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UNS 120U Build

42552 Views 820 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  ddiomede
One of the very first things I've always wanted to do when I bought a home is getting a big tank. My largest tank so far was a 60 starfire glass reef ready cube. Having lived in apartments most of my adult life, I've always been limited to smaller sized tanks. I bought my first home back in July last year and took down my last reef tank. I had 3 reefs going for about 10 years with only one left up and running until the move last year. My last foray into planted tanks ended in 2012 or so and it was always something I wanted to keep going but couldn't due to lack of space.

I really hemmed and hawed over the decision for this tank. I initially was set on a standard 125 gallon. I began planning the build and created a spreadsheet with all of the equipment and accessories I'd need, and then I saw a 125 in person at Petsmart when I went to get some dog food for my pup. The length was great, but the tank just seemed really long and narrow which limited my options as far as scanning.

I saw the UNS 120U's dimensions and a few YouTube videos to get a sense of what the tank looked like, but I wasn't totally in love with it being only 48" long. I think an ideal tank size is 60X24X24 but there aren't many options out there. I did find one like that from a company SC Aquariums. Pretty nice tank with Starfire glass and an overflow. One of the main reasons I didn't go this route, which would have been less expensive than the UNS tank was that it had an overflow. The overflow opens up the possibility that a year from now I tear down the planted tank and set up another reef tank.

While I loved my reef tanks, they were just obscenely expensive. It was a huge toilet that I flushed money down. You can have a plant melt on you in a planted tank and you can just buy another. But if you buy a $120 acropora colony and it dies on you, that stings a lot more lol.

Anyhow I settled on the UNS. After bring the tank into my basement and waking up this morning to back pain, in hindsight I maybe should have gone with acrylic lol. The back pain will go aways in a couple days though.

This will be a slow build since the tank wasn't inexpensive and the equipment isn't inexpensive either. In the past I'd get inpatient and charge everything on my credit card, but you wind up paying way more for your purchases if you're not paying the balance off right away. So I'll take my time and acquire the equipment a piece at a time until I have everything. The one thing I will do is pick up any hardscape that catches my eye as I stop by all my local shops.

The first project is to build a stand. I'll reserve post #2 for the stand build.

Tank: UNS 120U
Stand: Custom build
Filtration: GLA 15L Infinite Nature Filter. Oase 850 Biomaster Thermo. Stainless lily pipes, one set with build in surface skimmer to be used with the Oase, the second set is without surface skimmer to be used on the GLA
Lighting: Twinstar 1200SP
Heating: Heater included with Oase controlled by Inkbird
UV: Decided against this but it can always be added on later. I'll account for adding one on in the way I plumb the return if I change my mind down the road.
CO2: GLA Pro DS 1 Dual Stage regulator with two 10 lbs tanks along with a NilocG Advanced reactor.
Substrate: Pool filter sand
Hardscape: Two xl pieces of spider wood. About 90 lbs of dragon stone.

I'm 100% open to feedback, ideas, or alterations I should make to my plans.

This week I'll begin acquiring lumber and paints/stains and hardware for the stand.

My plans on stocking are up in the air. There are a whole bunch of different stocking plans I have, but I really need to settle on one. Back in the day I would buy 2 of each fish until I realized it seemed like I was stocking Noah's Ark lol. This tank will have fewer different species and more schools of fish.

I'll get a pic of the tank once the stand is built and it's sitting on it. I'll also do the leak test when I get the tank on the stand. I may as well do that sooner rather than later.

I did want to thank everyone who has provided help thus far. There are so many things I hadn't considered that were a HUGE help so I appreciate it greatly!
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Is that happening more and more do to a water restriction requirement. San Diego seems to have the perfect weather for growing grass. Spent two weeks there a few years ago and couldn't believe the weather.



