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Stus Rio 125 re-plant journal

Stu Worrall

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ceg4048 said:
Hi Stu,
Yes, lowering light is always a good idea when fighting algae. This is because light is one of the fundamental causes of algae. I'll repeat that HC, glosso and all the other carpet plants are not necessarily high light plants, they are high CO2 plants. Given the proper levels of CO2, these plants simply grow faster with high lighting, but they really do not "need" massive lighting. Generally, if you have enough light to grow algae then you probably have enough to grow HC. For example, has it registered in your mind yet that the moss, which is much closer to the light has more algal growth than some of the carpet plants? I would estimate roughly that the light energy being received at the surface of the Fissidens leaf location is about 10X higher than at the substrate level where the P. helferi is. That means the Fissidens needs 10X as much CO2 (roughly speaking.)

100 watts T5 with reflectors is a lot of light for a 30 gallon tank. Your CO2 and or flow distribution will need to be flawless to avoid trouble. So really, lighting, in a way, is the root of all evil. High lighting drives the plants to grow faster but if the nutrients and CO2 levels cannot support that growth rate then the the plants stumble, leaving them vulnerable to algal attacks.

If it is indeed determined that the higher injection rate is negatively impacting the shrimp then the only alternatives will be to have lower lighting, and/or have higher flow, and/or to use more Excel. Lower lighting lowers the CO2 uptake demand. Higher flow increases the CO2 distribution and of course, higher Excel dosing increases the available CO2 without raising the water column CO2 levels.

Cheers,

cheers clive, all very well explained as usual. I had realised about the moss getting the algae quicker and ive been spraying the easy carbo on that to try and help it out. Ive dropped down to 3 lights for now and the co2 is still up, drop checker is limeade green. Ive still not got around to buying an extended spraybar so thats still to do but there's still tons of flow dropping down the front of the glass and onto the carpet.

The luminaire isnt going in yet as its an xmas pressie from the wife. Ill probably try and blank one light out when it first goes on but I thought id read on here that the t5's got better penetration into the tank as the Rio is 45cm high? That plus it will be so much easier to do maintenance on the tank without a hood!
 

Stu Worrall

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just thought id post an update on my tank. I got rid of most of the algae by upping the co2 to almost yellow levels and putting a fluval powerhead in to blow some water around the tank a bit more. The only thing I was left with was lots of spyrogyra. Did lots of work with the toothbrush but it kept growing and growing :( Dave spencer suggested a blackout so the tank is currently under wartime conditions with a grand opening on friday night.

The one thing I was confused about was id read on here that lots of water chanes were recommended with the blackout. How do you do this when your tank is taped up with bin liners and you dont want to let any light in?
 

Goodygumdrops

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stuworrall said:
just thought id post an update on my tank. I got rid of most of the algae by upping the co2 to almost yellow levels and putting a fluval powerhead in to blow some water around the tank a bit more. The only thing I was left with was lots of spyrogyra. Did lots of work with the toothbrush but it kept growing and growing :( Dave spencer suggested a blackout so the tank is currently under wartime conditions with a grand opening on friday night.

The one thing I was confused about was id read on here that lots of water chanes were recommended with the blackout. How do you do this when your tank is taped up with bin liners and you dont want to let any light in?


Do it at night?(with a light on obviously,or a torch if you want an adventurous feel!)
 

Stu Worrall

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i had thought of that but id also seen someone say "no peeking" so assumed it had to be totally dark for the 3 days. ill cut a big hole in the bag tonight and doa stealth change :D

on a side note to get rid of the ugly powerhead I was thinking of upgrading my serafil 900 filter. Was looking at the tetratec ex1200 but it seems to be getting a bashing on this forum at the moment with random quality issues. Has anyone every tried a Serfil 1300 or what eheim would be good for a Rio 125?
 

ceg4048

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Stu, there's no pressing need to do water changes during the blackout. Massive water changes immediately before and after the blackout is a better idea...

Cheers,
 

vauxhallmark

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Goodygumdrops said:
stuworrall said:
just thought id post an update on my tank. I got rid of most of the algae by upping the co2 to almost yellow levels and putting a fluval powerhead in to blow some water around the tank a bit more. The only thing I was left with was lots of spyrogyra. Did lots of work with the toothbrush but it kept growing and growing :( Dave spencer suggested a blackout so the tank is currently under wartime conditions with a grand opening on friday night.

The one thing I was confused about was id read on here that lots of water chanes were recommended with the blackout. How do you do this when your tank is taped up with bin liners and you dont want to let any light in?


Do it at night?(with a light on obviously,or a torch if you want an adventurous feel!)

If you've got an external filter then you only need to open the bags up enough to see the water level - drain the tank out of the filter's inlet pipe till the level's down to what you want, then refill through a tube in the normal way. This would be the least disruptive.

If you've got fish in the tank I'd be really careful about taking the covers off at the end of the blackout too - I'd do it at night so they get a dawn when the sun rises. I once put the light on in my tank when the room was completely dark (wanted to show it off :lol: to someone) and the ottos in particular went crazy - you could hear them banging their noses on the tank walls as they shot around :arghh: So there's another lesson I've learnt!

