely.
any plant will benefit from CO2, it's just that not all won't grow without it. even moss can be helped by CO2 injection.
not all advice will be helpful to you, that's true, but this advice will.
welcome to TPT, by the way!
In my post, I mentioned my HOB has such poor circulation that it added greatly to the BGA out break. And yes several factors including poor circulation with "dead spots" and stagnate water can cause BGA. I don't believe the HOB create as well of circulation as the air stone because I'm acutally proving it and seeing it in action.

Also, when I was looking at diff plant species in Jan certain plant bios indicated they did not benefit from much at all from CO2...Infact one said in black and white "does not benefit much from Co2 injection, that's why I picked those plants Unfortunately it's 12am EST no time to hunt the links. Perhaps OPs may know ? See that brings up my point, I read something that you may not have and goes against the 80% norm... is that to say your wrong or I'm right or it all depends on what sources and the species. I'll try to hunt the links right now.

PS thanks for welcome
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Retroactive View Post
In my post, I mentioned my HOB has such poor circulation that it added greatly to the BGA out break. And yes several factors including poor circulation with "dead spots" and stagnate water can cause BGA. I don't believe the HOB create as well of circulation as the air stone because I'm acutally proving it and seeing it in action.
Also, when I was looking at diff plant species in Jan certain plant bios indicated they did not benefit from much at all from CO2...Infact one said in black and white "does not benefit much from Co2 inject, that's why I picked those plants Unfortunately it's 12am EST no time to hunt the links. Perhaps OPs may know ?
not all HOBs are created equal, if your water level was lower to increase splashing the aeration would be increased a lot. i wasn't trying to flame you. well remember, not everything you read on the internet is true. i don't know every single aquarium plant species, but almost every single one that i know of including beginner species like java fern, anubias, and water sprite (which i have in my tank) will grow better with CO2 than without, whether they NEED it or not, in my experience at least. i've seen others' tanks which reflect this notion as well.

EDIT: you're welcome (for the welcome)
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:24 AM
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It depends on the brand and size of HOB. You may have an HOB that just isn't very good. You may have too small of an HOB for the tank. It may be placed in a poor location. There are many variables involved that could be affecting the performance of the HOB.

As a general rule, HOB filters are better at circulating and aerating the water than airstones. However, under certain conditions, it is always possible to find exceptions.

There is a difference between a plant that "does not benefit much from CO2 injection" and a plant that does not benefit at all from CO2 injection. All plants benefit from CO2 injection; however, some benefit from it more than others. Plants that are slow growing by nature use less of the extra CO2 and, therefore, gain less benefit from it than other, faster growing plants.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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not all HOBs are created equal, if your water level was lower to increase splashing the aeration would be increased a lot. i wasn't trying to flame you. well remember, not everything you read on the internet is true. i don't know every single aquarium plant species, but almost every single one that i know of including beginner species like java fern, anubias, and water sprite (which i have in my tank) will grow better with CO2 than without, whether they NEED it or not, in my experience at least. i've seen others' tanks which reflect this notion as well.

EDIT: you're welcome (for the welcome)
no worries, sorry If i'm bitter sometimes I feel more bounced around than a moss ball on plant advice lolz... I wish I could find the post .. i do remember reading it plan as day.. infact I was wanting to get a CO2 injector badly until I read that and then found simlar ones that said they grow slow and don't need CO2. Unfortunately I read so many in a few days span and several months ago can't think of the ones atm.

Also, my old HOB is on it's last leg. It's an old pengquin before bio wheels if that tells you anything. I do know that molliess do like the flow and bubbles and hopefully the nice current will keep the BGA off the bottom. The Ballon mollies, moss balls, airstone and some Hornwort seem all in harmony atm.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:25 AM
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HOB filter do add oxygen to the water and if they have a water wheel it will give you the most O2 just like a wet/dry sump, if you use an air stone run it at night but it will make a mess on a uncovered tank, the bubbles popping will damage wood, drywall, etc. I don't use one any more and with the no surface agitation that everyone is quick to point out, I feel in kind of a myth or at least misunderstood, yes you may need to use more CO2 but the difference is small unless you take the agitation to the extreme.

Overall a well stocked tank with good maintenance practices and good flow is all you need for plenty of Eugen and for CO2, carbon is the building block of life and is the most needed element of the aquarium only second to water, IMO.

One more thing, HOB do not provide good flow and I would only consider them a secondary filter to add O2 and keep some surface movement on any tank larger than a nano.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroactive View Post
no worries, sorry If i'm bitter sometimes I feel more bounced around than a moss ball on plant advice lolz... I wish I could find the post .. i do remember reading it plan as day.. infact I was wanting to get a CO2 injector badly until I read that and then found simlar ones that said they grow slow and don't need CO2. Unfortunately I read so many in a few days span and several months ago can't think of the ones atm.

