Major Tank Problems--long - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Major Tank Problems--long

Okay--I am new at this, please bear with me. Have a 30 gallon cube (Oceanic) aquarium, that is my first planted tank, I am learning on this one, because I am gathering equipment to set up a 75 gallon planted.
My tank was being filtered by a biowheel, I added on an XP-1 filter, and after advice from here, I removed the biowheel to increase my CO2, and also removed the biochemzorb packet from the filter. That was about 1 week ago. The problem is, the tank doesn't have enough "flow" to stir up the c**p in the water, the water has turned brownish, smells and has a nice layer of scum on top. I have done 2 partial water changes this week and then due to work commitments I did nothing to it for 4 days, except fertilize. It is really foul today. The water parameters are fine, pH 6.8. gH 5, kH 5, no ammonia, no nitrites or nitrates and I do have CO2. What I have done today is set up my old HOT Magnum 350 filter with carbon (major flow in this size tank) and now the water is clearing nicely. I am planning on doing a water change next. How do I manage this tank and what can I do for flow on my future 75 gallon to increase flow and keep surface turbulence down for CO2 purposes? Would the plants get enough carbon if I skipped the CO2 tank and just used Excel? (not taking cost into consideration).
PS So far for filtration on the 75 gallon, I have bought an XP3, and planned on using my current XP1 on it, but I know now that will in no way be enough.
Help help help!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 12:25 AM
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well, If you aquarium is well planted and running well, you could get away without using a filter at all, if you have a light fish load (I don't recoment it though). On my 75 gallon tank, I used an aquclear 500 (about 60$) This filter kept my water crystal clear and it's really reliable. As for loosing co2, I found that it didn't decreas the c02 levels that much. I'm only using a DIY c02 setup on my 75 gallon and my c02 levels are around 12 ppm with the aquclear running. When I get some money I'm just going to use one XP3 filter and nothing else. That should be more than enough for filteration. IMO, some people go over board with their filtration, but I think an XP3 should be more than enough on a 75 gallon...

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuks
I'm only using a DIY c02 setup on my 75 gallon and my c02 levels are around 12 ppm with the aquclear running.
12ppm is well short of the desired level of 30ppm most hobbyist shoot for. Aqua Clear The higher CO2 levels help plant growth and stave off algae at the same time. Sounds like the combination of the Aqua Clear and the DIY aren't allowing your CO2 levels to get high enough.

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Originally Posted by shuks
IMO, some people go over board with their filtration,
We aren't about filtration as much as were are about water circulation. Keeping the water moving is a good way to prevent "dead spots" in the aquarium. That can be accomplished by using a power head, or as most of us do, a good strong canister filter (or two).

Your aquarium is fairly new, Quincymom. Some of the brown stuff on the plants could be diatoms. That is pretty normal.

I am not sure how much light you are running, but I do know you need to fertilize. You need to add some nitrates to the aquarium, and you'll need to get an idea on what the phosphate level is as well. Micros will need to be dosed too!

If you let us know what your phosphate level is and how much light you are running with I am sure one of our fertilizer gurus will be able to help you establish a dosing plan. That should help get the aquarium in shape. Once you get that in line, pack the aquarium with lots of fast growing stem plants!

In the mean time, instead of running the Aqua Clear, see if you can find a small power head to help keep the water moving.

Mike

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 02:52 AM
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ya, If your starting from scratch the DEFINITLY go with a canaster filter. I wish I had. But when I started, I didn't know anything about growing plants. I was just supprised that with an hob filter and a 75 gallon tank that I have c02 levels above 3 ppm. I expected my c02 DIY system to add mabey 1 or 2 ppm, but it added like 10 ppm. I just thought that the extra 10 ppm would be better than nothing, untill I get a c02 tank and regulator. I'm definitly not saying "buy a HOB filter", but I just noticed that Quincy mom already has a HOB filter, and it wont hurt to start with untill you purchase a real filter. Even when I get a c02 tank, I might leave the HOB filter on, and just crank up the co2. This way I will be sure that my water has lots of o2 in it to keep the plants health at night, as well as the fish. In my experiance, wich is very little, my aquaclear(filled only with sponge) dose a superbe job of keeping my water crystal clear. I'm suprised more people don't use HOB filters and just crank up the co2 a bit. From what I've read, HOB filters will almost compleatly depleat the c02 levels, but I only have a crappy DIY c02 system and it seems to be dooin a pretty good job at maintaining c02 levels. IMO, spending a little extra on c02 is a good sacrafice for having good o2 levels and clear water; Not that I'm saying a cansiter wouldnt work better, it probably will, but the HOB filters are extreamly cheap... If you want to spend the extra money (wich will probably be worth it in the end) go with a canaster. Im saving my money right now to get an XP3, wich I'll probably just add in addition to my aquaclear.

Just thought I'd mention that....

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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I am awaiting the test kits for Phosphate, Iron etc, by mail order as my LFS doesn't carry them, so don't know those levels. I am not having an algae problem, and am running CO2, I fertilize with Seachem products on their dosing schedule right now (small tank and inexperience) and my plants are growing like crazy. I believe my problem is flow. I am unfamiliar with powerheads could you recommend a good one for a 75 gallon, and as I understand their only purpose is to circulate water? I believe this is what is needed right now.
PS The 30 gallon will be sent to the attic once my 75 is running, so I am buying things with that in mind. And thanks for all the help! Oh, and I have 3 watts per gallon lighting.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 12:08 PM
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Q'mom,

I am really surprised the XP1 doesn't provide you with enough flow for your 30. I have one on a 29 and have no problems, matter of fact, I turn down the flow because if I leave it wide open it creates too much current. What kind of fish load do you have? As Mike said, the brown stuff may be diatoms, especially if new tank. Platties do a great job at eating the surface scum many plant tanks get and ottos do a great job on diatoms.

Once you get your test kits, shoot for nitrates around 10-15ppm, and phosphates around 2ppm. According to your numbers, your CO2 is 23, which is decent, but try to get it a little higher (around 30).

You say you have 3wpg, if you can drop that to 2 for the start-up, it will help you get the tank settled in. You can crank it up once all's in order.

Quote:
The 30 gallon will be sent to the attic once my 75 is running,
I predict within 6 months, it will be back down from the attic, after all you'll need a tank to try out the new plants you never grew before.

Bert
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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My Fish load is 4 otos, 6 Gold Brass Tetras, 2 Dwarf Loaches, 2 Sparkling Gouramis, and about 12 shrimp (I think). It is just the water column that turned brown, like I had brewed tea, no sediment on the plants, just fish poo on the bottom. Now it is clear, after adding on the Hot Magnum Filter, which I changed today to the micron cartridge. The water looks great now, so I guess it was just a flow problem--it allowed the water to finally get filtered, I guess. Thank you all so much. More questions still to come, I am sure!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 01:20 AM
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Did you add any pieces of wood to this tank Qmom ? It also could be tannins leaching from the wood makin it look like tea. It will discolor the water and can even sometimes have an odor in the worst case scenario.
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