Stick it to the man! :p
This was over 20 years ago. There has been a drought in southern California for, like, ever. But that neighbor was just kind of an old crank.
The weather there is truly amazing, but the dry season (April - November) is actually pretty tough on grass. That’s why you see a lot of ice plant and other succulent ground cover. Still miss it,
 

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Discussion Starter · #702 ·
I was hoping to get some pics up over the weekend, but Saturday I worked on my last section of lawn, didn't get a chance to finish because of how many weeds there are, and was wiped out by evening. Yesterday morning I decided since today is garbage day, I'd break apart the two aquarium stands I had in storage and get them into the trash. One of the stands was made of pine so they had 16 gauge nails holding in board. Like a moron, I began bending over and forcing the boards downwards to break the nails and the boards free. Every board took the same amount of effort, except the second to last board that gave way easier than the rest. Being bent over, and unexpectedly pushing a board free with less effort than I exerted, I hyperextended my lower back.

On the bright side, I'm not thinking about my tooth, but my lower back exploded with pain to the point where it radiated into my hips and made it painful to walk. Needless to say I was laid up on the couch the rest of the day and evening. It sucked because I intended on working on the lawn right afterwards. Pain was pretty bad this morning, but I think the ibuprofen and Tylenol I was taking for the tooth seems to be working. I've injured my back in the same spot on my spine before, but I can tell that this was a more minor sprain since I was actually able to walk. The last time I was bed ridden for 2-3 days.

Tank is doing fine though. Some of the stem plants that were shorter and didn't get trimmed have already reached the surface so they'll need to get trimmed soon.

I was looking at the tank for hours yesterday, since that's where I was stuck after hurting my back and I think at some point in the near future I'll need to thin out some plants, replant, and remove some plants that just don't seem to be working out.

The Pogostemon Helferi is growing like a weed. Basically wherever I put it, it fills the spot in within a couple weeks. The one problem I have is that it's crowding itself so I'll need to thin it out a little bit and plant so that each plant has room to grow. For whatever reason every Alternathera species I have just doesn't seem to be growing as readily as the rest of the plants. They are on the list of plants that will be removed.

The Montecarlo is growing, but slowly. I'm honestly surprised at how slowly its spreading given how most of the other plants seem to be doing. The growth all looks very healthy, and it's all laying flat, but it's really taking time to spread out.

The newest addition to the algae wars is hair algae. I'm basically combatting it by trimming off affected plants. I suspect I'm probably ready for some amano shrimp soon. Not sure if they eat hair algae, but they'll make a nice addition regardless.

Livestock is all doing well. I've only had one death as far as I can tell....one of the Rasbora went airborne and was dried up behind the tank. I don't think I've lost any others but it's pretty tough to count them given how many there are. I have the same problem trying to count the Otocinclus. Next step is to buy another 10 Otocinclus. Once I have time to do the removal and replanting of some of the plants, after a week or so I'll find a dozen panda Cory cats and add them.

This year has been pretty frustrating trying to complete so many different projects but I need a good 4 days of no health issues, and no surprise issues that pop up and I think I can knock them all out. I'd just love to get to that point where I can finish work, and then randomly decide how I want to spend my evening versus stressing about which project I have time to focus on. It feels like I've been working two full time jobs since May of last year.

My aquarium doors are so close to being done and installed it's not even funny, but I'm held up by another project that's taking up space and not letting me paint the panels before they're ready to be glued up.

I'll try to get some pics this week though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #703 ·
The one crazy thing I haven't mentioned is that I'm still running that same 10lbs tank of CO2 from June 23rd. I never would have thought that I'd get two months out of a tank.

What's frustrating me about it is that I have an empty paintball tank needing to be filled but I'm waiting on this 10lbs tank to empty so that I can make the trip worth it. The needle literally hasn't moved since getting CO2 online. I check it every day because as soon as it moves, you get maybe a week out of it before it's completely empty. I might be forced to go this Saturday if the needle doesn't move this week. With my luck, it won't move, I'll go get the paintball tank refilled, and then a day later the needle will move and I'll have to go again that next Saturday lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #704 · (Edited)
Quick update:

That back sprain took about 6 days to get completely better. Last Thursday I went in for the root canal and was pleasantly surprised at how much faster they are, and far less painful than my last one in the early 90's. After getting home that was another story...the pain was almost unbearable so I spent a few hours laying down until the meds kicked in. I spent the rest of the long weekend just getting more progress completely on a few different projects.

