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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I finally found out all that's wrong with my tank.

I got in my test kits for Nitrate and KH a few days ago. I used them last night and guess what?

NO3 = 0
CO2 = 1.5 PPM, according to aquabotanic.com's CO2 chart

I'm still waiting for my Phos test kit to come in, but I'm pretty sure it's going to test zilch as well. My big issue at this point is CO2.

Currently, I'm dosing Fluorish Excel everyday at the recommended amount. I've also got a Hagen CO2 unit running. The tank volume is around 93 gallons. I know neither process by itself would do much good, but I was hoping that w/ both processes, that CO2 would be at a higher amount .

Anyhow, I guess this at least gives me a starting point from which I can begin fixing my tank. I already ordered the N-P-K and micro mixes from Greg Watson, hopefully they'll come in by Friday. I suppose the next step would be getting a pressurized CO2 system.

In any case, from what you see here, would you guys say that CO2 is my main problem? Or the lack of nutrients? Currently, I've got both cyano and hair algae in my tank, though it appears the hair is dominant. The only plants that I can see actively growing are the anacharis and the rotalla indica. My swords are just hanging on, but the babytears and crypts are either dying or losing lots of leaves.

Thanks for all the help!
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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BTW, my KH was at about 3.2 and my pH during daylight is at 7.8 or so. Temp is at 78 degrees F at the highest.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 06:39 PM
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I don't know that Flourish Excel would really change the readings on the CO2 chart. While it is a source of carbon for the plants I believe it is in a different form.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but from a birds eye view, CO2 in the water bonds with calcium carbonate ions in the water to form carbonic acid. This is why your pH drops when you add CO2. So when you are measuring your CO2 levels you are basically measuring how much carbonic acid you have.

I don't believe Flourish Excel forms a carbonic acid so I don't think it would be detected on a standard measurement.


The hagen's unit is typically not recommended for tanks over 30 gallons. It is basically a DIY system and those aren't as efficient at producing the necessary amount of CO2 for such a large tank. Maybe multiple units would be better, but it would be like a 3 ring circus making sure they were all producing adequate amounts of CO2.


All that being said, in order to battle your cyano, you need to raise your CO2 and maybe treat with ethromycin. Expensive stuff for a 93 gallons of tank.

The hair algae is actually the easiest stuff I have come across dealing with. A toothbrush is great for manual removal. Just twirl it around like spaghetti. Get your nutrients in order and the rest will probably disappear.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I kinda realized that Excel wasn't CO2 while I was eating lunch :P . I will be getting a pressurized CO2 kit sometime later in the month, I just can't afford it right now.

Also, I used the toothbrush method last night for my hair algae. You're right, it does work like a charm .
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:09 PM
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Both getting Nitrates and CO2 up will have a tremendous impact. The Hagen unit is way to small for a tank this size. Why don't you go to Rite Aid and spend a whopping $1.98 for two 3 liter soda bottles, drink all 6 liters, drill a hole into the caps, pull some airline through, connect them with a T, fill the bottles with water, sugar and yeast, and enjoy your tank?

Edit: My math is off.


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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:18 PM
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hey aeternum, are your plants growing in white like mine?

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wasser: I was told that I'd need a pressurized system to inject the proper amount of CO2 into my aquarium, mainly due to the power of the lights. I see that you have DIY CO2 on your tank as well, but I also see that you've got a little less lighting than mine. I'm running 220 watts over my tank, which translates to roughly 2.3 watts/gallon. Would our difference in lighting mean that I need pressurized CO2?

Hubba: The Anacharis is coming in green while my Rotala, which is supposed to be reddish, is also coming in green. Granted, it's not a deep green, but it's definitely not white either.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:45 PM
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ok interesting, so even without any NO3, you don't have white plants... ???

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:49 PM
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I am not suggesting that DIY is the solution for you. All I am saying is that instead of that little Hagen unit, you need much more volume to create a measurable amount of CO2 for a tank of this size. A pressurized system would be still better, but if you would switch to a 6 liter setup like I suggested you would get much more CO2 into your tank than with the ?1 liter? Hagen container.

In my tank, I have low light, no surface agitation, a sealed surface area, and 100% dissolving CO2. This gives me a sufficient (perhaps not optimum) CO2 level out of those two bottles.


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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm thinking that the plants and algae are sucking up all available NO3, that's why it's not showing on the test kit. Test kits are, after all, just snapshots that we can use in conjunction with other pieces of knowledge to find out what's going on in our tanks.
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:57 PM
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hey, so you are dosing no3 then?

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
I am not suggesting that DIY is the solution for you. All I am saying is that instead of that little Hagen unit, you need much more volume to create a measurable amount of CO2 for a tank of this size. A pressurized system would be still better, but if you would switch to a 6 liter setup like I suggested you would get much more CO2 into your tank than with the ?1 liter? Hagen container.

In my tank, I have low light, no surface agitation, a sealed surface area, and 100% dissolving CO2. This gives me a sufficient (perhaps not optimum) CO2 level out of those two bottles.
Well, you're right that I should try something else. I might as well go DIY for a bit, just to see how well it works for me. And if it doesn't, well, at least I gained some knowledge for only a few bucks.

As for my tank, it's not sealed so gas can escape quite easily. I just manipulated my two output nozzels so the water surface "rolls" just a bit, but does not actually "break". Would you mind posting a little about your DIY setup? Or direct me to a post where you described it? Thanks.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbahubbahehe
hey, so you are dosing no3 then?
Well, I will be dosing N as soon as I get my shipment in from Greg Watson.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 08:01 PM
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hi aeternum, do a search on google DIY CO2, there are a billion gazillion places on the internet that show you how it's done. it's quite daunting at first, but once you get it, it's a snap..

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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I'm reading over all that I can on the DIY page here and aquabotnic.com. I need to go out tonight after work and buy the equipment I need, this is gonna be a pretty big project :P
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