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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Yeah that is basically my setup except that everything is different...lol. My controller is from:


My basic paintball setup:


Find out why your pH drops. What is your kH and GH (carbonate and general hardness)? If these are real low your pH can fluctuate pretty fast. I shoot for 3-4 for both.

What other things are in your water that could lower your pH? Peat, driftwood etc. I know exactly what pH I shoot for with every water change. I add acid buffer and akaline buffer from Seachem. I shoot for a pH of 7.0 and let the CO2 bring it down to about 6.2. The buffer also raises the kH to ~3-4.
 

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Are you usin 2 filters
Rena and the Fluval?

And If you don't mind how much money did you spend? I start pricing all the equipment and its coming to be around 700-800 smackers.
 

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Are you usin 2 filters
Rena and the Fluval?

And If you don't mind how much money did you spend? I start pricing all the equipment and its coming to be around 700-800 smackers.
Dirty Pond,

I don't think this hobby was ever cheep!!! ;)
Unless you setup used tank from CraigsList with 5 Gambusia :)
Maybe then it will cheep ...

I have 7 gal tank fresh water, with blooming algae all over 4 life plants and 6 fish and 2 shrimp. Let me tell you, I may spend $300+ already. So for awesome setup like this, I may take a loan ;)
 

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I will try to post some pictures for you to better see what I am talking about, but for now;
in the water I have limestone about 3lb (long rectangular) also I have that white lava rock (temporary) just to see if it can bring pH a little up. I also have L shape drift wood. I local PETCO was called Malaysian drift wood. I treated that wood, applied some java moss, and now it's in the tank. My problem is color, moss grow very good, but it's not bright green! It gets nice color green on the fresh "leafs" and then, it gets darker and in some cases covered with very dark algae. Shrimps seems to like that algae very much, but I may need 700 of that shrimp to clean all that mess ;)
Gravel - I have no idea what I have, sorry. It came with tank, like a kit. looks natural to me. I will take some pictures later this afternoon to show you gravel sample
I will love to use some "buffer" to stabilize pH but I have no CO2 yet, although I have a DIY setup and never start using it.
So far I ordered Flourish Excel from Seachem. Was doing some reading about this product see what happens
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Are you usin 2 filters
Rena and the Fluval?

And If you don't mind how much money did you spend? I start pricing all the equipment and its coming to be around 700-800 smackers.

Yes, I am using both filters. For just equipment, tank, stand I belive it was ~$700. This is shopping around for the best prices on eBay and online stores. The only local purchase was my tank and stand which I got on sale. The pH controller was a Christmas present, but I included that price above.

Keep in mind most people don't buy it all at once. I started with a small 29g tank, DIY CO2, cat litter substrate, a filter, chemicals, and plants. Then I upgraded to the paintball CO2. Then I upgraded to a 75g tank w/stand and new substrate. Then I add a pH controller (not really necessary) and a second filter....I guess that's what makes it a hobby?

Same goes with any collection/hobby. I also collect movies. I buy 1-2 Blu-ray movies a month. Overall not bad, but if you add up my total....ouch. ;)

As far as CO2 you add little by little and watch both your fish and plants. Your plants use up most of the CO2 each day, and at night it is off. It should not affect your room at all.
 

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Excel is a great carbon alternative and it actually gets rid of some algae. However, I find that Java moss does not care for it much. It does not die, but it stunts it's growth.
Can I use Excel with DIY CO2?
Well, if Excel stunts java moss, I will stop using it, and I will leave CO2 only.
When I was setting up DIY CO2, I notes that I don't have good quality valve to control the amount. Can you recommend good valve?
I have valves for air, but they are all crappy, very difficult to adjust the air flow.
I have Lee's plastic valves and one set from PETCO blue in color and no brand name. I mean for air stone it looks fine, but for CO2 I think I may need something better. I've seen Micro Air Valve Barb or AquaMedic Regulation Valve, 1/4" (6mm). Last one is $5 each.
 