The tank is doing well though. I'll definitely get a few pics up tonight. Everything seems to be growing well and I trimmed during the last water change.

The one thing I did was really thin out the weeping/willow moss. While I like super glue for the ease of use, the thing I don't like about it is that once the bottoms of the moss held in glue begins to rot away from not getting any light, the moss easily dislodges and winds up elsewhere in the tank. I tied up some moss on one branch I recently super glued just to give it some extra support and plan on doing the same to a couple other branches that I have moss on.

I wound up pulling all the Alternathera Lilacina because it just wasn't growing very well. It must be something with my water because none of the Alternatheras are growing very well. The AR mini just doesn't seem like it likes my water because if it's close to the light, it just gets redder, but the leaves don't look great....very undulated. My plan is to start getting rid of them.

I ordered the ADA moss tying thread and since I was ordering I threw in a TC of Ludwigia Arcuata in place of the Lilacina that I tossed. Eventually I'm going to redo all my stem plants, but I want to wait until I find Limnophila Hippuridoides and trim it once or twice.

It seems like the GSA has begun slowing down. The only way I can tell is if I don't scrap the glass for two weeks, I was seeing GSA pop up on the glass, but it's been a couple weeks since the last cleaning and I'm no longer seeing it.

The three changes I made were reducing the light cycle by an hour, raising the fixture about an inch, and using the full dose of K2SO4.

Anyway, I'll get some pics up this evening for sure.

ETA: Almost forgot! I added another 10 Otocinclus. My LFS will be taking vacation starting on 9/15 and he won't be ordering until he gets back, but the next purchase will be either be a dozen Panda Cory cats, or I mentioned wanting another smaller school and he brought up Cardinal Tetras to add another color so I might do those. He's had the cardinals for a while so I might grab some. If anyone has any recommendations of how many I can add, while keeping in mind that I already have 20 oto cats, 4 SAE's, an Apisto, two dozen Harlequin Rasbora, and will eventual also have a dozen Panda Cory cats, I'd appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #706 ·
Here are a few pics from last night:

Left side first:

Plant Plant community Branch Terrestrial plant Vegetation


Center:

Plant Plant community Organism Terrestrial plant Grass


Right:

Plant Plant community Branch Natural landscape Sky


Right side looking down:

Plant Plant community Ecoregion Leaf Natural environment


And finally the FTS:

Plant Plant community Rectangle Branch Natural landscape


You'll see how the AR Mini doesn't really look all that great. The one thing I neglected to provide an update on was the Mermaid Weed. It grows to a certain height and then the stem breaks off. Once I begin moving stem plants in the back, I'll likely give them one more shot by moving them to another spot and seeing how they do.

I think the next thing that will be done is buying a bunch or two of that one stem plant I want and redoing the stem plants. More than likely the left side will just be all rotala and the right side Bacopa Salzmanii SG, Ludwigia Arcuata, Mermaid Weed, and Limnophila Hippuridoides. I also need to thin out the center path because the Pogo Helferi is growing like crazy.
 

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For the most part it looks like everything is doing pretty well. The Pogo and Blyxa look great. I can't really see the mermaid weed, When you say the stem breaks do you mean a healthy stem or one that is starting to rot on the bottom from lack of light?
 

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Discussion Starter · #708 ·
For the most part it looks like everything is doing pretty well. The Pogo and Blyxa look great. I can't really see the mermaid weed, When you say the stem breaks do you mean a healthy stem or one that is starting to rot on the bottom from lack of light?
It'll actually break about an inch and a half from the very top.

The thing that is very strange is that these were from a TC, with extremely thin stems. I've seen them in person at the LFS from bunch plants and the stems are probably twice as thick.

