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Looking good. Yea, the purple cabomba is one of my favorites (behind Ludwigia Cuba), however, as a UT at Arlington kinda guy, "MAROON" should not be a word in your vocabulary. You will also find that the tall Hygrophila will get a nice "burnt orange" color as it grows closer to the light. If everything grows well and ammonia/nitrites become normal, foreground plants will be a nice addition to fill up the front. With the high tank height and medium width you have, you can get away with some taller foreground plants, such as the chain swords, smaller crypts, etc.

Keep the updates coming.

Welcome to the wonderful world of aquatic gardening.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
mike, the hygro does not look as good as it did in your tank. do you think it will come back to form once the tanks settles in more?

also, i still do not know how good my light can grow "high light" plants. after things get going, should i try some HC or some other carpet plant or do i simply not have enough intensity down at the bottom of the tank? to me the tank looks very bright but i always read that people are using 4-5 wpg to grow hc and glosso. i know this is not a hard and fast rule but it must mean something otherwise people would not even mention it.

i am curious how much co2 is in the water. is a drop checker the best method to determine the co2 concentration?
 

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HC is such a difficult plant to grow well. I like the chain swords such as E. Tennulus or dwarf hairgrass to start out with. If they grow well and you don't like them, they are easy to remove, sell or trade and try with a different one. If your light is on the low to medium side, a clover or dwarf crypt might work well.

During this early period though, I recommed you use a lot of fast growers for the first few weeks to help get the water parameters to a normal state. If you are heavily planted, lights could be on for about 7 - 8 hours a day. The cabomba will give you a hint when the lights have been on enough for it -- it will fold up its top. Stay on the alert for algae.

Good Luck,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
been almost 72 hours and did another 10-15% WC and even more clear.



also. i took a short video of the tank. you will notice that i spent most of the time viewing the hagen filter, i was trying to show the co2 mist and finally as i made it around the tank near the end of the clip you can see the fine mist of bubbles. this is with one jug. i added a second jug today with a t-valve. i have no idea what my co2 concentration is.
here is the video:
 

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Dave,

This looks VERY clean for 72 hours. Keep up with the small water changes.

So how do you run the light now?

For the CO2 - it's best to not to try to test it, but to provide a consistent flow of it. With your DIY yeast setup you can't control the flow but you can certainly make sure it's consistent. Just make sure it doesn't go up and down. If you really get to a point where the CO2 is too much do as I told you - increase the surface turbulence (agitation) of the water. This gets rid of CO2 as if there is no tomorrow.

The sword plant in the front is a mistake. It will make big nice roots and it will grow way tall. You will end up pulling it making a big mess. Move it now while it's still small.

If you want HC I will give you some. Best HC you can buy in the entire world (actually this is true). Once again - don't listen to people's examples that you need 4 wpg to grow HC. Your lights are light years ahead of what most people use. Still, HC does love light. It also prefers to grow out of the water. It's more hassle than enjoyment really.

--Nikolay
 

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Dave,

Are you adding any Potassium to the tank?

If not it maybe a good thing to do it. If you don't have any I can give you some on Saturday. Let me know.

At this stage of the tank Potassium is the only fertilizer that you should add. It's not absolutely necessary, but it can only help. It can't be overdosed so you are safe with it.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
i have kh2po4, k2so4, kno3, and plantex csm+b for traces. dry ferts. what to do? just go by the EI method?

i am getting some melting on some of the plants. i haven't added any ferts as you told me not to. you tell, ill try to do.
 

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Just watched the video!

Mike has given you tons of plants! If all of this starts to grow as we all hope it will you will be throwing away about 2-3 lbs. of cuttings every week.

It seems to me that on the video somewhere after minute 2 you can hear the CO2 bubbles hitting the impeller of the pump. If I'm not mistaken and this is really the rate with which your CO2 comes out then you have A LOT of CO2.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
did you see the co2 mist at the end of the video?!? i think its lots of co2. i added another jug today....i hope more co2 wont hurt. i am getting a little more than 1 bubble per second. yep, you can hear it from 5 feet away as you said. that diffuser rules, thanks for making the thread in the DIY section. help me out with the ferts niko. =D i just tried calling you but straight to your voicemail. just let me know what to do and ill add the ferts right now.

oh, and the recipe i used for that batch of co2 was about 1.5 cups of white sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast, 2 teaspoon baking soda, distilled water about 3/4 full in the jug. its awesome.
at one point today i heard the co2 rate really speed up, it only lasted for a few minutes but out of no where i was hearing about 3-4 bubbles a second hit the impeller. it was crazy. co2 mist galore.
 

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No ferts!

Maybe some Potassium but nothing else.

2 bubbles per second should be more than enough. I'm not sure you need that second jug just yet.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
ok, there might be a problem. looks like i have these little jelly looking things, kinda transparent. they are definitely moving. they are very small, a little bigger than an angelfish egg. baby snails? they werent noticeable yesterday and today i can count atleast 20 of them. they are mostly on my tank walls. what do i do?

edit: did some reading and found out that it is snails and probably came in on a plant i bought at the store. crap! how to get rid of them when they are all around the tank? i just went through and smashed about 30 of them but there are more!

maybe this explains my drop in GH? could these little guys be stealing calcium to make their shells? 2 days ago i had an extra 0.5ppm of GH in the water.
 

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I K2SO4 is the chemical to dose Potassium that Niko is talking about adding. KNO3 is what we dose for Nitrates, it also has a little potassium in it. KH2PO4 is mainly phosphorous with potassium but is dosed so little that the potassium doesn't really count.

Since you're not getting Potassium from the other 2 macros, dose the K2SO4 at 1/2 tsp 2 to 3 times a week for your 40Gallon tank. Niko chime in if this is too much or not enough.

Another option I use is to dose Seachem Equilibrium which doses lots of Potassium with Calcium, Magnesium and some Iron. I do this in all my tanks due to Arlington water having very little magnesium. Calcium is needed for my snails and like Niko says, it is hard to overdose Potassium.

It would be wise to get a concesus on this though. Niko knows more about your lights and soil issues than I do.
 

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maybe this explains my drop in GH? could these little guys be stealing calcium to make their shells? 2 days ago i had an extra 0.5ppm of GH in the water.
Don't worry about the snails. There are many fish that eat them. No they aren't what's happening with your GH. It's the ADA AquaSoil. It will level out after a while. Without anything in your tank to eat many of the snails will probably just die off. Hang in there. You're doing great. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
everything was doing good until i tried to hook up a second jug for co2. i was going to use a t-valve but found that i had the wrong size. long story short, my first co2 jug which was pumping out co2 like crazy is now dead it seems. maybe exposing it to air did this? the second co2 jug that i just started this evening was going but it got exposed to air and seems to have died off. looks like i will get some more drinking water from the grocery store tomorrow to start a new batch. also, i have noticed a bit of algae growing on my wood. it looks like a couple of small "puff balls" about the size of half a dime. maybe i should not turn on the lights again until i get my co2 in order. thanks for the tip on the snails tex gal, i was worried about an explosion of baby snails but you made me feel better about it. mike, i will add some more k2so4 now, i only put 1/16 tsp in earlier.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean about the CO2 mixture being "exposed to air". The way it works is that the yeast "grows" feeding off the sugar in the water. The reasons for the baking soda, as I understand it) is that it grows better in hard water. Anyway the air doesn't make a difference. Think about baking bread.... In fact the old way was to mix flour and water and sugar and leave the dough out as it began to make it's own yeast.

I'm not sure why your yeast slowed down. I do know that sometimes yeast is old and doesn't grow as well, but that doesn't compute since you did have growth. Maybe it grew too rapidly and used up all the sugar? Maybe it grew too fast and replaced the water with alcohol?.... I'm not sure. At any rate try leaving out the baking soda and see what happens. I never reallly measure anything but use about 2 cups sugar and 3/4 bottle (big soda bottle) of hot tap water and 1 tsp yeast. I keep my yeast in frig. as it helps preserve it.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again! :D
 
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