Good luck with the tank,

Mark
 

Stu Worrall

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thanks ceg and mark. i did a large water change before the blackout so will do another sat morning before lights on. Ill open it up under dimmed light mark, thanks for the info as Ive got some high spot rasboras and blue emporer tetras in there now.
 

Dave Spencer

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I would just leave it under 100% darkness for the duration, Stu. As soon as the covers come off, hit it with as big a water change as possible and get straight back on to the ferts and CO2 for maximum plant growth whilst the Spirogyra is subdued.

You may want to consider upping the water changing frequency for a week or two after lights on to keep on top of the algae spores.

Once you start to get some real plant mass in there, controlling the algae will be a lot easier. This is when you can then trim the plants back to where you want, but be aware that you are reducing plant mass. Another big water change or two after the pruning session should help keep the algae at bay.

Dave.
 

Vito

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stuworrall said:
Was looking at the tetratec ex1200 but it seems to be getting a bashing on this forum at the moment with random quality issues.

I have a Tetratec ex1200 and I havn't had a single problem or complaint and its dead silent, having said that this is my first external filter but I did alot of research before I bought it, you can pick one up for £60-£70 online, as far as I am awear thats a good value for money....

Any way thats my opinion mate, hope it helps

Good luck with the blackout

Vito
 

Vito

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stuworrall said:
thanks all, i think im going to go with one of those and switch over to an external heater, its the larger hydor heater id need with the ex1200 isnt it?

I went with the 300W but i think the tubes of the 200W fit also, I just thought I'd get the extra power just in case I needed it and it was only a few quid diffrence at the time.
 

Dave Spencer

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You will need the 300W to fit the 1200 hoses.

I run two 1200s on my 120cm and am very happy with them...and the Hydor in line heater.

Dave.
 

Stu Worrall

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just a quick update on the tank. The algae seems to be getting under control now although there is still some spirogyra in there. I dumped all my shrimp out of my spare tank last week so theyve helped clean up any other algae.

The HC still hasnt really done anything and the hairgrass at the back seemed to really suffer after the blackout so not sure what I did to upset it. Not sure whether to try some glosso or more hairgrass instead of the HC as ive resided to the fact i just cant grow it :oops: The white bits on the substrate are from where I smashed up some schist to create some more graduated rock. they still need to wheather in so are a bit white. Ive put a kind of rock fall in to the right of the biggest rock if you can see it o this pic :D

Heres the latest pic. the moss, rotala and hairgrass needs a bit of chopping back plus im going to re-position the java a bit further back.

3120842961_580e575c08_o.jpg
 

ceg4048

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Hey Stu,
FYI Master Po of the Shaolin Temple advises not give up on HC, and that's because when you solve the riddle of HC you'll in effect solve a lot of other problems as well. I reckon you just need to get more CO2/flow to the front bottom of the tank. Is that some kind of moss floating in the upper RH corner? What ever it is get it away from there as it will block flow from the spraybar. Perhaps a tad more injection rate might be in order as well s a bit more Excel/Easycarbo. Even a powerhead mounted in upper front RH corner pointing downwards towards the carpet might help as well.

Cheers,
 

Stu Worrall

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ceg4048 said:
Hey Stu,
FYI Master Po of the Shaolin Temple advises not give up on HC, and that's because when you solve the riddle of HC you'll in effect solve a lot of other problems as well. I reckon you just need to get more CO2/flow to the front bottom of the tank. Is that some kind of moss floating in the upper RH corner? What ever it is get it away from there as it will block flow from the spraybar. Perhaps a tad more injection rate might be in order as well s a bit more Excel/Easycarbo. Even a powerhead mounted in upper front RH corner pointing downwards towards the carpet might help as well.

Cheers,
master Po, thanks for the advice. I should explain myself a bit more than above. ive actually removed the spraybar as the old sera filter wasnt putting enough flow out when I expanded the bar across the whole tank so I moved to one outlet on the left blowing across the back right hand side and along the front. Ive just bought a tetratec ex1200 off george and was waiting for some 16mm tubing i ordered so the spraybar should be going back in soon.

The stuff on the top RHS is riccia bobbling away, what you cant see in the shadows under the riccia is a fluval powerhead thats blowing down. The intention is to replace this with a koralia nano so I should be well above the 10x turnover then and every bit of the tank should have some flow. As you say i wont give up on the HC, i might get another pot of it to get a bit more planted around. I'll remove that riccia to get more light in but I should point out that ive been running half lights at 48W T5 while the spirogyra got sorted (which thrives in high light/high nutrients from what ive read). Im a bit nervous of turning the light up if needed as im not sure what nutrient/co2 id have to bump it up to to compensate for the increased light.

At the mo im using 6ml of easy carbo per day. haven't gone above this as I wasn't sure about upsetting the shrimps or fish with it being 125L. co2 is running 24hrs and the bps is quite high (drop checker nearly reaching lime/yellow with 4dkh water). Using 3ml per day of a combined mix of 1:2 TPN+:TPN.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Stu,
All good stuff. As you noted, there's no point upping the lighting until you sort out the flow. TPN+ is the same as TPN but with added NPK so I don't get why you'd need both. If anything you'll be low on NPK. Is your tap high in N & P? If not, 3ml sounds really low. If you are using a lean mixture to deter the spirogyra that's fine, but if you go too far with this you'll cause more problems than you solve...

Cheers,
 
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