Its official, I hate fish tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Its official, I hate fish tanks

My planted setup has been nothing but a PITA since day one!

First I get 2 bad bags of eco-complete. Eco-complete is supposed to be gravel, one bag I received looked like it had been pulverized into fine black, gritty sand and the other is a mi of gravel and sand. Fortunately the third was fine. My water was a black soup for about a week then it "settled". By "settled" I mean was water is still hazy after tons of water changes and running carbon. The fine dust just gets blown everywhere no matter how low the flow is on the filter.

Then after setting up the tank I realize the tank I have bought (29G from petco) has a small crack around the bracing of the tank. It doesn't look like it would pose problems but I don't want it there.

Buy a Jager heater since I have used them for years and swear by them, drop it and it cracks. My stupid fault.

Get my plants in the mail yesterday and (everything finally seems to be going well at this point) put them in the tank. Looks great. Turn on the light this morning and I have a wicked (and I mean horrible) snail infestation. I literally could not believe my eyes. I've seen tanks starting up with a snail problem, but this goes well beyond.

Set up my DIY c02. The bulkhead fittings are 100% air tight, the system looks great. Hook it up to the glass diffuser and nothing happens. The internal check valve in the diffuser is stuck, won't budge at all. There was no yeast build up blocking (used a gas separator on the DIY c02), it just won't budge.

Bought a handy dandy little $50 reactor to replace the diffuser and things finally start to look up. I hook it up last night and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Wake up this morning to a back siphoned mess. It somehow backed siphoned and overflowed the gas separator. The paint on the wall behind the tank has been stained, the floor is all wet and now the area rug is stinking.

I've done this tank on an absolute shoe string budget, (I'm still in high school, minimum wage) and it has taken me about 7-8 months of saving up plus all my birthday money to do this tank. I couldn't get my money back for the diffuser or eco-complete, had to replace the heater, buy a new reactor, buy a new bulb for the CF fixture (I accidentally bought a 14K bulb) and couldn't return the other one, and now I'm going to probably have to replace $40 worth of plants.

Sorry about the rant but I'm so frustrated right now with this tank.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:20 PM
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heh, the aquarium gods are not with you. Just take a break from it an come back in a week or 2. If you an let the sun through, do that. Some light is better than nothing. The plants won't need a heater.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:24 PM
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Where'd you get the Eco-Complete? If it was indeed defective, the store should've given you a refund.

Which diffuser did you use? I'm not aware of one that has an internal check valve, but I haven't had a diffuser for a while either. Some diffusers take an incredible amount of pressure to force air through the ceramic disc.

Did you use a check valve on the CO2 line to your reactor?

Next time, you can dip your plants to help remove any snails or whatnot. Or get assassin snails to help control your snail population.

It's frustrating, I understand...but hang in there and it'll get better.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:28 PM
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First buy a separate check valve.

If you eco-complete is messed up you should be able to swap it out. or return it. If not from the store contact the company.

Is the crack in the glass or in the plastic bracing because you can buy another bracing if you can't return the tank.

If you need to you can run the co2 into your filter for a cheap reactor. This works better with a canister but I had moderate success with HOB filters if you keep the water level high. Or you can do the chopstick diffuser.

Where are you buying all this stuff that you can't return it? Were you buying them in stages and just they were bought too long ago?

Why are you going to have to replace the plants and where did you get them? The swap n shop has great plants which in my experience are snail free unless people specify. If you don't have fish you can kill off the snails or buy a loach/puffer depending on what type of fish you have/want.

There are always options sometimes you just don't see them. Sorry you had such bad luck.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Which diffuser did you use? I'm not aware of one that has an internal check valve, but I haven't had a diffuser for a while either. Some diffusers take an incredible amount of pressure to force air through the ceramic disc.
The one from Dr. Smith and Fosters.

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Did you use a check valve on the CO2 line to your reactor?
No, I was being stupid. I didn't think I needed one because it wasn't mentioned in the manual.

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Is the crack in the glass or in the plastic bracing because you can buy another bracing if you can't return the tank.
The glass.

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Where are you buying all this stuff that you can't return it? Were you buying them in stages and just they were bought too long ago?
I had to buy everything in stages since I couldn't afford to buy everything at once. By the time I had opened the bags of eco-complete they had sat for a good 3 months. I couldn't notice the gritty sand bags because they were on the bottom of the box while the only good bag was on top. I only took out the top bag to take a gander at the substrate and put it back in the box. 3 months later when I add it to the tank I notice the 2 defective bags.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 03:43 PM
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Bummer man!!! Did you place the graveled Eco-complete on the bottom or the top? If the graveled bag of substrate was placed on top of the sandy stuff, wouldn't it sort of be held down? It will settle down, but it will take some time. Sounds like the cracked tank is a big problem though, and you should try to return it. Everything else you can live with in one way or another. If you can return the tank, it will give you a chance to clean some of the snails out of the plants and dip them and the Eco in something to kill the little SOB's.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 04:19 PM
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take a step back... you're in high school... spend your money on something else like girls or beer.

if you have the itch that must be scratched, go low tech. forget the Co2 and fancy plants. Go low light, tie some java fern to a rock and call it a day. your goal should be to have a sustainable setup within your price range, your folks/friends won't know the difference between a low tech and high tech setup.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 05:02 PM
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When things go wrong with an aquarium, they seem to really go wrong. A few weeks ago i woke up and looked at the tank that i had been treating for a fish illness. The water was a dingy, cloudy yellow and there were about 10 floating fish carcasses and little flies (i kid you not) buzzing around the surface. Plus it stank. I had to dismantle the entire thing and start over.

So i feel your pain.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 05:37 PM
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I hate them too, so I decided that I'd beat anything their karma could throw at me.

This forum is a learning curve that is best used for all it's worth! Tons of great people and information at your beck and call.

Take a deep breath, read up on the issues, water conditions, substrate, plants and fish.

Don't hurry through it (and there is a lot to read) then take the tank by its rim and tackle the immediate problems that make the most impact.

Beat the fish tank karma by learning her moves and counteracting them!

Falling down, isn't failure,
refusing to get back up is.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 08:34 PM
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Lesson learned... the hard way.
Always check your products right after delivery. This happened to me with a defective ballast, c02, filter cartridges, and much more. Actually just bought filter cartridges and forgot to check if I got the right ones until 1 day after the return policy was over. 4 of the wrong ones cost me around $19.

Anyway, I'm in high school also and am going to try and run a semi-low tech tank. If you are low on funds you can stick your tank in front of a window and use sun light, dose excel, get a cheap substrate or topsoil, build your own stand, and spend the most money on quality plants and fish. This is how I, and many other, started the hobby. Just make sure you get amonos or some other animal to eat algae.

Good luck and don't give up. Make lemonade

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My old 56G

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