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Jimbooo's 450L / 100G high tech journal

Ed Seeley

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My Hydor certainly seems to do a good job on my tank Jim, but it does get a bit noisy at times when bubbles get trapped in there. It may just be the angle I've got it at or the fact the the CO2 is underneath it. Turning it off and on frees the bubbles. The big advantage, IMO, of using a circulation pump rather than another filter (aside from cost) is that I only have this pump on when the CO2 is on so the fish get a quiet night and aren't blasted with high flow 24/7.
 

James Flexton

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sounds good i'll look into getting one. thanks for the info Ed.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Jim,
I agree with Ed that the pump would definitely help in terms of nutrient delivery, but given the choice (and the means) I would opt for a filter upgrade/addition because delivery is only half the story. The other half is ammonia reduction. More filtration means more room for bacteria.

I'm not really sure about the ammonia production from the wood. It can get lot of fungus in the beginning but I suppose if there is organic matter trapped then yeah, it could decay. I've had wood flake off but I've not gotten a soft layer. If it has any bad odor at all the answer is a big yes I reckon.

How many diffusers do you have? Only the single Rhinox? If so you may want to think about adding a second. That much water has too much inertia and it takes ages to get an even distribution. I'd think about adding an external like the Cal Aqua Inline (http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1370) that way one side of the tank doesn't have to wait to get it's share of gas.

So far, so good on the Regulator (knocks on wood). :D

Cheer mate,
 

James Flexton

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Hi Clive. yeah thank god the reg has been fine after the exchange. i'm scared witless of adding another diffuser though surely that would involve a T-Section in the co2 hose. another potential leak lol. i'm up for changing diffusion method though if you can suggest anything i know the rinox is inadequate as even with silly amounts of co2 going in the drop checker is indicating low levels of co2. sometimes i get the fine mist but mostly just a bubble curtain going straight up!

as to filtration there is a lot in there already. the Juwel Jumbo filter holds 9 litres of filter media max flow 1000L/hr and the Rena XP2 6.3 litres at 1050L/hr. i know max flow is far from normal operating flow but it's not bad IMO. and 15.3 litres of filter media is also rather a lot IMO. hence why i was looking at the Hydor. i want to add a little more flow but didn't think i needed the filtration. apart from that the cabinet's full already! please correct me if i'm wrong and you think i need more of anything. as to media i am using the juwel sponges with an added big chunk of pond filter floss on top in place of the thin juwel white one. the rena has the Eheim ceramic hexagonal tube things stuffed full into the bottom tray with a course, medium and fine pond filter (cut to size) in the top tray. i can just about put the lid on!
 

ceg4048

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Hey Jim,
Are you ready to be blown away? This could get ugly, but don't shoot me I'm just the messenger. :wideyed: You're right about the T-section, it is just another source of potential leak. Additionally, you never get even gas flow between the two diffusers, one always has less resistance than the other. Despite all that I really think the headaches might be worth it. As you said, that mist in one corner has to be distributed over the whole tank. It's just really difficult on this size. I use this splitter which has never leaked (knocks on wood twice). It has hose clamp type fittings on the ends. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1254
If one of the diffusers hogs the gas you could install one of these "speed controllers" on that side - http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1253 this has similar fittings called snap shut. I don't bother with this I just turn up the needle valve and blast more gas through and eventually, the slow side gets it's share of flow. I don't have super-mega-expensive fish though :wideyed: If you want to just stick with a single diffuser you ought to at least consider using an inline type like the Cal Aqua on the link I gave. That way you are dispersing the dissolved gas with more force into the tank from the filter output.

