My bit of good fortune

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Lisa_Perry75, 3 Mar 2008.

  1. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    So in a bit of good luck I managed to sell some items, and be offered a rio 125 for free! How lucky is that?! The only thing is the light is broken, and obviously it has to pan out.

    So I managed to find an ASL PC 2 x 36w lighting set including reflectors on sale at £29.99. I realise this maybe too concentrated in one place so I may cut the double reflector in half. I found this at http://www.aquatics-online.com. I managed to get some other bits and bobs at Porton, like some wood cheap and some aqua-clay. I was given some rocks by a friend. I managed to get some tropica plants as well. So I want to set this up asap, just need to get the tank from Brighton.

    The 2 x 36w give me just over 2 wpg so I have to set up my CO2 (aaaaah sooooo scared) and do a proper dosing regime. So now I have several questions about what I need to get/do, so I hope you guys will help!

    I need a drop checker, 4 kdh solution, and a permanent pH test kit? I was thinking about buying the cheap drop checker from ebay (not sure how long it will take to come though!?!). Does anyone know where I can get the permenent test kit cheapest? I can make 4 kdh solution can't I? Its like 0.12g of something in RO water. Does this have to be a certain ph?

    As far as ferts go I need trace mix, KNO3, KH2PO4 and perhaps MgSO4 at a later date.

    Lighting - So I was looking on lampspecs, what bulbs should I get as there aren't many above 6500k? http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs-Tubes/36-Watt_2
    Maybe this one http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs-Tubes/Colour-90_3/Dulux-L-4-Pin-36-Watt-954-Osram-36W
    And this one? http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs- ... 65-Philips


    So shopping list:-
    Bulbs
    Drop checker
    Permanent CO2 test
    KNO3
    KH2 PO4
    Trace mix
    Spare CO2 bottle

    Have I forgotten anything? If anyone could answer my questions that would be great, cheers.

    I am so worried about going high-tech. After all the hoo-hah around safety with CO2, and I don't want to kill my lovely (read expensive) cpd shoal! Dosing I can probably get my head around, I'll probably make up doses into liquids. Is there anyway I could half the doses so I could half the waterchanges? That sounds lazy, but I hope you know what I mean.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Lisa,
    OK, I always like to cover the fundamentals. For CO2 it would be a good idea to check the thread dealing with CO2 injection and measurement: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=467

    You can make the 4 kH water from scratch but it is a bit complicated and you need very accurate measurements. I'd say buy the water from AE and make life easier. As you'll see if you study the thread, the CO2 test is a pH measurement. Just buy the cheapest drop checker from any shop selling "Permanent CO2 Test" or "Long Term CO2 Test" JBL makes a very nice cheap test kit.

    For your lamps, first have a look at JamesC's thread covering the various colors: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=555

    There are not many CF tubes above the 7000K unless you get the Arcadia blue+white for 3 times the price but so what? 6500K and lower look fine.

    Read those two threads carefully and it should answer most of the uncertainty. If not, just ask and we'll clarify.

    Also, a lot of people seem to connect the water changes with the dosing, presumably to prevent the dreaded "nutrient buildup". Water changes are done primarily to remove organic waste and the resulting ammonia buildup. The nutrients are dosed in order to ensure that the tank does not run short of nutrients, therefore using less nutrients and changing less water is unreasonable since each of those actions will tend to favor algae production.

    Cheers,
     
  3. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    40dKH = 6g bicarb in 5 litres DI water.

    4dKH = 10ml x 40dKH + 90ml DI.

    Its not exactly accurate but close enough to give a reasonable accurate reading. There are several different recipes about due to arguments about baking the bicarb etc but the final one was something like 5.99g.

    Andy
     
  4. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Cheers for the replies guys! Yep I'll have a good read of those pages again.

    I have access to a lab and very very very accurate scales, so it really wouldn't be that much for me to make some up. So it's bicarbonate of soda I add?


    PS My bioload from the fish will be reasonably high so will I have to account for this in the dosing regime? It will be roughly a 125 litre tank with 22 cpds, 11 cardinals, 2 x inch long flying foxes, cherry shrimp and apple snails until I can sell them/swap them for nerites.
     
  5. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Depends on the lighting and regime really.

    If its a high light EI tank with CO2 then the fish/food waste will make a negligable difference.

    If it is a lean dosing or off the shelf setup then regular vacuuming should counteract it.

    Andy
     
  6. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    It will be 72 watts over roughly 125 litres sooo... 2.18 wpg pc T5
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Sounds perfect Lisa :)
     
  8. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Cheers Sam :D

    Is this the right CO2 test kit? http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=77 I'm trying to get one like you showed so I can use that as a drop checker. I don't mean to be dense or lazy btw, sorry!