I think worst case is when I order the Limnophila, I add on a bunch of Mermaid Weed to see if maybe the TC's just don't do as well. They're still alive, but I haven't seen any thickening of the stems.
 

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It'll actually break about an inch and a half from the very top.

The thing that is very strange is that these were from a TC, with extremely thin stems. I've seen them in person at the LFS from bunch plants and the stems are probably twice as thick.

I think worst case is when I order the Limnophila, I add on a bunch of Mermaid Weed to see if maybe the TC's just don't do as well. They're still alive, but I haven't seen any thickening of the stems.
Not sure, mine where purchased as emersed stems, but I don't have the height your going for. I did notice that when I replant the tops and I trim off the lower leaves sometimes the stem snaps in half. That doesn't usually happen with most stems, so it could be just their makeup. I would think once they have matured in your tank it wouldn't matter if they were TC, but who knows.

Are you still going for a MC carpet? Is the light getting there? One thing with carpets is that active soils definitely give it the initial growth spurt to fil in, with inert it seems to be a longer process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #710 ·
Not sure, mine where purchased as emersed stems, but I don't have the height your going for. I did notice that when I replant the tops and I trim off the lower leaves sometimes the stem snaps in half. That doesn't usually happen with most stems, so it could be just their makeup. I would think once they have matured in your tank it wouldn't matter if they were TC, but who knows.

Are you still going for a MC carpet? Is the light getting there? One thing with carpets is that active soils definitely give it the initial growth spurt to fil in, with inert it seems to be a longer process.
I'm definitely going for a carpet. It seems like it's growing in spurts. It'll look the same for about a week, and then it spreads a little bit. It's probably not getting blasted by light, but it should be getting enough since it's hugging the sand. I wouldn't be surprised if it takes months before it fills in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #712 ·
nods in approval I hope your levels are coming down, how have they been this last month?
I haven't tested anything in a while, but from an appearance perspective, the GSA issues seemed to stop progressing. I took a few different actions so I can't really tell which action helped, or if a combination of all of them helped. Since tonight is WC night, I'll probably run nitrate and phosphate tests to see where those are after a full week of EI dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #713 ·
It has been a while since my last update.

A couple weeks ago I came down with Covid so I was out of commission for a while. After waiting about two weeks for a root canal, then throwing out my lower back, as soon as I felt like I was returning to normal I get hit with Covid.

I missed a water change and noticed that my plants were starting to look angry. The Pogo Helferi really looked the worst, but many of the plants were exhibiting some sort of deficiency, or probably in this case toxicity from continuing to dose without doing the weekly water change. After doing the water change, the plants weren't getting worse, but they haven't yet recovered.

This morning the GLA canister began making really strange noises....at least the DC pump was. I was planning on doing the water change today when the lights come on, which is in a few minutes, but I couldn't leave the pump to continue running without taking it apart. As soon as I unscrewed the intake side, I could see why it was making noise...it was filthy. There was a coating of reddish slime all over the impeller and the whole housing. I took it all apart and cleaned it, then opened the canister up and it too was filthy.

Since the pumice has been running in the Oase for well over a month or so, I tossed all the lava rock, cleaned the inside of the GLA really well, and then bagged up pumice into about 8 bags and added them into the canister. I got it hooked back up, filled it with water, and then plugged it in and it went back into action as quiet as it has ever been. I think what it needs is maintenance about every 2 months going forward. So the next time I maintain this will be around Black Friday.

I'm going to knock out the water change today, and get on maintaining the Oase as well.

There is quite a bit of algae on the glass so that will need to be cleaned before I do the water change.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if the GSA popped up a month or so ago due to the amount of detritus in the GLA filter. It was pretty bad.

The one thing that being sick and skipping a water change proved is that if you're doing full EI, don't skip your water change lol. It would have sucked doing a water change in the condition I was in, but at least the plants wouldn't have suffered as much as it seems they did.

