Attempt #1

-Craig-

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Hi all,

I've decided to start this journal mainly for my own interest to watch how my tank grows and changes, but for anyone who's here visiting, this is my first ever attempt at "aquascaping", an first ever attempt at going fully planted with the use of CO2. I'm sure i have a hell of a lot to learn but for now i'm happy with how its going and welcome any tips & tricks you guys may have to offer!

- Craig.

Hardscape:

s1.jpg
s2.jpg


Freshly planted:
s3.jpg
s4.jpg
s5.jpg


& now we wait......
 

Zeus.

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Yorkshire,UK
Hi Craig :D

Nice first scape :thumbup:

Are the bubbles from an airstone? if so it will increase the CO2 loss during the photo period, best to have them on at night only. Plus the bubbles are going straight up in the pic which makes me think there isnt enough flow in the tank esp if your using CO2. If the bubbles are CO2 they are too big they need to be small as possible with them being carried by the output of your filter from one side of the tank to the other with the flow ideally dragging them down also

what color does your Drop Checker (DC) change after CO2 being on for 2hrs
Have you done a pH profile?
What ferts are you using ?

Zeus
 

-Craig-

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Location
Cheshire
Hi Craig :D

Nice first scape :thumbup:

Are the bubbles from an airstone? if so it will increase the CO2 loss during the photo period, best to have them on at night only. Plus the bubbles are going straight up in the pic which makes me think there isnt enough flow in the tank esp if your using CO2. If the bubbles are CO2 they are too big they need to be small as possible with them being carried by the output of your filter from one side of the tank to the other with the flow ideally dragging them down also

what color does your Drop Checker (DC) change after CO2 being on for 2hrs
Have you done a pH profile?
What ferts are you using ?

Zeus
Hey Zeus,

The bubbles are in fact just air, the c02 is attached to a diffusor towards the left side mid way up if you can make it out?

The fertiliser im using is this one, "TNC Complete"

My PH looks to be around 6.4/6.6 atm.

As for water flow, i did move my outlet so its now coming out and pointed left to right, rather than back to front like it was when i took this photo, should help a little....

As for the c02 loss, i had no idea. I'll get another plug timer bought then an set my air pump to run while the lights / c02 are off, great tip! Thanks :)

My drop checker has been constantly green the last few days, guessed the rate at which i'm pumping in the c02, but i'm assuming its ok so long as i'm showing green?
 
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dean

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Has potential
Glad you decided to join and do a journal
You’ll get loads of help from the members here


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Zeus.

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My drop checker has been constantly green the last few days,
The DC does have a 2hour delay on any pH/[CO2] change but should be blue before CO2 comes on, if its not it suggests their isnt enough flow and surface agitation at night to enable the tank to degeas.

For CO2 to work its best it needs to be stable from lights on for the first 4-5hours, most tanks take 2-3hrs to reach the optimum [CO2] which is injection rate/surface agitation and tank turnover dependent. having good flow in the tank is critical as CO2 duffses 10,000 times slower in water than air so the plants should be waving a little in the flow esp at carpet level if you have a carpet as if its not theres a good chance not enough CO2 is reaching the plants and they will start to elongate between the leaf stems as they are reaching for the light (which is a myth) its the CO2 they are after

Fine tunning CO2 is a great read though the topic ;)
 

-Craig-

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The DC does have a 2hour delay on any pH/[CO2] change but should be blue before CO2 comes on, if its not it suggests their isnt enough flow and surface agitation at night to enable the tank to degeas.

For CO2 to work its best it needs to be stable from lights on for the first 4-5hours, most tanks take 2-3hrs to reach the optimum [CO2] which is injection rate/surface agitation and tank turnover dependent. having good flow in the tank is critical as CO2 duffses 10,000 times slower in water than air so the plants should be waving a little in the flow esp at carpet level if you have a carpet as if its not theres a good chance not enough CO2 is reaching the plants and they will start to elongate between the leaf stems as they are reaching for the light (which is a myth) its the CO2 they are after

Fine tunning CO2 is a great read though the topic ;)
Thanks for the info!

Have had a read through and learnt a fair bit. Iv'e been out today an bought myself a wave maker which is now producing considerably more flow and surface agitation . On top of that iv'e bough a much more powerful air pump, and added a second stone for nighttime. I think the two should help.

