Liseys Rio 125

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Lisa_Perry75, 24 Mar 2008.

  1. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    So finally got all the bits together for a high-tech tank!

    Rio 125 - 125 litres roughly there was no lighting unit so I had to bodge one. It may last, it doesn't look as great as I hoped.

    Lighting - 2 x 36 W power compact T5 with reflectors bulbs are a 954 from Lamp specs and an interpet triplus. I have a spare 865 but atm the lamps are yellowy and pinky and both quite bright. Lighting period 10 hours.

    Filtration - Tetratec EX1200 rated 10x and is damn powerful! Amusing the supplied spraybar yet took a while to find a direction that wasn't blowing around the substrate and plants.

    Dosing - Ei plus Mg and Fe (must really look up how much for my tank as I've been doing v. small pinches of each for 3 days now.

    CO2 - D&D kit trying to get the drop checker to sit at yellowy but slowly building up. Weird but today I went up to my room and it had stopped but drop checker still green. Using 4 dkh solution from AE with JBL permanent test kit. Used 1.5 mls of water and 3 drops of reagent. Am using the diffuser Chrisi gave me, looks really good so cheers for that!

    Plants
    Bacopa monneri
    Bacopa caroliana
    Cryptocoryne Undulata (broad leaf)
    Cryptocoryne wenditii
    Vallis torta
    Hygrophila corymbosa siamensis 53B
    Eleocharis parvula
    Eleocharis vivipara
    Marsilea hirsuta
    Nymphaea Zenkeri lotus
    Limnobium Laevigatium

    No pics yet. Am too scared to show all of you! The plants I received from Java and Greenline weren't the best specimens, coupled with not being in the best conditions until I planted means alot are yellow. I'm dosing flourish excel as a precaution. I'm worried about the degredation leading to ammonia release and algal bloom. I have taken a pic of it but I think I may wait a week for the plants to green up a bit... Take another pic then and show the difference! There isn't much of a scape going on really. Just plants planted with a few mini landscape rocks.
     
  2. Denis C.

    Denis C. Member

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    What did you use to keep the T5's suspended above the tank, given that you didn't have a hood to work with, or is it only the Rio 180's and above that use the light bar as the support for the access flaps front and back?

    Nice selection of plants too and I really like Cryptocoryne wendtii when planted in bunches. Lookinf forward to seeing some pictures.

    Regards

    Denis
     
  3. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    I bought an offcut of MDF with wood effect top and slight waterproof bottom. I spraypainted the top and edges matt black. Got given a satin white to spray the bottom with. I screwed the reflector and clips into the board et voila. A very non waterproof solution which looks rubbish and has limited life useage. But hey what else am I to do.
     
  4. Denis C.

    Denis C. Member

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    They say necessity is the mother of all invention, if it works (and isn't hazardous to your health) then I don't see why you need to fix it or replace it.
     
  5. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Got two thin offcuts and screwed them together, got them for £1 together :D And definately, when it fails I'll do something else. By that time I will buy some marine ply or something...
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Lisa,
    Refer to the EI dry powder article. 125l=33USG therefore multiply the 20USG reference values by 33/20 or, 1.7. You'll get numbers like 3/8 tsp KNO3, 3/32 tsp KH2PO4, 1 tsp MgSO4 1/8 tsp CSM+B (or 6ml TPN). I know it's frustrating when the plants are not in the best condition when they arrive, but really, you mustn't fret too much. EI + CO2 should see them through.

    Look at these comparative photos of Limnophilia aromatica which arrived from Asia in August in very poor condition. The two stems are shown in the back, behind the moss plate. The second photo shows what they became within 2-3 months and I was sending stems to other folks.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    You can go from rags to riches with proper dosing and CO2. It will just take a little longer than if they were in perfect condition. If this is a newly setup tank then your enemy will not be the plants condition so much as the nitrogen cycle which will dump massive amounts of ammonia into the water column due to low bacteria count. You'll need to do frequent water changes for the first 6-8 weeks, 2X or 3X per week if you can manage. This lowers the NH4 concentration. This NH4 due to cycling is the only thing to worry about if you are dosing nutrient/CO2 correctly. As the plants become stronger and more efficient they will feed on NH4 as well. Also, do yourself a favor and have one light on for something like the first 4 hours and then turn the second lamp on for the duration of the photoperiod. This reduces your exposure to NH4 + high light, a wicked combination.

