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Large tanks > 120 gals, c02, and EI - responses wanted

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Gerryd, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Ceg4048 and I are having some PM discussions on larger tanks (> 120 us gals) and the much larger amounts of c02, EI, flow/current, etc that seems to be needed for our tanks to get optimal growth and no algae as compared to smaller volumes of water.

    As an example, I need to dose about 3-4 times the 'normal' recommended EI dosing for a 180 gal tank. My drop checkers are also both yellow, but fish are okay (no gasping, surface activity, etc) and I am still increasing a bit at a time, with better plant growth with each increase.

    So, I may be exceeding the RECOMMENDED 30-40 ppm c02 range as well..........

    I also have > 2000 gph in water pumps ALONE (outside of the main filter/pump) to help with flow and current.

    I would be interested in replies from those with tanks of this size OR LARGER that use pressurized c02 AND EI dosing with the following info, so I can summarize and see if we can glean any tips or general patterns that would help all when dealing with larger tanks.

    Pattern recognition is a big part of my career, so am hoping to see something(s) that will help us all.

    1. Tank size.
    2. Method of c02 injection. External reactor, Mazzei, needle wheel, etc. Bubble rate if possible.
    3. Type and duration of lighting. MH, T5, T12, etc. Wpg please.
    4. EI dosing numbers and schedule. Daily, 3x a week, etc.
    5. Type and size of filter(s). Canisters, hang on, etc.
    6. Type and size of any extra water pumps or powerheads for additional flow/current.
    7. Overflow boxes or not, as this affects c02 de-gassing.
    8. Sump or not, as this affects c02 de-gassing.

    I will publish any results that I can come up with.

    At the very least, a table of tank sizes and ranges of EI and c02..

    Feel free to PM (private message) me with any questions or replies.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, you know my 180, I also have a 350 and 1600 to attend to, as well as a 120.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Tom,

    Yes plenty of specs on the 180 lol. I have the links to the Behemoth (is that the 1600) and the 300 somewhere, so I can include your data :)

    What EI are you dosing in the starfire? I never quite saw that specific tsp values?

    Do you think this is a worthwhile endeavor?

    Thanks,
     
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    1. 150 US Gallons
    2. Mist and Reactor / DC to yellow
    3. HO T5 240 wpg for 8hrs
    4. Daily dosing normal EI with double the P
    5. Marineland C360 with Mag 9.5 as a booster. Mag 9.5 with DIY water polisher/reactor. Mag 7 added circulation.
    6. No operational overflow or sump

    Not sure on bps. I'll have to try hard to count and add up both bubble counters to try and get a good number
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    jdowns,

    So do you have TWO Mag 9.5, one as a booster and one to drive the DIY polisher/reactor, or just the one that does both?

    What type/size of reactor and how do you mist?

    Would love to see you post a thread in DIY on the polisher/reactor or a link if you have already done so.

    All,

    The more details the better. I have started a spreadsheet and will be filling in the details, so I can cut and paste most text. Be verbiose!
     
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    There is one 9.5 as a booster and another 9.5 to drive the polisher/reactor.

    Polisher/Reactor

    Mist is a diffuser under the Mag 7, which spreads the mist around the tank. I'm considering a Mazzei inline with this pump and getting rid of the diffuser.
     
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    I originally wanted the reactor soley to get rid of the bubbles from the mist.

    But.....I found as my CO2 improved I had mist coming from the canister filter starting a few hours after lights on like clockwork.

    Funny story....I spent days trying to figure out where the air leak was coming from and why I was getting a mist of air coming from the canister outflow. Only to finally notice that it stopped after lights off and only started up once again a few hours after lights on. Gee I wonder where the air is coming from :p
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    I would get a 384 or 584 Mazzei and drive it with the Mag 7.....

    I've never been good at mysteries, and my brain is occupied elsewhere....

    I'm guessing it was from the plants????
     
  9. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    OK, going to step out on a limb here.

    I don't necessarily believe this is a large tank only issue. I've also been above the recommended EI for a given tank volume. In fact higher than I actually care to admit. All though I did see incredible growth, and for no scientific reason, the levels where brought back down. Not sure how high I could have gone. Anyway I'm back to double EI, at standard EI things headed south fast. Currently this is stable with good growth at EIx2. Still.... fighting GSA on and off and this is the only algae I've had for a long time. Flow is high in tank as well as high filtration. Lighting is only what may be considered medium though. Concentrating more on CO2, but fish let me know when it's high. Drop checker to yellow.

    Things brought to mind and have been written here(Barr Report) before...

    1. Inert substrates can require more column ferts than rich substrates
    2. The more bio load the more ferts, flow, and CO2 needed.
    3. The build up of ferts in a non carbon tank for 8 months with no WC's at low light levels with fantastic results?!?
    4. Light is a driver of photosynthesis, and medium lighting is doing well.

