Sedona - 20L (Liza's Tank - Update)

Discussion in 'Journals' started by keymaker, 10 Sep 2008.

  1. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Hello UKAPS readers!

    I guess it's time for me to start a journal of a 20L Nano Tank I built for my (then) 5-year-old daughter Liza. Thanks to Paulo for directing me to this forum and his encouragement for starting this.

    Images after rescape of this tank are to be found on page 14.

    This is the most recent picture of the tank (02.03.2010):
    [​IMG]

    ----

    OK, so I launched it on June 16, 2008. It is a 35 x 24 x 24 cm size Tetra tank. It was a "complete setup" but I only kept the tank and the original compact tube.

    Filtration: I am using an Eheim Classic 2211 external filter. It has a volume of 1L and an on-paper max Flow-Rate of 300 lph. Cal Aqua glass nano lily pipe set used for filter inflow/outflow, got it from AquaEssentials UK.

    Lighting: the tank came with a 11W Compact Tube (9000K white). As that was far from enough I installed an additional 6W Osram T5 tube (4100K yellow) with a Juwel reflector. They're on for 9 hours/day 2PM-11PM, using a digital timer.

    Water Heating/Cooling: Hydor ETH 200 external heater with 12 mm int. hose. A small DIY mounted 12V 4x4cm fan - running on 6V for lower noise-levels - cools the water surface and decreases water temperature by about 2-3° C.

    [​IMG]

    Carbon Dioxide: Pressurized CO2 system with Dennerle Crystal-Line (glass) drop checker, bubble counter (currently set for 16-20 bubbles/minute) and diffusor. The glass check-valve will be replaced with a Dennerle Profi Line one soon (due to minor leaks). I use a 350g CO2 bottle from Aqua Light and a Papillon pressure reducer with a working pressure of 2 bars. The Dennerle solenoid valve switches on - using a second digital timer - 30 minutes before the lights and turns of the CO2 flow 10 minutes before lights go off. CO2 level is around 20 mg/l.

    [​IMG]

    Plant Fertilizing: I dose 10 drops (0.5 ml) of Easy Carbo and 6 drpos of Tropica Plant Nutrition+ (0.3 ml) every day, doing weekly 30-50% water changes. I use Easy Life - Easy Life for tap-water treatment.

    Substrate/Deco.: 1cm thick Dennerle FloreDepot and Sera Substrate mix, with 5 kg (4 cm thick) Africa Black Gravel on top. The background is black paper. Water Parameters: PH 7.2, KH 9, GH 16, Nitrate 10 mg/l, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Temp.: 26-28° C. I know the KH, GH and PH are pretty high but I did not want to get into the RO (or distilled) water business just yet, let's see if I can get by without.

    Plants: Glossostigma Elatinoides (FG). Hemianthus Callittrichoidus (FG - only a small spot for testing purposes), Hemianthus micranthemoides (mid-ground transition), Cladophora aegraglopila (cannot really see that, it is in the BG), Cryptocoryne x willisii, Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv' (on rock), Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern - on rock), Rotala Macranda (Red stem plant in BG).

    Fish/Invertebrates: Stocking rule - Maximum of 5 cm / 4.55 liter = 22 cm in total. 3x Otocinclus affinis (Oto, 2F, 1M), 6x Boraras Brigittae (Dwarf Rasbora, 3F, 3M), 5x Neocaridina Heteropoda (Cherry Shrimp, 4F, 1M), 1x Corydoras Paleatus (Pepper Cory - guest only).

    [​IMG]

    Folks, please appreciate it when you have a well-equipped, competitively priced LFS near you. I usually drive 300 kilometers to Austria - thats about 4 hours - for most of the stuff, including fish and plants. Just never seem to be getting exactly what I want locally. :)

    -----------------------------------------------

    History:
    I've been fighting filamentous algae, green spot algae, diatoms and recently staghorn algae too. After the fishless cycle I heavily overstocked with bigger fish not really suitable for a tank like this. Who new? :? Gave away most of the original stem plants too, except Rotala Macranda (red). Having the Hemianthus micranthemoides in a Nano Tank FG was a mistake too, so I moved it to be a mid-ground plant. I grouped the rocks together as they started to disappear. I still need to remove the white surface film every day - I want to do something about that. My original blog with further details can be found here.

    Day 0:
    [​IMG]

    Day 2:
    [​IMG]

    Day 40:
    [​IMG]

    Day 75:
    [​IMG]

    Day 76 (after planting the Glosso):
    [​IMG]

    Day 82
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading this. I'd really appreciate your comments.

    B.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Hi,
    Very well done. Who says these parameters are high? These are the perfect levels for all plants not named Tonina. You are not "getting by". The water is better for plants than RO could ever dream of being. None of the plants you listed are soft water plants.

