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New 100gal - few questions

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Ryan, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    This is my first time running any serious tank, or any tank for that matter. I got a great deal on a used 100gal acrylic Seaclear system II tank with the stand and hood. It has the built-in spillway/trickle filter w/ bio-balls in the back of the tank. The pump came with it, it's only titled powerhead 802 and I haven't found much info on it online. For lighting I'm running the AH supply 55w x4. This setup has been running for about 6 days now. I'm planning on pressurized co2 soon. So for my questions:

    1. Should I stick with the bio-ball trickle filter, or just go with an external canister? With a canister I imagine I could still use the overflow area for the pump/return so it wouldn't be visible from the tank. If canister, any recommendations on brand/model for a 100gal tank?

    2. Is the 4x55w lighting setup too much for a 100gal without Co2? I had an issue where my timer failed and my lights were on for 17 hours (instead of 12). My tank shot up to 86f. I've been working on getting the temp down by running only 2 of the 55w lights for 10 hours, and I'm down to 83f. It appears with the height of my hood the lights are fairly close to the water. I may need to relocate the ballasts and drill side vent holes for better airflow.

    A few pics of the setup:
    IMG_0531.jpg

    IMG_0538.jpg

    IMG_0534.jpg

    There are no serious fish in the tank right now, just a school of white cloud tetras and a betta.

    On a sidenote, thanks for you and your team giving your time to help people in this hobby.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I use the same light kits, but with only two of them of a 45 gallon tank. They will add a lot of heat to the water. I had to install a fan in my hood to keep the temperature at some reasonable level when I had a set up similar to yours. Now, I have the light fixture suspended above the open tank, and I still get some heating - no fan now.
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    Vaughn, I think I'll need to install fans as well. Where did you find yours? You had them pushing hot air out I'm guessing? I think I might checkout home depot first since it's just around the corner from me.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, CO2 and vent the lighting.
    10 hours is plenty.

    Add a lot more plants, like as many as you can fit in there, about 10X or more of what you have right now.

    Wet Dry is fine as long as you raise the stand pipe to about 1-2" below the spill level into the weir box, then seal the wet/dry chamber or go a Berlin style sump etc(preferred) with a micron sock filter and some sponge/lava rock etc.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Look for cooling fans at a place like RadioShack, or some of the online vendors. You will do best with a 12 VDC fan, normally used for electronic equipment. That lets you control the speed with the voltage. If you run those fans at about 9 volts they run much quieter. The last one I used came from RadioShack and was a 3 inch diameter 12 VDC fan. It was in the end of the hood, blowing out of the hood, but I was just too lazy to reverse the connections to make it blow in, which I think would work better. Before that I used a smaller one before that, also located in the end of the hood.
     
  6. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    Tom, I did happen to get my shipment of plants yesterday which I had ordered online. Here's the tank with the new plants:
    IMG_0539.jpg

    Vaughn, thanks for the info. I'll be working on getting fans installed this weekend. Right now I'm just running 1/2 lights (110w) and a mini fan on top, which probably isn't doing much but it's something.
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It looks like you planted bunches of plants instead of individual plants. If so, it would help to replant those, one stem at a time, spaced about an inch apart. For best algae prevention you need to have most of the substrate covered with plants, and you are far from having that now. You don't need to use plants you want to keep. You can just keep them for a couple of months, then replace the plants you don't like with some you do like.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You need 3x this amount of plant biomass ;)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    Vaughn, yeah they are bunched plants. I'll try spacing out the stems like you mentioned. Hopefully single stems won't be too fragile in the substrate.

    I also added 2 small 60mm fans to my hood, 1 input and 1 output. This seems to be controlling the heat from the lights decently. I plan on adding 2 more just to up the air flow a little more. I'm going to be adding co2 soon. I ordered a regulator and I'm putting together Toms dual venturi reactor.

    Tom - I'll get some more plants. Any recommendations on hardy quick growing plants for more biomass?


    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  10. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    >>>>Any recommendations on hardy quick growing plants for more biomass?


    Off hand personally I would recommend myrio, cabomba and pennywort. Those stem plants grow well for me, grow very quickly and are not expensive. Plus as they grow long you can cut and replant easily too leaving the bases with a couple inches behind and more will come up from them too.
     
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    Thanks Rich, I'll take a look at those.
     
  12. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    Well I've been struggling with trying to limit the algae growth in my tank. I thought it might have been my problem with the temps getting too high, but now my tank is around 80-82f and I'm still seeing algae growth, so there must be something out of balance.

    I've also had problems with a few plants starting to get holes in leaves. I've had to take out a few plants that just weren't making it.

    I dosed EI for about 1.5 weeks but stopped because I had a pleco die coincidentally after I started, I'm still not sure if there would be any connection though. I'd like to start again.
    Here's what I was dosing for my 100 gal:
    1/2 tsp plantex csm+b, Tues Thurs Sat
    1/2 tsp KH2PO4, Mon Wed Fri
    1 1/2 tsp, KNO3, Mon Wed Fri

    water:
    pH: 7.5
    GH: 14
    Ammonia: 0 mg/l
    Nitrite: 0 mg/l
    Nitrate: 5


    algae1.jpg

    algae2.jpg
     
  13. JJP2

    JJP2 Lifetime Charter Member
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    you may want to check those dosing levels. The calculator on APC, shows for 100 gallons,

    1.5 TSP KNO3 -- 12.64 PPM
    .5 KH2PO4 -- 5.16 PPM
    Potassium (by default of others) -- 10.09
    Iron from CSM+B -- .37.

    These levels won't be used by your current plant load. This means you will be building up a residual that the 50% water change will not be able to off-set.
     
  14. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Poster

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    So essentially what I was dosing was too high for my plant load?
     
  15. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The 50% per week water change will always limit the buildup of fertilizers to twice the total weekly dosage. It can't go any higher than that, and if the plants are consuming nutrients it won't go that high either. Furthermore, having more nutrients in the water than needed will not cause a high light, CO2 dosed tank to develop algae. If you don't dose CO2, and keep the concentration in the water the same day after day after day, and you don't keep the concentration up near 30 ppm, you may get algae with even low nutrient dosing. Having enough fast growing plants is the best defense against almost all algae, because those plants will be consuming all of the ammonia that shows up in the water almost instantly, leaving none of it to signal algae to start growing.
     

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