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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, thanks to StuckinTexas and CrownMan, my tank actually has plants now

I just started with CO2 and my current BPS is 1.5 and the reactor is a upside down rio with a chamber underneath to churn the CO2.....question, should I put a airstone or something at the end of the tubing to help break the CO2 bubbles?

I have 6x96watts of CF which may be too much currently and I can shut off 2 of the front bulbs

I also just started the PMDD routine but from what I am hearing it may be better to do the EI method. I have the dry ferts: CSM+B, MgsO4, K2So4 and KNo3 With the recipe I have, it said to mix all in the same bottle which is what I did and I dose about 1.25ml daily.

There is still a lot of algae from when I had the tank with no CO2 and my tank broke out all over with the stuff.

Okay, here are the pics....let me know what you think and if you see where I can improve things.

I prefer to premix the fert solutions....Which I need help with since I have no clue what I am doing right now

Thank you!!!

Right side of tank with drop checker ....not sure what the color really tells me as it is slightly green yet slightly yellow which could be too much CO2 exposure







Here is a pic of the left side of the tank



MIddle of the tank



And my CO2 gauge...I bought used and this was pretty much set how I have it now

 

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yea, i cant wait to see these plants fill in. it may be necessary to pull the drop checker out of the tank and let it turn blue. then stick back in the tank and if it goes back to yellow then you have too much co2. i have a hard time believing that 1.5 bubbles per second will yield too much co2 though. you may want to grab some phosphate too. as far as mixing the ferts in a solution i cant help as i just dry dose...well i take a cup of tank water and mix in the dry ferts and just dump in the tank. its quick and easy but i guess not as quick as if you already had a premixed solution. i would expect that the algae will start to go away if now that you have more plants to take up the nutrients and especially since you are upping your co2. i would think that you could use 3 bubbles per second but that depends on how good your reactor is. more co2 will help with that ammount of light.

good luck and keep us updated. also, see if niko can give you advise. he may tell you to do differently than me, if thats the case then go with what he says as im just a newb.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I can't wait either! It's such a big difference with all those plants already.

I also don't think I have too much CO2...it would be believable if this was a 20g tank but its not. Certainly my little reactor isn't that good! lol. Yeah, hopefully I can get advice from Niko too. I appreciate your advice and everybody else that has given it so far.

I am not against dry dosing..I just don't have a clue what I am doing. eh...sucks to be a noob! Anyhow, hints on how you dose and maybe I can try to follow along. I will pick up some Flourish iron and do doses of that like you suggest too.
 

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i do about 1.5-2 ml iron daily and thats for about 40G water...this is in addition to my csm+b dosing. so you may want to double what im dosing...id say 4 ml a day would do. as far as dosing dry ferts EI method, try this. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/15225-estimative-index-dosing-guide.html

note that you could also dose extra potassium via k2so4 at 3xweek. maybe around 1/4 to 3/8 tsp each dose.

and just keep an eye on your plants...if they look better and your algae isnt getting worse then you are doing the right thing.
 

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Glad to see you are starting to plant heavily. That is the key with any startup. Also, getting the CO2 to a high enough level without causing discomfort to the fish and shrimp is another goal.

As we discussed Saturday, I dose EI. I don't necessarily follow the recommended dosage. I do look to see how the plants are doing and make adjustments according to that. As stuckintexas has mentioned before, in Arlington we have a shortage of Mg in our water so I dose Epsom salts and I got some CaSO4 to dose Calcium. cause I have shrimp in almost all tanks. I also use Flourish Comprehensive and Fe for my traces in some of my tanks and CSM +B for the others with extra Flourish Fe. In my 39G tank (36x12x20), I dose 10ml Flourish Comprehensive and 10ml Fe daily. I dose all tanks daily with micros based on that ratio except for the 90G which I don't dose micros at all.

I religiously do 50-60% water changes once a week on my CO2 tanks and once every 3 to 4 weeks on my Excel Tanks. EI on both systems. I have 3 pH monitors so I know what the pH is. All probes are calibrated.
 

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10ml of flourish iron daily? is that a typo?

if thats correct then im way off base for the Fe...for a 130G you would go with way more i assume.
 

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These gorgeous tuffs of BBA came from a lot of organics in your water. If you dislike the grey furry look of the wood and equipment you need to do 2 things:

1. Dose Excel
2. Do small water changes (5-10%) every 2-3 days

It will take a while for the BBA to start disappearing but if you do the 2 things above eventually it will happen. Just remember that you are trying to clean the water of something invisible and untestable. Every single dead plant leaf should be removed immediately. It's best to plant the plants where they will stay because uprooting them releases a ton of organics every time you do it (and with good ferts, CO2 and light you will be doing this very often very soon). Fish should not be overfed. The biological filter should always remain working great (that's why smaller but more frequent water changes are prefferable to big ones once a week). And of course the tank parameters (especially CO2) must be very consistent. Fluctuations of any kind will set you back every single time.

