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Charlie Chi

Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Long time no see UKAPS.

Last time I was here was six years ago! Wowsers.

Well Larry the Lido became an algae farm, I lost faith and gave up. I moved in 2013 and Larry went on to become a guppy tank for a family.

Anyways I'm back after seeing some awesome nano tanks. I made the mistake of going to p@h the other day and ended up coming home with a Chi.... (Went to *look* at a Spec V). Anyways upon getting it home realised the filter thing is a unworkable for anything so many deliveries later from Amazon it's turned into a cube.

Tank: Fluval Chi
Substrate: Tropica Aqua Soil Powder
CO2: DIY Citrus jobber (to be setup)
Lighting: Plan is Chi + 2xLED 500lumen 6000k LED Desk Lights
Plants: 2 species tank, Monte Carlo and Java Moss
Filter: All Pond Solutions EF150
Heater: Interpet slim submersible. Horrible thing, this will be going in the bin and probs replaced inline.

Just filled it and testing one of the lights (they dont turn on automatically when powered so the other is in pieces awaiting an err upgrade), plus the pump plus the heater. The heater is horrid.

The idea of having a nano this time is so its easier to strip and rebuild if it doesn't work out, lets see ;)

Si

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Smells Fishy

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2015
Messages
476
Location
Scarbourgh, UK
Welcome back. I see from your pics that you have an external and you said it's a APS 150, any chance you can send me a link to it or tell me where you got it? I only know of the big ones like the 1000EF.

Cheers.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Hey SF,

This is the one I've got:

https://www.allpondsolutions.co.uk/aquarium/filters/external/ef-150-400-l-h/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N4BC1R5/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

First impressions are mixed. Unless I'm doing something wrong 400lph is way out. I'm glad though because the flow is quite nice on a small tank.

I found priming it was a pain. Maybe I'll get used to it. You hook it all up, fill the body and then turn the input tap on and off. Didn't work for me so had to use gravity, new filter, held above my head, what could go wrong ;)

Inside is quite nice though, large grill, mech, carbon (which will become mech, wont be replacing) then a fine sieve with bio balls under. For 30 quid this is a bargain filter.

The in/out in tank fittings are poor so will be replaced sometime but for now do the job.
 

Smells Fishy

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2015
Messages
476
Location
Scarbourgh, UK
Ah nice one yeah I've seen it online before but I didn't know it came with intakes and a spray bar. What are your plans for the tank? I'm starting to like nano tanks, I've never done one tho. If I did I would like a few different ones because you get a vast array but for the price of them its a bit off putting, especially fluval ones.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
I guess the plan is to grow algae free plants. Thats not meant to take the piss, last time around I tried and go hammered by algae that I couldn't figure out how to fix. this time I want to figure out how to fix it or if not be able to reset the tank quickly and easily.

Update added CO2

Oyvk3ln.jpg


Its one of the happy smily corp DIY jobbers with citric acid and bicarb

q772HsD.jpg


The pressure doesnt seem to change regardless. I'm currently doing a bubble every 15 seconds.

bqxhELO.jpg


Bubble counter and drop checker installed. They all seem happy. Currently have a lime green in the drop checker.

EGnfQeg.jpg


Rhinox 1000 as a diffuser is doing well considering the low bubble count.

The EF1 all pond solutions filter is working out well.

8hmO4wo.jpg


The tank looks good under the it's lighting (that said lighting is changing tomorrow for something with more poke)

qJO61cS.jpg


And today (day 4) added some guppies; probably way too early but time will tell.

Lji5OSh.jpg


Water is currently:

0.5 nitrile
20 nitrate
6.2 ph (Lowered Co2 to combat this)
 

Smells Fishy

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2015
Messages
476
Location
Scarbourgh, UK
The co2 your adding will help with the algae control or maybe it's only spot treatment with liquid co2 that does it, not sure.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

Member
Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
That would be Excel that helps with algae control. I have some but haven't used it yet.

The plants are starting to stand up. Lighting has been replaced with 2x30 led stands. It looks quite bright and time will tell if they are any good.

Also turned down the Co2 to one bubble every 20 second.

bNO4MWC.jpg
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,916
Location
Cumbria
The plants are starting to stand up. Lighting has been replaced with 2x30 led stands. It looks quite bright and time will tell if they are any good.

Also turned down the Co2 to one bubble every 20 second.

