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Two worlds [THE END]

cibserg

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Re: Two worlds - a new beginning

This is gorgeous, Mihai. So clean and simple. I hope you will have the time and the patience to keep it like this when the plants will grow.
All it needs now is a good dense Glossostigma carpet.
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Thanks. You're right Sergiu I need patience for the plants to grow, I need to thicken the bushes all around the back.
So since I've a nice collection of branches I decided to put some in. This was the idea I had in mind but I wanted to wait a little bit after the re-scape so all the dirt was sucked by the filter.

6245886739_ba0c1472dd_b.jpg


Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Thanks Tony, glad you like it. :)

This one will be more of an underwater scape with plants grown near the surface. My main goal is to have a lotus flower in the final shot for that I need to make its leaves cover the surface, kinda tricky but not impossible, not sure how big the leaves will be and if they'll have enough space in my little tank, we'll see.

Regarding the background light, well, I'll order a strobe kit from ebay tomorrow to solve the lighting during the photo sessions, hope it will arrive 'till Xmas. o_O

A new photo soon.

Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

The promised photo, hope you like it .. you can scroll to see how it evolved during the past week or so. :)
6283346339_9948436a89_b.jpg


Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

The strobe kit is on it's way from UK so the next shots will be done using it. This is going to be a real challenge! :)
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Strobe kit arrived in perfect condition two days ago. I haven't got any chance to test them properly, just a background lighting test to see how it spreads and I'm very happy how it went. The real photo session will be done Saturday or Sunday depending on my schedule.

The algae/plant growth tests I've been running the last two years came to an end this week. I don't need to run them further since there won't be any notable surprises. Hardly think there are people interested in my results so I won't go on and write a story. :)

To be continued ...
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

OK then.

I had success running low lighted tanks with sediments under the gravel and low dosing but every time I tried high lighting I failed for the simple reason that I haven't had enough flow so the nastiness the plants are releasing during photo period are driven away from them into the filter where they are processed by bacteria.

How do I measure flow to know it's right, well I don't try to follow the 10x rule but to look at the drop checker.
I place it in the area with the lowest flow away from the CO2 diffuser. If it's blue before the CO2 starts and lime green when lights are on that means the water is distributed all around the tank and gas exchange is done correctly. Ideally will be to have it blue before lights are off.

Why it's not OK to have it yellow all day, I'm not a biologist but I'm guessing that if the PH & O2 stay low all day the bacterial activity is slowed down and you are getting an unprocessed organic matter build up that is further used by algae to develop (you can notice it very easy, surface scum, slimy glass etc.).

It's easy to improve the flow, just add one or a couple of powerful wave makers and make sure the water follows a circular movement around the tank. Also don't be afraid of having surface movement, the higher it is the better the gas exchange, just increase the CO2 addition or buy a better reactor if the surface movement drives the CO2 out too fast. Filling the CO2 bottle is rather cheap, having trouble with algae on the other hand is not.

6310130442_f46bf294b9_z.jpg

My current hardware set-up

You'll notice I don't talk about dosing, it doesn't matter, there are lots of good approaches, PPS & ADA style (more or less the same), EI, mine (I dose everything daily) etc. The only thing you must avoid is to have the tank deprived of nutrients, a tank deprived of nutrients won't have algae blooms if the flow is optimal and you have enough biological filtration (if not ... BEWARE) but the plants will have stunned growth and will decay over time depending on the species and their needs.

Do the light level have any importance, actually it does, every time you add more you need more flow and CO2, more flow because the organic matter released is directly proportional with the light added.

In the end for this 70l tank I'm running a 2000l/h wave maker and a 700l/h external filter. This gives me a 38x flow and I kinda need to increase it because I don't have enough gas exchange but I'm going to keep it like this for awhile until I'll replace the filter with an Eheim wet&dry.

A nice article to summarize the importance of having high gas exchange in your tank:
http://www.lumcon.edu/education/Resourc ... Matter.htm

Hope I've been more or less clear.

Comments are welcome, if any.

Mike

P.S. Gotta thank UKAPS for reaching this conclusion. :thumbup:
 

dw1305

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Hi all,
Why it's not OK to have it yellow all day, I'm not a biologist but I'm guessing that if the PH & O2 stay low all day the bacterial activity is slowed down and you are getting an unprocessed organic matter build up that is further used by algae to develop (you can notice it very easy, surface scum, slimy glass etc.).
I don't think that this is the reason for the surface scum etc. In a high productivity system everything is enhanced, the plants grow more quickly, but they are "leaky" structures, and are constantly losing sugars, lipids and proteins to the surrounding water. These substrates support the growth of bacteria, the more substrate you have the more bacteria, and I should imagine that many of these visible signs are a mixture of the substrates and their bacteria.

During lights on, when the plants are photosynthesising, the water column will be saturated with oxygen, you could still have problems with the O2/CO2 ratio, but because you have more O2 you can ramp the CO2 up. I think Tom ("plantbrain") uses modified trickle filters to ensure that he always has high O2 whilst running at high CO2 levels. If the CO2 was still high when the lights went out, you could quickly run into problems as the O2 levels fall.

This is the situation during lights off, the entire biomass (including plants and bacteria) is still respiring, but there is no CO2 being utilised by photosynthesis and no O2 being evolved, and the natural level of CO2 will rise. We can reduce this CO2 by increased water flow, which will increase the gas exchange surface area, or by direct aeration which will increase the O2/CO2 ratio.