    If your tank has a canopy then it will retain a certain amount of CO2 concentration overnight. The dropchecker is very slow to respond but it's the best tool we have for the price. It will take a few hours to go from green to yellow so you want to turn the gas on at least an hour before lights on. Review the CO2 injection/measurement article in the Cookbook section for a more detailed explanation. You can buy a tool that measures CO2 which only takes 10 minutes and is super accurate but I think it costs £7000 :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Hi Lisa,

    It all sounds really rather good :) dont worry about the scape for the time being, it's taken me 2 years to get EI figured out and I'm only now working on the scaping side of things. Best to get used to growing healthy plants first, you cant have a scape without those! :)

    Re the fert dosing, could you not make up stock solutions of each and dose those? It's more accurate (not that we need to be ultra accurate) than dry ferts I find and is very simple once you work it out. I can give you the calculations if you want?

    Sam
     
  8. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my thread :D

    Ceg - I didn't think about cycling as I haven't put in fish! How dim of me. I have a solenoid but have been running CO2 constantly. I was going to run the CO2 into the limeadey yellow region until I think I'm out of the woods. I thought constant CO2 would lead to stable CO2 levels while I'm in a dodgy position. I feel like I'm on a seesaw and I'm desperately trying to gain weight my end but any second algae may just come slamming down like a sumo wrestler on the other. Thanks for showing me the before and after, I was mainly worried as I have planted lots of crypts and they aren't exactly well known for their fast growing nature.

    Sam - Cheers! Yes I thought growing the plants healthy was more important. I was going to make up stock solutions, I haven't had access to DI water though. I suppose tap water is ok as a substitute? Yes please if you could send me the link to the calculator one more time please! (sorry sorry sorry for being a pain in the bum). I try to search for it but it takes ages with the flood control thing.
     
  9. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    If you can I would use DI or RO water, so you know exactly what you are adding with each dose. You dont need much so you could always gets some DI water from a petrol station (use in car radiators I think).

    Your best bet re making the stock solutions it to download the calculator from Chuck here

    http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_aquacalc.htm

    I would try and get your head around it as well, but just to give you something to work off, I'll outlined below the calculation for KNO3.

    Add 204g of KNO3 to 500ml of DI/RO water
    Adding 1ml of this solution to a tank of 125lt raises the tank NO3 level by 2ppm
    Therefore, adding 10ml of the solution raises the tank NO3 by 20ppm.

    I hope that helps.

    Sam
     
  10. Arana

    Arana Member

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    Tesco do 2.5l of DI water for less than £2 :D in the car care section :D
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Lisa/Sam,
    Just to be clear, lets remember the principle of EI as discussed in the article. We don't need to be exact about the dosing. Far from it. We only need to ensure that we have at least some minimum concentration level. There is no problem in having more than the minimum. With this in mind you'll see that using DI is totally unneccessary and only serves to complicate your life.

    For the present intent, who cares about the phosphate and nitrate levels in your tap water? You know how much you are dosing. You know that this dosing level will ensure that your plants will not suffer a nutrient deficiency. If the tap adds extra nutrients then so much the better. The extra nutrients in the tap water will not increase the chances of inducing algae one iota because nutrients don't cause algae.

    Do yourself a favor and forget about using DI/RO water in your dosing mixture. It simply doesn't matter.

    Regarding CO2; Yes, 24/7 injection rate is more stable and is certainly easier. No doubt about that. However, stable CO2 is only relevant during the photo period. Neither plants nor algae care about CO2 at night. They both use oxygen during this time. When you do add fish however CO2 at night is a potential problem especially during early morning, when O2 is low (because all inhabitants consume it throughout the night) and CO2 high due to the injection all night. This can be a bad combination for fish.

    Stable CO2 is only relevant during the photoperiod. CO2 and light work similar to "lock and key". When the light goes on it produces a certain amount of energy. To use this energy effectively the plant requires a certain amount of CO2.

    If the CO2 concentration level is high when the light goes on the plants are efficiently able to stop using O2 and transition to CO2 consumption. If the CO2 level is low when lights go on the plants struggle. The key to CO2 is to have very high levels at lights on and to maintain this level through the photo period. To keep from poisoning the fish you can shut off the CO2 a few hours before lights off. CO2 is not as important near the end of the day. Stability therefore can be described as a simple concentration profile where it is very high at lights on, stays high for a few hours, and then is slowly lowered as the end of the photo period approaches. When this pattern is repeated on a daily basis this counts as stable. Instability would be characterized by fluctuating levels throughout the day - high, low, high, low, or high one day then low the next then high the next and so forth.

