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Bobtastic's 1st Planted Tank Journal (240l)

ceg4048

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The dropchecker should be green/yellow when the lights go on. If it's only blue/green when lights go on then this means trouble. Try being radical. Try weekly 90% water changes. When the water is at it's lowest level clean the rocks/wood using a toothbrush and squirting Excel directly on them. BBA will not just go away. Also, the more you leave it on the rocks the more spores they produce and the more BBA you will get. In fact if you can attack 2X or 3X a week you will be that much further ahead.

Algae have a dual personality and that's why it is often difficult to eradicate even after we have addressed the root cause. In order to get rid of the invasion you have to be brutal and clear the battlefield of all combatants. This means getting rid of infected leaves as well....

Cheers,
 

Bobtastic

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Hi ceg4048,

I took your advise with the tooth brush, I did a heavy water change (can't do 90% cos I have fish in the tank) and had at the wood last night. I cleaned off as much as time would allow. Also cut out the worst effected leaves and cleaned off those that I could.

I'll have to get myself some EasyCarbon for spot dosing too. I only had a little bit left, which I used on a small sprig of moss...
 

Bobtastic

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Here are some recent picture of the tank.

100_0737.jpg


There is still alot of algae growing in the tank. So I've obviously not got the balancing act right yet...

Here is a picture of the dwarf grass before I trimmed off the algae.
100_0735.jpg


and after I trimmed off as much as I could...
100_0739.jpg


The Pogostemon helferi seems to have grown loads but to me it doesn't look right... Seems too tall...
100_0740.jpg
100_0741.jpg


Also for some reason the Java Fern has taken a turn for the worst...
100_0731.jpg
100_0732.jpg


I've trimmed off all of the dead looking leaves and placed it higher up the wood so that it's got better flow and more light (tho that didn't seem to bother it earlier...).

I was a way the last 2weeks and the gf was adding ferts, possibly not as regularly as she should have been...
 

ceg4048

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Hi Bob,
These faults all look like CO2 related to me. What's bizarre is that the P. helferi seems to be doing OK. This is a stem plant masquerading as a carpet plant so just top it and re-plant the sections that you cut at the nodes. this is an illustration of the uneven flow patterns in that tank. The hairgrss and ferns aren't getting enough stable levels of CO2 but the helferi appears to be getting good flow. If you have any cheap plastic spraybars you might try attaching them to the filter outflow. Also play with the Koralia position. The Koralia may actually be fighting the filter flow. Try aligning the Koralia with the filter outlet. This is the problem with a largish tank. Poor distribution wrecks all your plans.

Cheers,
 

Bobtastic

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Thanks for the comments ceg! I have been wondering about the defusion of the Co2. It seems like I can't get the bubbles to go throughout all of the tank. As it is atm some get sucked into the inlet, travel through the filter and then out of the outlet on the other side. Others get caught/pushed by the Koralia but they don't seem to make it much passed the middle of the tank...

I have a Maxi-jet powerhead (not sure of the rate, could be 750) that I use to help with water changes, I could add that but not really sure where is should go...
 

LondonDragon

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A tank that size I would recommend a couple of Koralia 1 at best, maybe even Koralia 2, one in each side of the tank, one higher up and the other lower down, to create a good flow all round ;)
 

Bobtastic

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Ok. Need to find a larger extension lead, and hope the misses doesn't notice another drain on the eleci! ;)

I've been toying with the idea of getting an in-line defuser or a external reactor for my Co2. Do you think either of them coupled with increated flow would help?
 

LondonDragon

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Bobtastic said:
So which would be better? A reactor (eg Aqua Medic 1000) or the in-line defuser that Andyh has used (with much success)?
They are both good, and I have used both, the UP Atomizer is cheaper and its small, but you will get lots of tiny CO2 bubbles in the tank, the Aquamedic 1000 which I am using at the moment is great as the CO2 disolves inside the reactor, but you will need a good filter for it 1000lph+ and if you get it remove the bio balls that are inside the reactor.
 

Bobtastic

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I am currently running a Fluval 405 on this tank (think that's about 1300lph?). So I assume that I have the power, tho I'm a little concerned about connecting the corrigated/concitina/flexi tubing and securiting it to the reactor...
 

Bobtastic

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Picked up some new hosing yesterday and also added my Maxi-Jet to the top right corner of the tank and shifted the Korillia so that it's pointing from bottom left to bottom right across the tank. The water looks like it's moving around a heck of a lot more! Not sure how the plants are gonna deal with all the new movement tho...

Gonna hopefully order the reactor today or tomorrow (after a finance check!). Pics to follow. ;)
 

Bobtastic

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Recent changes, I have inverted the maxi-jet and lowered it a little so that it's flow it mid-level in the tank but it drawing water from nearer the surface rather than the bottom.

100_0744.jpg


I have also glued a new java fern, but it is yet to be placed. I'm going to wait and see if the increased flow and better distribution of Co2 has an effect on the aglae. Still planning to get the AM 1000, but finances have prevented it getting ordered just yet...

Comments extremely welcome.
 

Bobtastic

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Ordered an Aqua Medic 1000 reactor, have replacement pipes just need to wait for the delivery and get some jubilee clips and I should be be hot to trot!

I wonder if anyone using DIY TPN+ could post up a picture of there bottle, showing the colour of the solution. Mine seems to change colour from when it's first made. Not sure if that's to be expected....
 

Bobtastic

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The Co2 ran out on Saturday day... Typical that is on blinkin' Bank Holiday! Now need to seek a refill.

In the mean time I've turned the lights off completely and halved the fert dosing. Is this the right thing to do?
 

Bobtastic

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Aqua Medic 1000 reactor is now installed. I've had a bit of a problem with it leaking from the hose that comes in from the filter. Think it was because the hose is a little too large for the reactor, as I'm using a Fluval 405.

I now have to tinker with the alignment of the outlet to make sure the Co2 gets throughout the tank. Photos to follow.
 

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