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Toads' Twenty - A.k.a. Algaegeddon!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by toads74, Aug 25, 2017.

?

Should I do a hardscape?

  1. No, focus on plants!

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. Rocks would be nice

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  3. Wood needed!

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. Rocks and wood needed!

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    It's time to do something with this tank and give it a more suitable scape. So far it has been a learning experiment without a goal other than get better at growing plants and keeping algae under control. Time for a fresh journal.

    As always, I love to hear feedback and suggestions, good, bad, or indifferent. It's how we learn, and no offense will be taken. :)

    The previous thread on this tank is here:
    https://barrreport.com/threads/toads-tank-thread.14088

    So here's what I have to start with. Anything goes (except cheesy plastic trinkets). Not even sure what direction I want to go with it at this point, other than enough plant varieties to keep moving the challenge line forward. Suggestions are always welcome!


    Parameters, etc to follow...
     
    Dale Hazey likes this.
  2. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    I say your tank Is the PERFECT length and depth to do a good dutch.
    :)
     
  3. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Dutch sounds good, as long as I can get some help! :D Might need a lot of it!
     
    DutchMuch likes this.
  4. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Well I am willing to help! and I'm sure that Burr and all them are willing to as well :) !
     
  5. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Some basic stats:

    20g long
    Lighting - 3x 13w 5000k cfl in cheap reflectors, ~40 par, 6 hours on.
    GH 6, KH 2 - CaSO4:MgSO4:K2SO4:NaCO3, 4:2:1/2:1 by volume
    Substrate - Florin Volcanit
    100% reverse osmosis, remineralized
    CO2 - pressurized, Itsa reactor + 2x10 cerges
    Ph - degassed 7.2, peak CO2 6.0
    Eheim 2217 canister
    Ferts - None
    Water changes - 1x week, 80%
     
    #5 toads74, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
    Dale Hazey and DutchMuch like this.
  6. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Wow!!!! good plant health will no additional fertz!
     
  7. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    There's a few tweaks on the equipment side I'm thinking about, wheather I do them or not is a different story....

    1 - get the reactor pump out of the tank. It's ugly as can be! Tempted to put the reactors inline with the eheim, but not sure it would have enough flow. Anyone have any luck running Sicce pumps inline, and not submerged? Leak hazzard?

    2 - would like a decent dimmable led light instead of the clunky cfl. Maybe 2 of them for front to back spread if cheap enough. Would like enough power to go med/high on the par as things change, without breaking the bank.

    3 - paint the back black.
     
    #7 toads74, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  8. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Thanks. It's probably the leftovers from six months of overfeeding some angels... :eek: the tank is still recovering from a crash a few weeks ago, but improving nicely. The regular AR on the right shrunk to the size of the AR mini on the left. I hope I didn't get them mixed together while replanting....
     
  9. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    So I'm making the switch from baking soda to potassium bicarbonate and the calculator is confusing me. How much do I really need? I measured what I got on a scale, and the numbers don't add up. Hard to believe it would be 5 tsp.... help! :rolleyes: Straight ro water, aiming for kh of 2ish.

    My measurement:
    Khco3 6.3g per tsp
    Nahco3 5g per tsp

    Calculator:
    To reach your target of 2ppm dKH you will need to add 5.4 grams (equivalent to 1 tbsp + 2 tsp + 1/32 tsp + 1/64 tsp ) KHCO3 to your 20gal aquarium to yield:

    To reach your target of 2ppm dKH you will need to add 4.54 grams (equivalent to 1 tsp) NaHCO3 to your 20gal aquarium to yield:
    Element
     
  10. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Seems to be 1tsp per 20g for 2dKh.

    Finally got some nano fish from an lfs in qt. I've had mixed luck with livestock from that store, but they get a nice variety that you won't get at the chain stores. Also eyeballing an online source for some other species if it doesn't work out. :)

    I'm debating about adding neo shrimp. One of my goals for this tank is breeding, and I'm concerned that they will pick off the eggs and fry. Amanos are definitely not an option there. Hopefully otos will be enough. I have an alternate plan for a separate breeding tank if it comes to that.
     
  11. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Found this during a routine inspection....


    I'm done with glass heaters! If it was saltwater probably would have blown and sizzled and smoked like the other one did a while back. :eek:

    Don't forget to do your equipment checks!
     
  12. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    I have never had issues with heaters before, yet I see them so commonly passed around. I use just the cheap ol' heaters from Petco to, nothing special or fancy there.
     