Oh, iv'e also ordered a surface skimmer to attach to my filter inlet, that's coming in the post though.

My only downside is the pump is loud as hell, so i may be taking that back for a slightly less powerful one! The current i think should be ok, just hoping its not too much for fish!

In terms of what fish i want to add, so far all that's on my list is German rams.... hoping they can cope with it as is.

 
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Zeus.

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Flow looks great imo. My Maxspect Gyres even max out the fish cope fine in the flow.
With the increased flow you will probably need a slightly higher CO2 injection rate.
As to the noisy pump I use to hang mine in cabinet on a price of garden wire made it virtually silent.

What clean up crew are you planning m8? Eh. Snails/shrimp/Otto's etc
Bear in mind those Rams might like to eat RCS
 

-Craig-

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I'd love shrimp but as you just said, they become snacks! I do love the panda corys, but in all honestly i'm open to anything.

I think i'd like to go with as many unusual / fish iv'e not had before just to mix it up...

The pump itself is just super loud, its not making any extra noise against the cabinet. I just went for the max size, 600L per hour i think it is... Air Pump 4

It's overkill, has 4 air lines when in reality i need one strong one, at most two... I think it will be going back to the shop in the next few days.

If anyone can recommend something that's as close to silent as possibly please do!
 

dean

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Hi mate
You don’t need the air pump
The idea is you supply the Co2 so that the plants can use it and produce oxygen as tiny bubbles that they release

You will see that fish virtually take 2nd place in aquascapes and most have the clean up crew as stated above then a shoal of suitable fish and that’s usually it


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-Craig-

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Hi mate
You don’t need the air pump
The idea is you supply the Co2 so that the plants can use it and produce oxygen as tiny bubbles that they release

You will see that fish virtually take 2nd place in aquascapes and most have the clean up crew as stated above then a shoal of suitable fish and that’s usually it


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Makes sense, i was aiming for the surface agitation more than anything. I only bought that wave maker on a whim while out to buy a pump, an saw it was 50% off. That probably does just as good a job with surface agitation tbh, so maybe your right and i don't need it.

That being said, my c02 turned off at 8pm, pump came on at 9pm, its now 12, 4 hours later and still the drop checker shows green.
 
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-Craig-

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well it turns blue when i take it out the tank, no doubts it working :) it was more of a bluey green this morning, but by no means fully blue...
 

Zeus.

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One of the issues with the DC we both use is it's small surface area it has in contact with the water in the tank which does slow the colour change down - more like 3 hours than 2 to change IME. Try moving it to an area where no CO2 bubbles can enter the opening eg behind or close to a water return or power head.
The other issue with them is you can only place them on rim off the tank, can sometimes be useful to see what colour change you get in lower areas of the tank also. I tend to use my water proof pH pen or pH probe on a wire lead to check for areas where CO2 distribution may be poor.
 

-Craig-

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Cheshire
True but i checked it at 7am... c02 went off at 8pm!

How big an issue is it if your tank doesn't fully de-gas, so long as the drop checker doesn't turn yellow?
 

Zeus.

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Some folk run their CO2 24/7 and have no issues. As long as the tank is getting enough O2 I don't see it as an issue.
My DC that's like yours is very slow at changing back to blue yet my pH pen says it has debased to some extent. Thinking about it it doesn't change back to blue much, esp seeing it goes slightly yellow during CO2 period as well won't help RCS are fine and no fish in that tank
 

-Craig-

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Some folk run their CO2 24/7 and have no issues. As long as the tank is getting enough O2 I don't see it as an issue.
My DC that's like yours is very slow at changing back to blue yet my pH pen says it has debased to some extent. Thinking about it it doesn't change back to blue much, esp seeing it goes slightly yellow during CO2 period as well won't help RCS are fine and no fish in that tank
Thats good to know!
 

rebel

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I know one person @doylecolmdoyle who runs 24/7 CO2 in his low light tanks. It works well for him.

For me I am a sucker for 50% saving if I switch it off so I do.
 

-Craig-

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Cheshire
Well, iv'e been fiddling with it. It definitely looked a lot more blue this morning than when v'e previously checked. i think i'm heading in the right direction at least....

My nitrite has started to spike, an my nitrates are through the roof. I know the fert adds nitrate too, but how much is too much? I have no fish, just plants atm...
 

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