My 10g Planted tank. After info. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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My 10g Planted tank. After info.

Hi everyone.

New to heavily planting my tank.

My main issue is pearling. When I first added all my plants and lighting my riccia would pearl and so would most my other plants. But now 2 weeks down the line, not one bubble on any plant. Very green, red and healthy but no pearling.

I think it may be to lack of nutrition.

Let me explain all that is going on.

It is a 10 gallon tank with 1x 25 watt 6400k compact fluorescent and 1x 8 watt 6500k compact fluorescent. Works out at 3.3wpg.

I keep my temp at 25c.

I have a Nutrafin yeast Co2 system setup with the ladder. Currently kicking out 1 bubble every 4 secs (im not sure if more is needed maybe?). Next to this is placed an internal filter which rotates the water in the tank with a mild current. It is placed so there is very little surface agitation. Watching small pieces of detritus floating through my tank indicates to me that the circulation of water reaches all my plants.

The substrate is 2inches of Tetra plant Complete Substrate topped with 1 inch of small 2mm black gravel.

The plants that i know the name of are Alternanthera cardinalis, Rotala rotundifolia, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Echinodorus parviflorus, Staurogyne sp Porto Velho, Marsilea Hirsuta, Eleocharis Acicularis, Riccia attached to rock with hair net, Java Moss and java fern attached to bog wood. All seem healthy.

I also have 4 wild green tetras, 7 lampeye killifish, 12 cherry shrimp, 2 horned nerite snails, 1 zebra nerite snail and 1 bamboo shrimp.

Personally I feel it may be lack of nutrients. At the moment the only ferts i use are King British Aquatic plant food, but i don't feel it gives my plants all they need and it doesn't actually have a chemical analysis written on it. Recently I found this wealth of information about my tap water through my suppliers. Its a great analysis of my water chemistry. It shows my phosphorous and nitrite/nitrate out of the tap too.

Bearing that in mind i have ordered this Lush Max off of a well known auction website. It is a complete aquatic plant food mix containing Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and Trace Elements.

Analysis % When mixed with 1 litre de-ionised water:
N 1.33%, P 0.12%, K 3.88%, Mg 0.39%, B 0.01%, Cu 0.002%, Fe 0.11%, Mn 0.02%, Mo 0.002%, Zn 0.01%

Is this ideal for me?

Any suggestions on what i could do?

Pic of tank attached.

Thanks for any advice or help in advance.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 05:21 PM
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You're going to need a better diffusion method for sure on your DIY CO2. I also have the Hagen CO2 system and used the ladder for quite a while. However, even when it was working relatively well, the CO2 never got dissolved enough (bubbles too big). A few weeks ago, I got rid of the ladder and just stuck the end of a bamboo chopstick (with rounded tip) into my CO2 tubing. The diffusion was noticeably better with the chopstick producing smaller bubbles than the ladder ever did. I've now taken it one step further by using a Hagen Elite mini-filter to chop of the bubbles. The chopstick diffuser is positioned under the intake of the mini-filter, and the CO2 bubbles are barely visible to the eye now.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 06:26 PM
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I've been using the hagen ladder for a year now, my bubbles are 1/4 of the original size when they reach the top of the ladder. My hob pushes them microbubbles back into the tank. Been working fine for me, if you don't want use your ladder anymore, I would gladly pay for it and shipping. I've been looking for another to put in my 10g.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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yeah the Hagen ladder does seem to work. The bubbles start around 8 mm and end up 2mm. I dont want to go over the top with co2 because of PH swings and i don't think my shrimp will enjoy it too much.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 02:32 PM
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Pearling is also a matter of disolved Oxygen in the water. When the level is high, you
get Pearling and if not you won't.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ahhh, ofcourse. That makes sense. So, would it be ideal to create more surface agitation then. I currently have a very sedate surface. Im not talking about ripping it up with a powerhead but maybe some ripples? Looking at my tank right now i have surface movement but no ripples.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Well i have started dosing better ferts. Placed my internal filter so its outlet is near the surface but pumping downwards at an angle directly over my co2 diffuser. This way it creates a small amount of surface ripples and sprays all the fine bubbles around the tank. I also placed a red cabomba near the diffusers and filters directional current, it traps alot of the fine bubbles and in my opinion is doing a great job at becoming a diffuser itself by holding the bubbles in the filters current. Needless to say my tank is pearling again and i am a very happy man. The plants are growing beautifully and i just cant wait for all the plants to mature and grow.

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