Speaking of filter output, I did a test of one of my supposedly 1700LPH filters filled with biomedia. I recorded a real world output of 800LPH :( This was an easy test to do, just lift the output pipe out of the water and stick it in a 1 liter jug (or any size jug as long as you know what it's volume is). Time how long it takes to fill the jug being sure not to spill any water. I'll bet your XP2 sitting down below, fighting a 3 foot head , filled with media delivers a real output of about 500LPH. The Juwel Jumbo probably does a lot better because it's at water level but those 9 liters of media will slow it down some I reckon. Are you sitting down? Because of the back pressure and friction from the media George and I figure tanks need 10X the tank volume as a filter rating. For your tank that means the optimum is filter rating of 4050 LPH. :wideyed: so you're halfway there. The only way to make of for this is to add more CO2 than you would do normally. I know, I know, the cabinet won't hold a Fluval FX5 and your wife would probably have you sleeping on the sofa for the rest of you life if you exchanged your canister. :D These numbers are just something to be aware of. :rolleyes:

Check this out - For my 600L, between the two filters, I've got a total of about 50 liters of biomedia. I've got a combination of the "noodles" at the bottom, zeolite/carbon mixture, Purigen and the sintered glass balls. I can't prove it but I think this gives me more surface area than sponges for bacteria colony.

Cheers,
 

James Flexton

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ahh i see, hmm oh sod. :mad: cant reply properly as at work but most appreciated will post back tonight...
 

LondonDragon

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Very good journal and nice to see you recoved from the algae bloom! So far I have been lucky and nothing like that ever happened to me, dreading for the day that happens!

Keep us posted on the progress and as always lots of photos ;)
 

James Flexton

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thanks for the comments glad to hear your enjoying the journal.

okay....for the last few months i have been trying to think of a way to increase circulation without spending a load more money on equipment. i have a maxi-jet 900lph powerhead (seen in the first few pages re water changing) which would be ideal for the task however as i inherited it from a friend it does not have the suction cup attachment for mounting. every time i have tried to bodge something together the powerhead casing ends up against the glass and makes one hell of a noise forcing me to take it out. also it has to sit on something which causes problems with the filter sponge falling off.

then it came to me... ducktape! i positioned the powerhead where i wanted it then taped the power cord to the back of the tank holding it in position. i have plugged it into a timer to come on and off randomly every 15/20/40/10 minutes etc for varying amounts of time. off all night though to give fish rest (thanks to Eds i think for the idea in his journal) i think the fish should appreciate the varying environment as well, should be a little more interesting than the same old current all the time. sounds plausible anyway. co2 circulation will also be much better as well.

so another win for Ducktape...wonderful stuff that it is! lol

DSC00149.jpg


DSC00150.jpg



Also i couldn't let an update go by without some more pictures...and a video. I've moved the fern from the rio180 at work into this tank now, some of you may remember George Farmers huge java fern in his fern/glosso tank...well this is the same plant. i re homed it for him when it outgrew his tank 18 months or so ago i wasnt sure about where to put it at first but really only had one option if i wasn't going to move everything else around. the plecs should like the shelter, they are hiding under the juwel filter 24/7 at the moment and to be honest may as well not be in there so i am hoping to coax them out by feeding algae wafers under the fern every night.
Still got some algae issues on the wood, it may be there for a while yet as it's rather er...established lol

DSC00143.jpg


DSC00147.jpg


DSC00140.jpg


excuse the background noise in the video thats me getting moaned at for leaving fish stuff on the patio right outside the glass doors (well it was "out of the house" so i dont see the problem lol)

th_MOV00152.jpg

Hope you all had a good easter.
James
 

James Flexton

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thanks guys.

the vid was taken on my sony cybershot DSC-W55 point and click digital camera. nothing too fancy, a camcorder vid should be much better. i have one but stupid windows vista cant find a driver and the disc supplied is not compatible DOH...

if you have photobucket you can upload short vids easily and post on here.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Jim,
A couple more thoughts (call me stubborn). I love the duct tape solution! The thing is though that I would not use random periods for the extra flow. This flow distribution is needed for a specific reason and that is nutrient/CO2 delivery, so that the flow augmentation should be on for the duration of the photoperiod. Ideally, the pump output would be plumbed to a spraybar or something to enhance a wider distribution but I understand that would look awful. At the end of the photoperiod it is unneeded so it can shut down overnight. I don't think the fish care one way or another to be honest, but the plants do. :D

Secondly, it appears your diffuser is mounted in a location where there are no plants. This means a longer distance for enriched water to travel before it makes contact with any plant thus lowering the effective concentration. Why not mount the diffuser underneath the powerhead so that as the bubbles rise they are pushed towards the plants? This would also help the fern which is in the worst possible location flow-wise. :idea:

