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ei question

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by bsmith782, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. bsmith782

    bsmith782 Guru Class Expert

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    hi, this is my first post here, i found you from other sites!

    my question, should i just add all of the compounds in an ei regimine, even if im pretty sure i have some of that in my tank (ie. nitrate and phosphate from the bio load)?

    also what trace do you recommend tpn, csm+b, or flourish comp?

    thanks,
    B
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Some questions relating to the bioload. How much is there? How much light and how much plant biomass?

    Even a fully fed discus tank with corys/otto cats/cardinals etc with 1 adult per gallon still required 50% of the NO3/PO4 to come from inorganic fertilizers with 2w/gal on a 120 gal tank.

    So if you more fish than this, you ought to lighten the load anyway.
    EI is not for anyone with plants, it means CO2, moderate to high light and water changes. If you don't have these then another more appropriate method will be suggested.

    I like Tropica Master Grow personally, they changed the name to Aqua plant nutrition or something close.......

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. bsmith782

    bsmith782 Guru Class Expert

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    i have 5 discus 12 cardinal tetras 1 royal pleco, about 2.4 wpg, and id say about 50%-60% of the substrate has plants on it.

    im currently dosing excel, and have a diy co2 at 30-36ppm.

    i always do a 50% water change on sun already, because of the discus (funny you mentiond them) and of course just good tank keeping.

    i already have some k2so4, because i thought that i had a potassium defficency previously.

    thanks,
    B
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You have this in a 30 gallon tank?
    Maybe in a 75 gallon, not no 30................
    Get 40 cardinals, 30 gallon is too small for a discus, 1-2 let alone 5.
    The royal may mow most plants.
    If you plan on having only a 30 gallon, sell the discus.

    Well, I really cannot help you as the tank is over stocked, you may say the discus are small, but they grow and then you have dinner plate sized fish (or stunted fish) in a small tank and want to feed them well.

    That's just not going to work out over time.
    It's bad for the fish, plants and is going to cause you algae issues.
    You are not going to force this system for long without something going bad, that means dead fish, algae or a mix of both.

    DIY CO2 will complete the algae issue even further.

    Sell some fish and trade for cardinals or something more appropriate for this size tank, or get a 75-90 gallon tank. Then do not put more discus if there. You can get more cardinals etc.

    120 gallon with 12 discus is over stocked but that's the max and they have plenty of room to move about as group. While you have the fish in a smaller tank, it's not an equivalent system that you just divide. The larger tank is more stable and able to handle more large fish numbers than the smaller tank.

    This is not what you want to hear, but it's the truth of the matter.
    Larger fish require a lot more O2 than smaller fish. So 40 cards(or whjatever that's small) are not close to the same amount inches of discus.

    Sell the discus or get a bigger tank. I'd trade the royal for a smaller pleco species as well, Gold nuggets are nice and much better for planted tanks.
    I'm not going to tell you to keep those fish in that small tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. bsmith782

    bsmith782 Guru Class Expert

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    im with ya i never thought it would work either, however, i have had the same set up for over two years (except the multitude of plants and the lighting intensity) with not only no deaths but my discus have spawned several times, successfullly!

    i tried to keep two discus to no avail a few times in fear of what your speaking of (i have been an avid fish keeper for over 12 yrs) only to end up with one dominant discus that bullied the lesser fish to death, so i said to my self, why not try more and see what happens as discus are a social fish and feel safer in numbers, and voila i had a wonderfully harmonius community tank. i know by all accounts it should not be working, but we all know that the only time fish spawn (espically discus) is when things are right anf the fish is happy.

    now that i have the husbandry part figured out i asked myself, how can i improve what i already have. only one answer, beautiful aquascaping! this lead to the purchase of a more intense ligh source and many days of research on diy co2. i now have that aswell and am seeking your advice in hopes of attaining a lush aquatic aquascape.

    B
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You still need a larger tank for them.
    Fish is one thing, keeping plants + fish with high light + CO2 is another.
    What I'm saying is that the fish and the plants will do better, be much less work, provide more wiggle room when they have more room.

    I can force just about any system. Does not mean it's easy to do nor wise.
    You are right about several vs 2 due to bullying.
    5 is the min, that's why 5 in 75 is nice vs 2 in a 30 etc.
    I will say and I'm sure you can detect my attitude here: I have ethics issues when folks that add large fish in small tanks. It looks bad also, makes the tank look even smaller.

    1.
    You will likely need to do 2x a week water changes as these are adults.
    40-50%. Dose after.

    2.
    Do yourself and the fish a favor, get CO2 gas tanks, do not do the DIY thing.
    While yes, you can do it, it'll lead to issues.

    You really need to do things the right way and not try and cram things into small boxes, then go cheap on CO2..............that's the most important thing in all the plant stuff and the one thing that generally causes algae and can potentially kill the fish. It pays to have the right equipment and right bioload/tank size.
    Ebay sells the regs, needle valves, I use the metering valves(1/8" etc) and Victor regulators, and then a solenoid. Gas tanks at beverage places or fire equipment places, cheap and they do refills there.
    Even top quality stuff might only run 25-30$ for the reg, 20$ for the valve and 45$ for a tank. You'd refill a 10lb tank once every 3 years or more.
    If you added the solenoid, maybe 5-6 years.
    You can also upgrade to multiple CO2 enriched tanks by merely adding one more Tee and another needle valve.
    Or switching to a larger tanks later.
    DIY is extremely tough on larger tanks above 40-50 gal.

    Adding the light and plants is going to change things, well, you'll learn soon enough from the sounds of it.

    Healthy plants = healthy fish.
    EI will get the nutrients for you just fine, but the CO2, higher light and large amount of fish waste shall come home to roost.

    Adding CO2 reduces the exchange of O2, but if the plants grow well, then it'll be fine. If the plants are not doing well, there's no extra O2, so you end up with high CO2/low O2 and then gasing or dead fish, and ..........the discus will die first.

    All the waste generated by those fish starts out as NH4. While filters are able to handle enough for the fish's needs, the algae spores love it and are much easier to germinate when more and more fish waste is progressively added to the system. Adding that with DIY CO2, you are asking for it. If the plant has poor CO2, it'll down regulate the NH4 uptake, that will cause a little spike in the NH4 and that will lead to algae. Getting the right amount of CO2 in there using DIY steadily will be tougher than you think. Excel will not save you either.
    The 2x a week water changes will help prevent some of this CO2/NH4 related issues.

    I'm telling you now.
    Later, you'll reflect back upon this advice.

    I'd seriously consider getting a 75-90 Gallon, overflow wet/dry, UV, adding some more cardinals, see about another species of plecos, and doing a neat scape in a larger setting after you get your feet wet here.

    You'll be happier, so will the fish and the viability of the tank will be much more to your liking.

    On the artistic forefront:
    Giant fish in tiny tanks makes any aquascape look bad.
    Tiny fish in medium size tank makes the tank look giant.
    I'd say 135-180 gal in the minimum size tank for Discus in scaping.
    I see them in a 1600 gal tank and they act very different.
    The tank looks small even there. But they have plenty of room.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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