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RBT89's Aquarium Journal

RBT89

New Member
Joined
1 Aug 2009
Messages
11
Hello everyone at ukaps.

Firstly thanks to everyone at ukaps, awesome site! :thumbup:

I'm new to this forum and in the process of beginning my first ever planted aquarium. In the past I have had success with marines and reef keeping but have had to down grade due to cost and time. Some info about me, I'm 20 y/o living in Staffordshire, starting a Games Design course in September at Stafford Uni. I've been a reader of PFK for sometime now and found this site after reading about Tom Messenger.

Current Equipment

The tank I have is from the Jewel Rekord series and measures L=100cm, W=30cm and H=40cm with a volume of roughly 31 US Gallons (120'ish litres), the tank itself is currently in the process of being painted as I'm sick of using vinyl films :lol: . I have removed the hood and replaced it with an Arcadia Luminaire consisting of four T5 tubes. I have removed the marine tubes I was using on my reef tank and replaced them with 39W full spectrum bulbs. I plan on only using two of the four T5's otherwise I believe the light intensity would be far too strong. I worked it out at 2 - 2.5WPG giving me medium/medium high light levels (please correct me if I'm wrong). Filter wise I will be using an Aqua One Aquis 750 and my heater is the standard Jewel one.

The Plan

Originally I wanted to try some aquascapes using different types of mosses, but after further reading I have decided to try something more interesting using some simple but good looking plants such as Crypts and Java fern along with some Java Moss. Fish wise, maybe some Neon Tetras, I definitely want really small fish.

Because I'm a total newbie to planted and freshwater tropicals, I plan to use the " Simple but Stunning, Low-maintenance planted tank" guide in Issue 9 of PFK. (http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/p ... sue_id=99#)

I will be using aquatic soil for the planting substrate along with a top layer of dark coloured gravel.

Plants I plan to use are:
Microsorum (Java Fern) on the drift wood.
Wendtii
E.tenellus
Echinodorus
Vallisneria
Java Moss on the drift wood.

Please let me know if any of these plants are tough to maintain or if you have any better suggestions on plants to use, or if I should make my list shorter.

I don't plan to use C02 just yet but it may be a consideration in the future once I get more experience keeping planted aquariums.

Well that's it, thanks for reading :clap: and sorry for such a long introduction. :lol:

Rob.
 

glenn

Member
Joined
19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
wont even 2.5 WPG and no co2 enrichemnt cause algae?
for Co2 you can always use easy-carbo as a substitute for a carbon source but will be costly for a tank so big. but then dosent easy-carbo cause Wendtii to melt or is that another plant.
you didnt mention ferts also, but if its Low-maintenance then i spuuose the AS will play its part in a substitute for a fert.
good luck with it anyway. and keep us updated. :thumbup:
 

Nick16

Member
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13 Aug 2008
Messages
1,759
Location
Surrey, UK
if you are not dosing any form of carbon, be it liquid or pressurized, you wont need much light or ferts.

imagine it in a triangle.... light, carbon, fertilisers, if you reduce one (carbon in your case) you need to reduce the others. to regain a balance.

so i suggest, you use 2 of the 4 tubes, having owned a rekord 120 before, i got good growth from just 1 T8 30w tube (i later fitted another into my hood when i got CO2)

using just 2 of the 4 tubes should help you avoid alage at the start as well as saving you £££ on your leccy bill. :D
have you got any fertilisers? perhaps some Tropica plant Nutrition+ and some Easy Carbo will help you on your journey.

also when you initially start, shove some cheap bunched plant in there (99p at your LFS). These will eat up all the 'gremlins' in your tank and help to take some of the excesss nutrients away from the algae. use Egeria densa or similar and just weight it down.
 

Nick16

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13 Aug 2008
Messages
1,759
Location
Surrey, UK
i see, sorry about that, well if two provide 2.5wpg it is a bit overkill really. but i guess two will have to do, unless you can mount the unit slightly higher above the tank, to get spread the light...
 

RBT89

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Aug 2009
Messages
11
Thanks for the replies. This is the exact information I'm looking for. :thumbup:

It is possible for me to set-up the Luminaire so that I use just one of the T5 tubes. Would this be a better option and save the other tube for a future replacement? That should give me 1.25 WPG.

I don't mind using a few fertilizers, which would be the most beneficial for this set-up if I was using 1.25WPG?

My biggest fear is going into this and seeing my tank bloom with algae. :thumbdown:
 

Nick16

Member
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
1,759
Location
Surrey, UK
the best thing to do is plan, if you have low light, you can always add more light rather than jumping in at the deep end and finding you cant swim.

1.25 would be better.
how about having an 8 hour photoperiod, (time the lights are on for) with just the one light, but in the middle switch on a second light (have them on a timer) for 2-3 hour 'mid-day' burst.

as suggested, a liquid fert will help, most people here use Tropica plant nutrition+ (or TPN+ for short)
and Easycarbo is also good as a source of carbon. most people dose in small doses everyday (or every other day). - i use a pipette for measuring a few ml's. :thumbup:
 

RBT89

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Thread starter
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1 Aug 2009
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Ok, after a quick fiddle with the Luminaire it turns out I cant get it so just one tube lights up.

So using 2.5WPG will inevitably cause an algae outbreak right?