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Yeah that is basically my setup except that everything is different...lol. My controller is from:


My basic paintball setup:


Find out why your pH drops. What is your kH and GH (carbonate and general hardness)? If these are real low your pH can fluctuate pretty fast. I shoot for 3-4 for both.

What other things are in your water that could lower your pH? Peat, driftwood etc. I know exactly what pH I shoot for with every water change. I add acid buffer and akaline buffer from Seachem. I shoot for a pH of 7.0 and let the CO2 bring it down to about 6.2. The buffer also raises the kH to ~3-4.
Sorry, a little late to take any pictures, but I did measure the water, and here what I have:
NH3/NH4 - 0 ppm
KH - 2 - 35.8ppm
GH - 5 - 89.5ppm
pH - 7.0 (now this is new, I never had 7.0 in my tank, so white "lava" rock did bring the pH up)

Can you please explain how to create a buffer?
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
You can use Excel with CO2.

For DiY CO2 you don't want to control it with a valve. You run the risk of accidentally closing it and having too much pressure build up in your bottle and something blowing. An alternative to this is to place your bubbler at a specific depth in your tank. If you don't get enough bubbles place it higher. If you get too much place it lower. The depth adds pressure naturally to the tube. Another alternative, is to adjust your surface tension. If you have too much CO2 add more surface movement. Keep in mind that at night you cannot turn off a DiY so you need to keep an eye out on the pH and possibly adjust your surface movement each night and morning (more at night, less during the day).

Your kH is pretty low. This is one of the reasons you get pH swings within a day or 2 of adding new water. I am going to guess that your GH was also around 2 until you added the coral and was the other reason. You can test your tap to see what your GH was. The higher GH has been helping you to keep your pH stable and this is the buffer. To raise your kH some you can add Sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda).

The buffers I was referring to was Seachem's acid buffer and akaline buffer. In combination you can get to a specific pH. They essentially raise your kH and GH similar to what you did and keeps your pH from bouncing. You get to the exact target pH by changing the ratio of acid to akaline. The akaline buffer is essentially sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and a few other bicarbonates.
 

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You can use Excel with CO2.

For DiY CO2 you don't want to control it with a valve. You run the risk of accidentally closing it and having too much pressure build up in your bottle and something blowing. An alternative to this is to place your bubbler at a specific depth in your tank. If you don't get enough bubbles place it higher. If you get too much place it lower. The depth adds pressure naturally to the tube. Another alternative, is to adjust your surface tension. If you have too much CO2 add more surface movement. Keep in mind that at night you cannot turn off a DiY so you need to keep an eye out on the pH and possibly adjust your surface movement each night and morning (more at night, less during the day).

Your kH is pretty low. This is one of the reasons you get pH swings within a day or 2 of adding new water. I am going to guess that your GH was also around 2 until you added the coral and was the other reason. You can test your tap to see what your GH was. The higher GH has been helping you to keep your pH stable and this is the buffer. To raise your kH some you can add Sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda).

The buffers I was referring to was Seachem's acid buffer and akaline buffer. In combination you can get to a specific pH. They essentially raise your kH and GH similar to what you did and keeps your pH from bouncing. You get to the exact target pH by changing the ratio of acid to akaline. The akaline buffer is essentially sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and a few other bicarbonates.
So with DIY CO2 you don't count bubbles? And if you do, what will be the dosage for 7 Gal tank with Compact Fluorescent Bulb 15W.
I don't think that surface tension idea will work in 7 Gal aquarium... If I install any power head, even the smallest one, it will turn my tank upside down (I am talking about stream).
I have a water surface tension from Tetra Wisper, when filter media is new I get very good water surface move.
I will try to start the DIY CO2, and see how it will effect...

To bring the kH UP using Baking soda - how much I will need to add to bring 2-3 points up?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Sorry I was out all weekend.

For a 7g I would not worry about CO2. Just add a bit of Excel and do weekly water changes. Even a DiY might be too much CO2. You could add a second line (Y-splitter) and just disappate some of the CO2 into the air if you decide to try DiY and get too many bubbles.

For kH try adding 1/8tsp to a 5g bucket and test it before and after. Adjust this to the amount of water you change weekly.
 

