Have I Got This Right???

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24 May 2009
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Meath, Ireland
ok im getting annoyed with not doing this right so have decided to make the investment.

C02: 2kg FE, rhinox CO2 tubing, ebay single dial reg, ebay fine tuner for the gas, nano diffuser. i'm a student on a budget so want my equipment cheap as possible, is there any other reccomended kit?

Substrate: its a juwel tank with inert gravel as current substrate, i'm thinking of stripping the tank and re-scaping, can i use a 1-1.5" layer of play sand with pure laterite underneath, can i have more sand without having anaerobic problems? would laterite be recommended?

Filter: bog standard juwel filter with hidden heater, sponges and 280 l/h pump

Circulation: Clearseal SP1200 powerhead, i just ordered this off ebay but can put it in my malawi tank if not needed, it comes out at around 15-16x combined turnover with the filter, is it too much, should i make a DIY spray bar to spread flow?

Lighting: 1x 15 watt bulb powered by a 40 watt ballast, i know its not at all ideal but thats what i have, the bulb is brighter than the same watt bulb with matching ballast. my juwel light unit that was recently running with the ballast has recently packed it in, unfortunatley, i can take the hood off my old rekord 60 if needed but if what i have will suffice it would be better

Ferts: EI method, if anyone can help me with this i much appreciate it, i have potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate and trace elements mix, do i use heaped teaspoons?

my plants are:
Rotala Rotundifolia *
bacopa monnieri
Vallis. Torta
Anubias Eyes
Pogostemon Helferi *
Saggitaria Subulata
Elocharis
Echinodoris Tennellus
Hemianthus Callitrichoides "cuba" *
Microsorium Pteropus "Narrow" or "Windelov" *
*= ordered but not in current set-up

finally is there anything i left out? what do you guys think, and do any irish people know where i can get some nice wood, because all i can find is bog.

Thanks, Paul
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Laterite is really not that great and has fallen out of favor, although it is clay, and as such should have a good CEC if the product you are using is in fact the real clay and not "Essence of Laterite" or something like that. In the old days tropical plant specimens were typically collected on or near laterite based sediments so it was assumed that this was a requirement. The material is supposedly high in iron, but we dose that anyway so there are no otherwise redeeming quality. Unless you have an aesthetic/economic reason for using sand you can simply use an inert gravel or a clay gravel such as Akadama. Check the Substrate forum for JamesC's expose on Akadama. If you feed your plants properly and have sufficient CO2 you can avoid anerobic conditions.

As regards your turnover, as long as you have at least the 10X tank volume rule you ought to be OK. You'll need to play with the distribution to optimize the flow patterns so if this means a spraybar type arrangement then so be it. you'll just have to see. Just fill the tank with water and see if there are any dead zones. You can throw some debris like small paper shavings to get an idea of the flow pattern.

Please review EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS which provides dosing schemes and additional explanations.

It's important that you have a needle valve on your regulator. Having a dual gauge is less than ideal but you can get by with that. If you don't have a needle valve to precisely control the injection rate though you will find it a false economy.

Cheers,
 

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i was going to use the sand as i feel it looks better and find it easier to plant plantlets in, i will just leave it inert then and carry on with my EI dosing. the two pieces of kit i was going to get were the single gauge manometer http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180358932765&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123 and the 1to1 needle valve http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270426712299&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123 and get a bubble counter to put after the needle valve to know my bps, what would the best bubble counter out there that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? and where can i get/what is the kh solution?

thanks, Paul
 

ceg4048

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Get any bubble counter that fits your budget and sense of aesthetics. Check Any of our sponsors for the 4dKH solution.

Cheers,
 

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Meath, Ireland
thanks a million, i found dat tut about half an hour after that post, :oops: i will get a drop checker, check valve and bubble counter and order the 4dkh too. the circulation pump came while i was on holiday too, i re-scaped the tank just using the same inert gravel and tried to make the most of my branches in my wood, i set the pump on the right side of the tank blowing toward the formation on the left, there's no dead spots :D :D roll on the C02

-Paul
 
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