Celestial Glade - 125Ltr Low Light, Low Maintenance

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
I'm still not happy with this setup. Its proving harder than you'ld imagine to get the CO2 DC light green. I think the last time I saw light green was in Sept 07 when I first setup Under the Forest Canopy and all the plants were very low. Of course that meant very few obstacles of the flow. I was also running 24/7 back then which I am currently contemplating.

Will see how it goes today and if it doesn't work then first I'll check for leaks (must be up near 6bps at the mo) and if no leaks then I am going to be getting the saw out on my hood so I can get the pipes in from the other end (and get rid of that annoying 3mm overhang at the back that always ruins my photos. lol

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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I still wasn't happy so I had another tinker and swap around. I cut the bottom centimetre of the hood's rear panel too so that it doesn't show behind the water line. sides don't need to be cut due to the 'mirror' effect when looking into the tank.

I think I have cracked it though and joy oh joy I have all my glass (more than before) in the tank now. DC was a nice light green in the dense area on the left opposite where I now have the Rhinox again. I have put fresh solution + AP Ph test drops in it and left it to change colour again. As yet is at mid green after 4 hours. bps is back down to just under 2bps.

So I now have the powerhead rear left pointing along the back to the right corner. The Philippine once fully re-grown should hide it there. Then I have the glass filter inlet in the right rear corner. The Rhinox is one third from the back on the right hand side where the flow from the powerhead pushes it towards the front. Then I have the Lily outflow front right from the side pointing along the front to the left. The other pieces of glass are a 13mm J pipe (leading from the bubble counter, over the top of the tank and down to the diffuser) which I hadn't used for a long time and the dropchecker itself. (Not forgetting the 99p Wilko glass thermometer. lol)

Bubbles are getting all the way across the tank. Hardly any hitting the surface. The bubbles that don't 'vanish' through diffusion are noticeably smaller when they reach the left hand side. Hopefully I can hit lime green later tonight or tomorrow .

I will be very happy if it works this way because I love the look of all the glass even though it is a PITA to clean. When it is clean it looks so crisp and....clean. lol

Both fingers crossed this time.

AC
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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676
Location
Switzerland
I thought I was obsessing about flow lately (I PMed everyone with same filter and tank size for their stats), but reading this journal I feel less abnormal :lol:

A diagram or picture might be required if this works so we can understand the prize winning solution completely ;) Did you consider using 17mm glassware and 16mm pipes through a 12 to 16mm converter? I wonder if that would give better flow?
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
With my setup being a 700lph filter and 400lph powerjet it's more the combination of the 2 allied with the direction I use them to get in and around the plant mass and then I have to add in where I inject CO2 wether it be inline or internal diffusor etc.

I have light green now and therefore am happy. When lights are on tomorrow should hopefully be lime green.

The setup is now:
flowdiagram.jpg

Dark Green is tall high plantmass/hardscape, light green is low plantmass, Red is flow, pink is CO2. Equipment from top left clockwise is: powerhead > inflow > diffuser > outflow > DC.

I will take some pictures later.

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Get the beer out (as if I need an excuse.) The holy grail has finally been achieved. Don't know how the colour shows in the pic but it is a light green. I reduced the solution to 2ml to try and get it to react quicker. I have also bought a 'Chameleon' style DC for £3.50 inc. shipping and when it arrives I will put it in the other end of the tank.
DC-1.jpg


I love my glass. You can see in this pic the 'teardrop' DC. The Rhinox 2000 diffuser and the glass J pipe leading down to it. Behind the tank you can see the Gamba XII NRV and bubble counter combo. Finally the glass inlet and Lily pipe. You may say the DC is too close to the diffuser and therefore the green is false but the powerhead is in the left rear corner and blowing the bubbles to the right. No bubbles go anywhere near the DC!!! This should be at the end of the CO2 'circuit'. The new DC when it arrives will be in the other end so then I can see if the ppm is similar at both ends. Quite a lot of algae on the glass from the last 2 weeks messing about too.
glass.jpg


