sks's tank redo

Discussion in 'Journals' started by sks, 29 Dec 2007.

  1. sks

    sks Guest

    Well this is a journal of sorts (lets just say that my planted tank is a mess with lots of algae and a system that I hate ;) ).

    So the present set up:

    48" x 18" x 24" (L x W x H) acrylic aquarium
    Eheim professionel II 2128 (sponge, efisubstrat and polymer wood), partial tee off to dupla external CO2 reactor
    Eheim 2215 (sponge, polymer wool), pumping through rainbow lifeguard heating module (visitherm 300 watt heater controlled by Dennerle Duomat)
    2 kg CO2 bottle with Dennerle regulator and aqua medic solenoid
    Aqua medic CO2 bubble counter (and with hindsight will NOT be buying this thing again, there are better bubble counters out there)
    Arcadia 48" T5 lighting (4x54 watts) luminaire

    I will ditch the Dennerle duomat and Dennerle ph controller and install my aquatronica controller instead, this will be use to control temperature, timing of lights and CO2 solenoid and pH monitoring via the pH probe, the controller will NOT be used to control the solenoid base on readings from the pH probe, although I can probably program a min pH level cut off as a safety precaution. Using the aquatronica as a multi timer makes sense since you have one reference clock and not many when you employ multiple digital socket timers (and they do go out of sync with time).

    I will also probably ditch both the professionel and the 2215 filter and replace them with 2 x 2217 for powerful water movement and also because I think the professionel is horrible

    Not sure about the reactor/bubble counter arrangement. A beetle counter would be nice.

    I originally wanted to use ADA Aqua Soil, but since it leaches ammonia in the first few weeks and I don't have a separate tank to house the fish for some time, I have to make do with ECO Complete. I've been told that it's a good substrate so we'll see.

    No photos yet, plants coming in next week, off to get the ECO Complete today.
     
  2. sks

    sks Guest

    doing the change today, photos soon.

    I've a 54 litre tank for the fish, Jewel Record 60 if I'm not mistaken, this should provide me leeway for a few days just in case the plants don't arrive, they were suppose to come today.

    Basically drained tank water into small holding tank, caught all the fish (tetras are very tricky!!) and got rid of the remaining water and substrate. Not a pretty sight as the following photos will show.
     
  3. sks

    sks Guest

    plants did not arrive today, chased courier and they said the package was last on the list and somehow or other I just didn't get it today, despite paying for next day delivery of course. :? Well what can you do?

    Onto the photos, time to gross you people out (well why not, so you can understand why I needed to change it).

    Here's the tank with most of the water taken out, notice the lovely Dennerle heating cable that I will NEVER be using again:

    DSC00775.jpg

    This Jewel tank is used for housing the fish for a day or two (here's hoping the plants come tomorrow):

    DSC00778.jpg

    This is the Dennerle Duomat I've disconnected from the main tank and hooked up to control the little jewel tank:

    DSC00782.jpg

    Here's inside the tank as I was removing the quartz gravel and the deponit/sand mix, you can see my pH probe, and the stench was awful :wideyed:.

    DSC00779.jpg

    Here's the tank on the floor now ready to be moved upstairs to the bathroom to be cleaned:

    DSC00780.jpg

    finally got the tank in the bath, required two people, but it sure as hell is a lot safer to move than glass. :wideyed: Note the lovely Pantene shampoo along with Johnson's and Johnson's baby shampoo. Pantene claims to "combat common hair issues like split ends, thinning hair, and dry/damaged hair" and Johnson's has "no more tears", don't you know they're fantastic at cleaning acrylic. :lol: :lol:

    DSC00784.jpg

    two hours scrubbing:

    DSC00786.jpg

    it all collects at the bottom:

    DSC00785.jpg

    and finally clean at last, 4 hours toil in total:

    DSC00787.jpg
     
  4. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    nice cleaning job there mate! You don't happen to provide that service regularly do ya? Would need some help with my window :p
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    What a great cleaning job! It was definitely worth the hard work. Can't wait to see the photos of it all going back together!
     
