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Noobie questions

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by jtparsons, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Im new to this forum have been doing tons of reading all over the internet to prepare me for my next "water keeping endeavor". This site has been a great recource. I envision Mr. Barr and other guru's levatating in the lotus position while meditating on water chemistry:)

    -15gal tank

    2 by 36watt 5700k or 10000k PC with good reflectors ?Should I mix the different kelvin bulbs, one or the other?

    -eco-complete substrate

    -Diy co2 injected into over the back filter intake ?Im anticipating problems regulating the co2, Should I put a bubbler on a timer to run once and a while at -night or just let it rip. I figure Ill never really know what the Diy co2 is really doing just as long as I keep a lively batch of yeast going should be okay in this small tank?

    -Intend to use seachem gluconate fe. Im not sure but I think the bubbler would increase the already quick rate of oxidation of fe? Not a big deal I will be spending lots of time monitoring this tank anyway. Daily fe doses if nessicary

    -Kh/Gh my tapwater is very soft with little to no kh.
    I intend to make my Gk/kh from calcium carbonate and gh magnesium sulfate. With a kh of about 3 from calcium how much magnesium does the tank need? Does anything in the tank need sodium carbonate?

    -potassium nitrate and Mono Potassium Phosphate added at 18 to 1 ratio as needed. This is two sources of potassium do you think I will still need additions of potassium sulfate? Potassium at 40ppm sound good?

    -Trace elements from Seachem.

    -My Phosphate additions will alter my KH that wont be apparent when I test. This in turn will make my PH,KH,Co2 chart reading innacurate. Is there any way around this?

    Well thats alot of questions. Im just looking to bounce my ideas "not my ideas just research" off some people with some real knowledge and experience. Trying to make sure Im on the right track and not making any huge blunders. Thanks in advance -Jon
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Jon,

    Welcome to the forum. Ok here are my thoughts on some of your questions:

    I would use only one of those bulbs. Both of them together is WAY too much light for such a small tank and DIY C02. You will never be able to supply stable c02 levels for that much light.

    Either temp will work or you can mix. Temp is more for what humans like to see. The plants do not care. You can range from 5700 to 14000k and good plant growth.

    High light = higher rates of growth = higher nutrient and c02 demand.

    The easiest way to reduce nutrient demand and growth is to provide less light. Look for an 8 hr duration to start.

    I have no experience with this myself but understand it to be a good product.

    You may want to use two bottles so they can be swapped easily. Again no experience with DIY C02, but you should have enough for your tank, just not the amount of light you intend to use.

    Do you know what a drop checker is to help you determine minimally required c02 levels? Here is a nice thread that explains them.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/2661-drop-checkers-co2-indicators-why-how.html?highlight=test+kits

    I would stay away from ratios. Have you read about the dosing regimen named EI? The basis is to provide non limiting nutrient levels and a weekly 50% water change to ensure that nutrients are not toxic in any way. However, dosing per EI, you will never reach these levels.

    Here is a nice link to various fert routines. Read it and then come back with some more questions.

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    Here is a link to buy the dry ferts that EI discusses:

    Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

    Fine product, but I again, I use something else. Tropica Plant Nutrition.

    Not sure what you are asking here??? Do you mean the c02/ph chart?

    What kind of filtration will you be using? Type of fish and plants you want to keep?

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Forget Seachem Trace. It is basically a watered down version of Flourish so I would just use Flourish instead.

    AC
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, the secret is out.:mad: You can guess how embarrassing it can be when one of us makes a mistake in our meditations and drops back to the floor. Hurts too.
     
  5. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Wow okay thanks for the great responses.

    -Sounds good with the light, all the things I have read over the past few weeks have been very confusing lots of different opinions on "whats best" Ill just choose one when they arrive. AH supply retrofit light

    -Do you mean I wont be able to supply a stable supply co2 or just not enough co2?
    -I feel pretty good about setting up a non-limiting nutrient situation. Still a little unsure about GH though. levels calcium and magnesium, and co2

    -Ive read alot about the PMDD and EI fertilizing techniques and others. Im pretty comfortable with the concepts and already have the chems with the exception of GH builder that was created by Tom Barr. This product just has calcium carbonate and magnesium sulfate in it right? Thats why Im looking for some general ratio's and tank levels for GH, KH and Sodium/Magnesium demands of plants. I already have that stuff, and like to tinker. EI seems easy enouph, but I actually enjoy testing and tweeking, so I was thinking of taking what EI has to offer and at the same time monitoring levels and adjust in a logical way. I should probobly quite screwing around and just go with the method that is proven to work.

    -Ive read Phosphate can act like a buffer. When you use the dosing calculator that solves for ppm dissolved co2 you input kh(buffering capacity) and PH into the equation. Ive also seen charts for this. What Ive read states the presence of phosphates acts as a buffer and makes your ppm c02 answer incorrect on the calculator and chart. Do I understand this correctly?

    -Im at work and forgot the website I found it at, but they stressed the balance between phosphate and nitrate (will post source later). They had a chart that showed optimum ratios. about 18/1 to far one way you got one type of algae to far the other you got a different type algae.

    -I already have the Seachem Trace but will get the flourish or Tropica next time around. Im irritated with Seachem anyway all there stuff is proprietary and wont tell me whats in anything. This seems stupid when this all really boils down to a molar ratio type chemistry problem. You have to have the quantities or you dont know what your really doing to the water!

    -Fish havent thought about it to much. Need to be sure I have a stable healthy enviroment first. Especially with my co2 uncertainties:eek: Dont like killing fish due to incompetance.

    -Plants Dwarf baby tears, elocharis acicularis(dwarf hairgrass?), Didiplis Diandri, glosso not sure what else?

    Thanks again everyone back to the reading!
     
  6. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    Both, with DIY its hard to keep constant and ample co2 levels. I know from personal exp. i had two 2L on my 60gal and it did not turn out well. Now i have a 5lb tank.


    EI is proven, ask anyone who uses it ;)
    Also as i have found GH and KH test and tweaking unless you have VERY VERY VERY soft water is pointless.



    Not sure what they heck this is, can you post a link. I know that phosphate is target 1-2ppm, Nitrate 15-20ppm, other then that i dont worry about buffer this buffer that. In the end its all huey... Plants are kinda like weeds, no matter how many times you try to get rid of them they tend to come back...



    Forget watered down ferts unless you enjoy wasting $$, buy bulk and mix yourself if you want liquid dosing.
     
  7. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Seachem Trace and Seachem Flourish are virtually the same thing. Difference being trace is less concentrated. Therefore don't waste money on trace, just buy Flourish.

    AC
     
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