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Aqua One AR-850

TarkMalbot

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15 Mar 2013
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Hi.
I have been keeping tropical fish for about 5 years but never really had any joy with keeping plants in the tank. Now my wife and I are getting more interested in it and are learning all about the aspects and trying to build up a planted tank. Here is what the tank did look like many years ago:

850old.jpg


And also:

Tank_2.jpg


As you can see the plants come and go but never seemed to last long.

After years it ended up looking like this with just one plant surviving the test of time:

boring.jpg


Recently I bought a new tank (another journal) and my wife got more interested in the old tank. We added a few plants and I put in a coupld of plastic ones I had knocking about:

850untilrecently.png


Then we moved the tank into our living room and wanted to have it as a room feature so more work was required.....
 

TarkMalbot

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So the tank was in its new location and filled back up with water and a few more plants added along with a Krib house:

movedtolivingroom.jpg


Still pretty boring and the wife loves the look or properly planted tanks so I started doing my research. Some more wood was added at first and I bought some TNC Fetiliser and decided we would need Co2 if we were to have a properly planted tank.

livingroom2.jpg


We visited our LFS and bought a Co2 System that was said to be suitable for up to 150 litres. Fitted this and added some more plants and the tank currently looks like this:

69082328-1FC2-48D8-A19D-8D508135ECA7-10047-00000ED1F909AE92.jpg


ACE204BE-4C06-45F9-B4FC-60859F35EB33-10047-00000ED1F521BF85.jpg


901DFDAA-E2FA-4E2E-80C3-39028D4C5906-10047-00000ED1E6F0F138.jpg


9840BC61-2930-4BEE-B6ED-50B7DBDA0844-10047-00000ED1EABF2A5A.jpg
 

TarkMalbot

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Since planting these we have been increasing the Co2 to get the supplied indicator to turn from Blue to Green. This has led me to do some more research and have decided I have gone about things the wrong way and should change a few things.

Firstly the 95 gram bottle of Co2 are not going to last long at all and at £13 a pop will cost a fortune in the long run. Secondly there is no solenoid with my system so the Co2 runs 24 hours a day wasting even more money and Thirdly my trickle filter system seems to spray air bubbles all over tha tank which will be working against the added Co2.

Filter.jpg


Basically my plan now is to remove the trickle system and install a Eheim Classic 600 external filter I have just ordered and upgrade the Co2 system to a 2Kg FE with two gauge regulator and solenoid.
I was hoping to use the same tubing and 3 in 1 bubble counter/check valve/diffuser but not sure if this is wise given the potential of a 2kg system and if I should upgrade the lot with new tubing, bubble counter, check valve and glass diffuser and then sell the original Flora-Glow Nano 150 kit on complete.

So any suggestions or advice on where I go from here would be great.
Thanks.
 

Pedro Rosa

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Hi there,

You're going in the right direction :)
Are you using fertiliser also? (sorry if i missed that). Only CO2 is not enough and you even need more fertilisation.
Plastic plants are not right for your tank ;) Real plants need more attention but its a price that you'll like to pay when finally you get the right track to manage all fertilisation and CO2.

Good luck,
Pedro.
 

TarkMalbot

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I have TNC Lite and Seachem Flourish at the moment. I will use the Flourish in the smaller planted tank with a few plants and Co1 and the TNC Lite in my bigger tank but with only a few plants.
Thanks for the positive comments and I have no plastic plants at all now. ;)
 

Ian Holdich

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Glad you're heading in the right direction, and creating not only something that the mrs appreciates, but a better home for the fish.

Whilst using c02 you're better airing on the side of caution and getting some tnc complete. You also have a plant in there that's not 100% aquatic. The fern is a Selaginella wildenowii, they tend to be marsh plants.
 

TarkMalbot

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I bought the TNC Lite before I even thought about Co2 so will just use that in my other non Co2 tank (which I will start a journal for shortly) and use the Flourish in this tank.
My Mrs likes those ferns (which is why she bought two of them). Should I get her to take them back to the shop whilst they are still alive (only a week old) and explain what you have said and try and exchange them for something else? Is there any other Fern that is similar that will grow?
Thanks.
 

Ian Holdich

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The closest plant to the fern is either bolbitis (which you may not find in your lfs) or hygrophila difformis.

Flourish is a good fert, however it doesn't contain n and p, which the plants need in abundance when your injecting c02. Also remember to keep on top of your water changes whilst injecting c02.
 