Cheers,
 

James Flexton

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Hi Clive. thanks for the thoughts, appreciated as always. as to the first point i totally agree but it was a compromise because of the fish. when the powerhead is on the angels all hide in the big wood cave on the right like a herd of cattle all squashed in together lol. they quite obviously dont like it i suppose they have to actually swim a bit to stay in one place..lazy blighters. i was watching them for hours last night and as soon as the pump is off they all come out and go for a swim around the tank. they do it like clockwork, pump on=hide, pump off=swim etc... over and over. one setting is on for an hour and a half and only one fish swam about 2 feet away from the cave then darted back in when it got to the current. i agree the plants would like it on constantly but i do want to see the fish occasionally lol. i'm sure you understand.

as to diffuser placement it's hard to describe this without being here in person but if i put it under the powerhead only a few of the bubbles will be blown around. 50% will miss it and go straight up the rest will be blown over the top of the plants and into the front glass. where it is at the moment the flow is quite strong from the spraybar which points along the side glass rather than into the tank. because of the bowfront the current goes along t side pane and around the front left corner taking bubbles about 2/3 across the tank. then the juwel blows along the rear pane creating a circular current pulling the bubbles from front of tank to back then right to left returning back to the top left filter intake. the powerhead works with the same current joining the flow out 1/2 way along the front pane and pushing the "then tiny" almost exhausted bubbles that bit further to the right side pane. They waft right through the hairgrass from left to right then back over the E. Stellata from right to left. i really cant perfect it any more mate i'm sure you would agree if you were here to fiddle with it in person.

thanks for the comments though it was one of your posts that kicked me into adding it in the first place.

if i am going to leave the varied schedule would 10 off 10 on 10 off 10 on etc be better than random segments of time or would it not make any difference. i'm sure you'll say as much time on as possible but thought i'd ask anyway.
 

Ed Seeley

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Looking good Jim. The angels are stunning (note to self:- I must try breeding my wild pair soon... I wish I didn't have shrimps and small rainbows in my tank at home as I'd put them there then!).

Love the stem plant in the centre. Think it could look even better if it was a more 'together' clump rather than the partly isolated strands now. Although maybe being slightly spaced out makes them look more dramatic...

Liking the tape solution! That, Araldite and zip ties can solve most problems!!! :lol:

I Agree with Clive about the timings though. Ideally I think you want a generally stable flow rate during the time the CO2's on if this is to help with the flow. If you want to vary the direction and get a more naturalistic 'random' flow have you seen these? They rotate with the flow from the outlet to give a more random pattern but always at full power to give the flow rate you need. Otherwise there's a conversion kit to change a Maxiflow powerhead into a stream flow type, but it's £25 and my new Koralia was £29.95 so it hardly seems worth it!
Maybe the reasons you're having issues with the angels is;
it isn't on long enough for them to HAVE to get used to it! Try feeding them only when the pump's on maybe?
the flow is quite intense and maybe a streamflow pump might be less severe as Angelfish are from fairly still waters naturally?

Think Clive might be right about placing the diffuser too, although you are the only one who can see the flow patterns in the tank. My diffuser sits under the pump which then sucks most of the bubbles in and then blasts them all around the tank. Also I find the streamflow pump, with it's larger cage arrangement sucks all the bubbles in and might do a better job than a traditional powerhead?
 

James Flexton

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For the record the stock list so far is as follows:

9 - angels
22 - Sterbai Corys
10 - (ish) otto's
1 - L128 - Blue Phantom Plec
2 - L007 - Galaxy Pleco's
2 - Pictus Catfish
1 - Bamboo Shrimp
10/20? - Amano Shrimp
2 - Spoilt zebra Danio's who dont want to come out!
Malaysian Trumpet Snails


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Hi Ed. which stem plant? the E. Stellata or the red one. if so thats an echinodorus and will eventually bush out with more red leaves if it's E. stellata then there isn't any room for a clump due to the hardscape. i was a plonker when arranging it and most pieces touch each other at the base then ecocomplete on top meaning i have to plant in the gaps between the wood. there are not many open planting areas apart from where the crypts are behind the lilly.

