First Attempt at a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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First Attempt at a Planted Tank

Hi everyone! I have been lurking on The Planted Tank forum for weeks, soaking in as much information as I can, but I have a few issues that I can't seem to sort out.

First, here's my set up:
- 45 gallon bowfront
- 2 HOB filters - Fluval C4, and a Aquaclear 30
- Flourite substrate covered by layer of black sand (for my cories)
- Lighting: Fluval LED Full Spectrum strip (cost me more than the tank so I didn't have money for pressurized C02 system!). I have the lights on a timer, 8 hours a day.
- 6 different plants but I'm not good with names...I'll attach photos
- 2 days ago installed a citric acid / bicarbonate semi-DIY C02 system with ADA glass diffuser, running about 1 bps
- GH 4 now that I've added SeaChem's Equilibrium, kH 3, pH 6.8 to 7 at most recent taking before light came on
- Adding SeaChem's Flourish once or twice a week.

My questions:
- Is running the C02 24/7 okay? I ask because it's a bit tricky to get the bps to 1 per second and with my schedule, I don't have a ton of tinker time.
- Is it important for me to order a drop checker? I live in a small town where planted tank equipment is not available.
- Is there any way to stop the whistling sound coming from my glass diffuser?
- It took me about a week to install the C02 system after I planted the plants (I had been to Vancouver, then needed to order the C02 equipment). The plants are okay, but a bit sad, especially the tiny "carpet type" plant at the front. Would I have to run C02 for a few days before I see improvement or should plants start to perk up right away?

Any, all advice appreciated as I'm feeling in over my head at the moment, second guessing every reading and every setting. Some of the chemistry lingo I am reading online is a bit hard for me to interpret... I'm an English major! I am determined, however, to build a beautiful community, natural tank.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 12:18 AM
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I'll answer what I can. It can take a few weeks before you see any real growth after adding co2. I'm not sure about your bps. My DIY CO2 puts out about 15 bps, but i cant slow it down.
Yes you can run it 24/7.. you just have to watch the fish to make sure they arent going to the top of the tank gasping for air. That means too much co2.
If your diffuser is whistling, it sounds like a leak in your air line. Id recheck all your connections. Mine never whistled.
Drop checkers are for peace of mind. If your fish are ok and plants grow then dont worry about the checker. Its useful if there is a problem, otherwise skip it
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. So far, the fish seem fine, so I will assume it is okay to run 24/7. I guess the hard part is to determine if the bps is high enough. My plants don't seem to have fully recovered from the week without C02, but I think I'll have to wait longer for results. I will recheck my connections re - the whistling sound. Hope I can make it go away!

Do you use a drop checker?

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