This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

New 4x2x2 planted tank

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by AquaticJim, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    I have nearly finished setting up a new 4x2x2 aquarium that will be planted.

    I have -

    Undergravel heating
    2 x 150w metal halide lighting (suspended, tank will be open top)
    Pressurized CO2 system - Dupla
    Mixed gravel/flourite substrate
    Flourish tabbed
    Eheim 2217 x 2 canister filters

    My tap water is -

    p.H 8.1
    KH 3.5 - 4
    GH 5

    I have had planted tanks in the '80's and early '90's but got out of FW and in to reef tanks because of one reason and that was Black Brush Algae.

    I hope that I can have a beautiful planted tank free of this curse.

    I have Seachem Flourish and Flourish Excel. Are these all I will need in the way of ferts?

    I am very slowly getting my head around p.H and KH and the use of CO2, its a battle as I have read so much and my head is swimming with the different advice that seems to be available on the internet. I think this website will be my bible of planted aquaria on the net.

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

    I have many many questions. Is it better to make a post for each one singularly or to make one post with multiple questions?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,660
    Likes Received:
    600
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Jim, many had the same experience way back when with BBA.
    I was determined to figure out why and how to deal with it.
    I succeed.

    CO2 is the key.
    Not cables, not any thing else.

    Having a good high powered flow through a good sized CO2 reactor helps, adding CO2 mist(search here for that) also can help and that can be done with Venturi mazzii valves, Disc, powerheads/impellers etc.

    The CO2 mist is directed right at the plants.

    I'd use more filter and flow personally.

    SeaChem Excel will kill BBA, but the key is not to kill, rather, to focus on the plants' algae are just a sign you are not taking good care of the plants.

    Killing algae is not a hobby near as I can tell, some want to make it into that though:rolleyes:

    Amano shrimp, and SAE's in paticular are good.

    Less , rather more light also will make the results much easier.

    I also have an open tank and have set up a moving pendent light rail, the lights move back and forth so they never hot spot any one place for long.
    More efficient, and I keep the lights lower to the water surface(less over spray of light into the room).

    This amount of light you have is not too bad though, stick with 8-9 hours.
    Crank CO2 about 1 hour before the lights come on, then turn it off about 30 minutes near the end.

    Plants/fish have no need for excess CO2 for the rest of the 15-16 hours of the day.

    Some seem to preach otherwise then suggest less is better for nutrients, but ironically, not light or adding CO2 only when it's required.

    When the plants are growing well, they produce a lot of extra O2, that with high CO2 is fine.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Thanks Tom for the reply.

    With my tapwater p.H of 8.1 (and KH 3.5 -4) what in your opinion is the best way for me to do water changes? Is it ok to use as is for 30% - 50% weekly water changes?

    I have adjusted the timer on my lights as to your suggestion. I also am picking up 4 x SAE's.

    I worry about a correct fertilzer regime ie overdosing/underdosing/incorrect product.

    Is using a store bought bottled product ok ie Flourish? Should I add fertilizer from day one of planting a new tank?

    Thank you and also thank you for a truly terrific website.

    Jim
     
  4. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Just had to ask one more thing.

    You said use more filter and more flow. Could you make a recommendation(s) please?

    Thanks
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    For fertilizing you need NPK, just as for terrestrial plants, and trace elements. Flourish is fine for trace elements, but nothing else. So, if you buy some bulk potassium nitrate (KNO3) and mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4) from Rex's fertilizers for sale or Greg Watson's Aquarium Fertilizer: Aquatic Plant Food you can dose these per the estimative index (EI) method described in this forum, and you will have a complete set of nutrients for the plants. That should get the plants to growing vigorously, which will inhibit algae from ever starting to grow.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,660
    Likes Received:
    600
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    The ferts are easy, getting the CO2 correct is more challenging for most folks.
    Have decent current in the tank, enough surface movement without breaking the surface, this is help the fish for O2 and not allow the CO2 to build up as much.

    800-1200gph is good.

    Dosing, this is fairly easy, with large weekly water changes, should be no issue. Since you do large weekly water changes, you need not worry about over dosing since you re set the tank every week with freshwater.

    You can tweak it further through observation, testing etc if you wish.
    See the EI thread.

    Regards,


    Tom Barr
     
  7. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Once again, thanks for the replies.

