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Please see attached Pics. The torta vals look thin, and not like they were when they first entered the tank.

Substrate is flourite, lights are T-8 lifeglow.

I dose with Excel & flourish daily,
Root tabs are in. I know lights could be improved & C02. About all I can do at the moment is a DIY C02. In the past I tried this and it seemed to fail with diffusing.

Can I use the green thing ...not sure what it's from, but one end says "Air in" and the other "air out"

If it would work for a diffuser, should I bury it in the flourite?
 

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Green thing is an air check valve. It won't work as a diffuser. Do a google search for Hagen Diffusion ladder. That's what I used when I had DIY CO2 and it works fine for smaller tanks. Put the check valve in the air line from the DIY yeast reactor to prevent water from the tank flowing back into the reactor. The goal of CO2 diffusion is to increase the exposed surface area (i.e. decrease the CO2 bubble size) to increase the amount of CO2 that can dissolve at any given moment, as well as increase the contact time of the bubble with the water, which is where the diffusion ladder does a pretty good job of giving you a visual aid. I'm sure you could find a video on youtube of it, but the bubbles come out of the air tubing at the bottom of the ladder and they slowly go back and forth along an inclined groove and the bubbles get smaller and smaller as they work their way up the ladder. It's pretty neat to watch, actually :)
 

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My bad. Lol. I see that it's fluorite, which should be fine. It might be light, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure what light intensity that Vals prefer. If you're using Excel daily, that should provide at least some source of carbon. You might need to look at macronutrient fertilizers. Flourish is just micronutrients. What do the root tabs have in them? Do you know? I would think that should be helping out since I assume vals are heavy root feeders.
 

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Matthew, what are you running for a filter? If it's a canister, put the end of your co2 tube in the intake to your filter, adjust the spray bar so you don't break the surface of the water, as, that will disperse your co2 out of the tank, into the atmosphere. It you are using a hob filter, get rid of it and get a canister.
Lastly, the real problem is probably the excel itself, it has a tendency to melt Val's, so, get rid of the excel and add another DIY co2
Good luck
 

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The problem with a hob, is it's breaking the water surface, and dispersing any co2 you are putting in the tank, you will waste your money going to a co2 system, and stay with a hob. Hob's are great for aeration, bad for co2 retention
 

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Matthew, what are you running for a filter? If it's a canister, put the end of your co2 tube in the intake to your filter, adjust the spray bar so you don't break the surface of the water, as, that will disperse your co2 out of the tank, into the atmosphere. It you are using a hob filter, get rid of it and get a canister.
Lastly, the real problem is probably the excel itself, it has a tendency to melt Val's, so, get rid of the excel and add another DIY co2
Good luck
I disagree that you should ditch the HOB. I ran a successful planted tank for 2 years without using a canister. It's a pretty significant financial investment to get a canister as opposed to getting some sort of affordable diffuser like the Hagen diffusion ladder that can do just as good a job if not better. Also, if you put the end of your CO2 line into the filter intake, you're going to end up with CO2 accumulating inside the canister and it will constantly "burp" a bunch of bubbles into the tank. I know because I've tried this. It's very annoying to constantly hear your filter burping. If you use an HOB, just make sure the water level is all the way up so the outflow from the filter doesn't fall downward causing a bunch of surface agitation, as yes, this will cause the CO2 that is dissolved in the water to gas off into the air.

As for the excel melting the val, maybe that's the problem. Like I said, I don't know anything about vals, but I have heard that Excel can cause some crypts to melt, so perhaps it also affect vals too.
 

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The problem in my opinion, is the excel, it destroys my Val's every time I try it, maybe only dose with excel once or twice a week, no more
As for the canister, it's a lot cheaper than a co2 set up, you can get an ehiem 2215 for like $80 online, if you look. I don,t know the size of the aquarium. As for gas bubbles and "burping" it won't happen with a canister that is below the aquarium, I run two aquarium's this way with no problems, that might happen with a hob that is above the aquarium, so to speak. Also, people will tell you the co2 will eat up the impeller, I can only speak of my experience, after 21/2 years, no problems
 

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The problem in my opinion, is the excel, it destroys my Val's every time I try it, maybe only dose with excel once or twice a week, no more
As for the canister, it's a lot cheaper than a co2 set up, you can get an ehiem 2215 for like $80 online, if you look. I don,t know the size of the aquarium. As for gas bubbles and "burping" it won't happen with a canister that is below the aquarium, I run two aquarium's this way with no problems, that might happen with a hob that is above the aquarium, so to speak. Also, people will tell you the co2 will eat up the impeller, I can only speak of my experience, after 21/2 years, no problems
My canister is below my aquarium and I still had the problem of burping. It might depend on how high a bubble rate you use, as my bubble rate is pretty high. Also, a DIY CO2 setup is way cheaper than a canister. Sure, a canister and a pressurized CO2 system would be the ideal setup, but if you're on a budget, I've found that an HOB works just fine, at least if the aquarium isn't too big. Especially considering this is a lower light setup, a DIY CO2 system would work just fine with an HOB as long as you keep the water level up so the water from the outflow doesn't fall downward and create a ton of surface agitation. It might depend on what HOB you have, but Aquaclears work great and cause minimal surface agitation as long as you keep your water level up.
 

