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Please don't bite, I'm a newbie !

Freakyshrimp

New Member
Joined
31 Aug 2008
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16
Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
First off, hello everyone, I'm Joanne and brand new to freshwater planted tanks although I've been keeping reef tanks for over 20yrs. I'll give a few details of the tank that I'm in the process of fishless cycling and need your expert help with.

Tank - 72 litres open top
Lighting - overtank luminair 3x 24w T5, 2 Giesemann Aquaflora + 1 midday (at the moment I just have 2 tubes lit)
Filter - TetratecEX700 external attached to glass lily pipe inflow/outflow
C02 - disposable Hydor pressurised greenNRG with Rhinox 2000 diffuser (not suitable for solenoid that I know of so is running 24/7)
Fertiliser - TPN+ and EasyCarbo.
Substrate - ADA aquasoil Amazonia + power sand
RO water remineralised with TMC remineral salts ( might swap to 50/50 RO+tap)
PH 6.5 - 6.8
KH 4
GH 6

Do I need to run an airpump during lights out to rid excess C02 once stocked with fish ? I've tried raising the lily pipe a bit but it makes an awfull racket, it's in my daughters bedroom. The aquasoil is still leeching ammonia which is at 0.5mg/l today, its been running for 3 weeks now and I'm changing 6 gallons each day, if I changed 50% every day I would have to turn the filter off because it sucks air after 6gal. I'm dosing 3.5ml TPN+ per day and 1.4ml EasyCarbo, not sure if this is too much or not. Any advice will be much appreciated if you spot anything I'm doing wrong.
 

Tom

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8 Sep 2007
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Location
Kawanabe, Kagoshima, Japan 鹿児島県南九州市川辺町
I've never used an airpump at night personally, but I do shut off CO2 at night. In this case as you can't, I would try using an airpump on a timer.

I would also stop the water changes, or at least do smaller/less frequent ones. The more NH3 you take out of the system, the slower the filter will mature.

Tom
 

Freakyshrimp

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Thread starter
Joined
31 Aug 2008
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Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Thanks for the reply Tom, I'll hook an airpump up before any fish go in. I thought you were supposed to do 50% WC every day for a while when using aquasoil, then every other day or so untill ammonia had stopped leeching :?
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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3,261
Location
Nottingham
As it's a new tank with, presumably, a new filter I'd keep up the water changes and gradually reduce them as the tank matures. They will help prevent any algae blooms among other things. Turning the filter off while doing water changes is not a problem at all and won't cause any problems.

Have you got any livestock in the tank? If not then excess CO2 at night won't matter at all. BTW you can get solenoids that go in the CO2 tubing so you can fit them to any regulator set up. There are some advertised on Ebay or I bet you can get them from either of our sponsors.

Have you got a drop checker to measure the CO2 level?
 

Freakyshrimp

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Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Thanks Tom + Ed,

Yes Ed I've got 2 drop checkers :rolleyes: I have developed fishtank OCD from keeping reeftanks for many years :lol: got the double glass one from AE with the reference solution and an ordinary glass one, will take one out when i'm less paranoid. Both show green, more emerald green than limeade. I'm still waiting for some more plants to come so its not as full as I'd like yet. I kept up the daily WC because there were a few spots of algae appearing ( could have been due to the lighting though, luminaire came with 3x 10000k cheapo tubes) . There's no livestock in the tank, and yes it's a new filter and media. I'm a bit scared to fit a solenoid valve, incase it blows up, I think I'd need step by step instructions to fit one.
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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Location
Nottingham
Well the OCD will help when starting up ( :lol: ) and the reef experience will hold you in very good stead. You certainly sound like you're off to a great start. The solenoid is a piece of cake. Simply cut the tube near the regulator and secure the connections at either end. Personally both my solenoids attach to the regs, but I know a lot of guys one here have the in-tubing ones. I'm sure one of them will see this and advise you of more specifics on sourcing and fitting one.