    Filamentous and staghorn are symptoms of poor CO2 or poor CO2 distribution. This can easily be fixed with increased injection rate. Green spot algae is a result of poor phosphate dosing. Increase your PO4 level and this will go away. None of these have anything to do with overstocking, although that is never a good idea in general. Increase your nutrient /Co2 levels and your surface film will magically go away as well.

    Cheers,
     
  3. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Thanks for posting this! and the tank is looking good.

    Clive (ceg) is a wise man, following his advice will get your tank tip top in no time at all :D

    Wow! 400km, that is dedication! 1 hour drive is my limit!

    I do really apreciate my local LFS'

    Just yesterday I had a peruvian friend in my home and I said 'you see those fish (points to Neon Tetras) they are from South America'.

    'Wow' she says' where did you get them, are they expensive!'

    to which I reply that they came from 1 mile down the road and cost about £1 each!
     
  4. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,278
    Location:
    London
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Hi Mate, guess the encouragement paid off, what a well written journal, love it and the tank is awsome, just follow Clives suggestions for the algae issues and you will be fine ;)
    Thanks for sharing this with us :)
     
  5. joyous214

    joyous214 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Richmond/Surrey
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    wow great tank looks just amazing.
     
  6. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Guys, thank you all for the positive feedback - glad you like the tank. I know there's a lot more to do. As someone on this forum rightly said, I should visualize the end result before starting to build the tank. Well, what you see now is something that was built based on step-by-step necessary changes. That obviously shows, the whole thing is a little hectic... :)

    Clive, thank you for your suggestions. I am surely taking your advice. Diatoms are mostly gone because of the Otos and Shrimps. Green spot and filamentous algae were only a problem at the beginning.

    As with the staghorn algae... Well, the Eheim 2211 filter provides a really good - and as far as my modest experience says - even flow in this small tank, so I guess there's a problem with CO2 levels (or fluctuation). Most staghorn algae grows on the leaves with the strongest flow, closer to the filter output. I am increasing the CO2 injection from 20 bubbles/min. to 30 bubbles and switching it on 1 hour before the lights. In accordance, dosing of TPN+ is up from 6 drops to 9. Yesterday I cleaned the filter too.
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    nice tank, i saw this on PFK.
     
  8. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Thanks, aaronnorth. I posted my tank on PFK right after setting it up... I learned the basics of high-tech aquascaping from that site (big thx to George).

    OK, so I finally got back my old Canon G3 from a friend and could not resist taking another picture, so here is the tank as of today:

    [​IMG]

    The fertilizer dosing and CO2 injection rate looks like this:

    Easy Carbo: 12 drops (up from 10)
    TPN+: 10 drops (up from 6)
    Sera Flore Daydrops: 2 (up from 0)
    CO2 bubble rate: 43 (up from 20).

    I found the Sera stuff really boosting growth. They do not list the ingredients, so I have no idea if it contains anything extra from the TPN+ (I have that list) but it sure looks like Sera Flore helps. It might only be the extra amount of something, in a Nano Tank like this, every drop counts. Also, got my new Profi Line CO2 check valve from Dennerle to replace the old Crystal Line glass stuff - what a difference. This works. :)

    The mini-rock on the top of the pile is whiter because I introduced it only two weeks ago to pin down the otherwise floating zucchini for the Otos. The Austrian LFS guy who sold me the fish said Otos should eat potatoes (the hard type we use to make salad) as they contain more nutrients. Mine refuse to eat it though.

    Thanks for reading this. Please comment.
     
  9. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Last pic(s) not showing for me atm, but the tank looks great in the first pics :)

    Being nosey. I have to ask... what's in the heavily wrapped parcel? :lol:
     
  10. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    It's the Eheim filter. :lol: The parcel is covered with polyfoam from outside and wrapped with tape to hold it. The inside is full of foam too. The whole thing is held together by my old belt (the one before I started working out as a mid-life-crisis thing). :D The "technology" is also inside a closed cabinet. My daughter sleeps right next to it, so I needed it to be reeealy silent.
    You're absolutely right! No extra lights, hairdryer and other "hocus focus" for this shot.
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Hi,
    I must have missed something but why have you attributed accelerated growth to the Sera drops? Did you not also increase TPN+, Easy Carbo as well as the CO2 injection rate? On what basis did you conclude that only the Sera drops increased growth and not the other ingredients? The Sera product is likely a duplicate of the TPN+ according to the advertising (SERA HOME) and if that's the case the only difference it will have is relative concentration of individual nutrients. It may be more concentrated than the TPN+ (or less so) but you will not be able to determine that based on these observations alone.

