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Discussion Starter #41
I think I'll take Grobbins experience with the Glut and bacteria blooms and quit the Glut dosing unless I see a lot of algae coming.

I didn't grab any pictures last night, I left home before the lights came on, but I did get a lot done:

First filter cleaning on all 3 - Absolutely no build up of organics in any of the filters, floss was still fairly clean too.
Lubed all working parts on all 3 filters.
Replaced working parts in the noisy filter - It still isn't silent, but it's much quieter. I'll give it some more time to settle in.
Swapped the old impeller from the noisy 2217 into the 2215 and noticed a small flow increase.
Put the Sunsun 9W UV sterilizer into my storage tote instead of the display tank.
68% water change.
Tested ammonia prior to WC - light green on the API kit, so it's starting to taper off finally. Remember; I am running zero biological media, and I have never actually fishless cycled a tank before so this is all new.
Tested phosphate prior to WC - 1.0 - 2.0ppm, so the soil is still eating it up pretty fast. I dose the full tank volume up 10ppm every water change and within 2 days it's down to the tested 1.0 - 2.0ppm level.
Ordered a Dwyer RMA 151-SSV - Still waiting on a shipping confirmation (they only had 1 in stock).

Still no nitrogen dosing because of ammonia readings.

Next steps:

Finish mounting magnets on the front panels for the stand / canopy. This will kill off almost all filter noise. I strive for running my tanks silently - just a personal preference.
Start testing for NO2 and NO3 to see how the cycle is progressing.

Maybe pictures later tonight?? lol ;)

Question for you all:

I had someone on another board reach out and claim running my 3 filters is way overkill on a 45 gallon tank. I am seeing gentle swaying of most plants, and zero dead spots. This is way more flow than I have typically ran in the past, but I have also came across flow related issues in the past, and I wanted to explore something new / help out with these issues.

How much flow are you running? Do you think flow is a large contributor to issues / success in a planted tank?
 

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Question for you all:

I had someone on another board reach out and claim running my 3 filters is way overkill on a 45 gallon tank. I am seeing gentle swaying of most plants, and zero dead spots. This is way more flow than I have typically ran in the past, but I have also came across flow related issues in the past, and I wanted to explore something new / help out with these issues.

How much flow are you running? Do you think flow is a large contributor to issues / success in a planted tank?
I'm definitely running less flow than you, but flow is for sure important. Plants without adequate access to flow just don't get the same amount of CO2 as plants that do, and I've seen the difference moving a group a couple inches in to better flow can make. Many of the plants we use in aquariums are rheophytic. I wouldn't be surprised if they are stronger when grown with flow, like how growing terrestrial plants with some wind on them helps them grow stronger.

It might be overkill, but I see nothing wrong with overkill!
 

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My only though is make sure the flow is gentle. Turnover should be fine, but strong flow can lead to BBA. I just ran into this myself when upgrading my 75 to two fluval 407 filters. I ended up throttling them down a bit, and so far it seems to be helping.

IMO turnover and flow are two separate, but somewhat related topics :)
 

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My only though is make sure the flow is gentle. Turnover should be fine, but strong flow can lead to BBA. I just ran into this myself when upgrading my 75 to two fluval 407 filters. I ended up throttling them down a bit, and so far it seems to be helping.

IMO turnover and flow are two separate, but somewhat related topics :)
What is it about higher flow that causes BBA?
 

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What is it about higher flow that causes BBA?
That's a tough one to answer. Some say extra velocity jams organics into the plant leaf or driftwood.

Heck, I don't know.

But I do know that BBA often shows up right in the path of the strongest flow. Well known in the hobby. Often appears on outflow pipes and spray bars. A long time ago I documented how I was able to induce BBA on my driftwood just by concentrating flow to a spot on it. No other changes other than flow. Remove the concentrated flow and BBA receded.

But keep in mind it's not the GPH of flow, it's the velocity of that flow. Think of a garden hose. Put your thumb over it and flow is actually impeded but velocity rises. IME, you want that flow as wide open and gentle as you can get.

Funny thing is that it also thrives in areas of low/no flow. Back corners of tank that are dark and still. BBA is a mysterious one for sure.
 

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That's a tough one to answer. Some say extra velocity jams organics into the plant leaf or driftwood.

Heck, I don't know.

But I do know that BBA often shows up right in the path of the strongest flow. Well known in the hobby. Often appears on outflow pipes and spray bars. A long time ago I documented how I was able to induce BBA on my driftwood just by concentrating flow to a spot on it. No other changes other than flow. Remove the concentrated flow and BBA receded.

But keep in mind it's not the GPH of flow, it's the velocity of that flow. Think of a garden hose. Put your thumb over it and flow is actually impeded but velocity rises. IME, you want that flow as wide open and gentle as you can get.