The lighting colour doesn't effect the plants; it's all about whether you like the colour rendition!
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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676
Location
Switzerland
Freakyshrimp said:
Do I need to run an airpump during lights out to rid excess C02 once stocked with fish ? I've tried raising the lily pipe a bit but it makes an awful racket, it's in my daughters bedroom. The aquasoil is still leeching ammonia which is at 0.5mg/l today, its been running for 3 weeks now and I'm changing 6 gallons each day, if I changed 50% every day I would have to turn the filter off because it sucks air after 6gal. I'm dosing 3.5ml TPN+ per day and 1.4ml EasyCarbo, not sure if this is too much or not. Any advice will be much appreciated if you spot anything I'm doing wrong.
Your dosing, proportionally, is more or less exactly what I am doing in my new ADA Aqauasoil tank, also running for 3 weeks now. I share your ammonia pain - ammonia was 1.5mg/l on day 14, 0.25mg/l on day 17. I'm doing 90% water changes twice weekly but I'd do more often if I had time. It might be good you are delaying some of the plants, I'm getting significant algae triggered by the ammonia. If I'd realised how bad it is I would have fishless cycled before adding plants.

The solenoid is simpler than it sounds, and pays for itself over time in saved CO2. If you get stuck fitting one just post photo's here and people will tell you what to do.
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
If running CO2 for 24 hours which many of us do (I didnt then did and now do again as I can never make my mind up. lol)

Set the level so that reaches a nice limeade by lights on and dont worry if it goes darker during the photoperiod. This will because you are injecting at a lower rate.

If using the solenoid then get the one from the german supplier Aquarianversand/Lunapet on ebay. It costs about £20 inc shipping and will have a european plug on it. Just cut the plug off and wire it into a normal UK plug as you would any other. blue(Neutral) to the left pin, brown(live) to the right fuse pin and green/yellow(earth) to the front long pin. Buy some CO2 tubing as well if you can.

Connecting is easy. As per Ray cut the hose so that there is 2-3 inches from the regulator and needle valve (if you dont have a needle valve get on e from the same place) the push it onto the solenoid (flow direction on the outside of the valve will show you which end to attach to) and then screw down the tightener. Repeat on the opposite side for the section that is going to your NRV, bubble counter and diffusor. All done

Link to the ebay seller. check sellers other items for the needle valve and hose:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-Nachtabsc...photoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

AC
 

Freakyshrimp

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Thanks for all the advice guys, its much appreciated.
Ray- good luck with your setup, it shouldn't be too long now before your ammonia nightmare ends, should make for a strong bacteria colony in the end. No doubt I'll probably be picking your brains and comparing notes down the line.
SuperColey1- I've looked at those solenoids before and couldn't decide, will probably bite the bullet now and go for it, could take a while to arrive though with the channel tunnel fiasco. In the meantime I'll do as you suggested and see how it goes.
 

Fred Dulley

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8 Jul 2007
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Cardiff, Wales
Coming back to the water changes during cycling. It's actually beneficial. Another member on another forum did a test to see if it helped and it did. However , because it's on another forum, I don't know if I can post a link..without violationg terms...
If you would like to see it, then PM me and I'll send you the link, or if a mod can let me know if I can lets me post the link here as I'm sure it is an interesting read for you all.
 

Freakyshrimp

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31 Aug 2008
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Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Well, I'm still doing daily W/C but have increased from 6gall - 8gall per day making it 50% per day, fishless cycling (ammonia never drops below 0.5mg/l ).Have developed a patch of BGA on my glosso :( Have also scrapped the use of RO altogether and am just using tap water. C02 still running 24/7, drop checker lime green just before lights on. I'm wondering if I need to increase the amount of TPN+ because some of my plants are looking a bit pale on new growth (didiplis diandra) and some older growth on others is yellowing (lilaeopsis brasiliensis and cryptocoryne wendtii green). At the moment I'm still dosing 3.5ml TPN+ and 1.4ml Easycarbo per day (72lt tank). I don't think there's very much N03 in my tap water because it barely registers on test kits and the local water report says it's around 10mg/l. What do you guys suggest ?
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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676
Location
Switzerland
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm
James Planted Tank said:
Tropica recommend to dose 5ml per 50 litres of tank water per week.
Following this each dose of DIY TPN+ will add:
5.9ppm NO3
0.31ppm PO4
3.8ppm K
0.34ppm Mg
Now with EI you are shooting for more or less 20ppm NO3 and K, 3ppm PO4, 10ppm Mg. So if you do very frequent water changes you will start to fall short of this. I was doing 90% changes twice a week but only dosing 3 ppm NO3/day via TPN+ so my nitrates were certainly too low and maybe that caused some of my algae problems. If you are doing 50% a day your levels will also be too low. This is why I've ordered dry salts, too expensive with TPN+. :D
For easycarbo you could go to 2x or even 4x dose (5ml) if you don't have vallais or other vulnerable plants.
 

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