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Old 07-31-2011, 06:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mikes' Aquarium

1. Lights Come on at 6 am...go off at 10 pm. on a timer. I can adjust that no problem...let me know

The norm is 8-11 hours. You have 16. Reduce this to 10 hours for now.



2. answered with 1
...


3. fluval 305 has foam, some charcoal bags, and cylindrical tube looking thingys.

This filter is severely undersized for your tank. It is good for up to a 30 gallon planted tank but nothing over it.

It will work but if anything goes bad it will be the first thing to upgrade.
For now make sure that the charcoal is not older than 2 weeks. Replace it every 2 weeks.
And keep in mind that because your substrate is not rich in nutrients by using charcoal you are depriving the plants from the little nutrients that are in the tap water. I'm telling you this so you understand how despite good intentions and effort one can be counterproductive.

I suggest using the charcoal anyway because what it removes to some extent is organics. They are one of the main reason for algae. We can discuss later how to supplement your plants by placing fertilizer tabs under their roots. But let's see how they do first.

The "cylindrical tube looking thingys" are hopefully biological media. Did they come with the filter? Can you show a picture of them. I hate to think you got sold the cylinders which distribute the water flow and are not biomedia. They look very similar.


4. I've done 1 water change..about ready to do another...so every 2 weeks.

You need to start doing 10% water changes every 2-3 days. Period.
Or you can get a plastic pitcher and every day scoop 4-5 pitchers of water and replace it. It will take you about 4 minutes per day. That's really the best way but you need to be consistent.


5. 5-10 gallons

This is a good amount of water to change if you changed it once or twice a week.


6. Prime

Perfect.
Just keep in mind that the water company adds more or less chemicals to the tap water depending on the weather. Hotter weather - they dump more, news of flooding in the water collection areas - they add more (because trash gets incorporated in the water during floods). I'm telling you this so you know - the tap water is not a guaranteed constant day in day out. When the weather is hot - add a little extra Prime.


7. Seacham Excel for CO2. also some trace minerals....also Seacham.

Stop the Excel and trace.


The Excel will not help with the CO2. That was the original intention of Seachem but it does not work that way really. We all use Excel to poison algae, that's all there is to our collective fascination with Excel. It is a chemical used to kill barnicles that grow in ships. If you overdo it some plants slow down their growth. For now you do not need it.

The trace elements are probably needed by the plants. But first we have to see what they tell us. Let's see how they do with more frequent water changes (they introduce nutrients in tiny amounts).


I'd also suggest you move the outflow/inflow pipes of your filter to the side of the tank. So the outflow shoots along the front glass. And the inflow is right by it. This will greatly help with the flow. Your filter has a very weak pump and that will help. What will also help a little is to trash the standard grey plastic "gooseneck" piece that is at the end of your outflow. It has too many unnecessary curves. Replace it with just a simple L-shaped piece of pipe.

And keep us updated on what you changed so we don't lose track.


--Nikolay
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mikes' Aquarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post
1. Lights Come on at 6 am...go off at 10 pm. on a timer. I can adjust that no problem...let me know

The norm is 8-11 hours. You have 16. Reduce this to 10 hours for now.



2. answered with 1
...


3. fluval 305 has foam, some charcoal bags, and cylindrical tube looking thingys.

This filter is severely undersized for your tank. It is good for up to a 30 gallon planted tank but nothing over it.

It will work but if anything goes bad it will be the first thing to upgrade.
For now make sure that the charcoal is not older than 2 weeks. Replace it every 2 weeks.
And keep in mind that because your substrate is not rich in nutrients by using charcoal you are depriving the plants from the little nutrients that are in the tap water. I'm telling you this so you understand how despite good intentions and effort one can be counterproductive.

I suggest using the charcoal anyway because what it removes to some extent is organics. They are one of the main reason for algae. We can discuss later how to supplement your plants by placing fertilizer tabs under their roots. But let's see how they do first.

The "cylindrical tube looking thingys" are hopefully biological media. Did they come with the filter? Can you show a picture of them. I hate to think you got sold the cylinders which distribute the water flow and are not biomedia. They look very similar.


4. I've done 1 water change..about ready to do another...so every 2 weeks.

You need to start doing 10% water changes every 2-3 days. Period.
Or you can get a plastic pitcher and every day scoop 4-5 pitchers of water and replace it. It will take you about 4 minutes per day. That's really the best way but you need to be consistent.


5. 5-10 gallons

This is a good amount of water to change if you changed it once or twice a week.


6. Prime

Perfect.
Just keep in mind that the water company adds more or less chemicals to the tap water depending on the weather. Hotter weather - they dump more, news of flooding in the water collection areas - they add more (because trash gets incorporated in the water during floods). I'm telling you this so you know - the tap water is not a guaranteed constant day in day out. When the weather is hot - add a little extra Prime.


7. Seacham Excel for CO2. also some trace minerals....also Seacham.

Stop the Excel and trace.


The Excel will not help with the CO2. That was the original intention of Seachem but it does not work that way really. We all use Excel to poison algae, that's all there is to our collective fascination with Excel. It is a chemical used to kill barnicles that grow in ships. If you overdo it some plants slow down their growth. For now you do not need it.

The trace elements are probably needed by the plants. But first we have to see what they tell us. Let's see how they do with more frequent water changes (they introduce nutrients in tiny amounts).


I'd also suggest you move the outflow/inflow pipes of your filter to the side of the tank. So the outflow shoots along the front glass. And the inflow is right by it. This will greatly help with the flow. Your filter has a very weak pump and that will help. What will also help a little is to trash the standard grey plastic "gooseneck" piece that is at the end of your outflow. It has too many unnecessary curves. Replace it with just a simple L-shaped piece of pipe.

And keep us updated on what you changed so we don't lose track.


--Nikolay

1) Changing to 11a - 9p
2) ---
3) I'm pretty mad about this one. LFS Dallas North told me this is what I wanted for this tank. They are supposed to be the experts. I would have gone with bigger had I known. I think they have steered me wrong one or two times on different things. This is really not a good way to run a business. Everything in there came with the filter. BTW, this filter is a pain in the butt if you lose power....it does not start back up. I had to crank the little prime thing over an hour the other day and it still didn't work. the only thing that worked was to dump the water out of the filter, then connect it back and let the siphon flow and plugging in halfway through the cycle. I got no money for an upgrade...again...I'm not happy about this.
4) My trees in the yard need water anyway...good place for it.
5) -----
6) finally something right.
7) These were recommmended for plants not by LFS, but from freshwateraquariumplants.com I surely hope they know what they are doing. Can't hurt to see what happens when i stop.


I like my grey gooseneck.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mikes' Aquarium

hobbyist knows best .... niko is right, i took his advice and it has help, i have a eheim rated for a 66 put it on a 60g tank and had problems. but i cut it half and put it on a 29g and it was perfect.

i think canisters don't get rated right. we never think about returning head volume pressure from the pump and how it loses pressure the higher it has to return.

I like DNA, but I'm not sure if you got the right stuff you needed.. and as nikolay said i would do bigger more frequent water changes....
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mikes' Aquarium

Niko is an elder of the tribe here and surely knows way more than me about this stuff. But I think it's safe to point out that there are divergent opinions about most every aspect of planted tanks. I point this out specifically about the use of Excel. In my home we use it as Niko describes. But I know that there are others among our group that use it successfully as a carbon source.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mikes' Aquarium

I completely redid the scene. I used the black diamond topped with black gravel for substrate. I also added CO2 to the tank.

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