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Experimenting with a new 2 footer

15087 Views 80 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  foofooree
I bought the experimental tank today, looks pretty good.
Came with heaps of extras, filter, air pump (really power full and quiet with 2 outlets), an expensive auto fish feeder, and other bits and pieces.
I took a walk down to the beach today looking for rocks and drift wood. Their is a storm water pond along the pathway and i saw the perfect piece of drift wood.

Anyhow, i took it home in a wheel borrow as its huge, and cut off the 2 pieces i will use. At the pond it was half submerged and the other half was on the bank.
I was wondering, how i should prepare it before i put it in the tank with live plants and fish ?

I assume when the driftwood is submerged and lots of little bubbles appear on it, it isnt a good thing?
I dried it out today, and tomorrow im going to scrub off all the algae and dirt.
tomorrow im going to get gravel, 100W heater and hopefully a replacement globe.

The filter is an aqua clear model "20" i have another one exactly the same, should i run them both ?
The only writing on the light is "oceanlife Colour Max" its about 23" long, so i guess it about 24watts?
slight reddish colour.

once the water is settled, temp and ph is right im going to buy some Java moss and see if i can get that to grow, should prove some good shelter for the fry, when i transfer them from the hatchery in my main tank to this tank, which they will grow up in.

The pic doesn't give the wood justice, the layout looks a little shabby now, but will be good once gravel and moss is in there.
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The second bottle is the bubble counter isn't it?

I just looked at the picture before and it looks like you have a check valve in the tubing line. If I remember right it will somewhat impede water if it flows from the bottle to the tank (versus 100% protection from siphoning water from the tank to the bottle). You might be ok with it. But a more rigid bottle would be best if you have one lying around.

Congrats on the fry.
I was using this diagram a a guide.

And i was under the impression the 2nd small bottle "seperates" any forign substances such as water, or sugar.

I didnt make a bubble counter, looked to complicated.
I have 2 check valves, one bewteen the large bottle and the small one, and one between the tank and the small bottle.
(I am assuming a check valve is a 1 way valve with the arrow on it?)

The reacter bottle is on the floor and the c02 gas has to travel vertically up 1 metre or so, so i should be safe. I will keep an eye on the small bottle to see if it does catch anything.

I will try and find a more rigid bottle.
Thanks for the help.
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Ah ok I see now. Yep seems like it would work pretty well against imploding.
thats good to hear.

I have 9 confirmed fry in this tank, and at least 1 more still in my main tank.
The c02 has stopped flowing freely!!

It would release a bubble the diameter of the tube every 2 seconds or so.
But now nothing is happening?

Is it still getting started (been running for about 10 hours)
when i gently squeeze the bottle bubbles come out.
At this point if you are not using a reactor then you do not need to have the check valve. The main thing is to keep the bottle above the level of the water in the tank, maybe hang the bottle on the tank. you will then have free flow of CO2 out of the DIY set up. Also if your are using a hang on back filter then on thing that may help is to raise the level of water in the tank so that it does not splash into the tank.
I have it sitting on the hood. It flowed for about a minute, then stopped.
At this point the hose pretty much leads straight into the water, with no bends.
I can see where the air level in the tube ends, only about an inch from the end of the tube.
At this point if you are not using a reactor then you do not need to have the check valve.
Im confused, isnt the large bottle with the sugar, water and yeast the reactor in a diy system?
On another note;
There is a foamy substance developing on the surface of the water in the bottle.
i had the tube just sitting in the open until i noticed it was flowing again and i put it back into the intake pipe. ATM it is flowing at roughly 1 bubble per second, and sometimes miss' a beat.
Is this what you mean?
Water is still not cystal clear.

I apologise about the repeat posts. I post things as i discover them, and want to get to the bottom of this problem asap.
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Flowing well now.
It has dropped the ph.
I am going to run the air pump tonight to give the fry some more oxygen.
Went and bought some more stuff today.
500ml excel
water ager
brine shrimp
and a kh test kit

I also got the 2nd filter up and running, but its on the lowest possible setting atm
A reactor is essentially a PVC tube through which CO2 and water flow and consequently mix in.

Why is your water cloudy?
thanks for clearing that up.

I assume its from the gravel ?

its pretty good now, still not as good as it could be.
I don't think it is from the gravel. Its been 9 days since you first posted. Usually dust settles within 3-4 days. I think you have a bacterial bloom in progress.

Bacterial blooms usually occur for a week or two at a time and then clear up on their own. Just do a water change to help it along.

A less likely cause might be that the DIY CO2 system you set up is spewing gunk into the tank. Just take a look and see if there is white stuff in the tube leading to the filter.
A less likely cause might be that the DIY CO2 system you set up is spewing gunk into the tank. Just take a look and see if there is white stuff in the tube leading to the filter.
even though i have the 2nd bottle in place to catch any gunk from the large bottle i think you may be right.

here is a pic of the tube submerged and an unused length of hose.
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Hmm... looks a bit suspicious. Stick it out for another week or two and see if the tank water clears. If it doesn't clear then disconnect the CO2 and see if it clears.

If I were you, I'd save a bit every now and then and get a pressure CO2 system. Honesty, pressure CO2 is like the ultimate aquatic plant God's gift to mankind. Buy the tank (50-80$), regulator (70-90$), reactor (20$), and CO2 proof tubing (10$) separately if you can't afford everything at once, that way in a few weeks or months you will have a full system and it won't be a huge expenditure at once.
I have been buying on the basis, that i can spend what i have earnt working over the christmas holidays.

I spent over $400 and only just recently dipped into the savings for about $17, so I did pretty well.

I read one of your posts in another forum about pressurized c02, which convinced me, so i will start saving again.
Is what you mentioned all i will need? (have yet to thoroughly research them)
Reactor (does this replace the need for a diffuser?)
C02 tubing.
bubble counter ?

And i am having trouble finding places that sell whole units in Aus, so i might buy the parts seperatly.
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The CO2 regulator should have a bubble counter and needlevalve attached to it. Go with the JBJ or Milawaukee CO2 solenoid regulators, they are pretty useful.

A reactor can be used if you have a canister filter, it will dissolve the gas into the water without the need for a diffuser.

Also, it may be too late to save cash on the other items you bought, but in the future try looking in the for sale section of newspapers or websites like or

Often times you can pick up some really really cheap tanks and equipment (I got a drilled 90 gallon with lighting, stand and 30 gallon sump with a pump for 200$).
Not many high tech aquarium setups in my neck of the woods, and cant find much on any Australian sites, Maybe i can get something shipped from the US.
Could be, you can certainly find a used CO2 tank there. Have a look for beer keg supplies, often times people use CO2 tanks for home brew setups.
Does it work out cheaper if you buy it all together as a kit, with or without the cylinder ?
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