This is how the tank looks at the moment. You can't really see but there is quite a lot of BBA on the needles and Crypts in the centre of the tank from the 2 weeks of struggle with the CO2. Hopefully now its sorted and no more tampering this will diminish again. All deteriorating leaves have been removed.
front-3.jpg


This is a shot of the tank from the right. Not ideal the way my tank is positioned (in an alchove to the right of the chimney breast)to get this shot as my camera is leaning on the wall to the right of the tank.
right-2.jpg


And a picture of the Pogostemon Helferi. Not as green as Clives by a long way but also surprisingly free of algae after 2 weeks in the tank. Before you say I took the hood off the tank after taking the picture when I noticed how much rust had gathered on my paper clip fastening. Am going to clean the tubes and reflectors after this post is finished. lol
pogostemon.jpg


Finally another casualty last night. I noticed one of the microrasboras was at the top gasping and with me dabbling with CO2 I naturally though Ooh Nooo. On closer inspection I noticed she had a large 'tumor like' growth just in front of her anus area. 2 hours later she was wrapped around the powerhead intake and removed swiftly!!!

Thats 2 of the microrasboras now. Seems like they aren't quite as hardy as I thought or maybe just more susceptible to growth/bacterial infections than other larger fish.

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
Changed it again but rather than explain it all this time I took a video so see below. Forgive the poor quality. I have no idea how to set this camera up for video so set it on macro and away I went. The microbubbles are everywhere now. lol:

th_CIMG2369.jpg

AC
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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676
Location
Switzerland
Actually rather good quality and very clear. Never realised you had all those shrimp, everywhere!

Looks like a rather clever solution to me, you get to use Zig's diffusor but no flow loss on the filter side of things. Are the bubbles on the lilly pipe just from it being raised to the surface, never owned a lilly pipe you see :oops:

I take it your DC turns slowly and you are happy there is enough CO2 at lights on...?
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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lol at the shrimps. 2 months ago I bought 10, received 14 and now there must be 100+ When I cleaned the filter cannister out the other day there were more in there than I bought in the first place. All alive and returned to the tank.

You are right about the bubbles caused from the raised Lily. plenty of surface disturbance but the current it creates also drives the CO2 bubbles downward at the same time as bringing O in and making sure no film develops

DC is grass green at lights on after 2 hours of injection and stays thereabouts until CO2 turns off 3 hours before lights out. Video makes it look rather dark but it was actually lighter than that in reality. lol. currently at 2bps. Could probs go lower with the Lily pipe lowered but that would mean possible oily films and also the way it drives the CO2 downward is affected.

AC
 
Joined
9 Jun 2008
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1,127
Hey Andy, how's this tank coming along? Any recent pics?

How are the fish doing? I know you were having problems with the Microrasboras.
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Huge change this week.

I decided the Pogostemon Helferi was silly behind the hardscape, barely visible from the front. Also the growth of the needle ferns was making the front of the tank very dim so I have moved some bits and bobs and at the same tank had a darned good clean.

First though I did change the CO2 diffusion again since the last post but it has been like this now for 6 days. Not a huge change, just that instead of it being in the open on the right and straight down I added an angled tube from an old knackered internal UV so that the diffuser is pointing in the same direct as the powerhead output. This means I can now fit it into the space behind the Philippine Java which should grow to hide it completely:
diffuser-1.jpg


So onto the work. First thing I did was to remove all the hardscape pieces. Only 3 so not too much trouble:
hardscapeout.jpg

As a sense of scale the bottom piece is 50cm long!!!

And this is what is left with no hardscape in (wahoo you can see some of the microrasboras. There are only 6 left of the original 12!!!)
tankempty.jpg


This is my clip on light when I am scaping as the hood is not there to supply light:
scapesetup.jpg


The main changes then are that I removed the pogostemon helferi from the rear corner. Then removed the Crypt Parva from the front right corner. Replaced the 2 left pieces of hardscape (not the long one) as they were. then I replaced the long piece but instead of it coming from the front right corner it is a lot further toward the back. I then added some Crypt Wendtii behind it. The Parva I removed was then used in front of the Wendtii (the whole length of the tank.) Finally I replanted the Pogostemon Helferi in the front right corner.

