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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Advice needed

Hi everyone!

First off thank you to the admin for having this website and thanks to all those who post. Also thanks to Rex Grigg for his very informative site. You have all contributed to my pea sized brain. Hopefully much of the info here has sunk into it and I can have a successful first adventure into planted tankdom....or at least a less painful one.

I picked up a 30gal tank 7 months ago and built a cabinet for it. I finally put the polyurethane on it this week. I have ordered a bunch of stuff over the past 2 weeks to try to get this thing up and running.

This is what I have:
30gal
96watt freshwater aqualight with a 6500k bulb
2213 eheim
3 bags eco-complete
plan on picking up a 150 watt heater

I have only check my tepid water for a few readings. Those being:
gh=16
kh=4
ph=8

I hope these readings are not unworkable. From what I have read I would think they are okay. Wish I would have checked my no3 but little late right now. I really doubt there are any traces of nitrates though.


1. I am hoping 3 bags of eco is enough. I have the feeling some of you will tell me that is a bag shy. Substrate calculator says it will be 2.5inches. Should I order another bag. Money money money. lol

I plan on running a DIY Co2 for now. I have ordered some parts to build a reactor similar to the one here. I am sure you have all seen it before. http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html#3

2. A quick question on this reactor. If I were to use the smaller 20oz bottle beside the 2 liter which i believe is meant to keep the line clean, can I also place enough water to cover the ridgid tubing to also use this bottle as a bubble counter and still successfully push gas up the line? I suppose I could try to count what comes out of the airstone but not sure if that would be easily done considering the bubbles are being diffused by the stone.

3. EI dosing. This is what I have read least about. Well I just have to read Tom Bahr's article bout 50 more times to get it thru my thick skull. Without gettin into specifics yet. When I plant my cycle plants how soon will I have wait to begin adding n03 ect..... I plan on going without fish for a couple weeks at least and then starting slowly with ottos and maybe a SAE to start.

4. Hardscapes.... I want to get a piece of driftwood but do not want to give 40 bucks for one. But I would like it to sink. LOL I want it all!!!!! and more!!(maybe some cake and eat it too). Any advice on this. I would also like to get some rock. Is anything possible at local lawn and garden shops? Seems like the LFS and the commercial ones want me to give my right arm for a few lbs of decoration?


Well I am sure I have 1000 other questions. But they escape me for right now and these few are enough for me to digest at this time. Once again thank you all for your knowledge ....insight and advice. It has been very helpful thusfar.

riverrat

P.S. One question I really wanted to ask. Is it okay to use a all glass hood for the top of the tank or is that unadvisable. I am not sure if people cover there tops or leave them open for the most part. I know this might affect the lighting a little but I do have 3.2wpg.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 03:55 PM
Ibn
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Welcome to the forum, riverrat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
This is what I have:
30gal
96watt freshwater aqualight with a 6500k bulb
2213 eheim
3 bags eco-complete
plan on picking up a 150 watt heater

I have only check my tepid water for a few readings. Those being:
gh=16
kh=4
ph=8

I hope these readings are not unworkable. From what I have read I would think they are okay. Wish I would have checked my no3 but little late right now. I really doubt there are any traces of nitrates though.
Those readings look fine. With the addition of the CO2 your pH will drop, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
1. I am hoping 3 bags of eco is enough. I have the feeling some of you will tell me that is a bag shy. Substrate calculator says it will be 2.5inches. Should I order another bag. Money money money. lol
Start with the three and see if you prefer the substrate depth that you're working with. I would add another bag to beef up the substrate depth, but others might prefer not to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
I plan on running a DIY Co2 for now. I have ordered some parts to build a reactor similar to the one here. I am sure you have all seen it before. http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html#3

2. A quick question on this reactor. If I were to use the smaller 20oz bottle beside the 2 liter which i believe is meant to keep the line clean, can I also place enough water to cover the ridgid tubing to also use this bottle as a bubble counter and still successfully push gas up the line? I suppose I could try to count what comes out of the airstone but not sure if that would be easily done considering the bubbles are being diffused by the stone.
Yup, you can add water to the smaller bottle and use it as a bubble counter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
3. EI dosing. This is what I have read least about. Well I just have to read Tom Bahr's article bout 50 more times to get it thru my thick skull. Without gettin into specifics yet. When I plant my cycle plants how soon will I have wait to begin adding n03 ect..... I plan on going without fish for a couple weeks at least and then starting slowly with ottos and maybe a SAE to start.
You can start dosing from day 1, especially if you won't have any fish in there for the first couple of weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
4. Hardscapes.... I want to get a piece of driftwood but do not want to give 40 bucks for one. But I would like it to sink. LOL I want it all!!!!! and more!!(maybe some cake and eat it too). Any advice on this. I would also like to get some rock. Is anything possible at local lawn and garden shops? Seems like the LFS and the commercial ones want me to give my right arm for a few lbs of decoration?
Haven't found any at the local lawn or garden shops around here, but that might be just the area. I recently saw some pictures of some of Luiz Navarro's setup and he had one near him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat
P.S. One question I really wanted to ask. Is it okay to use a all glass hood for the top of the tank or is that unadvisable. I am not sure if people cover there tops or leave them open for the most part. I know this might affect the lighting a little but I do have 3.2wpg.
Really up to you. I keep a glass lid on my tank without any problems and others have as well. Keeps the evaporation and humidity levels down in the room.

Eric


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response Ibn.
Looks like I will be ordering a glass hood. Anyone know of a good site to order them from. Seems like a 36in by 12in is hard to find around here.
thx
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 12:12 AM
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If you are just looking for a glass cover go to a glass/cutting shop, it's the same thing and so much cheaper than ordering it in a pet store.