    Can I ask this questions again though -

    With my tapwater p.H of 8.1 (and KH 3.5 -4) what in your opinion is the best way for me to do water changes? Is it ok to use as is for 30% - 50% weekly water changes?
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Your tap water should work fine for most plants and fish. When you add CO2 to about 30 ppm the pH will be down much lower.
     
  9. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    3
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Questions:

    I think that there is more to controlling BBA outbreaks than just adding more CO2. I'm sure that usually works, but why?

    Could it be that it is the increased amount of carbon that kills BBA? Maybe the herbicide in Excel is not the reason that it kills some algaes. Maybe the carbon in soil-based tanks protects them to an extent.

    Why wouldn't reducing either the amount of light or the amount of nutrients while keeping CO2 unchanged also combat BBA?

    Does CO2 have some special property that attacks BBA?

    Do tanks with ample CO2 ever have BBA problems? Why?

    Are all low light, non-CO2 tanks doomed to have BGA problems? We know that isn't true, but why?

    Bill
     
  10. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM

    Thanks Vaughn, it's been worrying me as the p.H swings back high again overnight.

    I haven't been sure whether I should add some RO water to my tapwater to drop the p.H but then that would change the KH/GH.
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Jim: The fewer things you add to tap water to "customize" it the better off you will be in the long run. Once you start "customizing" tap water you have to continue doing it for every water change or the change in total dissolved solids will give problems. Much better, if possible, is to just use the tap water as is, with a dechlorinator, and let the plants and fish adapt to it, then continue to use it that way. The change in pH due to changing CO2 concentration doesn't harm either fish or plants, but changes in TDS can harm them.
    Bill: I find it hard to believe that CO2 can act as an algaecide for BBA, but it does seem to do so. Or, more accurately, it does seem to inhibit BBA from starting. It may just be that it allows the plants to grow more vigorously, so they can use up any minor ammonia surges and that stops the BBA. Reducing the light intensity also helps prevent BBA from starting, just as it helps any other algae from starting.
     
  12. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Vaughn, thanks for your post. You make a lot of sense and I do not want to start messing with my tapwater because as you said it's then a "permanent" chore and we all know how well we go with chores long term.

    What is on my mind is the fact that my p.H is high and it does take awhile for the CO2 to drop the p.H At least half, if not more of the tanks photoperiod, the p.H is showing blue on the drop checker.

    Is that o.k ?
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    Jim,
    Are you using a drop checker or are you just testing a sample of your tank water for pH? If you are testing the tank water pH it may not accurately reflect the CO2 content since there may be other buffers in the tap/tank water that affect the pH. The consensus is to use a drop checker and to use 4 kH water in the drop checker instead of tank water or tap water. In this way the color change of the drop checker accurately reflects the pH change due to CO2 only. If you are injecting adequate amounts of CO2 it should only take 1-2 hours for the reagent in the drop checker to change color to green.

    Cheers,
     
  14. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    The last word from Tom on CO2 is that it is best to have a good level of CO2 early in the photo period. So, you should try to increase the efficiency of your method of adding CO2 to the water. I'm not clear about how you do it - I don't know what the "dupla system" is. If you had an external reactor on each of the filter outputs you would be adding CO2 about as fast as possible. Then, by starting the CO2 an hour before the lights come on, you could get close to 30 ppm by the time the lights are on. If you add CO2 with a ceramic disc diffuser in the tank, it is much harder to get CO2 up to 30 ppm quickly. I'm assuming you are using 4 dKH distilled water in the drop checker, so the reading means something.
     
  15. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:17 AM
    I am using a Dupla 400 Reaktor for my CO2 diffusion, here is a picture of one -
    http://www.shopsolution.nl/clients/seameuk/prod_images/reactor400.jpg

    It is run off a bypass from one of the Eheim 2217's and is activated by a solenoid on a timer. At the moment I am only using the aquarium water in the drop checker. I have ordered 4dKH distilled water and it should be here by weeks end.

    The tank is 400 litres (110 gallons) and I am running 120 bubbles per minute (2 bubbles per second) into the reactor and the photoperiod is 10 hours.

    Sorry to be asking so many questions, this is new to me and I am finding the learning curve to be a bit steep.

    The advice on this forum is very much appreciated.

    EDIT: Actually Vaughn I just found a terrific post on the forum where you detail how drop checkers work, their use and how to make a 4dKH solution up. I have cancelled my order (I live in Australia) and will make my own.

    Thanks
     

Share This Page