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Aquarium Stability - a n00bs Q

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Calkayne, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Calkayne

    Calkayne Junior Poster

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    Hello fellow Aquarists!!

    I have some "short" questions ;)

    My set-up is a fairly small project (I wanted something on my desk where I spent a disgusting amount of time searching forums like this one) and became aware of a few issues I remember from the past.

    The tank is a 20L (5G) Long tank.
    pH: 6.5-7 (goal)
    CO2: No
    Light: 11W
    Aqua Potting Soil
    Gravel
    Sponge Filter (Was set to high, but since the introduction of the Betta I have reduced the flow some)
    Inhabitants: 1 Betta Veiltail
    Plants:
    Hydro. Difformis x3
    Ludwigia Repens x4
    Cryptocoryne Becketii x1
    Echinodous Bleheri x2

    I am using some Aqua Ferts such as Fe, and some Trace Mineral Additives on a 5ml basis every week. My L. repens has just started pearling, so I guess I am on the right track.

    Now I am somewhat confident that I am going ok but I have some imagined issues.

    Is it correct that the smaller the Aquarium the more instable it is? ie. it requires a much more carefull eye to monitor as the properties within the tank can change quicker?

    How can I ensure that roots enter the substrate from a Stemed plant? all of mine are sprouting roots from the Junctions of the stems...

    For pics you can go to photbucket and look at my album there. Just search under Cakayne (Im at work and wont get home till late ;S )

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes, smaller tanks are more unstable. If your dosing is accurate to +/- 1ml, this will mean a less accurate concentration in a smaller tank. If a fish dies, a larger part of the bioload dies; 1 fish in a 5g is 100% of the bioload. Handle the tank with a small unidentified compound? The larger tank will have a larger column to absorb it. This carries right on through a ton of other principles.

    Aerial roots aren't unnatural, or anything to be concerned about. Many people trim them off for aesthetics.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The main issues for me and smaller tanks, I kept 8 for a couple of years:

    Evaporation and maintaining constant level. As the water level drops, the Palm filters start to degas the CO2 much more, so this affects CO2 in a huge way unless you stay on top of replenishing the water loss.

    Diffusing CO2 without taking up too much space is also tougher.
    Disc are okay, but clog etc.

    So basically getting good stable CO2 is the largest issue I think compared to larger tanks. that and pruning more often since you have much less height to work with.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Calkayne

    Calkayne Junior Poster

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    Palm Filters? Thats a term I will have to look up. I dont add CO2 to the tank, the Plants are (where) pretty setup before they arrived with the post.

    I dont want to explode the growth in the tank so that I can slowly get back into the Hobby again. I dont want to bite off to much too soon. Thats when the other two tanks come in :D

    [​IMG]

    As you can see I still want the little fella to be able to swim.

    But I used to find plants a hassle before. If I where truly honest it was only because I was so lazy. But now I want so much more from Aquaria that the next logical step is learning how to plant properly and maintaining the healthy growth.

    Keeping a low tech low ligh tank though allows me to get plenty of practice and learning time in between the maintenance plan.

    Thanks for the repsonses so far.
     
  5. Calkayne

    Calkayne Junior Poster

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    Ok, I am using this tank pretty much as a starter, eventual Quarantine style of tank.

    Now I put a couple of young SAEs in there to help keep the tank nice and clean. They have been doing a great job.

    Untill I did a water change. Now they are staying at the surface of the Watertable and "gasping for air", the Betta is ok, but also showed signs of stress soon after the water change.

    Its a 20L tank, so I have been changing 4L of water. This time I used the water out of the Hot Water tap and let it sit for a few hours and topped it up with cold untill it matched the Temperature of the Tankwater. So a temperature drop/increase is out of the question.

    I used Aquasafe to bind the Heavymetals etc, and dosed the same as usual. I added some pH/KH Minus to bring the pH down to between 6.5 and 7 from 8. I dont have an adequate Test Kit yet so I can comment on the real KH and GH values.

    Tomorrow I will take some water in to my Local Aquarist store and see if they can do some Tests for me.

    I assume that the water change stirred up the substrate and kicked up a load of waste products including Nitrates. IIRC this should be easily Tested with a semi decent Test Kit though.

    Main Questions would be, changing 4L of water in a 20L tank every 3-4 days should not be too much for the tank to handle. Am I on the right track thinking I have stirred up some sort of Nitrate issue? Why does my L.Repens only Pearl after a water change? There has to be a link to the supply of O2 in the water, does that become exhausted?

    **EDIT: I laid one of the longer Rhizomes horizontally and have noticed a much better growth, Roots and shoots at every joint and the Roots can hit the substrate really quickly, in general the Plants are appearing to do really well though.***
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    You probably changed the KH on them quite quickly with that pH adjuster, stressing them enough to send them to the surface. Personally, I wouldn't bother with it unless you've got some sort of goal to spawn a very soft water fish. pH here goes all the way up to 8.3 with a KH around 9-10, and people are keeping discus and apistos in it just fine. These fish have adapted to harder water conditions.

    In all honesty, some people pull 50% and higher water changes every day. They do it for their fish, and the fish do well.

    Your post water change pearling is from increased oxygen levels in the tank. Pouring water and splashing it around adds a pile of air. Higher oxygen levels in the water means that the O2 your plants create is going in to a heavily saturated environment, and so pearling happens.

    -Philosophos
     
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