Anyhow, I'm gonna go do another massive water change and get the rest of the maintenance done. I'll get some pics up this week.

I'm finally starting to feel better though. Covid is definitely a strange virus. I only had a fever for about 3 days and once the fever broke, about 24 hours later I went to the doctor to get tested and tested negative already. But then the cough and congestion started, and then I lost my sense of taste and smell. The fatigue was also bad to the point where I'd take my dog for a 15 minute walk and come back feeling like I was in my 80's. Each day it got a little better, but I'm probably only at about 85% from my normal level of fitness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #714 ·
So after totally cleaning out and replacing the lava rock with 8 or so bags of pumice in the GLA filter, along with cleaning the Oase filter, my water for the first time has been crystal clear for a whole week!

Since I set this tank up Memorial Day weekend, I've always dealt with a bit of cloudiness. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from and it would change from week to week to where it would never get crystal clear, always a slight haze in the water, to a bit more hazy. Water parameters always seemed to be fine, but nitrates always were higher than I expected them to be.

With EI, you should be adding a known amount of nitrates per week, which in my case should have been less than 30ppm per week. The variables would be how much of that 30ppm is being used up by the plants and how much nitrate is being added due to fish waste. What was throwing me was the fact that nitrates were always over 50-60ppm and that didn't make sense. But after seeing the inside of the GLA filter is suddenly made perfect sense.

Tomorrow I'll get another water change in and do a bit of trimming. The Rotala was one of the plants that seemed to suffer from missing a weekly water change where the new growth is very small and scraggly. The plan is to cut them down short, and then let them regrow. The Pogostemon Helferi Downoi is very, very slowly starting to recover. By slowly I mean just a casual look at the tank seems like nothing is happening, until you get close. I'll try to remember to take a pic tonight but what happened was each leaf basically turned into a needle. The thickness of the leaves are starting to return.

I'm going to run some tests tonight and see where everything is at. I expect nitrates to be at or around 30ppm.

The one other thing I'll be doing is pulling the terrestrial plants out of the tank. I think they've done their job and want to pull them before they cause an issue with stealing too many nutrients from the tank.
 

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I think it's a good example of how having heavy filtration doesn't keep a tank in good health. Whatever is in the filter is still going through the tank. Best defense are dense stems taking up nitrates. If you don't have the plant mass then you need the large regular water changes even more. Your tank has lots of hardscape, you need the water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #716 ·
Been a while since the last update, but not really a whole lot to update. Everything is about the same. I trimmed back the rotala and they're only now starting to regrow. I really affected many of the plants with not being able to get a water change in when I had the rona. The pogo helferi still haven't recovered, however, I did notice new growth towards the bottom of the stems. What I think I'm going to do is once the new growth gets a bit bigger, I'm going to cut the original stems down to the base since they're not really covering.

Most other plants are doing great though, especially all of the buce.

My plan long term is to redo the stem section by moving all rotala to the left side and then focus on the right by adding some newer plants to the species that will be moved from the left side.

I'll be doing full maintenance on the Oase on the 29th, and then about a month later on the GLA canister. The running plan is to maintain both canisters every two months. Depending on how bad they look on the inside I may need to alter that schedule.

The one thing I really need to do is clean out my tubing. Since setting the tank up the tubing hasn't been cleaned so it's incredibly filthy. Each time I turn off a canister filter and then restart it, I get a cloud of reddish brown crap that shoots out from the tubing.

Believe it or not I'm still on the same 10lbs CO2 tank. The reactor is definitely more efficient than the diffusers I'm used to. One bummer is the place that refilled my paintball canisters and the CO2 tanks sold the business to another company who then closed the doors to the public so I need to find another place. My paintball canisters are completely empty so I'll need to find a place to refill them soon. That nano tank will be getting taken down probably next month during the Thanksgiving four day weekend. I'll set it up again but I'm switching to PFS and basically doing a total reboot with new plants.

