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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't believe I've spaced this. I set up my tank this morning, laid in everything, river, plants, etc......

And forgot to add in dolomite, or any buffering material. There is an aquarium rock, but I don't know it's makeup. Please tell me, Diana, that with dKH=7.50, dGH=7, we're likely going to be OK. I do not relish the idea of breaking this down again and starting over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You could just freeze some dolomite and slide it into the substrate.
I've got dolomite, in coarse gravel size, about the size of standard aquarium gravel. Not familiar with the freezing thing - buy some powder, add water, make a thinnish "sheet" and slide in in places?

The tank, about an hour in:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I think I'll let thing settle for a couple days. I've got this crushed dolomite, and perhaps I can use this, as well, gently push it into the soil in various places? Not too hopeful I can accomplish the "sheet slide" without screwing the entire tank up.
 

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freezing the material and inserting it into the substrate is a really cool idea :) I had not heard of it, and it could be useful for other stuff too.

Here is another idea: get yourself some dolomitic lime. It comes in several grades, from fine to coarse. Small amounts can be added to the water. The coarser stuff will settle and should not be too noticeable. Over time, it will build up in your substrate.

On the other hand, maybe it is a good thing that you didnt add it to the substrate. Unless you are growing SriLankia Crypts, i am not sure that the calcareous material has to be in the substrate. There are advantages to having a more acidic substrate.
--Neil
 

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freezing the material and inserting it into the substrate is a really cool idea :) Serously though, it is a fine idea ....I had not heard of it, and it could be useful for other stuff too.

Here is another idea: get yourself some dolomitic lime. It comes in several grades, from fine to coarse. Small amounts can be added to the water. The coarser stuff will settle and should not be too noticeable. Over time, it will build up in your substrate.

On the other hand, maybe it is a good thing that you didnt add it to the substrate. Unless you are growing SriLankia Crypts, i am not sure that the calcareous material has to be in the substrate. There are advantages to having a more acidic substrate.

Oops, somehow i entered this twice. I also did not notice it was in the "El natural" Forum, and without CO2 the suspension of fine dolomitic lime i mentioned may take more than a day to dissolve.
--Neil
 

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I can't believe I've spaced this. I set up my tank this morning, laid in everything, river, plants, etc......

And forgot to add in dolomite, or any buffering material. There is an aquarium rock, but I don't know it's makeup. Please tell me, Diana, that with dKH=7.50, dGH=7, we're likely going to be OK. I do not relish the idea of breaking this down again and starting over.
Dear Paul,

Please, no need to tear tank down this promising tank or waste time freezing cubes, etc.

With a GH of 7, your water probably has plenty of calcium. I would only be concerned if your water was "Very Soft" (GH = 0-4). See my book, page 185.

Your tank looks like it is set up nicely (plenty of nice looking plants, etc). Water is a little cloudy, so a water change within the next week or two wouldn't hurt.

Relax and wait to see your ecosystem develop. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dear Paul,

Please, no need to tear tank down this promising tank or waste time freezing cubes, etc.

With a GH of 7, your water probably has plenty of calcium. I would only be concerned if your water was "Very Soft" (GH = 0-4). See my book, page 185.

Your tank looks like it is set up nicely (plenty of nice looking plants, etc). Water is a little cloudy, so a water change within the next week or two wouldn't hurt.

Relax and wait to see your ecosystem develop. Good luck!
Diana, you don't know how much this has made my day. Interesting, too, you mention "relax." I enjoy my 20H, which is a hi-tech tank, really healthy, if accelerated growth, etc. - and watching this little environment, and that I can watch it just evolve its own ecosystem - well, both are really nice, both have their particular enjoyment, at least to me, but I'm really looking forward to just watching nature take its course with this 10. Many thanks for everything.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an update:

1 hour in:



And about 12 hours in:



HOB, charcoal, with one purigen 8oz (regenerated x1) packet in back. I love Purigen.
 

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That cleared up fast! Which moss are you using on the stone?

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
davemonkey said:
That cleared up fast! Which moss are you using on the stone?

-Dave
That's Xmas moss, Dave - there's more on the back, but I hope the whole thing is overrun with moss, anyway - never really been a fan of the stone, looked a little contrived, to me. Unfortunately, I probably started this project a month early - heading up to the U.P. of Michigan next month, where Lake Superior yields up tons of beautiful, natural stones and driftwood. I do hope to lay in a piece of driftwood as an arch, or two light branchwork pieces in a near-arch, laid with flame moss, which is growing in my 20H.

dwalstad said:
Paul,

You're very welcome!

I'm really impressed with how fast the water clarified. Not bad.
I'm very impressed by Purigen as a product. One of the few things I've found that isn't a hole in the aquarium to continually throw money into, as it's been regenerated already, as has the one in my 20H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just an update, and a question on the plants. The update is that everything in terms of parameters seem to be good - no ammonia or nitrite, 10PPM nitrate. Water is very clear, fish happy.

However, many of the plants seem to be suffering. I expected some loss/shock, as these plants all came from a hi-tech, hi-light, EI tank. Surprising to me is that the crypts, so far, seem to have taken well to the move (or not so surprising, perhaps, because they are such root feeders?). Others, not so well - some hygrophila difformis, leaves blanching a bit, sunset hygro, leaves turning translucent, thin; needle leaf java fern, not doing well at all, blackening from the leaf tips in, hygro corymbosa (small stem/compact), showing sign of deficiency (yellowing edges, in); anubia barteri 'nana' also showing some mild sign of deficiency, faint yellowing here and there.