    Will be picking the tank up tomorrow, yaaaaay! I will also be scanning the lab for the dry ferts. Apparently Potassium nitrate is also used for making bombs so I feel a bit suspect asking for 100g!!! I also need to ask about using the DI water on a regular basis. I'm going to try using that in a 50:50 ratio with tap water for my 50% water changes. Soooooo thats around 30 litres a week, with 3 x 25l containers means I need to refill about every fortnight.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yes that's the right CO2 kit. Works fine but is less elegant than the Gucci blown glass models.

    Yes, Timothy McVay blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City using KNO3. Farmers use this to blow up tree stumps after cutting the tree down. It is sold in the USA as Grumpy's Stump Remover.

    I don't see a need for using DI water unless you have some special breeding project, or unless your tap water is high in toxic metals such as Copper. DI/RO complicates life tremendously and makes it more likely that you will have a tendency to skip a water change here and there. Use tap for now and only use DI or RO if circumstances prove that you need to use it.

    Cheers,
     
  10. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Sorry, a little off topic I know, but is it safe to fly with KNO3? My mother is flying out at easter and I was planning to ask her to bring an Aqua Essentials parcel with KNO3 in it - will she be picked out by some sniffer dog or sensors and have some awkward explaining to do? Am I better to stick to pay international shipping on that part?
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Ray I would ship it personally, AE will send things pretty much anywhere if you ask them.

    Lisa - as Clive says, that drop checker is the one, however the glass one looks the business IMHO and is only £2 more ;)

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1231

    Sam
     
  12. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Richard has already dispatched my order. I didn't realise the glass one came with the reagent bottle too.
    Dang it...

    Just had a phone call from lampspecs saying my debit card has failed... I thought I had enough in my bank account... Oh crapity crap..... Then gave them my credit card info and that failed too... It's either very odd or somehow I gave my details to a random person... I really must pop to a cash machine soon!
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I think you are not supposed to travel with it. It is not spontaneously combustible and requires an ignition source. I think the mixture needs to have other components such as sulfur or charcoal to be explosive.

    I'm 100% sure that you can find oodles of KNO3 and KH2PO4 where you are. Virtually every farmer uses this stuff by the ton. We buy it from AE and Garden Direct only because of the convenient small quantities,otherwise you could only find it in 50 Kilo sacks. I think it's better to not have to bail your mum out of the Gulag.:wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  14. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Hi guys,
    I thought of a few questions:-
    1) Can I use a normal non-return valve?
    2) Can I use normal connectors?
    3) If I make a bubble counter do I have to silicone the lid on so I can change the water, or shall I use some parafilm which is like ptfe tape to make sure no CO2 escapes?
    4) I go away alot so does anyone know how or where I could buy a cheap pump or device that could dose automatically? Apart from the eheim liquidoser as I'm sure there must be a much cheaper way of doing things!

    Thanks :)
     
  15. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    1) Can I use a normal non-return valve? - Sure can :)

    2) Can I use normal connectors?- Yep :)

    3) If I make a bubble counter do I have to silicone the lid on so I can change the water, or shall I use some parafilm which is like ptfe tape to make sure no CO2 escapes? - not sure, bought bubble counters are sealed shut but you can still change the water in them. BTW you dont have to have a bubble counter, I reply on my drop checker to tell me if I need to increase of decrease the CO2 level.

    4) I go away alot so does anyone know how or where I could buy a cheap pump or device that could dose automatically? Apart from the eheim liquidoser as I'm sure there must be a much cheaper way of doing things! - Cant help there! How often do you stay away for? If its a day or two you probably dont need to worry. Just adapt the EI to suit.

    Sam]
     
  16. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Cheers for the help Sam. I tend to go away randomly, maybe not at all maybe 2 days. Maybe three... It would be so much easier if I could find a nice cheap peristaltic pump.
     
  17. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    You can double dose EI provided and be fine if you have a good substrate and get away with being away for upto 3days. I'd guess, you could diy a gravity one? I've come across a tuturial I'll try and find it for you (Y)
     
  18. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Lisa

    Try Ebay for the old hospital drip dosing machines. Doses aren't as small as you are dosing currently but you just dilute your solution appropriately. i.e. if you dose 5ml a day the drip machine may dose 50ml per minute.

    Then you would buy a digital timer (if there isn't a timer on the machine) and set the doser to run for 1 minute using 1 part fert solution to 9 parts DI water.

    They can get expensive but I have seen some go for £25ish sometimes. There are also ones for swimming pools that dose algaecide.

    Andy
     

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