Funny thing is that it also thrives in areas of low/no flow. Back corners of tank that are dark and still. BBA is a mysterious one for sure.
I honestly have not even the slightest idea, just something others have talked about and I have personally seen. Even now I can see BBA slowing in my tank after throttling it back.
That is really interesting. I have not experienced any BBA in either of my tanks. However, I'm still new and learning so there's hope! Lol
Seriously, though, I have decent sized holes drilled in the return for my FX4 and slightly smaller holes for the FX6 which I have directed at the surface for good exchange with the CO2. The smaller tank (28g) is an AIO and I have one return pointed at the surface and the other directed to the center-front. Only issue I have is hair algae that has popped up twice in the small tank. Cannot really say what is causing that yet as I'm still researching.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Thanks for sharing all. I have lots of flow, and a moderate amount of velocity in the tank. I think the center where all three filter outputs concentrate there might be a little too much. I'll keep an eye on it, but I figure if freshly planted tissue culture stems plants didn't get uprooted by the flow, it shouldn't be over the top. I can always add spray bars instead of single outputs if I need to slow the velocity down without impending on total turnover, or drill out large diameter holes.

Calibrated my pH pen last night, I think I'm going to order a new one or a probe or something, I think mine is a dud.

Anyway, I got to a pH of 4.66 and then measured again a 1/2 hour - an hour later and got a pH of 4.86, so lets call it in the middle at 4.75 for now. Assuming my pH is in the low 6's degassed, that is a decent drop, probably too much. Flow meter has not shipped as of yet unfortunately. There was quite a gas bubble in the reactor, so I'll prioritize grabbing a degassed measurement today and hopefully I can turn the CO2 down just a touch.

Here are some FTS's from last night, one with the room light off, and one with the room light on.

Back - Front:
Zoomed FloraSun
Full Spectrum + UV
420
660
Zoomed FloraSun



 

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I like the clean look of everything!

Thanks for sharing the lamp combo too.

If you are going to get a new probe, depending on the manufacturer and model pH controller, you might be better served by getting a whole new one for a few sheckles more. Just a thought... oh, cancel this I just saw you said "pen".
 

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If you really feel like splurging, check out the Edge Blu from Hanna Instruments. You can let it record for days at a time, and download the data onto your computer. From there, you can see the actual curve of CO2 injection, and verify that you’re hitting the CO2 you want, at the time you way, and can see your CO2 plateau actually happening in data.

edge® blu Bluetooth® Smart pH Electrode and Meter - HI2202 (hannainst.com)

I use the data points from the Edge Blu to graph it in Excel, and have charts like this one that I can generate whenever I make any tweaks.

 

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Discussion Starter #53
If you really feel like splurging, check out the Edge Blu from Hanna Instruments.
That's quite a pricy unit for sure!

If I were to fork out some serious money, I think I would be better off grabbing a Neptune Apex or similar controller that comes with a pH probe and data logging abilities....
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I didn't realize that those controllers had data logging capabilities. I knew you could see them in real time, but I didn't know it could record.
I'm not 100% sure but I think it comes with some basic data logging abilities that can track for 7 days or something.

Not ideal but 7 days of pH logging is more than enough for us...
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Flow meter came yesterday, I never received a shipping confirmation, but it was a welcome surprise.

I also have a mid range quality pH meter coming. If this is another dud I'll have to consider a quality probe in a controller / monitor.

I need 2 x 1/8" male pipe thread - 1/4" barbed fittings for the Dwyer meter correct?

 

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Discussion Starter #58
1/8 Male NPT to 3/16" ID Hose Barb (or whatever your CO2 hose is).
Terminology is a little different north of the border, but I came across this with a quick search:

MPT stands for Male Pipe Thread and MIP stands for Male Iron Pipe which both indicate a male fitting with NPT threads
.

Looks like I ordered the right ones (1/8" MIP - 1/4" Barb) 2 are ready for pickup at my local hardware store, 1/4" barb, should be fine with my 3/16" ID tubing.

Should I use some Teflon tape?

Flow meter installation tonight and I'll have an initial data point, new pH meter delivered today too so I'll have some more data to report :geek:

Time to get an Excel file started to start logging data.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Flow meter installed. It didn't accept the barbed fittings very well, but nonetheless it's working. I should have looked into what size CO2 resistant tubing I was using, 1/4" barb was a little too big, so I switched to standard airline tubing which stretched over the barb easier. I'll grab new, proper fittings eventually.

Initial readings were jumping around quite a bit until the check valve settled into a rhythm. Reading about 17 CC/Min on a 45 gallon tank with moderate surface agitation and 1 intake skimmer. Reactor isn't maxed out yet, although a gas bubble starts to form mid-photoperiod with this current amount of CO2.

The new pH meter I ordered had a broken electrode, a replacement shows up tomorrow. I tried it out anyway and got a degassed reading of 5.75, no idea how accurate that is. We will see what the new one reads, I left the same glass of tank water out to test.

Pre-water change test results:

Ammonia 1.0ppm
PO4 1.0ppm
NO3 0ppm

Low pH stalling out the cycle?

 
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