John S

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I went through similar things with my AR850. You won't regret getting a bigger CO2 system and switching to an external filter. I managed to fiy my external withoutr any mods to the hood which was also a bonus.
 

Martin cape

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Interesting journal pal.

Ill be honest I don't know anything about ferns. But I would be inclined to swap them for something more suitable. My opinion judging by the marsh plant reference.

Have a look at some of the sponsors of the forum, really good plants from Aqua Essentials, gives a clear bit of info too.

Regarding your co2 system, I'd start again with whole new tubing etc. 95g will not last long lol. I'm currently using a BOC cylinder with twin gauge regulator and solenoid. It's running for 7 hours, bubble count too fast to count. That's getting drop checker bordering on the yellow.

Also, you don't need to spend a fortune on fertilisers. Probably one of the cheapest additives you can use. Have a read about EI. It's straight forward and provides everything the plants need in excess. You make it up yourself. Dead easy, only need to buy a couple salt chemicals (again from sponsors on here).

Basically, if you add your ferts (EI), CO2 and light your plants with thrive. Leve out one thing and algae will thrive. Once you add all 3 components, you just need to monitor and make tweaks so algae doesn't take hold. Normally light is the main culprit. But, flow and lack of co2 plays a part too.

Read the guides on here. They help. I've been doing this since December, and I love it. Can't believe I used to use plastic plants lol.

You've got a good bonus too. Your mrs enjoys it lol. My girlfriend winges when I keep changing things and "messing about" lol.
 

TarkMalbot

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How often should I be doing water changed and how much? I have been doing 30% every 2 weeks but that was before Co2 which only started injecting since Tuesday and only just got the indicator to go green yesterday.
I am planning on reducing the light hours down from 11 hours a day to 6 hours. lol
And have just bought a solenoid to use with the current system until I get a new regulator & solenoid.
The lighting is 1 x 30" 6700K Life-GLO and 1 x 30" 18000K Power-GLO.
 

Martin cape

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I do 50% every week. That is part and parcel of dosing EI. As you are adding to excess, you "reset" the levels on water change day to start again.

Not sure how much should be changed if not dosing EI (estimative index lol).
 

mi casa

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HI with water changes i like to do 25l every day before light on and before i dose the ferts on my 200l tank.:)
 

TarkMalbot

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Oh Boy! Gone are the days of a 30% water change every 4-6 weeks like I used to do. lol
 

Pedro Rosa

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Oh Boy! Gone are the days of a 30% water change every 4-6 weeks like I used to do. lol

Welcome to the planted aquariums world :happy:
I do around 40% every week.
 
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Was strange reading through this post as it was very similar to my own situation and how I started off with the very same tank and came across the same problems. The AR850 is a great tank IMO but the filtration system is not very plant friendly when dosing co2. Like Davem says making the transition to an external filter is the best move you can do and there's just enough room to fit two 12mm pipes side by side in the gap in the back left corner. The great thing about this is should you have a problem with your external you can switch back to using the original filter until you get it sorted. Modifying the lid would render the trickle filter useless. I inject co2 in mine and dose EI values. Dry ferts is the most economical way of going about it. One thing I would note with using this tank is according to the literature from the manufacturer this tank hold 165 litres but they could have only came to that conclusion based of the outside measurement of the glass with tank filled right to the brim. A more reasonable estimate going off when I filled mine was from memory either 127 or 137 litres or 30 gall. That's the volume I use when working out my dosing.
 

TarkMalbot

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When I come to working out things like that I will take a 10 litre bucket of water out and measure the water drop and should be able to work out how much water is down to the gravel. Not the most acurate but there will never be a time that the tank is empty and I have to re-fill.
 

TarkMalbot

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Flourish is a good fert, however it doesn't contain n and p, which the plants need in abundance when your injecting c02. Also remember to keep on top of your water changes whilst injecting c02.

Because the tank is well (probably over) stocked am I not better off using something without n and p in it as my fish will produce the n and last time I check my water was high p anyway?
 

Ian Holdich

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Because the tank is well (probably over) stocked am I not better off using something without n and p in it as my fish will produce the n and last time I check my water was high p anyway?

Plants love n&p, why would you not use it?

Because you're now using pressurised c02, your demand on your plants will be higher. It's better to have to much than not enough, Liebig's law works in a planted aquarium. Just remember n and p do NOT cause algae, ammonia and light do. Keep up with the water changes as said previous and you'll be on a winner.
 
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