Johns 717l / 157G Tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by johnb, 23 Mar 2008.

  1. john starkey

    john starkey Member

    Messages:
    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    Hi John,thats one hell of a big setup and i wish you luck, my setup at 150x20x60 is very hard work so i wish you all the very best. Are you following EI to feed your plants? i know plants are exspensive but i think you should plant more heavily if possible to avoid any algae issues but i like what you have done so far, regards john
     
  2. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Thanks to all for the helpful comments. IVe installed a drop checker as advised. I can see some of the plants pearling which is good, but only some of them, do all plants do this or are some more prolific than others ?

    John B
     
  3. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Looking good John. :D
     
  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    IME all plants can pearl but some pearl more than others and some are more noticeable than others! In my tank the cabomba and Hygrophila pearling isn't as evident as the swords and the mosses (surprisingly!). However the most obvious is usually the lilies as the bubbles under the leaves can cause the leaves to fold up!
    Newly planted plants can often take a few days or so to settle down and grow and pearl heavily too.
     
  5. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    CO2 Update

    So I installed a drop checker, here is progress
    10.00 am
    Drop checker installed, colour Blue
    11.00 am
    CO2 Comes on
    12.00 am
    Lights come on
    12.30 pm
    Pearling seems to start
    14.30
    Pearling well
    Drop checker now a greenish color ?

    I think overall with the amount of plants etc im on the right lines, as I get more plants anf of course they start to grow I will need to add my second feed of CO2

    Feedback always appreciated

    John B

    Drop Checker Initial color
    ST831366.jpg
    Drop Checker after CO2 has been on for some 3 hrs
    ST831367.jpg
    Pearling after some 3 hrs
    ST831370.jpg
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi john,
    Yes, this is a typical profile. The dropchecker, has such a depressingly slow response time that you only ever know what the CO2 value was a few hours ago. As a learning tool you might want to consider testing the pH of the tank water every hour for the duration of the photoperiod and plotting a graph with time on the horizontal axis and pH on the vertical axis. A pH probe is always better for this because it could get tedious. Mark on the graph at what time the dropchecker is stable lime green/yellow. Visually, you'll be able to see the profile of the pH change in the tank water. If this profile exercise is done long term you will be able to get a quick idea, by noting what the pH of the tank water is at the time when the lime green color stabilizes. It will be just a guide but it may enable you to do quick troubleshooting in the future.

    As plant biomass increases the CO2 demand will definitely increase and you will be able to note this by seeing that the tank pH does not drop as low as it did when the biomass was less (assuming you have not increased the bubble rate). Again, these are just guides. Organic acid production, phosphoric, nitric etc, will affect the pH reading in the tank water so don't depend solely on this value.

    Planter, the ph/kH/CO2 relationship is only valid when the only source of the pH is due to CO2. If there are any other acids in the water then the relationship is ambiguous. I agree that you could just select a target pH and drive to that value with injection and you could saturate the tank with CO2 and be fine but the value calculated for CO2 ppm is seldom accurate, so for example you could calculate 60ppm when the real value is actually 30ppm and you would be OK. In many cases though, depending on the tank the hobbyist uses tank water to calculate a CO2 concentration and gets a number like 50 when the actual value may be 18. :wideyed: Depending on the light intensity the tank may then becomes CO2 limited and algae appears. The hobbyist swears his CO2 is good and goes on to assume other causes for his algae with often predictable results. We've seen countless scenarios like this so as a standard practice I reckon it's best to at least start with a dropchecker with 4dkh water and to go from there. :D

    Cheers,
     
  7. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Hi

    Well did my first tank change today and changed 50%, quite a painless exercise (god forbid when I get a water meter)
    Everything is growing well and pearling a treat now – I noticed more pearling once the filters were turned off.

    So im refilling via the tap, does it matter when the Dechlorinator goes in? As in before, during or after?

    I had a good look and have no algae etc, however on the wood I see some small white patches, I have tried to take a pic but its not come out to well, they are small and in the crevices and look a bit like a matted spider web (hope that makes sense) – any thoughts ?

