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My tank is naf, what to do?

fishkeeper

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2 Apr 2008
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198
My rio 125 has been set up for 1 year now but im beginning to feel that it looks completely rubbish. First of all, there is this brown algae and the plants at the bottom of the tank are becoming yellow. I admit that over the past month, ive had too much school work and ive skimped on everything to do with the tank and left it to do its own thing which is a bit stupid in my opinion.
Here are some pics, now ive jsut had my birthday, ive got some money so hopefully with your advice i can make this tank a lot better again :D

DSC00343Medium.jpg


DSC00344Medium.jpg


DSC00345Medium.jpg


Please help me lol. Im runing one diy co2 set (made by hydor), i think the lights may be a bit old? the problem with that is i havent got enough money to fork out £50 for 2 juwel light tubes :(
 

TLH

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15 Jan 2009
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183
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Northants
That's a nice bit of BBA you have there mate. :lol: Personally I don't mind it on rocks and stones like that but I'd remove any leaves with it on. You could do with having a major clean up and a good trim which would help to increase flow and help sort the bba. The yellowing is either iron or potassium deficiency so what do you dose and when?

As for lights go to http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/ and find a tube there. Much cheaper than £50.
 

fishkeeper

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tbh i dont particularly know what i would like

Id like the tank to be less cluttered but also keep the style of the jungle. I also need to eradicate all the algae and make the plants look a really nice green again. I also need a god carpeting plant on to cover the black gravel instead of the yellowing plants now, i just have no idea what to do :(
 

Nick16

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13 Aug 2008
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Surrey, UK
go for a complete rescape. Keep some plants if they fit in with your new plans and are heathy. up the flow as said and you will feel good after a re plant. (you may want to replace substrate)
 

ceg4048

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11 Jul 2007
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Hi,
If it were me, the last think I would be thinking about is a lighting upgrade. the tank has multiple problems that added lighting won't fix. Not only will the light not fix the problems but it's highly likely to make matters worse.

Firstly, the tank is choked with weeds which blocks flow and stops distribution of nutrients to the plants in the lower regions. A serious trim will help with that problem. Secondly, CO2 needs to be upgraded and that's what the BBA is telling you right now. Excel/Easycarbo can help here.

You also have not mentioned what your dosing scheme is so it's unclear whether you may have other malnutrition issues as well. Without knowing what you filtration is I'd say the priorities that will bring benefit are as follows:

1. Trim
2. Better CO2/Liquid Carbon
3. Higher rated filtration or added powerhead
4. Fix Dosing

Cheers,
 

nry

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23 Oct 2007
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1,227
Location
Cumbria, UK
If I'm not mistaken, the tank is running stock Juwel lighting? That won't be high light so to be honest I'd ditch the CO2 entirely - BBA loved my DIY CO2, so much so that in the end I ditched it for pressurised, though I did have 2wpg whereas at a guess you'll have 1wpg or so.

Rip out any plants/leaves with algae on, concentrate on the cleaning regime (including a filter clean once a month, as in clean no more than half the media in old tank water etc), and see how things go. Fertiliser wise, I am unsure if you'd need anything more than something like Tropica Plant Nutrition+ as EI etc is not likely of major benefit in a low light tank unless you have a very low fish stock and masses of plants.

Stick to slower growing/low light plants such as crypts - it might sound limiting but there are growing numbers of lower light tanks on here (some done by George Farmer for example) which look stunning without the use of any CO2 - possibly consider EasyCarbon et-al (or wait until AquaEssentials have their own cheaper version of this soon) just to keep a steady level of carbon available. I'd sway towards that then try to keep on with inherently unstable DIY methods.
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Any CO2 as long as it is stable will be of benefit for growth. However DIY on a 125 is not going to be stable and at the moment you want slower growth rather than faster growth. This tank will have 2 T8s at minimum and IMO that is enough for a lot of plants. However with no CO2 addition then water changes would have to be eliminated and at the present time that wouldn't be a great idea. I personally would go pressurised dependent on your finances or if tight then I would get 2-3 DIYs rigged up and changed alterately (all 3 on different days each week).

Ceg has hit the nail on the head really. Although I don't think it is 'choked' with weeds, you are running the standard internal Juwel filter? which is not going to be enough circulation for a low plant mass let alone a high plantmass. That is one of your main problems. Circulation will be key to anything you do on this tank.

Choose what ferts regime you want to use. EI is of benefit to any level of lighting. Its a regime and its plant usage that matters rather than lighting amount. The lower the amount of growth just means more water changes. However EI is coupled with good CO2

I wouldn't say you need to stick to 'slow' or 'low light' plants or feel limited. You can grow what you want under 2 full length T8s BUT I would get the tank in balance especially flow and CO2 before attempting the so called 'high light' plants.