  13. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Same. I've tried more expensive ones but they don't seem to last much longer. Over the last two years or so I've been replacing them with solid state ones, and have yet to have one of those fail. Glass ones seem iffy for me... either they leak or the thermostat get sticky. Never had one cook a tank. Though I did have the one explode in a 5g bucket of salt water. Bad noise and smell to wake up to.....
     
  14. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Ouch! cant imagine it exploding! lol!
    Bet that kind of sucked to see when you went to your fish room!
     
  15. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    More the smell. Stunk up the house pretty quick. It was a bucket thank goodness... I bet fish or shrimp wouldn't have been too happy.
     
    DutchMuch likes this.
  16. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Funny thing happened since switching from baking soda to potassium bicarbonate.... for the first time in this tank's history, got some cyano! I don't use ferts atm, and feed miniscule amounts. Wonder if some nutrient is bottoming out or something. Added a few new plants this past week also. W/c twice a week (70%) and vac once a week. Hmmmmm....
     
    DutchMuch likes this.
  17. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Heavy water changes and co2!
    Why not throw a 1/4 EI in the water column? You still running a 6 hour photoperiod?
     
    DutchMuch likes this.
  18. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Yeah it has been 6 hours for a long time. I cleaned it up and if it comes back I'll try maybe 1/4 or 1/3 EI macros for giggles. Last time I had it in a planted tank was low tech rcs, lightly fed... bumped up the bioload and it vanished within a week. :) I'm guessing maybe the same situation here, might be no3 limitation with the minimal feeding, or maybe just stirred things up too much.

    I'm curious though to see what affect changing the carbonate source has. Too early to tell yet, but if overall uptake is suddenly higher due to less sodium that could explain a drop in available NO3. I feel weird about being giddy over having cyano. If that speculation holds, things might be turning a positive corner. :rolleyes: If I'm wrong, oh well, live and learn.
     
    #18 toads74, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  19. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Update time. Got a bit of a few types of algae appeared since switching to khco3. I'm now dosing about 1/3 EI the last few days, and the algae has apparently stopped. I've also rearranged the equipment, put the two reactors inline with the canister, removed the spraybar, and added a sponge to the intake to protect the critters. That really cleaned it up from an equipment perspective. Just need some black foam and paint the back. Co2 dissolution has improved dramatically, so re-adjusted that. Pearling much more now. The otos looked like they had ich from all the bubbles. :confused:

    Added a few new plants - ludwigia narrow, rotala nanjanshen, and my old nemesis rotala macrandra. I just had to try again since they had some, poor as it looked. Going to give them some time to adjust and start scraping when they are ready for a trim. :)

    First group of fish are in. Otos, some lampeye tetras, and some marble hatchets. And one tiny mystery fish, I think maybe a young zebra danio. Found that one in a group of white cloud feeders, which are going elsewhere.

    Well, here's the obligatory fts....

     
    Phishless, Greggz and snarkingturtle like this.
  20. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Pic time! The rescaping has begun, I think I know where I'd like to go with it now, assuming I can get the plants I want and can keep them alive. :) More big changes, and I think I stumbled onto a formula that is working better. Right after that last post the tank acquired a serious BBA problem that ravaged things pretty bad. I'm thinking the added plant mass was an aggravating factor, the real cause I don't know. Using that as the impetus to get rolling, I ripped out everything to bare glass and started over. Tinker time!

    New substrate, still Brightwell, but extra fine this time instead of fine. I did this for a few reasons:
    1. It took a lot of abuse, high traces, low traces, baking soda now potassium bicarbonate, who knows what's in it. It helped me decide cause it was time to change the ro filter cartridges.
    2. Lots of old organic buildup. I tried light vacuuming the surface and never really did much to fix it. Deep vaccuumed small sections, lots of yuck in there. BBa outbreaks were routine, and this time pulled out a sample and it was very stinky... not in a good way. I suspect this is the source of a lot of my repeated issues.
    3. The larger granules didn't hold HC hardly at all. It's roots never got long enough to anchor it against even the slightest disturbance. I grew Hc a couple years ago both by floating and hydroponically in coco coir. Roots were always three to four times the length in this tank. Don't know if it will help much, but may as well try it.
    4. The substrate was really deep, and I wanted to cut it Down to about half the depth. Doing so would have disturbed things a lot and would have had issues anyway.
     
    #20 toads74, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

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