    Regards

    John B

    Ok not the best pic

    mould.jpg
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi John,
    The white on the wood is an aquatic fungus and that's just life under water. You can scrape it off if you don't like it but it will normally go away after some time. You can put the dechlorinator in before you fill. Try not to get too mesmerized by the pearling bubbles. Focus on plant growth rates, color etc. Try to keep your light on for no more than 10 hours or so, follow your dosing schedules and keep an eye on CO2.

    Cheers,
     
  9. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Evening all

    It’s been a while so an update (with the odd question), sorry no pics as camera has died

    So it was two weeks on Saturday, overall things are going well I think, I have been doing a weekly change of 50% and 25% in the middle of the week, all the plants are growing like crazy and I did some gardening today and cut them back so they will thicken out (I hope)

    I had an existing CO2 feed, I now have 2 feeds and am using very nice Spiro 9000’s (thanks Planter)

    I have added 10 Amano Shrimps and 5 Siamese flying fox’s – they are all settled and seem quite happy

    Water Quality

    Ammonia has been 0 since day 1
    Nitrate (NO2) started at 01. rose for a few days to 0.3 and then back to 0.1
    Nitrite (NO3) started at 5 was up to 20, water change and back to 5 and then goes back to 20 over a few days

    Q1 – Water changes my tank is a steady 27C – a water changes drops this to about 20 to 22 – when its fully stocked will they cope with this ?

    Q2 – Algae, I have two types started in the last couple of days, Green Dust Algae and the other is like a fine spider web forming on the rocks.

    My PH varies between 8 (my tap water is 8) and 7 depending upon the time of day due to the CO2, my drop checker is a nice green, from reading on line etc I’m sure my CO2 is fine so ive turned down my photoperiod from 10 hrs to 8 hrs and I think I just need to wait and get through it ? – Comments appreciated

    I will get some updated pics next weekend

    Hope you all had a good weekend

    John b
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    John,
    GDA can be a result of poor nutrients and/or poor CO2 in a new setup. See JamesC's algae guide: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

    You have not specified your dosing scheme and I would never say that the CO2 is necessarily fine just because the drop checker is green. I also think you have added fish much too soon as you can stand to tweak both the dosing and injection rate. It's better to do without the fish for a while until final tweaks.

    Cheers,
     
  11. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Well it’s been a while since I have posted an update. The tank has been running for two and a half weeks now.
    Overall I think things are going well, plants are all growing, I pruned quite hard a week ago, damm they grow fast. Cutting grass underwater was an interesting experience, collecting the grass was a nightmare, maybe I need some sort of vacuum cleaner (suggestions)

    The shrimps (11 of them) seem happy, they spent a few days huddled in a corner, now they are all over the place, ive also seen an epidemic of snails, should I be concerned ?

    So im doing regular bi weekly 25% water changes (im getting quite slick at these), and this week I cleaned out a filter, just washed the debris out of the sponges etc using tank water and was going to this on alternate filters fortnightly ?

    So some filter advice appreciated: The FX5 has three baskets

    So starting at the bottom and moving up

    Hagen A1445 Activated Carbon Fluva
    Hagen A1470 Fluval Pre- Filter Media

    Hagen Fluval Biomax

    Polishing Pad

    I can rinse the Carbon pad and Polishing pad fortnightly, how often should I replace the various media (not forgetting I have two filters so it won’t all be done at once)


    The Algae is growing well ?., from what ive read I should not worry to much about it, I did manually remove some on the last water change and I have adjusted my CO2 on \ off and Lights On off they are now set to

    CO2 – Comes on at 16.00 and goes off at 22.00
    Lights – Come on at 18.00 and go off at Midnight (previously they were on for some 12 hours

    So im hoping to see a reduction in algae growth over the next week or so

    I have finally invested in a camera a : Samsung NV4 (8.2mega pixels) it takes quite nice pictures, you can really see the algae

    Regards to all

    John

    Algae growing well
    SDC10005.jpg
    SDC10008.jpg

    General pic still looks quite empty of plants but in comparison to two weeks ago its growing well
    SDC10006.jpg
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I'd do multiple water changes of 50% or more per week at least for the first 6-8 weeks. You don't have enough plant mass to be doing only bi-weekly 25% changes.