  6. sks

    sks Guest

    Cleaning acrylic is a lot easier than glass for the reason that hard water marks find it hard to attach themselves to acrylic, same for algae etc . . . however, for marine tanks coraline algae makes it hard to keep reef systems in acrylic because when you scrap them off you get a "blush" where they've been because on scrapping the algae you attach the hard calcarous parts of algae itself, which is like scraping with a scoring pad. :wideyed:
     
  7. sks

    sks Guest

    had to collect the plants myself today from the courier's depot. :?

    My plants are:

    10 Blyxa Japonica
    75 Echinodorus Tenellus
    3 bunches of Marsilea Crenata (4 leaf clover)
    1 bunch of Sagittaria Lileopterus which somehow I never managed to grow the last time, it just hot covered in nasty brown algae
    5 Blyxa Aubertii (the larger soft rush) should have bought more
    10 Echinodorus Latifolius
    and a pot of HC to see if I can get better results with it this time

    I've moved the tank, put in the Eco Complete (and it's so much nicer to know there's no substrate heating cable now!!!), planted and filled the tank.

    Photos to come soon.
     
  8. sks

    sks Guest

    my wonderful Eheim canister filter collection, the professionel is going to be retired:

    DSC00799.jpg

    here's the Rainbow Lifeguard heating module (large, clunky and gets in the way) and next to it is what I am replacing it with. I could only get a 200 watt version in 12mm tubing since that's the output of the 2217:

    DSC00801.jpg

    Tank back on cabinet:

    DSC00803.jpg

    I've elected to use a 2213 to power the Dupla CO2 reactor, you can also see my dry ferts bottles and the Aquatronic control unit:

    DSC00805.jpg

    On the other side of the cabinet is a 2217 that will provide the main flow, if that's not enough I have more space for another 2217, I've come to realise that the classic Eheim canisters are fantastic, and can understand why Amano elected to copy their simplistic design when he made his range of canister filters:

    DSC00806.jpg

    In the kitchen is my 3'x2'x2' acrylic tank that I use for a storage vessel, it basically collects RO water that I harden using Seachem Equilibrium and you can see that and the Sodium Bicarbonate there as well. Also in the tank is an Eheim 1250 universal pump. The moving pump is a 1048. Both pumps are NOT used in tanks to prevent them from getting contaminated:

    DSC00807.jpg
     
  9. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    why did you cover the tank with polystyrene wrap?
     
  10. james3200

    james3200 Member

    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    CROYDON
    looking good, nice to see another aquatronica user for planted tanks

    Word of warning, I would not keep the powerbar in the stand, there have been a few reports of them breaking due to moisture.. I have got mine in some IP rated boxes in the stand to protect them from any moisture / splashes ;)
     
  11. sks

    sks Guest

    I understand your concern james, but my cabinet never has any moisture in it, I'm very careful not to spill water etc. At the moment I have a problem with the A socket not switching and they tell it the box need a hard knock to dislodge the reed switch (this is a rare occurence). Where can I get IP boxes from if I need to cover it up?

    For what I'm using it for, the Aquatronica is actually overkill. Would rather use a lot less equipment, looks better that way.
     
  12. sks

    sks Guest

    that's actually cling film, but it's to prevent dust and kitchen fumes mixing with the water, also cling film makes a tight snug fit that the pieces of acrylic my tank maker gave me would not, not to mention being in the kitchen oil and dust would collect, so having a "disposable" lid is the way to go.
     
  13. james3200

    james3200 Member

    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    CROYDON
    Yea, better safe than sorry. Il dig out the link to where i got it, was about £25ish. If you got it within the last year you can get a replacement from http://www.itcaquatics.co.uk/ the UK main distributors for the AQ.
     