I'll get some pics up this week. I'm hoping to get out in a week or two to see if the LFS has the Cory cats in stock yet. If not I may get a dozen cardinal tetras.

I'm still blown away by the CO2 usage. I'm getting a full point drop and the tank has been running strong since Memorial Day. I can't tell how much is left in it because the gauge has yet to move.
 

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Been a while since the last update, but not really a whole lot to update. Everything is about the same. I trimmed back the rotala and they're only now starting to regrow. I really affected many of the plants with not being able to get a water change in when I had the rona. The pogo helferi still haven't recovered, however, I did notice new growth towards the bottom of the stems. What I think I'm going to do is once the new growth gets a bit bigger, I'm going to cut the original stems down to the base since they're not really covering.

Most other plants are doing great though, especially all of the buce.

My plan long term is to redo the stem section by moving all rotala to the left side and then focus on the right by adding some newer plants to the species that will be moved from the left side.

I'll be doing full maintenance on the Oase on the 29th, and then about a month later on the GLA canister. The running plan is to maintain both canisters every two months. Depending on how bad they look on the inside I may need to alter that schedule.

The one thing I really need to do is clean out my tubing. Since setting the tank up the tubing hasn't been cleaned so it's incredibly filthy. Each time I turn off a canister filter and then restart it, I get a cloud of reddish brown crap that shoots out from the tubing.

Believe it or not I'm still on the same 10lbs CO2 tank. The reactor is definitely more efficient than the diffusers I'm used to. One bummer is the place that refilled my paintball canisters and the CO2 tanks sold the business to another company who then closed the doors to the public so I need to find another place. My paintball canisters are completely empty so I'll need to find a place to refill them soon. That nano tank will be getting taken down probably next month during the Thanksgiving four day weekend. I'll set it up again but I'm switching to PFS and basically doing a total reboot with new plants.

I'll get some pics up this week. I'm hoping to get out in a week or two to see if the LFS has the Cory cats in stock yet. If not I may get a dozen cardinal tetras.

I'm still blown away by the CO2 usage. I'm getting a full point drop and the tank has been running strong since Memorial Day. I can't tell how much is left in it because the gauge has yet to move.
I switched to black opaque tubing so I don't have to clean it ever. I get some floaty chunks occasionally but these days whatever is inside those tubes is strong enough to hold on :p. I don't mind because it's not visible on the outside.

Reactors are soooo much better then diffusers, it is 1) amazing more companies don't sell reactors, and 2) that more people don't use them regardless. Glad things are generally going well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #718 ·
I switched to black opaque tubing so I don't have to clean it ever. I get some floaty chunks occasionally but these days whatever is inside those tubes is strong enough to hold on :p. I don't mind because it's not visible on the outside.

Reactors are soooo much better then diffusers, it is 1) amazing more companies don't sell reactors, and 2) that more people don't use them regardless. Glad things are generally going well.
It's crazy how much more efficient reactors are than any other form of CO2 diffusion. It blows my mind that I'm still on the same 10lbs tank. The reactor combined with the Milwaukee controller really seems to be keeping my CO2 levels where they need to be, and also saving on CO2.

I may forgo much of the tubing soon. At least with the GLA -> reactor, most of that tubing will be going away over the winter, provided I have some spare time. I'm going to PVC that whole system, minus the Oase since I can't really figure out a good way to hard pipe that with how the intake/outflow tubing gets disconnected. You basically turn a lever and the whole housing for the intake/outflow spins. If I hard pipe it, there's really no good way to allow for that 90 degree turn of the tubing.

There will still be some tubing since I won't be able to hard pipe it all the way to the stainless intake/outflow pipes, but incorporating a union will make things so much easier when it comes time to clean things up. This is where sumps are superior and I regret not having one, but at the same time there'd be that time where I begin getting bored and want to turn it into a reef tank. Surprisingly I haven't experienced that and this would be the timeframe where that urge would start setting in lol. I've actually been enjoying the tank a lot. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that whenever I wanted a planted tank, I always wanted a big planted tank so now that I have one, I really love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #719 ·
My 10lbs CO2 tank is still reading where it read when I first connected it.