    All per week in teaspoons and traces accordingly:

    Lets see for a 20 gal tank: 1/8 and 1/32 KNO3 and PO4 respectively for a non carbon tank 6-8 months between WC(works very well on 2 tanks)

    2-3x more for an Excel tank: 1/4-3/8 KNO3 and 1/16-3/32 PO4 20 gal tank

    20-40 gal CO2 high light: 3/4 KNO3 and 3/16 PO4. This about 3x more than Excel and the reasoning behind one 1/3 EI for Excel tanks.

    But the non-carbon tank at 6 months of no WC's has had 24 wks x 1/8 = 3 tsp KNO3 and 24 wks x 1/32 = 3/4 tsp PO4. I know this is a long time period, low light and very slow growth. But if build up was a problem wouldn't it manifest it self here? BTW this is a shrimp only tank. This tank rivals my Excel tanks

    I also understand that EI is not a hard rule just a starting point. It just seems that on CO2 high(er) light with WC's that we are under where we could be on dosing. I'm not advocating less or more. Just throwing out ideas after a long learning curve and hands on experience.

    One last thought, I think there may be some here with big tanks who may already be doing this but are being very quite about it and skirting the issue:rolleyes:

    Or maybe I'm all wet:eek:
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Chris,

    No limb, I posted so as to get MORE points of view.......glad to have you join the discussion......Aren't we all a little wet??? lol

    You bring up some excellent points.

    I also agree that smaller tanks also have this issue, but since I have a large tank, those are the threads I focus on :) I just think it is not noticed because 1/8 to 1/4 of a tsp is not that much. When you go from 1.5 tsp to 4 or 5, you sit up and take notice!

    I also think that there are many undercover EI overdosers, out there. I see way too many threads from folks with large tanks that dose EI and the assumption (well, mine at least) is that they are dosing at the EI recommendations for that tank, but that is not confirmed.

    Glad to hear you admit that you are one of us! Acknowledgement is the first step to a cure lol

    I brought this up, because even though I knew technically that I needed X ppm of this, and Y ppm of that, that I was nowhere near it, as I had so many algae and growth issues.

    Yet, I knew that many others were doing well on these principles, so it had to be what I was doing.

    I was (and am) simply amazed at the nutrient hog that my tank really is :eek:

    I understand the EI are mins NOW, but didn't really get that earlier....:eek:

    That's one of the myths we are fighting, that overdosing of nutrients is 'bad' in and of itself. I think folks here say 30 ppm of N, and think, that based on EI, I should dose X to get that level, not taking into account the things you mention earlier, such as substrate, bio-mass, etc.

    The though of doubling or tripling that scares them. I think the more experienced folks do it quietly and just don't even think of it anymore, as things are going well for them, and they are not constantly changing things.

    I would still like to gather this data, as it could prove to be useful in a chart form in the future.

    Perhaps, I could include anyone with a tank < 120 gals that is dosing > 2-3X EI?
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Mixing of water in a larger tank requires a lot more water flow than compared to a smaller tank.

    100gph in a 10 gall mixes things very well all over, this is not so true with larger systems.

    Another issue is really the pressure, high pressure outflow blast plants everywhere, low pressure but high flow does not, these same issues occur in reefs as well.

    The more complex the 3D terrain is, the more trouble you will have getting flow
    and water slows down due to friction and more distance= more friction.
    It's not a linear function based on flow. How the flow is used also plays a larger role.
    You'd have to escape physics to beat this issue.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Lol, I see that more every day!

    Yes, I used the normal 10x volume flow ratio for my 180 and it is nowhere need what I really needed.....

    Amazing how often the scape components are right in the middle of my flow :)

    I do not plan on competing with physics!

    Thanks for the info and thoughts........

    Now, if more folks would chime in with their specs (hint hint), I could consolidate all this great info!
     
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    So if I overdose I have to admit it?

    There aren't twelve steps to this are there? :p
     
  14. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    I have a 125 gal tank. 4x 96 watt cf, 2x 36 watt cf, ans 2x 30watt reg flourecents(36 in bulb). I run a rena xp4, 2 200 gph powerheads, and 1 powerhead thats 300 gph. N 2 1/2 tsp, P 3/4 tsp, and K 4 tsp. I have been having some thread algea for a while and have yet to get rid of it, but upping co2 and lowering palntex seems to be helping. Drop checker is green working on more of a yellow color. some plants are doing better than others and some are very slow growing. Lights on for 9 hrs a day. Moderet planted and low fish load(2 bushy nose pleco's and 27 tetras). Co2 is sprayed through the 2 200 gph powerheads.
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Yes you do, but no steps!

    Admitting is important IMO for the following (long winded) reason. This certainly applies to me, and maybe others as well.

    Here goes............

    When I started reading the Barr Report, I was always looking at threads with SIMILAR setups to mine, ie, tank size, or filter, whatever to see what others were doing that I wasn't.

    When I saw the pics of some of these tanks, they were beautiful, great growth, no algae, etc.

    Wanting a tank like theirs, I tried copying what they did along with trying the other advice I got, and making more mistakes, and learning more. I made many assumptions, which is never a good thing.