  14. sks

    sks Guest

    a look back on last year

    About this time last year, this is what the tank looked like:

    DSC00296.jpg

    It was a Dennerle system using deponit and quartz gravel. I never really got the plant growth that I wanted and I still don't quite recall why I spent so much on E15 and V20 and S7 and Plafenzed Gold or whatever it's called. You see the Mercury Vapour lights and the acrylic stands I made for them.

    and as of August last year this is what the tank looked like:

    DSC00592.jpg

    Things have started to perk up after EI dosing and that's quite nice to know what you are putting in the water instead of listening blindindly to a company.
     
  15. sks

    sks Guest

    here's what the tank looks like now, as you can see it's sparsely planted at the moment and the two clown loaches and my 5 red eyed tetras have yet to move in:

    DSC00817.jpg

    As I was filling the tank I noticed something above the water level, I thought it was a leech and got a slight fright, took a tissue to remove it and it turned out to be a slug :wideyed:. . . urgh!! horrible creatures :wideyed:.

    DSC00816.jpg

    Corydoras Robustus with a Julii, these still have not been breed in captivity and grow nice and large, had a few in my time and they're my favourite Corydoras species (along with latus and sterbai/haroldschultzi group):

    DSC00818.jpg

    The damn cheek of a fish shop sold me this fish as a Siamese Algae Eater, somehow as it got big it just didn't look like a SAE, and I later found out it was a Garra. Strange thing is that this fish does more work eating algae than the SAEs:

    DSC00819.jpg

    Yes, that's the melting Blyxa Japonica there, that's how they arrived when I got them, that's what you get for being 1 day overdue on the post :(, hope they make a full recovery.
     
  16. sks

    sks Guest

    I now intend to update this journal every week to show you my progress. I have other reasons for this, main one being that I'll need help in combating any algae issues that will start to arrive. I'm open to all suggestions, and all criticisms welcome (apart from those concerning my scaping since being from a scientific background I have no artistic talent).

    Sorry about the horrible photographs, but I'm using a borrowed camera from a friend. If things go well this year I might consider a canon eos 40D with macro lens.

    At the moment I'm doing EI dosing to the tank according to JamesC website, with 50% water change on sunday. When it has stabilised I will switch over to JamesC's PMDD dosing. As he says on his website because of the reaction between PO4 and iron I'll need 2 separate containers and will be using the Aqua Medic dosing pumps for this, but this is some time away, I just want to get things settled first.
     
  17. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi SKS, are you dosing full EI at the minute? you may see some real algae issues due to the low biomass in the tank, you might want to think about halving the doses.
    To combat algae on my new tank i have added loads of weeds to keep a high biomass, once the carpet has grown in along with the other plants i'll just remove the weeds. ;)

    HTH
     
  18. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Agree with what Dan says. You need LOADS more plants in there if you wish to keep algae under control especially with the lighting you have and EI dosing. I always fully plant a new tank to make sure I don't run into any problems.

    I've now sussed out how to keep all the ingredients in one bottle with no probs. I don't even bother to refridgerate it. Only problem is getting hold of the chemicals required.

    James
     
  19. sks

    sks Guest

    Since you all know more than me on the plant front I will now halve EI dosing. I'm still running 218 watts lighting (4 x 54 watts arcadia 48" T5s) should I cut this down to 108 watts (there's a switch to only have 2 lights on)? On the CO2 front I have about 30 ppm according to drop checker. I realised that 30 ppm is a generic term used by those who use drop checkers since I don't know anyone could be that accurate in colour recognition.

    I was also thinking of getting some cabomba to float about.

    James, would these chemicals be rather dangerous? If so I rather not bother. I use to handle hydrochloric acid and sodium hydro oxide when I use the Dennerle deionisers (oh those were the days), and rather not be bothering with such dangerous chemical again!!
     
  20. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Yes Hydrocloric can be harmful but the tiny amount used is harmless. I now longer use HCl as I've had much greater success with food additives.

    James
     

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