Tonight out of curiosity I'm going to run a full battery of tests since tomorrow is water change day. I haven't tested anything in months so it'll be interesting to see what if any effect cleaning the GLA canister out had on nitrate levels.

I'll get some pics up tonight since I've owed a pic update in a while lol.

The one notable change is that the Pogostemon Helferi haven't recovered very much or at all, but at the base of each you see new little crowns appearing. I'm likely going to cut off the old growth once the new growth gets a big bigger. The stem plants are looking better, but a few are still looking pretty ragged. I'm hoping that I get enough new, good looking growth that when it comes time to trim I can just discard the scraggly looking stems and replant the nicer trimmings. That'll give me the opportunity to redo the back and move stems around a bit better based on the high flow rate.

As my outdoor projects begin to wind down, I'll be able to focus more on the inside of my home. I have a few things that need to get done. My basement still needs to be organized so that's at the top of the list because it'll give me room to install my RODI and 55 gallon drum for holding water. Currently the spot I'd put this has a bunch of stuff in the way. I'll probably start off doing 1/4 RODI and 3/4 tap. After a few weeks I'll bump up that mix a bit until I'm at 1/2 tap and 1/2 RODI. If my calculations are correct, the 1/2 & 1/2 mix will put my GH and KH right where I'd like it to be without using any sort of remineralizers.

A couple other things on the winter to do list is to hard pipe my GLA canister with the CO2 reactor. One of the reasons I want to do this is I've always had issues with tiny bubbles escaping the reactor just due to the fact that even at a low setting the GLA DC pump is too strong. The plan is to Tee it off and have one end returning directly to the tank with the other feeding the reactor and then returning to the tank. I might even incorporate some fittings in the event I want to buy and install a UV filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #720 ·
I completely forgot the pics. This past Saturday I was running a match at the sportsman club where I'm a member and it usually involves me getting up way too early on those Saturdays so I spent Friday trying to get stuff done that I'd normally do Saturday mornings.

Over the weekend I began disliking my moss. I love the way moss looks, don't get me wrong, but I get this weird string-hair algae that grows only on the moss. What ends up happening is I just rip a the chunks of moss that have the algae and toss it, but then within a couple weeks it appears on other moss. Occasionally I'll see it grab onto a bigger H. Pin leaf but only because the algae grew long enough to tangle itself up with the leaf. I think if it doesn't go away within the next few weeks then the moss will be removed. The other issue with moss is that you wind up finding it everywhere. I'm very careful when I trim it, where there aren't any pieces floating around the tank, but I still find pieces that just break off on their own growing in spots I don't want them growing.

I guess I'm trying to convince myself to get rid of the moss :LOL:

It's disappointing because I really love the look of it, but the long strands of algae are driving me crazy.

I ran all my tests on Friday and they came out better than I expected. The most notable was nitrates and they were around 30ppm which is perfect for what I'm dosing throughout the week. It appears that the GLA being filthy was a substantial part of the problem.

I'll get some pics up today after work for sure lol.

Many of the Rotala stems don't seem to be recovering from the scraggly state they were in when I had to miss a water change but continued dosing. The Pogo Helferi haven't recovered but have put out new little crowns at the bases so I'll be cutting away the old stems at some point soon.

I've been religiously cleaning the pre filter on the Oase. Without fail every week I toss the dirty sponges into a bucket and just replace with clean ones and then clean the dirty ones after I'm done doing a water change. I'm hoping that when it comes time to do maintenance on the full canister, it'll show me that I can push maintenance out to 3 months. The GLA is my biggest concern. I'm letting it go to two months to see how dirty it gets and then I'll make a decision on increasing maintenance. I really don't want to increase maintenance on it because it's a massive pain to maintain, but if it needs to be done I'll do it. I wish it had a pre filter like the Oase.
 
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