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Discussion Starter #1
I've been lurking on this forum on and off for a while. After reading much here, in books, looking at products at our LFSs and from multiple online retailers we finally pulled the trigger and bought a Fluval Studio 600 set-up. The tank is viewable from all sides as you'll see from the front/back pics.

The substrate is EcoComplete, the plants are Dwarf Hairgrass, Dwarf Sagittaria, Ludwigia Peruensis, Moneywort, and Anubias Nana. The castle is my kid's choice.

The tank has been running for about 10 days now. So far we haven't killed anything, but I will say that the DIY CO2 is driving me crazy. I don't know if it's our tap water, the yeast, the sugar, the check valve or what. I'm getting very inconsistent (mostly non-existent) results until today.

Besides the CO2 I've also been dealing with some hair algae.

The kit includes two T5HO lights, which I now have on for 6 hours per day (down from 8 hours for the first 8 days).

As far as I can tell the tank is still cycling, since Ammonia is staying at 0.25, Nitrates are 5-10, and Nitrites are 0. Ph is 7.4-7.6 and KH was 7.

I just started using Flourish Excel following the dosing on bottle.


 

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very nice start.

if your yeast mixture hasnt taken off, try dumping this batch and mixing another.
i suggest separating the dwarf hairgrass as they will tend to clump when the runners start shooting out.
 

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Try a light period with a siesta period (on 3hrs/ off2hrs/ on 3hrs). The siesta period allows Co2 to build up. Has helped me keep BBA under control. Would try until you get your co2 system to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
very nice start.

if your yeast mixture hasnt taken off, try dumping this batch and mixing another.
i suggest separating the dwarf hairgrass as they will tend to clump when the runners start shooting out.
Regarding the mixture, the current mixture is probably the 3rd or 4th attempt. I'm hoping to try some brewing or champagne yeast in the next few weeks to see if that works more consistently.

Good suggestion about the hairgrass, I'll try that this weekend.
 

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Try a light period with a siesta period (on 3hrs/ off2hrs/ on 3hrs). The siesta period allows Co2 to build up. Has helped me keep BBA under control. Would try until you get your co2 system to work.
Good suggestion! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jello...maybe. Lots of people seem to have success with water, sugar, yeast; I'm not giving up on that just yet.
 

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How exactly are you mixing your CO2 solution? Here's how I do it:

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
Enough water to fill a 2-liter bottle about 3" from the top

1: Dissolve sugar in warm (not quite hot) water.
2: In a small cup, mix yeast and about 1/4 cup of sugar-water; let stand for 10 minutes.
3: Yeast should be a little foamy. Stir, then pour into 2-liter bottle. Pour sugar-water into bottle, then fill the rest of the way with warm water.
4: Cap bottle with hand or spare bottle cap, then shake gently until mixed.
5: Finally, attach bottle to cap with airline going to tank.

If your yeast is fresh and your water is safe to drink, your lack of CO2 might be because of a leak. Try mixing some dish soap with some water, then painting it on connections in your CO2 rig. If you see any bubbles, that means that it's leaking. Also, look in your bottle for foam at the surface. If you don't see any after a few days, your yeast is probably dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I finally got it working through a lot of trial and error (and frustration). It seems for our water (which is hard and has a Ph of 8 out of the tap) we needed to reduce the amount of sugar by half and double the yeast in order to get CO2 producing consistently. So far it has ben working for two days and that's far better than any previous mixture.
 

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That's odd. I remember reading that bread and baker's yeast like alkaline water, while champagne and ale yeast like it acidic. And I'm not sure how much good it will do to double your yeast. The yeast reproduce in the bottle until the sugar is gone or the alcohol kills them, so you may get CO2 sooner by adding extra yeast, but the production won't last as long, especially with less sugar. I'm glad you got it to work, though.
 
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