You like to live life on the edge I see ;) Generally upping the lighting and turning down the co2 at the same time is asking for trouble, unless algae farming is your game that is.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Hehe yes I do. I was/am having problems with KH so my pH was crashing to sub 6. My first reaction was to dial down the CO2. That didnt do much as the KH is the issues. So doing more water changes and adding a small amount of bicarb for now until I can get a more perm solution (thinking back of crushed coral in the canister).

Photo period is 8 hours and starting to get some spot algae on the glass. Thinking of reducing that.

All the monte carlo melted it looks like these were piss poor plants from ebay but are recovering. Or it could be my water because it's been all over.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 15.02.01.png


Lots of bubbles coming from the monte carlo but is a mix of tissue damage/roots that aren't in the substrate and the leaves. Java moss has greened up nicely and is also covered in oxygen.

Lessons learnt so far?

* Fish / Shrimps in way too early.
* Mucked about with lighting and paid for it
* Getting ferts dosing correct has been trial and error
* Getting co2 / ph / kh relationship sorted has been a struggle (takeaway is pay more attention to water laddo hehe)

Not quite going to plan but also not miles away so the experiment continues :)

IMG_20170603_193538.jpg
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,916
Location
Cumbria
What have you been doing that makes your KH fluctuate so much, what's coming out of the tap?

Sent from my STH100-2 using Tapatalk
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Sorry one thing I was thinking of is the bogwood. When first bought they leached tannins like mad when soaked in a bucket. They were soaked for maybe a couple of days having the water changed quite often (3-4 times a day), the front one is leaking sap (I think its sap, the white stuff) into the tank. Maybe that?
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,916
Location
Cumbria
Mate I don't think any of the things you mention would alter the KH that much. The stuff coming out the wood will probably just be fungus. Hmmmm

Sent from my STH100-2 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,916
Location
Cumbria
I've never tried them. Heard about them and looked into them but I don't trust test strips and would trust a phone camera deciding on the right colour even less. A standard chemical test kit is good enough albeit it probably measures high. They measure reserve alkanity which isn't all technically carbonates I think but near enough for what we're doing. It's not a critical measurement.
 

Daveslaney

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Joined
21 May 2016
Messages
824
Location
Nottinghamshire
The first thing you need to do is stablise your waters ph. When your ph drops below 6 the bacteria in your filter will stop working and die, so in effect your ph fluctuations are stopping your tank from cycling.
it is the bacterial activity as your filter is processing the amonia that adicifies your water and drops the ph. Personally iwould think a KH of 4 would be enough to hold a stable ph so I would question the accuracy of your test kit.
I would use a GH booster to raise the gh and kh of your tap water to stablise your ph as all the maths is done for you then. You add x amount of gh booster to x amount of water to raise yourr water gh and kh by x amount.
once you have the ph stable dial in your co2 las long as your ph is stable let the tank cycle and you should be good to go.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Today I think I've come to conclusion the ProScan strips are not very good. Took three readings all three completely different. I think if I take a sample of water out of the tank then test if working the best. Although confidence is now knocked. Drop checker is perm green, fish are swimming so I think I'll play it by ear and see what happens.
 

MooseOnDaLoose

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Joined
1 Jul 2011
Messages
116
Bit of an update:

Heading into week 3 now. Oh how I wished I'd waited for putting fish in, silly mistake. However they are healthy and the Amanos are fine.

Having algae issues recently. Currently dealing with that by not dosing any ferts at the minute and doing 35% water changes every second day. Judging by the plants they don't seem to be deficient.

Co2 has been ramped up and turned off at night, waiting on an ebay special solenoid to turn up then that can be put on a timer.

Lighting has been dialled down and photo period down to 7 hours.

Alot of MC melted and some is still in the tank, I remove as much as i can get to at each water change and remove the stuff clinging to the filter inlet.

Algae seems to be slowly going and the mc in front left and right corners are now anchoring into the substrate. I bought some more mc to float to reduce light and to soak up some of the nutrients and they melted a bit but seems to be much healthier.

Heres a side by side10 days apart:
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 18.21.46.png


Slowly winning the war, I think. I'm hoping once the solenoid turns up I can keep a schedule and review once a week to see whats working and what isn't.

Does anyone think I'm doing anything obviously wrong? Should I be fert dosing or should I wait for more plant mass/growth or will the Tropica Aqua Soil give all the plants need for now?

The "java moss" is growing err leaves. Is this really java moss? Is that normal?

Thanks all, As always with planted tanks: learning the hard way :D
 
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