This is how it looks now:
junglefull.jpg


This is the left part of the tank. The front half of this side is complete and looks great IMO. Very full and an awesome mixture of shapes and colours, the Philippine in the rear needs to fill out to complete this side:
leftfinished.jpg


And this is the Pogostemon on the front right:
righthelf.jpg


And although its not incredibly visible the Wendtii will get taller here at the back:
wendtii.jpg


Finally we have the 2 drop checkers side by side which I will do a test on tomorrow to see which reacts quicker. Although you can see they are different colours this is not a fair test at the moment because the teardrop has 2ml in it and the Chameleon 1½ml 4dKH. I will put equal in them tomorrow and start a separate thread on the test.
DCs.jpg


So what do you think?

AC
 
Joined
9 Jun 2008
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Nice! It's amazing how empty the tank looks without the hardscape - you wouldn't think all of that plant is attatched to wood.

I know you wanted a 'triangular' layout but I think it would look awesome if you had the same effect on the right as you do on the left.
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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The Chameleon shows that when lights come on (reading the colour 2 hours after lights on of course) a light green colour.

The colour when the noon burst finishes is yellow!!! which of course means 2 hours earlier which is when the noon burst starts so this is perfect.

The CO2 cuts off when the noon burst finishes and the final 3 hours are CO2 less.

When I look in the morning (with no lights) it is blue, so at the moment everything Co2 wise is absolutely perfect.

However from the problems I have had I got quite a lot of BBA on the leaves of everything. this is now dieing away which leaves funny red edges to all of the leaves but is visibly less so thats great too.

Steve - Don't know what has happened with thes microrasboras. I have pulled 2 fresh carcasses and 1 almost totally devoured one out but the other 3 must've died and been eaten without me noticing. I guess they are just not so hardy and something got to them. That needle fern was bought in September 07 and been hacked at, pruned etc along the way. When I bought it from Aquatic Magic it was probably 1/20th of what it is now. lol

Tomas - I'm going to see how the triangle pans out. I think the Wendtii 'mixture' that is now in the right rear will look great once it fills out and grows up a little. Not sure on the Pogostemon Helferi yet. It may be that even when grown and filled in that it doesn't suit this 'jungle' look but again we'll wait and see on that. I'm in no hurry. lol

AC
 

Steve Smith

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19 Jul 2007
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Leamington Spa, UK.
You've inspired me mate. Currently got wet hands playing in my "big" tank (back from the brink journal), planting 3 pots of ludwigia arcruata... Man it's time consuming :lol: Also playing with my flow to get better CO2 distribution. Think I've got something that works better now :)

Anyway, veering off topic there :p
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
Messages
676
Location
Switzerland
I like the new arrangement. The triangle is nice, the P. Helfrei will be nice too, once it adapts to CO2 immersed growth you get very fine crinkled leaves.
SuperColey1 said:
The CO2 cuts off when the noon burst finishes and the final 3 hours are CO2 less.
A few questions, excuse me if some of this is earlier in the journal, but you've been changing a lot of parameters :D :
- 3 hours sounds like a long time to me - do you know the colour 2 hours after lights off?
- CO2 comes on how many hours before lights on and how many bps?
- What wattage normal and midday burst?
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Location
Lincoln UK
I haven't changed any parameters since the scape started in June. Just being trying to get the CO2 flow sorted as the plants grew thicker/taller etc. ;)

No idea really on the colour 2 hours after lights out. that would be 2am in the morning ;) At lights out it is still lime green. The plants are pearling like mad for the final 3 hours so I think they have had all the CO2 they need and there should be plenty left over should they need more.

photoperiod is:
4pm - 12am 30W (0.91WPG) T5HO 4500K
7pm-9pm 18W (0.55WPG) T8 6500K
So the photoperiod is 3 hours @ 0.91WPG, 2 hours @ 1.46WPG, 3 hours @ 0.91WPG.
CO2 is 3pm - 9pm (6 hours), bps is between 2 and 3.

Remember my bps maybe different to your bps. Each different bubble counter may produce larger or smaller bubbles so you should use your own as your guide rather than assume if someone is using 3bps that is what you should aim for. My 3bps maybe you 0.5bps ;)

AC
 
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