For a CO2 diffuser why don't you try this:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...s/44053-tiny-super-efficient-co2-reactor.html

Dosing dry is preferable to mixing and pre-mixing.

--Nikolay
 

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2 other things:

1. The picture of your CO2 gauge... It looks like the right dial, the one the is low pressure, is showing some crazy high pressure. For the needle valve to operate properly this dial should be adjusted to show 5-15 psi.

2. If you start doing EI you will experience very fast growth. But you will be stuck in having to fertilize and do water changes or else. The tank will never stabilize to the point that you can leave it by itself for more than a week. I think that at this point with the BBA and all it's not a bad idea to do EI, but I suggest you aim at going gradually away from it. The only reason for that is the fact that sooner or later you will get tired and sick of having the tank be in control instead of you.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very good information guys...thanks!

Niko - How do I adjust the pressure for the right dial?? Is that through the main control knob? So if clockwise opens it, I should turn it counter clock wise?

I will get to reading up on the link you posted with the reactor.


Also, what dosing regime do you suggest? I almost like the daily dosing just so I can remember when I do it.

StuckinTexas - I followed your advice and up'd the CO2 to about 3 BPS. I turned it on right before leaving for work so we will see. Right now the little sponge they had in the bottom of the reactor keeps falling out so I might need to go get foam or sponge or whatever.

Does anyone think I should put an airstone on the CO2 tubing to break the bubbles up more or just keep it how it is?

Looks like I should add Excel and Iron to my list of things to get.

Again, thanks for helping me out and all this information!! = )
 

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2 other things:

1. The picture of your CO2 gauge... It looks like the right dial, the one the is low pressure, is showing some crazy high pressure. For the needle valve to operate properly this dial should be adjusted to show 5-15 psi.

2. If you start doing EI you will experience very fast growth. But you will be stuck in having to fertilize and do water changes or else. The tank will never stabilize to the point that you can leave it by itself for more than a week. I think that at this point with the BBA and all it's not a bad idea to do EI, but I suggest you aim at going gradually away from it. The only reason for that is the fact that sooner or later you will get tired and sick of having the tank be in control instead of you.

--Nikolay
You need to stop waking up this early to read the posts here in APC.
I see that his right hand C02 gauge is between 12-15psi, more towards 15psi...unless our right hands are located in different postions.
 

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Yes the big knob lets you adjust the low pressure value. Keep in mind that once you set it to say 10 it will drop or go up a little in a few minutes. So check and adjust it until it's stable.

The dosing is a tricky thing to figure out. Do the EI for now so the plants fill the tank, and only after that make up your mind about continuing with EI not.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, for dosing Iron, would it work if I ordered the Iron chelate 10% mix from aquariumfertilizer.com and just dosed that vs flourish Iron?

I've got the formula for EI - however, do you dose in front of your power head? filters? just scatter around?
 

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cant say for the chelate but i know the seachem is good. the chelate may work just as well, try asking in the "fertilizers" forum maybe.

as for the dry dosing, i take a small cup of tank water and mix in the cup real good and then dump in a point of good flow. if you have good circulation in your tank i dont think it really matters where you put it. whatever is easiest for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, thought I would share some pics of my plants that seem to be doing better now after the transplant.

Not sure what all these plants really are but here you go!

This one I know is Red Temple









My whisker shrimp hanging out at the bottom




Red Lilly


My school of serpae


Banana Plants which look much better now
 

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jesus! pearls...wow. ive never had my plants come close to doing that. what causes this? am i just short on light or what? i dont know anything else i can throw at my plants to get them to pearl like that so i must need more light.

good job, looking very nice and healthy.

by the way, it looks like you have two types of cabomba, you have bacopa caroliniana, ludwigia cuba, pennywort, possibly some sunset hygro, echinodorus bolivianus/latifolius?, rotala vietnam?, also looks like a crypt in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Meh, your guess is as good as mine...maybe it's my PMDD..hahaha, just kidding.

The Lily amazed me with the amount of pearls on it...That's really what got me taking pics tonight = )
 

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jesus! pearls...wow. ive never had my plants come close to doing that. what causes this? am i just short on light or what? i dont know anything else i can throw at my plants to get them to pearl like that so i must need more light.

good job, looking very nice and healthy.

by the way, it looks like you have two types of cabomba, you have bacopa caroliniana, ludwigia cuba, pennywort, possibly some sunset hygro, echinodorus bolivianus/latifolius?, rotala vietnam?, also looks like a crypt in there.
Sometimes little things like reducing current will cause more pearling. Some days my plants pearl more than others...I always wonder why. I wouldn't jump to adding more light too quickly. Here is a nice thread about lighting you may find interesting.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/75873-tank-could-get-away-less-light.html
 
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