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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 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

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.

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