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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi i have a few questions and cries for help.
I Just wanted to know some good tips from experienced gardeners or some good DIY sites for random things that are low budget and effective. I've had plants in my tanks before but just recently got serious when i got a three bulb JEBO hood, though i dont the color temp. Oh and perhaps some way of combating algae?

The tank is ...
A 39 gal tall with 1x25w, 2x30w T8's,
DIY CO2 injector, 40-ish% flourite 60% sand, 300w heater at 78F
Magnum 350, medium corner filter, dual sponge filter

Fauna-
8x otocinclus
several feeder guppies
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As you can see the algae is uprising, i had it cool for awhile :'(
 

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well your degassing all your co2 with that bubble filter. also it looks like most of your plants are of the slower growing variety so your probably putting a bit too much light into the tank. if it possible to turn off one or more of the bulbs that may help. mainly it looks like you just need to have a bit of patience to let your plants grow in
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry if this is dumb, but what do you mean its degassing all my co2. Like its neutralizing it?
 

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Off-gassing or degassing just means that the CO2 you have in the tank is being helped back out of the tank with all the bubbles from the bubble filter. Having anything that creates bubbles or lots of surface agitation will inherently off-gas some CO2. The sponge filter also uses bubbles, right? You might want to get rid of both. What kind of media do you have in the Magnum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh yeah i get that, sorry :p. Right now i just have the filter sleeve and a micron cartridge. The only carbon in the tank is in the corner filter.
 

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Is the filter sleeve just the big blue thing? I'm not familiar with the Magnum canisters, but looking at it online it seems like it's just a big sponge. Is that right? If so, I doubt you have much biological filtration going on. Is it, perhaps, possible to get some sort of bio media in it? And with the Magnum rated at 350gph, the other two are probably totally obsolete and doing more harm (off-gassing due to bubbles and messing with nutrients due to the carbon) than good. Try taking both of those out. Also, are you fertilizing at all?

You wanted tips. Here's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth. Start EI dosing, don't worry about nutrients. Instead, worry about proper CO2 production (since it's DIY) and delivery and light. Especially since you probably don't have a ton of CO2 in the tank, it being DIY, circulation is important -- that's the delivery aspect. Make sure all areas of your tank are getting water movement. One thing that can help you determine that is watching your plants. Are they all moving/swaying in the water? They don't have to be dancing around the tank, but if they're all moving, you're good. If you have a dead spot in the tank, that's a part of the tank that's not getting CO2. Something like a Koralia Nano is a good, fairly cheap way to fix this sort of problem. Also, as mentioned, it does look like you have a bit too much light over your tank. Is the fixture suspended or is it just sitting right on top of the tank? Is there a splash guard on it? You might also try adding some sort of stem. They can be beautiful and relatively fast growers, even in little light and will help you get a bit more plant mass in the tank. Something like Moneywort, perhaps.

These are just my suggestions, and I'm no expert. Like I said, take them for what they're worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright i appreciate your thoughts, I'm just working under budget otherwise i would have had most of this done the "proper" way, I'll keep messing around and try some of your stuff out and see if it works out better. I just hate the trail and error way as most of us know we hate to lose plants or fish due to trail an error till we get it right. But thanks a lot, one more thing, what are some trusted products in the co2 department i'm looking to buy a professional one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh and yes there is good water flow, and its the light is sitting on some boards above on the tank, its about 4-5 inches from the water surface. And I'm only using the other two filters for biological, and to produce water movement on top to keep my duckweed from covering the whole top. If that even matters? the magnum was really just to keep larger particles out of the water.
 

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For CO2, are you looking at pressurized setups? While CO2 is definitely required in high light tanks, it can also be beneficial in low tanks. This is not to say that you cannot have a low light tank without CO2, however.

But, in the case of your tank, I would say CO2 is required, as you have 85 watts of T8 lighting over a 39 gallon tank, putting you at just over 2 WPG (do keep in mind that T8 lights are more efficient than T12 bulbs, on which the WPG guideline was based). As a result, your tank would definitely stand to benefit from the injection of CO2.

Pressurized setups are expensive to setup, but afterwards, require next to no maintenance, and are cheap to run. If you are interested, I would definitely recommend you build your own regulator setup rather than purchasing a pre-built one; this will provide not only practical experience, but also a sense of achievement when you finish ;)
In addition, if you are patient and wait for the best deals, you can often save quite a bit of money, or get "higher grade" pieces for cheap prices.
 

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In addition to Darkblade48's comments, if you are not real keen on building your own CO2 regulator, www.GreenLeafAquariums.com is a fantastic source. I bought their Primo CO2 regulator and could not be happier, not to mention the service is out of this world. If you don't see a regulator that perfectly fits your needs, try talking to Orlando, I'm sure he can hook you up with whatever you need.

But, yes, pressurized CO2 would most definitely be beneficial to your tank. If you have the money to put down on it, go for it. Like Darkblade48 said, it seems pricey up front, and it is, but it will likely cost you less than $10/year to run once you have the equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kay sweet, i figure ill pay in the least a hundred bucks, so what brands do you reccomend, seeing as they have different qualities?
 

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Brand wise, Cornelius, Victor, Concoa and Mattheson are all excellent and reliable regulators.

Or are you asking about the differences/asking for recommendations between the regulators on GLA?
 
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