I also think you can ignore the pH depression from the dissolved CO2. Water that is naturally base poor and full of tannins (and other anti-microbial agents) will depress bacterial activity, particularly as the pH gets below pH5. This isn't the case here, what you have is water with all the nutrients etc available, but with the pH depressed by the constant addition of CO2. You can think of it like "orange juice", you had "orange juice", you've added CO2 and now you have a slightly lower pH and "sparkling orange juice", but nothing else has changed.

cheers Darrel
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Cheers for input Darrel, I'll answer your post tomorrow but for now here are the water test results at the end of the photo period: KH - 0 (or close), can't test the ph properly, it's bellow tester's scale (5-10).

I uploaded into the previous post the photo. Need to clean the watermarks on the glass next time. :D

Cheers,
Mike
 

dw1305

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Hi all,
......here are the water test results at the end of the photo period: KH - 0 (or close), can't test the ph properly, it's bellow tester's scale (5-10).
OK, that sounds like the carbonate reserve has been completely depleted and this means that there isn't a carbonate ~ CO2 equilibrium (details here: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_carbonate#Calcination_equilibrium>)

CO32- +2 H2O is in equilibrium with HCO3- + H2O + OH- is in equilibrium with H2CO3 +2 OH-
H2CO3 +2 H2O is in equilibrium with HCO3- + H3O+ + H2O is in equilibrium with CO32- +2 H3O+

And it is the ratio of the hydronium ion (H3O+) relative to hydroxide (OH-) that determines a solution's pH. You have lots of H3O+ ions and no (proxy) OH- ions. The pH can keep on falling as there is no reserve of carbonate buffering and you have relatively high levels of CO2.

How relevant this pH effect is open to question, I'm not a fish physiologist, but Clive wrote this:
Lets look at the opposite case. CO2 causes the water to be very acidic by lowering the pH of the water. We know that CO2 is a highly toxic substance. But what is the fundamental nature of the toxicity? is it because it causes the pH of the water column to fall? No. It's because CO2 in the water column prevents the fishes body from purging itself of the CO2 generated internally. Normally, CO2 travels from the blood, out to the water from across the gill membrane. High CO2 pressure within the water column prevents this exchange, so the CO2 inside the fishes bloodstream builds to high levels. that then lowers the pH inside the fish's blood. That causes all sorts of problems if their system is unable to control the internal drop in pH. The fish could not care less about the pH drop externally. It is the internal chemical reactions that causes problems and those internal problems are caused by the dissolved CO2 of the water, not the pH of the water.
<http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=18116&p=185726&hilit=+carbonate+dKH#p185726>

Personally I'd just add a little more carbonate buffering, you could use potassium bi-carbonate (KHCO3) or the mix at "James Planted Tank" <http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/RO.htm>.
1.5g NaHCO3 in 25 litres of water = 2 dKH
1.8g KHCO3 in 25 litres of water = 2 dKH
1.2g K2CO3 in 25 litres of water = 2 dKH
cheers Darrel
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

My fish are alright, most of them are soft water fish, they don't seem to be bothered.
The PH drop is more or less due to the RO water I use and acids from Amazonia & wood. I usually keep the drop checker green.
I did some buffering yesterday, my aim is around 2-3 dKH not for the PH sake but to improve a bit the bacterial activity to break the waste that keeps building in my tank.

Hope I can find a cheap KHCO3 / K2CO3 source.

Cheers,
Mike
 

dw1305

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Hi all,
My fish are alright, most of them are soft water fish, they don't seem to be bothered.
The PH drop is more or less due to the RO water I use and acids from Amazonia & wood. I usually keep the drop checker green. I did some buffering yesterday, my aim is around 2-3 dKH not for the PH sake but to improve a bit the bacterial activity to break the waste that keeps building in my tank.
Seems sensible, I would have expected that your fish would be all right, I'm pretty sure that pH is largely irrelevant to them (although not to fish from heavily buffered water).
Hope I can find a cheap KHCO3 / K2CO3 source.
You could use always use sodium bicarbonate /carbonate (NaHCO3 / Na2CO3), they wouldn't offer the K+ source, but the they would have a similar effect on dKH.

cheers Darrel
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

Thanks Darrel, I have some sodium bicarbonate handy. Do you know if there is a safe level of sodium for plants?

Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - tarantula

The beauty and the beast:

6385509353_e9b8cfe3de_z.jpg


Nothing spectacular happened lately so I won't add any full tank shots.
As the algae issues are more or less over I'm continuing the red plants saga by slowly dropping the nutrients levels using large water changes. Nitrates were a little bit high ~60ppm and after a week are around ~20ppm and I'm aiming 10ppm or less.
I switched the 2x28w bulbs to 2x24w so the plants grow a little bit slower and increased the CO2 addition (I think I have now ~3-4bps).
Still have some surface scum so I know I need to do more water changes before the DOC levels drop to minimum and I won't be stuck having the ugly surface extractor in the tank.
Hope it turns around nicely if not back to the drawing board. :)

Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - Mothership

Instead of grabbing a pint and relaxing I'm spending the beautiful Friday night cleaning the tank and taking photos of it. :lol:

6401403811_d75eb36500_b.jpg


Hope you like it, if not, well .. no worries I like it for you :)

Cheers,
Mike
 

clonitza

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Re: Two worlds - Mothership

Thanks Paulo, there are many things to be done here, especially regarding the lawn. I've tried glosso only but it doesn't look that natural so I'm going to mix it with HC and some other plants. I'm planning also to add more wood and maybe some mosses on it to see how it looks.

The CO2 diffusion also isn't the best, the JBL's ceramic ring holes get bigger and bigger in time and requires replacement, kinda expensive on the long run, so I've ordered the new UP atomizer, I'll write a review about it after it arrives.
ayr01x.jpg


Why the twin diffuser and not the single? Well I'm planning on using one tube and switch with the other when I'm cleaning it.

Cheers,
Mike
 
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