    Cheers,
     
  12. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Clive, sry, I forgot to say the first day I did not raise the other levels, just added Sera to the lower dosing regime. I always measure overnight growth with Hemianthus micranthemoides and it developed wider leaves closer to each other the first day. I observed that earlier a couple of times, when dosing more...
    Thanks, I think you are right (as always :) ). Looking at the normal dosing quantities from both products, Sera seems to be the more concentrated one.

    I did not like the idea of dosing too similar products anyway. What I'll do is increase the dosing of TPN+ with additional 4 drops, and waste the Sera for now. See how the tank reacts. New levels:

    Easy Carbo: 12 drops (unchanged)
    TPN+: 14 drops (up from 10)
    Sera Flore Daydrops: 0 (down from 2)
    CO2 bubble rate: 43 (unchanged).

    Thanks again for the suggestion!
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Hi,
    I wasn't trying to persuade you to drop the Sera, but only to be careful of how you interpret your observations, as well as to bring to your attention that there was no need to buy two products that do essentially the same thing. It's very easy to draw false correlations from optical illusions. I was also trying to emphasize that we really need to question and to understand the contents of the products we use otherwise we needlessly spend money for limited gain and we become susceptible to brainwashing.

    It's entirely possible that the Sera is less expensive to use but is just as effective at growing plants. I don't know the answer to that question. If it were true then it would actually make sense to drop the TPN+ instead and to continue using the Sera. To determine which is more effective, or less expensive you would have to drop one, use the other and note the plant health/growth over a period of weeks. Compare plant growth with each while keeping all other ingredients the same as much as possible. This is not as easy to do as it sounds but is a much more scientific approach.

    Most people just want to get on with it and prefer to leave experimentation to the guys in white lab coats, but it's worthwhile knowing the relative performance of these two products.

    Hope this doesn't cause confusion... :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  14. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Clive, you're not causing confusion, you are making things more clear to me, actually. Thanks for that.

    I prefer leaving experimentation to more experienced chaps than I am. :) With or without lab coats... :) The practice that I'm applying as a beginner is to copy the general fishkeeping techniques that have been applied for many years by people like you. I'm making enough mistakes even like this. I started with Sera as the only available fertilizer 3 months ago. Using TPN+ for only 2 weeks now. Will stick to it for the next couple of weeks to see how it works.
     
  15. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Just a quick question as I had just read about the sad happenings in LD's tank. Sry for that Mate. Am I supposed to run an airstone during off-light hours to prevent O2 levels dropping? I figured aeration will draw CO2 out of the tank, thus further contributing to CO2 fluctuation and algae growth. Fish seem to do fine without airing now.
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    keymaker, if your fish are doing fine then leave things as is. In any case fluctuations only matter when the lights are on. If you do use an airstone overnight this is not a problem as far as algae are concerned. Poor CO2 is only a problem during the photoperiod as it interrupts carbon fixation.

    Cheers,
     
  17. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    A quick update: Staghorn algae is still an issue, it looks like the growing had stopped, waiting for it to die back. CO2 levels are increased (drop checker lime green) and daily fertilizing stable with 12 drops (6ml) of TPN+ and Easy Carbo. I noticed some unconfortable fish one morning with the CO2 levels increased so I started airing from 8AM-1PM (no airing at night - too much noise for my little daughter). Seems it helps.

    I painted the back and one side wall black replacing the old glossy black paper. What a difference! Plants no longer reflect on the two walls, it gives the tank a cleaner look and it gives more focus to the plants. I will try taking photos the next week, I hope the difference will show on them.

    I found a local company producing glassware stuff and ordered some custom-made pipes for CO2 and O2 to replace the black hosing. It should add to the feel considerably.

    How often should one change the mash pad in the external filter? Mine is in for 3 months now, I figured it's time...
     
  18. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    Why is the water disappearing from my drop checker? :?

    It can go two ways: towards the check valve right below it or towards the tank. Also, it always happens during the night. I checked the new check valve and the black hose leading to it a couple of times and no sign of any serious water volume. True though that pressure from the tank pushes back some of the water into the hose leading towards the check valve during the night but as far as I could see it's being pushed back with the opening of the solenoid valve.

    The other direction is towards the tank. Can some the water evaporate from the drop checker every night into the long hose leading to the tank and be pushed when the CO2 goes on? How can I prevent that? Should I put a second check valve between the tank and drop checker?

    I ordered some clear CO2 hose from the UK, will arrive the next week. Now it's black, I can't see anything. :)

    Any answer would be really appreciated. Cheers.
     
  19. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    I take it you mean bubble counter?

    This is normal, it is just evaporation, you should only need to refill every few months although it does sepend on the temperature of its surroundings.
     
  20. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Re: Liza's 20L Nano Tank

    OH, yes, sry. I meant bubble counter. :lol: It looks like I slept too much...

    Well, the temperature in the cabinet below the tank might be higher than the room temp. with all the equipment heating it... But the water disappears in just one week!!!
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice