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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured since it was slow around these parts these days I would take some time and thank Matt for all his help. He is kind of holding my hand through all of this planted tank newbie stuff. He has been awesome. So Thanks.

How did your auctions go over anyway? Pretty well I hope. If you have anything left, I might stop up and snag some if the price is right.

Anywho, just wanted to get some action down here at the bottom of the page you know.

Jim
 

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You're more than welcome for the help! It is always easier to succeed at something when someone gives you a little bit of help. It was very difficult for me until a friend gave me a hand and showed me this site. Just returning the favor to another newbie in the hopes you will do the same someday :)

The auctions went well...as usual most everyone payed last night and the plants shipped today. I donated about half of the profits of this weeks auctions to APC for giving us this forum and for having such an awesome site.

I have some plants available for you. I don't sell that much on Aquabid. I still have the Anubias in the 5g bucket as well as some other fast growers I can spare. Just let me know the next time you want to come up. As far as payment for plants, maybe you can help me move the 30g tank across the room. The wife isn't much help at the heavy lifting stuff anymore :) I just need to get that CO2 tubing routed behind the wall and I will be set. Oh, once I do that, I will have some extra CO2 tubing for you. Did you ge the CO2 tank today?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I did. Getting ready to hook it all up now. I got some of that blueish Penn Plax silicone tubing. I have heard it is ok for co2. It will do until I get some real co2 resistant tubing. I will say that $65 was a good deal on a 5 lb tank. I called around again today and the next closest was $85 with $15 fillups. These will only cost me $10 for fillups. Some were as high as $110.

I can come up this weekend if you want. I am ready to get the rams out of that tank anyway. I have a pair of angels sitting on eggs and a pair of discus sitting on eggs. I don't want them buggers to throw some eggs as well. I should also have some of that E. Bolivianus for you. It should be here on Wed or Thur. We will see how it survived the heat.

There is a guy at work who has a couple of tanks. We were talking about the co2 setup I am putting together and he says to get him the same stuff. "Just come over and hook it all up." I told him I need to get mine all setup before I set someone else up. So hopefully I can spread a little SWOAPE love as well.

Jim
 

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That sounds like a good deal on the CO2 tank. I got mine in MD for $80 filled if I remember correctly. Refills were $11 so it sounds about the same. I only had the choice of the one place unless I wanted to drive for an hour or more each way.

This weekend sounds good for the plant swap. I'm ready for the Rams. They can go in the 55g with the Cardinals. Hopefully they will breed in that setup like they have been breeding for you :) The E. bolivianus should be a nice addition to that tank as well.

If you don't mind helping move the tank to the other side of the room I can give you some CO2 tubing. I have 25' CO2 tubing going to the 30g tank now plus an extra 25' to route behind the wall. I just have to get the tubing behind the wall before I disconnect the other tubing. Fun, fun, fun...

Go slow when you get the CO2 setup. Nevermind, you have the controller. I have my bubble counter set for a very fast bubble rate, almost a stream, on the 75g.

The reactor I gave you should be efficient enough to get the CO2 100% dissolved as long as your cannister is strong enough. Toinitially purge it of air, you will have to turn it upside down so the bubbles can flow out of the bottom with the water flow They will want to rise against the water. Once you get it full of water, you can start adding the CO2.

Double check the reactor for leaks too. Two of the four I made (your is #5)have leaked slightly where the CO2 nipple is. Just use a wrench and tighten it a bit more. Just remember, the brass will strip out the PVC if you tighten it too much. Don't forget the rest of the fittings either. I did not fully tighten them so that you could move the elbows where you neede them to be.

We have a similar KH so you may want to set the controller to 6.8 or 6.9 and see how it does. This is a bit low but better than the opposite with the fish in your tank. According to the Lamotte kit your KH was 108ppm or 6 dKH. The AP kit read 5.5 dKH if I remember correctly. Not much of a difference until you look at the CO2 levels.

I have my controller set to 6.4 but I slowly moved it down over several weeks. Try not to change the CO2 unless you can be there to watch it through an on/off cycle to make sure the levels don't get to high. I would hate to see the Discus or Angels die from CO2 poisoning especially since they have eggs.

If the guy at work wants to get going with the CO2, I would be more than willing to lend a hand to help you get him set up. Bring him to the next meeting too. It's always good to get more folks involved and spread the hobby around more :)

Dang, that was a book :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, it is all up and running. I am terrified of getting a leak somewhere. I went through and watched it for awhile. I had a couple but they were my fault. It is inside one of the dreaded pressboard stands. I could just see me getting a phone call tomorrow morning asking why the tank is all over the floor. Scratch that, screaming uncontrollably. Looks like you had another successful reactor.

I have it set at about 6.8 ph right now. It is flowing at about 1 bps. Is that too slow? It all seems to be working. I am really nervous about all this. Is that normal?

I will talk to you later in the week about when a good time would be to stop by. If I can, I would like to get a look at your DIY 36" lights again. I want to start collecting the parts for it.

As far as my friend goes, I need to get him to understand why plants even need co2. It makes no sense to have something hooked up if you don't know why you have it. He is not a dumb person, just seems like common sense isn't so common with him sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh yeah, the dwarf sag looks awesome in there. I have more on the way and some E. bolivianus. Can't wait. Definitely adds depth and creates the look I was going for. Whoever said planted tanks are as addicting as fish tanks was oh so right on the money. I get a kick out of looking for a new leaf or two. Buggers. Am I officially converting?
 

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molurus73 said:
Well, it is all up and running. I am terrified of getting a leak somewhere. I went through and watched it for awhile. I had a couple but they were my fault. It is inside one of the dreaded pressboard stands. I could just see me getting a phone call tomorrow morning asking why the tank is all over the floor. Scratch that, screaming uncontrollably. Looks like you had another successful reactor.
I know the feeling. I am worried too, I did make the reactor :) If it leaked your wife would probably really hate me ;) Since you visited the first time you have sunk a bunch of money into CO2 and who knows what else and then the reactor leaked and the tank crashed to the floor, I'd be doomed! The reactor shouldn't leak though. but I stil worry sometimes. I need to find some micro clamps so I can make sure the Co2 line stays on the barbed connector.

molurus73 said:
I have it set at about 6.8 ph right now. It is flowing at about 1 bps. Is that too slow? It all seems to be working. I am really nervous about all this. Is that normal?
At 1bps the controller may never even shut off the CO2. This can be good when you are first starting out though. Once you get a bit more comfortable with it you can start adjusting the BPS upwards so the reactor can work better. I have my CO2 at pretty much a stream when the controller is on.

Worrying is normal at first. It will go away somewhat once you get used to it. I still worry about my setup. If I didn't worry I would get complacent and things would start to screw up. It's good to check things out frequently, especially the KH and pH relationship.

molurus73 said:
I will talk to you later in the week about when a good time would be to stop by. If I can, I would like to get a look at your DIY 36" lights again. I want to start collecting the parts for it.
Not much to the parts. I have a 4x32 electronic ballast (~ $30 at Lowes) and two pairs of endcaps (maybe $5 at Lowes) for that hood. Oh, and two T-8 lights! That would only put you at about 1.5 wpg.

For a 65g (18" front to back?) tank you can add a 2x32w ballast (another $20 or so at Lowes) and throw in a third light and pair of end caps. I would run the third light close to the middle of the hood so you get good light spread.

As a matter of fact, you could probably go with a single 4x32w ballast and just put 4 lights over the tank. That would give you 128 watts over a 65...close enough to 2wpg. If you get brave later on, you could always add another ballast and overdrive all four lights 2x giving you around 3wpg. You should be able to grow anything with this.
 

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molurus73 said:
Oh yeah, the dwarf sag looks awesome in there. I have more on the way and some E. bolivianus. Can't wait. Definitely adds depth and creates the look I was going for. Whoever said planted tanks are as addicting as fish tanks was oh so right on the money. I get a kick out of looking for a new leaf or two. Buggers. Am I officially converting?
You ask if you are converting....You barely have your first planted tank setup and you are already thinking about the second one :) I think that makes you converted not converting...Apologize to the wife for me :)

I think this side of the hobby is even more addicting than the fish side of it but then again, I was never very thrilled with my fish only tanks. They always seemed to be missing something. The plants add so much to the tank both in the way it looks and the way it works, that it is hard to go without them now...I guess that classifies it as an addiction.
 
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