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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Feedback on New Planted Tank

I have just started my first high-tech planted tank (125G w/ CO2 injection), and I want to do a sanity check on my CO2 dosing before I overdo it. My tank parameters are below (along with the test used to establish the value). My water is tap water filtered through several carbon & GAC filters (not through an RO membrane):
temp: 82 F
pH: 7.9 (Milwaulkee pH controller)
KH: 5.1 dH (salifert)
Ca: 20 ppm (salifert)
GH: ~5.6 dH (rough conversion from a Mardel test strip)
NO3: 5 ppm (salifert)
PO4: 2 ppm (salifert)

The pH/KH/CO2 chart says my CO2 is 1.9 ppm... I know this is imprecise and is likely skewed if I have non-carbonate alkalinity, but I figure it is a decent starting point (I am ordering a CO2 drop checker to have another method to check). I would like some feedback on whether dropping the pH to 6.8 through CO2 injection (to get ~24 ppm CO2 per the chart) is kosher or overkill for a pH change. Or, should I just wait until I get the drop checker and use that for adjusting the CO2 injection without worrying about pH?

The plants, which I have had for about a week (from aquariumplants.com) seem to be doing ok, although some leaves are brownish or transparent, which may just be from them being shipped. I have used aquariumplants.com's substrate fertilizer tablets, and I am starting to dose KNO3 (Gran'ts) to keep NO3 at 7.5 ppm. I am also dosing Flourish Potassium a couple of times/week. I have several fish (loaches & plecos) in the tank so far, which also helps with the NO3 (and phosphate through feeding).

Other things about my tank: lots of driftwood in it, along with peat granules in the filter. The substrate is SMS and the background is colored concrete. I have attached a picture taken a couple of months ago (during curing, prior to fish or plants... will add an updated pic soon).

Thanks in advance for any advise/comments. -John
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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 07:15 PM
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Oh I cant wait to see how this turns out. I love your back ground that you have in your tank. Looking good. As for the CO2 question you have Im not a expert on that so I will have to pass it on to someone else that will know for sure. But keep up the good work this will great. And keep all of us posted with updates on your tank.

Whats this green fuzzy stuff thats growing in my tank.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 07:45 PM
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You gave me an idea with your driftwood. I have been trying to find a root to use to no avail. The way you layed the wood just might work.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Madfish. Crystalview, I had to cut pieces of Malaysian driftwood and bond them together with CorAffix (Cyanoacrylate Adhesive by TwoLittleFishies used for bonding reef and coral frags). Siliconing the segments together did not hold once the wood got wet and expanded. Check out the link in my signature to see a lot of the design/setup of this tank...

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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 08:50 PM
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The background and the wood look fantastic, I hope you leave them somewhat visible once planted. I'm not a fan of the head
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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To each their own. 8)

The Buddha head was inspired by an actual statue in Thailand (Wat Mahathat, Ayuthaya) completely covered in tree roots. Do a Google search on "Wat Mahathat, Ayuthaya, Thailand Buddha head" for photos.

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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 11:48 PM
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You know what go with what you like. Your the one looking at it everyday. I like the buddha head in the tree roots. It gives it life and a feeling like your there in the jungle.

Whats this green fuzzy stuff thats growing in my tank.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
I would like some feedback on whether dropping the pH to 6.8 through CO2 injection (to get ~24 ppm CO2 per the chart) is kosher or overkill for a pH change.
That should be fine.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 12:11 AM
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I like the head... Where did you find it?
It would look even better if it was bigger or in a smaller tank.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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I actually made a mold of a Buddha head that I bought at a local Japanese shop. Check out my website on constructing the background, there are pics of making the Buddha head. I made the cast for the tank so that I would know the composition of the head (i.e. no contaminates).

I wanted the sunken Buddha/roots motif in my tank, but I didn't want it to be the entire focus of the tank... hence the smaller size. I thought that with a 5 ft wide tank that I could have several focal points: cave, rock/root overhang, and Buddha. The rock background and roots do a great job at hiding the overflow chamber too!

Aquaman3000, thanks for answering my question. Anyone else have comments on my CO2 dosing? How are my other water parameters?

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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 01:41 AM
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i love everything but the head only looks creepy.
what kind of plants are you going to plant there?


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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I thought the Buddha head looked sort of mystical, yet eerie at the same time. I definitely thought I was taking a risk with the idea (and spending the time to cast it), but I am extremely happy with the outcome... the scene is very cool to see in person.

I am going for an amazon biotope, so mostly swords:
ruffle (echinodorus martii), red rubin (echinodorus 'rubin'), broad leaf chain (echinodorus quadricostatus), rosette (parviflorus v. tropica), micro (lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae), ozelot (echinodorus 'ozelot'), and green melon (echinodorus osiris)

the two other plants I am going to pick up are telanthera rosefolia (alternanthera reineckii) and mayaca (mayaca fluviatilis).

I looked through the various plants of south american origin and wanted to find ones that weren't prolific/fast growers since this is my first heavily planted tank. I have only picked up a fraction of my desired plants so that I can get the hang of dosing and keeping them thriving (i.e. didn't want to spend a lot of money with the risk of messing up the first time).

I have attached a current pic of the Buddha head with the few plants that I have added thus far. The plecos are doing a great job at keeping the Buddha clean. 8)
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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 02:46 AM
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eerie, that's the word i was looking for
IIRC echinodorus tenellus is from america and a great carpet plant.


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