I better get reading up on CO2 dosing. :geek:
 

glenn

Member
Joined
19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
So using 2.5WPG will inevitably cause an algae outbreak right?
yes, if you dont dose ferts and have no co2 enrichemnt.

I better get reading up on CO2 dosing. :geek:
ok now its going to be a high tec :lol: :lol:

here is a good article that will tell you nearly everything you need to know about a high tec tank (asuming you are going down the high tec route) and has other articles linked to it with in it that go in to more depth on a sertain element. http://www.ukaps.org/higher-tech-tank.htm

Ok, after a quick fiddle with the Luminaire it turns out I cant get it so just one tube lights up.
if you rely want to stick with low tec you could try covering a tube with somthing to physicaly redirect the light, as this will lower the WPG but to a unknown value o_O
 

Nick16

Member
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13 Aug 2008
Messages
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Location
Surrey, UK
you might not get algae for sure but with that lighting it will definately help to have some CO2.

the fire extinguisher co2 works out quite cheap.

the reg and soleniod is the most expensive thing by far.
 

RBT89

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Yeah I was just reading up on the ukaps Higher Tech Guide and it looks like I would be paying at least £150 - £200 to get a CO2 Canister set-up. I read the fire extinguisher guide but I am terrible with DIY jobs like that although it looks great. :clap:

I think the best option for me would be to buy a new hood for my Juwel tank (as I somehow lost mine during the Marine set-up :lol: )

http://aquatic-store.co.uk/tropical/view/1091

This should give me around 1 WPG and will allow me to go down the Low Tech route that I was planning. Surely algae wont be too much of a problem at that level along with TPN?

I will stand by this quote. :thumbup:

Nick16 said:
rather than jumping in at the deep end and finding you cant swim

The last thing I want is a wipe, also talking about my funds. :lol:
 

glenn

Member
Joined
19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
RBT89 said:
Yeah I was just reading up on the ukaps Higher Tech Guide and it looks like I would be paying at least £150 - £200 to get a CO2 Canister set-up. I read the fire extinguisher guide but I am terrible with DIY jobs like that although it looks great. :clap:
yes the branded canister set ups are very pricy, they might be good to buy at first just for the reg+solnoid ect then to just replace with a FE.(if the reg thread fits :rolleyes: )

you can get a 2kg FE of dan crawford for £24 delivered.http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2204
you can get a reg+solnoid of ebay for about £50
some one will have a diffuser on here for a small donation probably or there are the cheap inlines from ebay should you have a external.
the co2 pipline is pennys from the right place.
a cheack valve is about £1 from P@H
a bubble counter is optional as is the solnoid, but that will save you in the long run also.
so i rekon you can get a Co2 set up for under £100 if not £80!
the warning sentence at the start of the FE thread is very daunting and put me of at first, but the rewards are high. i think one of the most important parts of that tutorial is just "treat the FE with respect".
 

Nick16

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Location
Surrey, UK
i found it very easy, if you attach the reg (and soleniod) with the pin still in the FE, you should be safe. Then when it is fully attached and tightened up, and the soleniod is full shut, you can take then pin out and give it a short sharp squeeze, you should the dials on the regs move, (to the pressure in the FE), then you can attach the co2 air line (you can do this before putting the reg and soleniod on the FE if you think it is easier) and then gaffa tape the handles shut and pt the pin back in to lock it in the 'open' position.

Note: Not all FE's come with a metal pin, some come with plastic ones that once you break to squeeze the FE, you cannot get them back on again (its like a seal, so people know thats it is new, like they put on containers of milk :lol: )

Note: i bought a dual regulator AND soleniod (all in one kit) from ebay for about £50 inc delivery. A soleniod plugs into a socket and can be turned on and off. This means you wont need to have the FE running 24/7. mine runs for a few hours each day rather than the full 24 as the soleniod is on a timer. This will save you huge ££££ :D

for example, if mine was on for 8 hours in total. That means i could get 3 days worth of gas out of the FE compared with just the 1 day of someone using it for the full 24 hours.
and remember when you turn the lights out, the plants 'go to sleep' they close up and dont take in much for ferts and carbon. This is why people turn there co2 on, 1 hour before lights on and then off 1 hour before lights off. And this is why people dose ferts just before lights on, so by the time the light does come on the ferts are nicely distributed arund the tank ready for the plants to make optimum use of it.
you want your drop checker (DC) to be going green around the time of lights on and just before lights off it should be a yellowy colour. :D

hope that helps,
 

RBT89

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Aug 2009
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Thanks for info, gonna do a lil more research on this.

In the meantime, is it safe to use Milliput to hold Wood and Rocks together? I had a blast using this stuff for reef aquascaping.

Rob.
 

mattyc

Member
Joined
17 Oct 2008
Messages
521
Location
Thelwall, Warrington
cable ties, no risk of water contamination, i havnt had much experiance with the resin's but if it was ok in a marine setup i dont see a problem in a fresh water!!

my co2 FE setup cost

FE £24 from Dan :clap:
Reg with solanoid £60 from http://www.firststopaquatics.co.uk
check valve and bubble counter £6.99 from http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/
Defuser £3 from ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nano-CO2-Diff...Fish?hash=item3a4fb6766b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
drop checker £13.99 from http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1231
tubing $1.65 from http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2095

Total £110

hope this helps :)
Matt
 

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