Also, my old HOB is on it's last leg. It's an old pengquin before bio wheels if that tells you anything. I do know that molliess do like the flow and bubbles and hopefully the nice current will keep the BGA off the bottom. The Ballon mollies, moss balls, airstone and some Hornwort seem all in harmony atm.
it's fine xD. there's a lot of advice out there... this site is pretty good though. yeah, i mean, but with CO2 you can support a lot larger variety of plants. a lot of plants don't NEED CO2 but they'll all benefit from it at least a little. :P

if you get another HOB, i'd recommend aquaclear as a good brand.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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It depends on the brand and size of HOB. You may have an HOB that just isn't very good. You may have too small of an HOB for the tank. It may be placed in a poor location. There are many variables involved that could be affecting the performance of the HOB.

As a general rule, HOB filters are better at circulating and aerating the water than airstones. However, under certain conditions, it is always possible to find exceptions.

There is a difference between a plant that "does not benefit much from CO2 injection" and a plant that does not benefit at all from CO2 injection. All plants benefit from CO2 injection; however, some benefit from it more than others. Plants that are slow growing by nature use less of the extra CO2 and, therefore, gain less benefit from it than other, faster growing plants.
Here's the Powerhead/filter I'm getting in the mail this week
http://www.frogpondaquatics.com/c=oM...t-100-gph.html

Aquael is all the rage with the EBi and Reef Nanos in Europe but unfortunately they pulled up shop in US a couple years back. I found a guy with left over stock and Aqueal is talking to him about comeing back. His store front is frogpoundaquatics and they are actually large scale distributors for Rena products aswell.

I like that the powerhead does 40 to 100gph, has air tube, bio sponge and canister. Planing to do a small amount of aquairum cotten for biological, carbo/zeolite and then possibly a small amount of resin for phosphate control.

UPDATE: yea I re-read you post and thanks for explanation on the Co2 and plants. I am tending to believe that you're right about the slow growers not benefiting "as much" and I think that's how I read it also way back in Jan. thanks again. Glad I'm not totally off base
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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it's fine xD. there's a lot of advice out there... this site is pretty good though. yeah, i mean, but with CO2 you can support a lot larger variety of plants. a lot of plants don't NEED CO2 but they'll all benefit from it at least a little. :P

if you get another HOB, i'd recommend aquaclear as a good brand.
thanks

Yea I like Aquaclear, I almost went with their power heads and canister but the Aquael came as one complete unit and was half the price.
I'm sure I will get to the big bushy beautiful plants that soak up the Co2 like sun tanners at the beach, but for now I'm trying not to kill the "easy" plants first lol... it's been a long road.

Right now I have 1x Hornwort and 1x anacharis plant for the Ballon Mollies to snack on and 1x moneywort 1x lemon money wort 1x Red Ludwigia... The money worts and RL have been in the tank over 5months but mushy stalks from too deep planting and BGA killed off most. They have bounced back well but one hard hit after another. I'm actually trying a Reef sun 50/50 light out now as I've been told by someone that uses them on all their plant tanks it does well for slow growers without creating BGA. Since the bulb has like NO red spectra hardly I waz inclined to believe her... the bulbs got 2 weeks to prove her wrong or right lol
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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HOB filter do add oxygen to the water and if they have a water wheel it will give you the most O2 just like a wet/dry sump, if you use an air stone run it at night but it will make a mess on a uncovered tank, the bubbles popping will damage wood, drywall, etc. I don't use one any more and with the no surface agitation that everyone is quick to point out, I feel in kind of a myth or at least misunderstood, yes you may need to use more CO2 but the difference is small unless you take the agitation to the extreme.

Overall a well stocked tank with good maintenance practices and good flow is all you need for plenty of Eugen and for CO2, carbon is the building block of life and is the most needed element of the aquarium only second to water, IMO.

One more thing, HOB do not provide good flow and I would only consider them a secondary filter to add O2 and keep some surface movement on any tank larger than a nano.
Thank you for the reply. I totally agree with you on the night air bubbles. In fact that's what lead me here to this site. I was trying to remember something I read in Jan about some guy that said he ran the bubbles at night. Tonight, in a heavly populated plant tank, if I run an airstone it's best at night. Primarily the airstone is just for the Ballon Mollies really. They like it and a couple sites said they would so it's primarily for them... I'm just making sure that the air stone is not going to wreck havoc on the plants. Fortunately, the Ballon mollies will eat some vegitation so they may be good carpet and filter cleaners for plant parts floating around.
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