    It might be an optical illusion from the photo but the close up of the hygro in the second shot looks like either Nitrogen or micronutrient starvation. Can you see the yellowing of the tissue between the vascular tissues? Are you dosing?

    Cheers,
     
  13. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Hi all

    Well it will be 5 weeks this coming Wednesday and Its all going well so far?, I do have a bit of an algae issue but its dying down, yes there is a lot left but compared to a week ago its so much better. I was doing weekly with Tropica, since swapping to Tropica + which contains N and P things are picking up and the plants are getting greener and bigger by the day ( I do understand that many of you use EI but I work long days during the week and just don’t think I could stick to a regime) . Most of them are now well established so I will over the next couple of weeks be scaping quite a bit and adding more plants with color for some contrast. I have 5 Siamese algae eaters and 10 shrimp, I don’t see much of them until water change time ?, they seem more active when the temperature drops ?, currently its 27 C (or 80F) maybe I should lower it a couple of degrees ?

    I have included a picture of my drop checker , it seems quite stable on this color

    I did further up in the journal post some questions about filter media – advice appreciated.

    And of course any general comments appreciated.

    Hope you all have a good week.


    John B

    Drop Checker
    SDC10013.jpg
    General Shots
    SDC10018.jpg
    SDC10014.jpg
     
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I think everyone missed that query about the media.

    You'll need to clean/replace the polishing pad every time you clean the filter. I use pond floss pads cut to size in my Ehiem as it saves a fortune!

    The carbon will last up to about 4 weeks depending on the load and I wouldn't replace it as you shouldn't really need carbon in a planted tank.

    The other ceramic and biological media simply need cleaning in old tank water every time you clean the filter and shouldn't need replacing. (I still have ceramic rings and siporax that are over 15 years old now and still going strong!)

    When you do water changes are syphoning away as much algae as possible and it's then re-growing? Have you tried dosing with Excel or EasyCarbo as this will kill many algae directly and adds extra carbon metabolites that plants will use too.
     
  15. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the Media tips.

    I have been manually removing the algae on water change days, its not the simplest job, I found a bottle brush does the job best, sort of twist it round the algae and it collects loads. Ive noticed since Im using the Tropica with N and P that its starting to decrease (I think), had not considered chemicals to kill it ?, maybe I should see if it disapears by its self first ?

    John B
     
  16. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    What kinda algae are those? I have something similar in my tank but they are very little like a strand or two and they are normally left over organic stuff that I didn't manage to get hold of during water change such as floating leaves etc. I've never seen an algae like that before to be honest. Is it improving?
     
  17. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Daniel

    I have no idea ?, the closest thing I can find online is here

    http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

    I think its Rhizoclonium ?

    Description Strands of fine green or brownish threads which are soft and slimy.
    Cause Low CO2. Low nutrient levels. General lack of maintenance.
    Removal Increase CO2 levels and check nutrient dosing. Give the tank a good cleaning. Overdosing excel should also clear it. Amano shrimp will eat it.

    I clearly had Low nutrient levels and this is now fixed. Time will tell
    Im happy to be corrected

    John B
     
  18. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Does looks like it. Need time to tell if the method is working. Hopefully everything turns out alright
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Temperature is an algae growth factor that many people don't pay enough attention to. Just a two degree temperature reduction can help tremendously to lower it's proliferation. I would reset the thermostat to 25C.

    Cheers,
     
  20. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    No worries.

    The Excel can't hurt to add it. At the very least it'll help with the plant growth. I add it to my tanks after any disturbance like a water change or replanting just to be on the safe side and help prevent any algae getting going.
     

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