Here are a few things I would do differently... I would not start dosing from day one. Plants being thrown into a new environment don't start growing immediately (nor run out of nutrients right away), and new tanks don't have the necessary balance to eat spoonfuls of fertilizer every other day.

Regarding the driftwood, I had phenomenal luck by going on trips out there where you can still find clean rivers surrounded by lots of trees. You might find wonderful waterlogged pieces, for free, and with a minimal amount of scrubbing you get what you want, minus the cake. Not sure though about rivers in Ohio.

Looks like you are off to a great start.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 03:01 AM
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I have a 30g as well and 3 bags of Eco was not enough, I mean it's enough, but if you want to make ANY sort of hills, rises, or any sort of level change in the substrate then you are going to need at least another bag or two. I ended up using 3 bags with a 20lb bag of regular gravel mixed in to add some height. I still wish I had more so I could make a nice hill on one side.

Also the light you ordered is great, I have one as well and not only does it look nice atop the tank, but it puts out a nice amount of light as well. I do not have a glass top and don't have a problem with the light getting wet at all.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 11:53 AM
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Looks like you've been doing your homework, riverrat. You should do just fine. Welcome to the board!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the kind welcome.

I pose another question to you all. I have bought everything i need to build an internal reactor but I would prefer to have an external because of my limited tank space. Will an external reactor work with a DIY generator? If so then would it work better on the intake or the return. I really don't have to go external at this point but I sure would like to. I would like to go pressurized but it won't be in the near future.(wife would hang me) If this could work I could just use my new powerhead for extra flow in the tank and heck I could use the new python gravel siphon anyway.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 12:23 AM
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I really don't recommend the use of a powered external reactor with a DIY system due to the very real possibility of sucking the yeast mix from the DIY bottle.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx Rex,

I thought they may be a possibility. You have nipped that plan in the bud.
At least I can dream of a tank free of clutter!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 12:54 AM
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I have used many variations of powered reactors with DIY. Like Rex said you need to be careful with "vacuum" sucking the mixture into the tank as well as with too much pressure risking leaks (both CO2 and -worse- water).

Most ppl put their external reactors on the output side of the canister, which is under pressure so you won't suck anything in, but you would have to be very good with tightening up connections to avoid any wet surprises. Some ppl think the DIY CO2 production doesn't produce enough pressure to work against a canister filter outflow, however I don't think that's the case, more likely the caps and connections are not tight enough.

Here is what you can do until you go pressurized: Get one of the Hagen ladders, which dissolve like 90% or more of the CO2. Put the powerhead above it, so any bubbles that escape the ladder get sucked into the powerhead and smashed up to fine bubbles. You might not even need the powerhead if the eheim is strong enough for some good current to distribute the CO2 enriched water throughout the tank. But some think that one ladder isn't enough for a tank this size, but it depends more on how many bubbles you get dissolved and how things are flowing in your tank.

I have currently two 3 liter soda bottles feeding a hagen ladder and I get a bubble every second, most of them are dissolved on their way up and the rest goes into a powerhead like described above.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Here are a few things I would do differently... I would not start dosing from day one. Plants being thrown into a new environment don't start growing immediately (nor run out of nutrients right away), and new tanks don't have the necessary balance to eat spoonfuls of fertilizer every other day.
Maybe I should have been more explicit with this. Actually depends on how much plants you're packing into there from the initial setting up period (using EI).

Eric


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 05:01 PM
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You can just bubble the CO2 into the canister filter intake and use the filter as a reactor. This means a piece of tubing going into the aquarium rather than a ladder or power reactor. There are a few people I know that remove all of the media from their canisters except for the ceramic rings. These are great set ups for dissolving CO2 and for raising baby shrimp.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Okay guys.... heck with it! I'm going pressurized. I can get a 5lb bottle empty for 60 bucks shipped and can get it filled locally for 8.50.

I have no clue on which way I want to go on the regulator. I could build my own but would have as much in it as just buying a jbj...milwaukee or the one from aquariumplants. Top Gun I believe. A milwaukee with a check valve on it.
For some reason I am leaning towards the jbj. Dunno why. Ideas? lol push me!
Tried to bid on a 2 month old on ebay but the mindless idiots of the world bid it up to 65 bucks in the last 10 min. LOL whats the point. 7 bucks more and you get a 6 month warranty.

The more I have read about diy co2 the less I want to mess with it. I was planing on going pressurized at some point anyway. Looks like I will have to install locks on my cabinet to keep the little one out. Was going to anyway do to all the other electrical stuff. Although she doesnt mess with my 10gal fish tank. But I have a feeling with a new tank and cabinet it will take a while for me to convince her not to be curious whats in it.

Another reason I wanted pressurized is so that I can do an external reactor. I only have a eheim 2213 going on this 30 gallon. I hope it can handle the external reactor. This is the only thing I am planing on putting inline. Any suggestions on diameter pvc I should use? Length? Outtake or Intake? I would think the outtake would be less stress on the filter but I am a noob. I am also going to use a powerhead in tank to help water flow but still would hate to cut the 2213 buy to much.

Any ideas are welcomed and appreciated!
THX,
river
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 12:34 AM
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I always prefer to build my own regulators. Unless you are going to get a controller of course. With the commercial models you have to plug them it for them to work. And the last thing I need is one more thing to plug in,


I would use 1.75" PVC and make the total reactor length about 20" or so. A reactor IMHO should always go on the output side of the cannister filter.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thx for you input Rex!
I am think of going fully auto at some point. Looks like I will buy one of the regultors with a selonoid.
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