I truly want to do everything I can to let things be - feed liberally, let the fish waste do its job, etc. - but wondering if any thoughts can be provided on whether this is always an "adjustment thing" with an NPT, or these plants are simply unsuited, because of their high-tech conditioning?

(I may also be pushing some of the ability of some of the plants to hang, I realize, with only a 15W cool white over the 10 - but I partly wanted to see what can be accomplished with the lowest possible light to sustain them, to see what other variables, chiefly the naturally produced nutrients, can accomplish. But I may have simply chosen wrongly, on the plants....all thoughts appreciated).
 

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I think the problem is too little light. 15w of fluorescent light is very low light especially if it isn't getting sunlight. I'd increase the light. Maybe put a 65w PC spiral bulb above the tank if you have it lying around.

Yellowing is probably from low light levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I think the problem is too little light. 15w of fluorescent light is very low light especially if it isn't getting sunlight. I'd increase the light. Maybe put a 65w PC spiral bulb above the tank if you have it lying around.

Yellowing is probably from low light levels.
Zapins, a 65W PC spiral bulb? Sorry, not familiar enough yet with lighting options - I presume this is this somehow a lower intensity than a standard 65W? I ask, because isn't that a tremendous amount of light over a 10, without CO2/Excel/Ferts?

Edit: Sorry, I spaced - thought you were talking about just a spiral socket, and not a spiral bulb. So, 65W is low enough, because of all the restrike by the bends in the tube? Just some cursory digging, but any suggestions on where to find these, in appropriate colors? I've seen some here, for instance, but they are only in 2700K - nothing approaching full spectrum, except in prices approaching the cost of a low-end fixture (here, for instance). Any thoughts?

Any thoughts on the Coralife T5 2 x 14W, 24" strip light? Too high (although I know 2.8 over a 10 isn't what it would be over a larger tank)? At $34, attractive price, and it's a twin bulb of 6700/full spectrum. Also, cool running temp.

Seems in range....what do you think?
 

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A 65w spiral bulb looks like this:



It isn't a lot of light because these kinds of bulbs have a lot of restrike value (in other words, the light hits into the bulb itself because of the spirals and is lost). Ultimately the 65w is not all going into the tank. It might even be too dim for the tank, but a heck of a lot better than 15w.

The Coralife T5 fixture you mentioned would also be good, but it will put a lot more light into the tank than the 65w bulb since the configuration is far better and there are reflectors that angle most of the bulb's light into the tank.

With smaller tanks and very large tanks the watt/gallon rule breaks down. A 1 gallon tank won't grow plants with 1 watt of light, there simply isn't enough intensity there. So a 55 or 65w bar light bulb over a 10 gallon tank is probably medium light, the spiral bulb I recommended would fall in the Low - medium category.

The choice is yours, I'd go with the coralife (I didn't know they made them that cheap) rather than the 65w spiral, because you will get a better looking and more even light spread with the coralife.

Check the lumen rating of bulbs when buying them for plants. Lumens are a measure of intensity so the more lumens the bulb throws out the more plants can grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Restrike, I figured. I weighed things, and ended up finding a terrarium hood at a tremendous clearance price ($14), three bulb possibilities, 2 incandescent sockets, one 18" T5 socket. I've sunk 2 x 27 watt spiral CFL into the incandescents (5500K), and can also sink an 18" T5. The bulbs sit above a glass versacover, as they are bare and I wasn't quite sanguine about leaving them completely open to condensation, etc. I can always add a low-wattage T5 as a third bulb.

I've read Rex Grigg's "minimum wattage threshold" study, and hear you on the wpg breakdown on very small/very large tanks. Just don't actually know what the breakdown is on a 10.

I thoughts Lumens was a measure of visual characteristics, not related to intensity?

Thoughts on the setup I went with?

A 65w spiral bulb looks like this:



It isn't a lot of light because these kinds of bulbs have a lot of restrike value (in other words, the light hits into the bulb itself because of the spirals and is lost). Ultimately the 65w is not all going into the tank. It might even be too dim for the tank, but a heck of a lot better than 15w.

The Coralife T5 fixture you mentioned would also be good, but it will put a lot more light into the tank than the 65w bulb since the configuration is far better and there are reflectors that angle most of the bulb's light into the tank.

With smaller tanks and very large tanks the watt/gallon rule breaks down. A 1 gallon tank won't grow plants with 1 watt of light, there simply isn't enough intensity there. So a 55 or 65w bar light bulb over a 10 gallon tank is probably medium light, the spiral bulb I recommended would fall in the Low - medium category.

The choice is yours, I'd go with the coralife (I didn't know they made them that cheap) rather than the 65w spiral, because you will get a better looking and more even light spread with the coralife.

Check the lumen rating of bulbs when buying them for plants. Lumens are a measure of intensity so the more lumens the bulb throws out the more plants can grow.
 

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Sounds like you got a good deal on the hood! It is just what you need. If plants grow too slowly or they show light deficiency symptoms (yellowing all over) then add a T5, but I think you'll have enough light with the 2 CF spiral bulbs you have now.

Also, lumens is light intensity Kelvin is color rating with respect to the human eye. :)
 
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