i like the thing on the link, may consider that although i am going to dig my heels in and go with the current timings for a while. do remember that when it's off there are still 2 more filters providing circulation it's not as if it all stops. i'll have to do a meet soon as the weathers getting better and you can all come round and debate it with me here over a beer or three.

what do you guys think about the stocking? i have to admit i thing the pictus were a bad move, they have been fine for 3 months now no aggression etc but i fear what will happen when they grow up! what do you think? i could move them to the rio180 which if i move the common plec in here will have just big killies and a snail for company. (think i have answered my own question there..) unless i'm wrong and you think they will be fine together.
 

beeky

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Any pictures of the pictus cats? If they are what I think they are (pimolodella pictus, silver with black spots and big whiskers) then I think they're fab. I've always wanted a nice big tank that I could give room to a group of them. I love the way they glide around a few cm above the bottom. They're quite predatory though aren't they? Like snacking on small tetras and probably zebra danios and ottos?!

How are your angels behaving? Any skimishes?
 

Ed Seeley

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jimbooo said:
Hi Ed. which stem plant? the E. Stellata or the red one. if so thats an echinodorus and will eventually bush out with more red leaves if it's E. stellata then there isn't any room for a clump due to the hardscape. i was a plonker when arranging it and most pieces touch each other at the base then ecocomplete on top meaning i have to plant in the gaps between the wood. there are not many open planting areas apart from where the crypts are behind the lilly.

Yeah, I meant the stemmies, not the Echinodorus. Look very distinctive, especially the shot on the video, just stood out to me. The red plants blend into everything else with my lack of colour vision! Different shapes and shades are way more noticeable.

I know the feeling of the hardscape messing up later plans. I'm thinking of completely re-arranging my other 180l jungle tank and the slate background may have to go...

jimbooo said:
i like the thing on the link, may consider that although i am going to dig my heels in and go with the current timings for a while. do remember that when it's off there are still 2 more filters providing circulation it's not as if it all stops. i'll have to do a meet soon as the weathers getting better and you can all come round and debate it with me here over a beer or three.

The meet sounds good to me! Especially the debate over beers! I'll bring my Hydor and we can see if that does a better job! It can't hurt to stick with the timings for a while and see how it goes. The angels amy get used to the currents more as the pump's on longer.

jimbooo said:
what do you guys think about the stocking? i have to admit i thing the pictus were a bad move, they have been fine for 3 months now no aggression etc but i fear what will happen when they grow up! what do you think? i could move them to the rio180 which if i move the common plec in here will have just big killies and a snail for company. (think i have answered my own question there..) unless i'm wrong and you think they will be fine together.

I'd move the pictus. They're gorgeous but always seem a bit 'hassled'; like they're never happy. Maybe add a few more in the other tank to reduce any aggressive tendencies? I think the pictus sp. is better in shoals if I remember rightly?

I think you really need a shoal of something in the middle-upper layers. Maybe Congo tetras? They look gorgeous when settled in.
 

James Flexton

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no decent pictus photo's i'm afraid they spend all the time in the open dark space behind the cave and i cant see them. they do come out "on patrol" at about midnight when the moonlights are on but the camera doesn't really pick anything up. They are as you guessed. silver body black spots and big whiskers. gorgeous fish but they do seem timid. the shoal comments make sense. thats decided then i will move them to the rio180 and buy some more to go with them. there will be no other bottom dwellers in there to bother them as the killies keep to the top 4 inches or water.

Ed: i thought i was kinda fully stocked already! bearing in mind adult sizes eventually. bear in mind i am adding my common plec soon, he's about 10 inches now. the pictures are deceptive but it is quite "busy" in there already. i went overboard on the rio180 and wished i'd bought fewer fish as it crowded the aquascape. so i am going to try to keep this tiddler free to keep numbers down. you know what i mean 1 angel rather than 20 cardinals etc..

right then i'd better speak to the misses about a meet! it would have to be a small one as i dont have much room :oops: i'm sure we can manage some shop visits though to keep us busy, got a cracking one just down the road.
 

Ed Seeley

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You're right about the stocking. I've tried very hard not to buy many catfish any more as they use up so much tank space and yet don't add the impact. But they do add to the tank in 'real life' don't they.

Mark me down for the meet mate. :D
 
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