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Absolutely, I agree, that's why I stated not to go to a co2 system. Why are you running your bubbles so high? Do you have a ph monitor? I have a 90g planted discus tank run 1 bubble per second, keep my ph at 7, my co2 lasts like 8 months, and I have huge growth, pearling, etc. the only thing I can't beat is that bba, drives me crazy
 

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Absolutely, I agree, that's why I stated not to go to a co2 system. Why are you running your bubbles so high? Do you have a ph monitor? I have a 90g planted discus tank run 1 bubble per second, keep my ph at 7, my co2 lasts like 8 months, and I have huge growth, pearling, etc. the only thing I can't beat is that bba, drives me crazy
What is your lighting like on that 90 gallon and what types of plants do you keep? Bubble rate would vary greatly depending on how much light you have and after that, which plants you are keeping and how many. You can check out my 30 gallon journal if you want to see the specs on my lighting, CO2, etc. I'm not going to take over this thread in the Low Tech Forum to bring up a high tech setup. With that said, Do you have a drop checker? Just because your pH stays at 7 doesn't mean your CO2 levels are at the ideal 30ppm. BBA could be a result of inadequate CO2 levels.

- Not intending to be rude. Just don't want to hijack this thread to talk about something completely different :)
 

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found this under the "Jungle Val" profile. Might be an indicator of what is going on with yours...

"One of many vallisneria variety. A common problem when planting vallisneria sp is the leaves initially tend to break off. This is normal as the plant is acclimating from the great stress of being transported and re-planted. Watch out for K and Ca deficiency as the leaves are prone to develop holes and tears when lacking of minerals. Once it settles in, the gigantea variety grow very tall. Pruning is by cutting the excess top part. Propagate from runners. Do not severe from the motherplant until it reached usable size. Medicineman"
 

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But yes, I would agree it might be best to first try a DIY CO2 system, especially on a lower light tank such as this and if the tank is small, then maybe upgrade to a canister before going with a pressurized system. However, upgrading to a pressurized system would allow better control over CO2 levels, even if part of the CO2 being added is being lost due to surface agitation from a HOB. That only means that your CO2 would not last as long, but CO2 is relatively inexpensive, so it shouldn't be a big deal.
 

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Drop checker is spot on, I'm at about 1.8 watts/g, alittle low, but I think it's ok, the bba is old stuff, as the co2 doesn't kill it, but, it has sopped spreading, I think I need to do a thorough cleaning, which is easier said than done
Plants amazon sword, American Val's, Anubis and a hydro- something, it's the hydro plant people mistake for hornwort
 

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Drop checker is spot on, I'm at about 1.8 watts/g, alittle low, but I think it's ok, the bba is old stuff, as the co2 doesn't kill it, but, it has sopped spreading, I think I need to do a thorough cleaning, which is easier said than done
Plants amazon sword, American Val's, Anubis and a hydro- something, it's the hydro plant people mistake for hornwort
I don't worry about wpg, as it doesn't take into account which lighting technology you use and it definitely does NOT apply to LEDs. If you go by wpg, I have 2.6wpg but I have T5HO so PAR is much higher than 2.6wpg of T8 or compact fluorescent would be. I don't know the exact PAR that I have, but it is in the higher light range. I also have a bunch of fast growing, nutrient hungry stems, very densely planted, and under high lighting and I keep my drop checker at a lime green color.

As for the BBA, I had a CO2 mishap while on vacation and had a BBA outbreak which I am currently treating using an Excel overdose at 2x recommended dose. If you don't have any plants that are sensitive to Excel, this appears to be working since it is all turning pink now and hopefully will fall off here pretty soon. It is beginning to look worse and worse by the day. (worse as in poor health of the BBA, not the BBA growing even more)
 

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Thank you, I was wrong, I'm at 2.4 w/g t5 ho, I'll try the excell treatment, it will kill my Val's, but they are easy to grow back
Back to Matthew's so we don't high jack, look into excel, it eats Val's for breakfast :)
 
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