In dire need of help with my high-tech tank!!! (pics) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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In dire need of help with my high-tech tank!!! (pics)

When my tank first started...


Now, one month later


My plants look horrible and I think the growth is stunted, leading me to believe that my CO2 levels are inadequate, but every time my dropchecker displays a green hue, my fish swim around like mad and are appear to be suffocating. I'm not having that at all.

I also have trouble getting the CO2 to leave the water at night, it seems like the levels rise even after my solenoid shuts off. I now need to use an airstone...also notice some BGA

Just trimmed the plants on Saturday
Lighting 1 54 watt 6500K, 1 54 watt 10000k, good refelctors, 6 hours a day
CO2 delivered via pressurized inline diffuser. CO2 kicks on an hour and a half before lights turn on, yet adequate levels are typically never met untill an hour or so before the lights turn off. CO2 turns off an hour and a half before the lights go off.

















Please help me point out my flaws, thank you. I need all the help I can get.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 12:42 AM
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have you tested your water? nitrites, nitrates ammonia??? all that?

how many bps of co2 are you pumping in there?


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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 12:46 AM
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To better mix the CO2 with the water, switch to a reactor instead of a diffuser.

You didn't mention what ferts you're dosing. You may be giving the plants plenty of CO2 and light, but not enough nutrients. With bright light and pressurized CO2, you need to do EI fert dosing. The plants need all three elements in combination in order to grow.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:09 AM
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Which substrate fertilizers were used?


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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadRamsey View Post
have you tested your water? nitrites, nitrates ammonia??? all that?

how many bps of co2 are you pumping in there?
Yes. Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 15-20ppm.
GH 3-4 KH 3-4
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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To better mix the CO2 with the water, switch to a reactor instead of a diffuser.

You didn't mention what ferts you're dosing. You may be giving the plants plenty of CO2 and light, but not enough nutrients. With bright light and pressurized CO2, you need to do EI fert dosing. The plants need all three elements in combination in order to grow.
I have considered using a reactor, but they are far too noisy. The tank is in my bedroom so I need something on the quiet side and the Ista Max Mix reactor I previously purchased was horrible. I follow the Flourish dosing guide

M-Trace and Iron
T-Potassium and Iron
W-Trace, Iron, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen
R-Potassium and Iron
F-Flourish and Iron
Sat- 50% Water change, no dosing
Sun-Flourish, Iron, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen

I'm going to be looking into the EI method, it will also save me some $$$. I just used the flourish line because that is what I was familiar with.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Which substrate fertilizers were used?
I thought substrate fertilizers are not essential? The substrate is iron rich though, its seachem's onyx sand.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
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I have considered using a reactor, but they are far too noisy. The tank is in my bedroom so I need something on the quiet side and the Ista Max Mix reactor I previously purchased was horrible.
Not all reactors are the same. I have Rex Griggs style reactors, one in my bedroom and one in my living room. I can't hear either of them.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Not all reactors are the same. I have Rex Griggs style reactors, one in my bedroom and one in my living room. I can't hear either of them.
I'll look into making on of those reactors, I just hope my pathetic DIY skills can do it.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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I did some reading up on the Rex Griggs reactors and it seems like they are hit or miss with the noise. Some say it makes splashing noises, and some say it does not. Blaaaahhhh
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 02:46 AM
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What diffuser are you using? Im using a cheap glass nano diffuser I got on amazon.com and it seems to work fine, even with DIY co2. If you are using pressurized and can't get adequate levels for hours, I'd say theres something wrong with your drop checker fluid, or your co2 system. Are you using 4dKH in your drop checker? With the right amount of PH indicator?

When fish are gassed, they wont swim around like mad in my experience. They hover the tank near the top and nip the surface for air.

Finally, I would be concerned with flow. Most of your plants are small, yet your flow seems to be all at the top of your tank. Get a koralia and get that water moving.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 02:53 AM
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more light (not intensity, more time)

as far as the griggs reactor. yes sometimes it will make a little noise depending on how high you have your co2 turned up. however at night when you arent using co2, the gas inside the reactor dissolves and it stops the splashing noise.

by following the flourish guide, are you dosing by the directions on the bottle?
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 03:01 AM
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if so, you are under dosing. the directions on the bottle are for a "normal tank" your tank is geared towards excellerated growth.

i usually try to go towards a yellow green and never have a problem. i doubt that youre gassing your fish at green.

as far as bga, turn off all of the flow in your tank and spot dose with h202. you could also use maracyn 2
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 03:38 AM
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Hi, I know alot people say that the cerges reactors make noise, mine did for about a day then once all the air was out it stoped. I have a 55g yours looks about the same size I run my co2 at 1 bps all the time, right before the lights come on my drop checker is yellow/green and by the time they turn off it is a deep green and my reactor is quiter than my hob filter.
You may need more water movement grab yourself a power head and put it on one end of the tank pointed to the other end.
EI is the best way to go, I use to do the same thing as you but that was way too expensive I spent the same on dry ferts. to last 6+ months and got root tabs from Nilocg for less money then one month of florish. There are plenty of people to get dry ferts from on this great forum just look around.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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What diffuser are you using? Im using a cheap glass nano diffuser I got on amazon.com and it seems to work fine, even with DIY co2. If you are using pressurized and can't get adequate levels for hours, I'd say theres something wrong with your drop checker fluid, or your co2 system. Are you using 4dKH in your drop checker? With the right amount of PH indicator?

When fish are gassed, they wont swim around like mad in my experience. They hover the tank near the top and nip the surface for air.

Finally, I would be concerned with flow. Most of your plants are small, yet your flow seems to be all at the top of your tank. Get a koralia and get that water moving.
Its a GLA inline diffuser, the largest one that they had. Yes, 4dKH solution is in the drop checker, with 3 drops of pH solution. I don't like how my fish have their breathing rates increased by a great deal, especially with the pacific blue eyes. It just does not look natural, but it seems that whenever I get to adequate levels of CO2, that is what always happens.

Flow should be no issue, the Fluval 306 puts out a decent amount of circulation through the entire tank. I also have a good deal of surface agitation. Though I'm sure some more circulation would help.
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