Clive's list is what I would suggest really. The key to a high plantmass/jungle is flow/circulation and without that then CO2/Ferts are rendered almost useless. I have 2200lph total in my 125Ltr (I would guess that I had more plantmass in mine than yours) and that ensured that detritus was kept moving, CO2 was spread well and nutrients distributed.

The plant trimming is your choice but my tips would be to get more flow in there (Koralia 1) and then go pressurised. The 2 would if setup properly enable you to retain the high plantmass and keep it healthy.

AC
 

dsandson

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25 Jun 2008
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Belfast, NI
Hi Fishkeeper, welcome to ukaps!

You've made a very good start with your tank, even with your algae issues. I can understand tight finances, and maybe I can help with a few other suggestions.

First of all, listen to ceg. He really does know his stuff!

Secondly, do some reasearch before you spend if you only have a little to go around. If you do consider a rescape, then consider Akadama as a substrate. Its a bonsai 'soil', so its cheap, and available in large bags. Cost me about £20 for my rio180. Have a read up about it here http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=741. It absorbs nutrients, making them available to plant roots, just like the expensive substrates.

More urgent is flow. Its recommended that you have a minimum flow thats x10 the volume of you tank, per hour. Ceg recommended a powerhead. Many here use koralias, as do I, but you could try a cheap ebay version. Theres one offering 3000l/hr for a little under £20. A lot of this stuff comes from Hong Kong, doesnt mean its bad!

I also upgraded my juwel internal filter pump. If yours is the pump 400, then you simply buy a new impellor for the pump 1000, and you'll instantly have a 1000l/hr filter. Think I got mine on ebay for £10-15. If you need more flow at the substrate level, you can attatch a spray bay. A fluval spraybar kit is £8.60 from pets at home, and you can fit it to the juwel pump outlet.

Some form of CO2 is also good, but needs to be consistent. One DIY unit will lack that. 2 or 3 units will help even things out, but could be hard work in the long run. As said above, the forum sponser Aqua Essentials is now selling liquid carbon (branded Aqua Carbon) for £4 for a small bottle, which is a good cheap solution. You would have to remember to dose every day, but its much less work than DIY yeast mixes.

Consider reducing the photo period. 6 to 8 hours per day is usually a good start. I use a cheap plug socket timer - £4 bought from tesco. Maybe have the lights on from when you get home from school, until 11pm? That way you can dose anything just as the lights come on. This may even prolong the life of your light tubes... but thats just a guess.

Anything else you need, try the For sale/Swap/Wanted forum, or try finding it on ebay. I just got myself a new 1200l/hr unbranded external filter, with media, for £36 delivered on ebay last night. Its a risk. It could be a heap of rubbish, but if it works then it'll be a massive bargain!

I hope that helps.

Dsandson
 

fishkeeper

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Hi, thanks for the advice guys

with concerns to pressurized co2 would this fit the bill- http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/show ... p?t=302447

It seems a reasonable price for a pressurized system.

If i added a 700lph tetra tec filter external, would this be enough flow around the tank? it would be 1300lph.

What would a nice carpeting plant be aswell? I also have easylife profito and easy carbo aswell so ill start getting on top of my dosing.

The lights are the juwel t5s aswell and not the t8s.
 

GreenNeedle

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I have an EX700 AND a Koralia1 (1500lph) so I total 2200lph. The EX700 and 400 = 1300lph will be OK for a standard plantmass which means you need to get in there pruning a bit. For high plantmass I think you'll need more. Every leaf and inch of stem becomes an extra obstacle for flow.

AC
 

fishkeeper

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my juwel tank has a 600lph powerhead for the standard flow.

Im going to do a trim soon and a huge clearout of the tank and hopefully find some bargains for filtration and co2 if i find anyone selling.
 

fishkeeper

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Ive just won a tetra ex 700 external filter complete with media (but used I think as its a used filter) so the next thing to get is a pressurized co2 kit. Im thinking about going with a fire extinguisher job. I will just need to ask my dad about it.
 

fishkeeper

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Well ive done some work on it today.

DSC00354Medium.jpg


Please critique it. As said, im getting a 700lph tetra filter soon so i should double my flow rate and have 1300lph. Im also going to upgrade to a fire extinguisher co2 set soon so i should get rid of BBA?

Im now also starting to dose daily easy life Profito.

Please advise me, I hope what im going to be doing is the right thing?
 

Vito

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fishkeeper said:
Im also going to upgrade to a fire extinguisher co2 set soon so i should get rid of BBA?
I also have a rio 125 and I have recently had an outbreak ok BBA! I find the most effective remedy is to turn the filter off and directly inject easycarbo onto the BBA using a platic syringe, local chemist will sell them for pennies, leave it for a good 10 mins and turn the filter back on. It will turn pink and die off and hopefully your clean-up crew should eat some of it too. I hope this helps,

Good luck!

Vito
 

fishkeeper

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cheers for that vito, ill give it a try :) The problem is my whole back of the tank moves because it is completely covered in it. That means a lot of easy carbo is needed :lol:
 

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