    Not one thread that I can remember ever said that they OVERDOSE EI. Or, I drove right past it and didn't recognize it for what it was :eek:

    So, if noone stated it, they mustn't be doing it, is what I reasoned..........

    So, when my tank has issues due to UNDER DOSING, which I did not realize was the issue, it never occured to me to increase dosing, as that would be DIFFERENT than what I ASSUMED others were doing.

    Now that I understand EI more and the non-limiting approach, and that each tank is different, I do this less and less (assume and blindly copy).

    I think I (and others) tend to look for certain words or phrases when researching, and we miss the CAUTION sign because we were looking for the STOP sign.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Tinkerman,

    That is a tremedous amount of light > 4 wpg. I am not surprised at hair algae.

    Do you all of this for 9 hrs a day?

    I would reduce some of this for sure, or at least not have them on all day if possible.
     
  16. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    I know this is suposed to be a lot of light, but when I upped light from only 4x 96 wattcf my wallichii growth improved and algea did not. I have been dealing with this algea issue for some time now and the light doesn't seem to be driving it but the balance of ferts. The lights were not always on for 9 hrs a day I had been running 2 x96 for 9 hrs and the reat at 6-7 hrs. I have played with the lighting to test with the algea. The biggest affect was removing all plants and removing as much, algea rescaping, and not adding plantex and it is a lot easier on me not spending 3 hrs a week removing algea where I now only takes 45 mins to remove. I still think it is ferts that this has not gone away. I was told on another forum that I should consider looking at too much mulm and not vacing enough this has been done more than before without sucking out half the sand in the tank and didn't seem to impact thread algea. I received a copy of my water report and found 1-2 ppm of iron so I toke out the dosing of plantex. that along with making sure my co2 stays at green to yellow has helped the most. I am one of those people that would be scared that adding too much co2 or ferts I might kill my fish. but bake to the topic cause I don't plan to take over the thread thread that you where asking about lager tanks and ferts. I have asked about my algea problem already and would feel better talking in the forum that was intended for it. Sorry don't mean to come off like I don't want your opionon or anything.
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Your comments simply underscore what I said earlier:

    a. That conventional wisdom, in this case >4 wpg is 'bad', does not always apply. Many folks go either way from CW and it works for them.

    My whole thread is about benchmarks and recommendations versus real life examples......

    I didn't mean to imply that light alone was the cause of the algae.

    However, high light drives high demand for nutrients, including c02. Lessening the amount of light will reduce the need to introduce as much fertilization, which will allay your fears about overdosing. It is easier to lessen the light and keep demand less than to increase dosing beyond your comfort level.

    I think your fears may be common, and one of the things I want to get out is that it will not cause massive deaths to increase your dosing to 2-4 X 'normal' EI or C02 levels.

    Adjust slowly, sure, check and re-adjust, but the end level can be higher than 'normal' or common.

    No worries.
     
  18. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    When i first started I killed many fish and have had the same fish in the tank for a while now. When I first set the tank up I tested and some ferts where kinda high so decreased ferts. The algea came from my previous tank as I used the same plants and added a few. The ferts have always been an issue for me and when knowing what to add more of and what to add less of. So I will keep an eye on this thread to see the outcome from this as it is always nice to compare to what others do and have luck with.
     
  19. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    I know i have seen this some where before but cant find it, what is the misting from? I also have the inline reactor and never see any misting. Is the misting good / bad?
     
  20. bibbels

    bibbels Prolific Poster

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    I have a 125 with a 55 sump that's been running about 3 months. Getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus. Only equipment in main tank is ADA knockoff drop checkers.
    Sump has heater, double Hyrosponge filter with a Maxijet 400, and Magdrive 9.5 for return to tank. Return pump has 'T' on intake where output of CO2 reactor is plumbed.
    I'm using an AM1000 reactor with venturi mod and it is driven by a GenX 1500 needle wheel pump. The reactor is actually mounted inside the sump (submerged) to save space and minimize plumbing. Bubble rate is fast, can't really count it. 10lb Co2 tank lasts about 3 weeks keeping DC yellowish/green. Sump is minimally sealed and main tank is open beneath a canopy. Tank has twin internal overflows (All Glass tank) with Durso type standpipes. Water enters sump by passing through 200 micron filter sock mounted on a pvc filter sock adapter that's submerged in the sump - wet/dry was not something I wanted or needed.
    Lighting was a Sunpod with 3x150watt MH HQI. Tank is currently under blackout/excel treatment to help my battle with Cladophora and Spyrogyra. During this i have mounted a Tek T5HO retrofit into canopy 6x39watts. Lighting duration is 9 hours. I'm going from 3.6 WPG to ~1.9WPG. I left room in the canopy for two more 39watt T5's in the future if needed.
    I dose EI wioth dry ferts at the top range based on my total water volume of 180gal. Macros 4x/week, micros 3x/week (plantex CSM+B). Drain sump for water changes Sat and Tues and add about a teaspoon of GH booster and add macros with each. WC is approx 30% twice weekly this way.
     
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