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I need help please...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by londonloco, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Having problems...my set up is as follows:

    72 gallon bowfront tank, Pro clear wet/dry 125, prefilter by LifeReef, with a prefilter sponge, pump Mag500, 2-200watt watt heaters in sump set at 84 degrees.

    Substrate.- . 60lbs (or 5 bags) of Fluorite AND 80lbs (or 4 bags) of Eco-Complete: mixed together, this gave me 2 ½ - 3 inches on front and 3 ½ - 4 inches on back of tank…

    Lighting - Current PC with two daylights 65 watt (10K) and two daylights 65 watt (6500K)..and two moonlights…giving me a total of 262 watts or 3.6 watts per gallon. I have timers set up so two 65 watts are on 4 hrs a day, but all four 65 watts are on 12 hrs a day....

    Plants - Cryptocoryne wendti (Crypts)i, Sagittaria subulata (Narrow Leaf Sag), Sagittaria subulata (Broad Leaf Sag), Rotala Indica andmacrandra (red plants, wanted some color), Sagittaria subulata (dwarf Sag), Glossostigma elatinoides (ground cover), Microsorum pteropus (java fern) , nymphaea stellata (dwarf lily), anubias nana and dwarf onion plants.

    UV Sterilizer – 15w “Current Gamma Aquarium UV”, not hooked up yet

    CO2 - still working on it...

    I plan on adding, after I finish cycling the tank, 3-6 rummy nose tetras, 1-2 bristle nose cats, 2 german blue ram, 1 flying foxes, 1-2 otos, and maybe some corys. After I feel the tank is stable enough, I would like to add 6-8 discus…

    I set the tank up on 9/12. That day, my ph was 6.0 (tap water). On 9/16 my readings were ph 8.0, GH 4.0, KH 9.0, c02 (by grid) 2.7, NH3 0, NO2
     
  2. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: I need help please...

    Your tap water is fine for your discus and you don't need to use the R/O water unless you are planning on breeding discus.

    For now I would forget about the R/O water and read and study about CO2 systems.

    The majority of algae problems are caused by lack of CO2, so you want to get it right from the beginning. I would make sure to read Tom's post on CO2 and all of the information here in general. This is the best place on the web for information on growing aquatic plants.


    Bill
     
  3. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    First off, there is no need what-so-ever for RO water in a planted tank. In fact, its counter productive IMO since you have to add all the nutrients back anyway. Especially considering you have reef tank doing well on your tap... this tells me your tap water is probably pretty good stuff. Personal opinion, send the unit back.

    As for the pH issue. Adding CO2 will indeed lower your pH. How much depends on how fast you put it in, and how well you diffuse it. Look back at the pH/CO2 chart you referenced and using your kH of 9. I'd say you can safely lower your pH with CO2 to a bit under 7. As you add the CO2, the pH will drop, when it gets to about ~6.9 you'll have ~34ppm of CO2 (by my chart). This is a safe range. Adding more CO2 will continue to drop the pH, but you start risking your fish if you go to far.

    As for how to diffuse the CO2 you introduce, there are many ways from air stones, to in-line reactors, to upside down bowls, blah blah blah. For a 72 gallon tank, my best recommendation is to read this article:
    Venturi Design
    Its the easiest/cheapest/most effecient way I've seen.

    I don't know how good I am at clearly answering questions but I hope that helped. If not, ask again and I'll try to clarify. Regardless, I'm sure others will be chiming in with better answers than I.

    Good luck,
    Blake
     
  4. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    Blake, u have answered my questions very clearly and really appreciate the input. I have been devouring all info on this site re:co2. I came across some articles/threads Tom wrote about a "diffsor stone"...simply hooking your co2 gas line to this http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/9775/cid/2339 I'm also thinking about purchasing the co2 regulator set from aquariumplanet http://aquariumplant.com/cgi-bin/cart/pr007.html AND the MILWAUKEE Automated pH/Co2 Controller http://aquariumplant.com/cgi-bin/cart/pr209.html . What do you think Blake? Tom? Thanks all....
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: I need help please...

    Get a pinpoint pH meter, I hate those MILWAUKEE pH meters/controllers after seeing a number of issues with them from a several folks.

    Measure your KH. Measure it and few times, and get an alkalinity test report from the tap water company.

    Tell us what you found.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    As for the Milwaukee regulater. Good stuff. I use one and have no problems with it. Make sure everything is snug... spend a couple days tweaking your flow rate to your needs and forget about it.

    The air stone is questionable IMO. I use a stone type diffuser (not the same one as A-ECO has) and it barely keeps up with my 50 gallon's needs. That particular brand of stone may do a better job though. Heck, try it and let us know. Wish I had a more definate answer.

    I agree with Tom about the pH controller but for a slightly different reason. I've never used one so I can't say they have issues. I simply don't think its worth the money. Save the money and buy the pH pen Tom is talking about. You have much more "stable" water than I (my kH is about 1 degree) and I use no controller and have had no problems with my plants or fish concerning pH swings. My pH does swing since I run the CO2 only during the day, but not enough to warrent trouble. Granted, I don't have fish that are as sensitive as discus.

    Keep us updated.

    Blake
     
  7. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    Tom, I'm on well water...no water company to ask for a report...
     
  8. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    Ok, tested my water today:
    ph - 9.0 :confused: :eek: :(
    nh3 - 0
    no2 -
     
  9. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    Ok, so it was early.....TAP WATER TEST:

    ph - 6.5
    nh3 - 0
    no2 -
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: I need help please...

    So your KH and alkalinity are the same thing.
    Your well water seems pretty darn good to me.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. londonloco

    londonloco Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help please...

    Tom, right, tap water is good. But after it is in the tank and airates a couple of days, my ph goes up to 8 or 9.0.....will my discus live in 9.0 ph?
    I guess my question is...will a co2 system on my tank lower my ph below 7.0 without harming my discus?
    Thanks for all your time...
     
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