    The solenoid allows you turn on the gas an hour or two before the lights come on. You can then set a much higher injection rate to boost the CO2 level to high values during that hour or two before lights on. Because the injection rate is high you don't want to run that rate all day otherwise it becomes toxic. I run my CO2 for only 6 1/2 hours a day. The gas comes on 2 hours before max lighting (1 hour before 30% of max lighting). The gas goes off 5 hours before lights off. There is enough concentration level to last the remainder of the photoperiod and the fish are given a break overnight. I don't have to worry about adding an airstone or anything like that.

    Hope this clarifies.

    Cheers,
     
  12. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    I didn't think it would matter about the phosphate/nitrate in the tap water I mean adding say 10 mls is not going to make a difference to the 125 litres of the stuff in the tank. I just wasn't sure if there was a reason I couldn't use it for the stock solution like say the high levels of salts present would cause the ferts to precipitate out.

    Re CO2 - thats a good idea, thanks for the info. I thought stable CO2 meant CO2 concentration needs to be like 30 ppm 24/7.
     
  13. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    I fully agree re the use of tap water, however for me, and you can call me ultra picky, but I likely to know whats going into my tank. I like to know that the level of N or P or whatever is OK, so I like to make accurate solutions and dose accurately to the tank. But I fully appreciate that this is just me :lol: others may be willing to be more 'free' with the additions, but I'm to organised and fussy to do that! I also get a certain satisfaction from making the solutions and getting the scales out, sad I know but thats the way I am!

    The method you suggest would be more suited to my wife, who's far less 'tidy' with these kind of things. It makes her laugh sometimes just how a*al I can be! (sorry for the rude word but it sums me up perfectly!)

    Your comments re the CO2 are interesting, Ive not heard of turning the co2 off several hours before the lights, worth remembering. I like to run my co2 24/7 purely as it means I have one less plug on my already overloads extension lead and it also cuts out the potential for the solenoid to go wrong. Unlikely I know but I have found that (as you say) stability is very important with co2, so I chose not to risk it with a solenoid. The fish dont seem to mind :)

    I might however change my mind when I start having to buy a FE each month for my 4ft due to the wastage!! :lol:

    Sam
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Sam,
    Yes, exactly, that's the other side benefit to the solenoid is that it helps you to stretch the CO2 supply. Fundamentally though it allows you to drive to much higher concentration level than would be feasible running 24/7. CO2 in the morning is much more important than in the afternoon. If your tank has a canopy it retains CO2 much better than an open tank so the loss of concentration is much less.

    Regarding the dosage preparation, some people like to fiddle with various aspects and that's fine. The problem is that the more complicated a procedure, the more likely that the average person will lose interest in doing it as it becomes drudgery. If it takes you an extra 15 or 20 minutes for collection in order to prepare a solution using RI/DO I reckon that's 15 or 20 minutes less I have to sit and look at my tank with a glass of Pinot Grigio in hand. Those 15 or 20 extra minutes don't earn me anything - it would be a different story if they did. If there is no value added to testing or to using special water or whatever then I delete the procedure from my inventory of tasks. This allows more time for actual enjoyment of the tank or more time for tasks that are more interesting or imperative. I always strive to simplify my tank keeping as much as possible. I only ever make it more complicated when the complication results in better plant growth, better aesthetics or better tank health.

    Cheers,
     
  15. john starkey

    john starkey Member

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    H.i Lisa,nice start to your journal, i cant wait to see all those plants i sent you planted and growing well, dont make us wait too long for pics take care john
     
  16. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Well I thought I would post some pictures...
    John the last lot of P. helferi was pretty melted so I took it out.

    Well this is it before planting, with the wood...
    IMGP2752.jpg

    And this is how it looks as of yesterday
    IMGP2884.jpg

    And close up of the left...
    IMGP2894.jpg

    ...middle...
    IMGP2895.jpg

    ...right
    IMGP2897.jpg

    Well please don't be too harsh!
     
  17. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Is it really that bad no-one will comment?
     
  18. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

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    I think it is lovely - a tank I'd be proud to have and watch grow in myself :) But not being one of the experts on here, I have little constructive comments to make so me thinking it looks nice isn't much use to you ;)
     
  19. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

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    I think it looks great!
    Should look really nice when it's all filled in.
    Did you say what substrate that was?
     
  20. Arana

    Arana Member

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    Looks great Lisa :D But where did the wood go?
     

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