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Thanks!

I will try to increase kH this afternoon and monitor for day or two.
And Excel adding I was planing to do on Monday ...
Dmaaaaax, I have a question about filter for my 7G tank.
Currently I have Tetra Whisper Medium. I can't complain about performance of this filter, it runs extremely silent, good water flow ... But media get's dirty very fast, I clean as much as I can, without cleaning out bacteria much, but past 2-3 weeks and water flow slows, and I see some small particles are swimming around the tank, and it means - time to change the media. I don't mind doing that, but that media is $7-8 3pack (I think it's expensive!) (and I don't mid spending $300+ on CO2 setup, but that type of media need to be allot cheaper IMO)
Is there any better external filter that I can use? Maybe more expensive, but better in filtration and media less expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Look at the Rena HOB or Aquaclear HOB. Both these have sponge filters and porcelin blocks or can be adapted to fit them. This means you can take out the sponge filter, wash it under the sink and squeeze it clean. Then re-use it several times. Carbon can be taken out or put in as needed....not part of the filter.

The porcelin blocks are for your bacteria cultures much like what you see in canister filters. This also gives you the option to add extra filtration like a "fine filter floss" that you can buy in bulk and tear off and use as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Hagen makes Aquaclear and API makes Rena, but their website does not mention them at all. There is a Rena 20 which is a bit small and all of them can be adjust for waterflow in, but this may strain the impeller some or cause more noise?

BTW Petco and or Petsmart sells the Rena ones for sure, so if you want a closer look go there and open a box. ;)
 

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Dmaaaaaax,

So how come you arre using two filters?
Second is the 400w Hydro heater an undergravel heater?

Another question: Is the sudstrate only the flourite gravel (and how deep). It looks like there is just plain type of gravel. The color looks different then all the flourite gravel i have seen.

Sorry if the questions seem basic. I have decided to use your aquarium as the model for my aquarium.:) and lot of this is new to me. I am just getting overwhelmed by all the stuff out there.

thanks
 

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Did the major reorganizing in the tank, cleaned the walls, upgrade the filter to AquaClear. From SeaChem: Prime (1/2 ml to 4G) and Excel (2ml to 4G) and as per your recommendation very little baking soda to bring kH up. And here is the result:
NH3/NH4 - 0 ppm
kH - 3 - 35.8ppm > I think it's more 4
gH - 4 - 71.6ppm
pH - 7.1
T - 75°

Will see how the algae will do ...
Can I add CO2 now? Or I should wait and see how Excel will work first

PS Man, that Excel smells ... but it's manageable ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Dmaaaaaax,

So how come you arre using two filters?
Second is the 400w Hydro heater an undergravel heater?

Another question: Is the sudstrate only the flourite gravel (and how deep). It looks like there is just plain type of gravel. The color looks different then all the flourite gravel i have seen.

Sorry if the questions seem basic. I have decided to use your aquarium as the model for my aquarium.:) and lot of this is new to me. I am just getting overwhelmed by all the stuff out there.

thanks
I use 2 filters for better circulation and cleaning. Even though each one is "rated" for my size tank or larger, the fact is that you actually want a certain amount of flow per gallon in a planted tank (7-10 x your tank in gallons). Mine is 75 x 7 = 525gph minimum and keep in mind that most filters are rated higher than they actually run once media is added to them. On top of this I have a UV sterilizer that moves some water and a mini koralia pump for more water flow.

My heater is not in the gravel It is in the middle of my tank on the back glass. My substrate consists of Flourite and Flourite black, no gravel. It goes from about 3" to 6" towards the back corner. Good luck with your tank and I would love to see pictures as you go.
 

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Dmaaaax I think my chemistry experiment causing some negative effect on my fancy guppys. They developed some type of white (looks like small piece of coral) fungus on the bottom of their mouth. Two of them stop eating (both are female), but they are still active ...
The only things was added to the water is baking soda (1/8 of tsp on 4Gal)
and Excel 2ml on 4Gal recommended in the bottle for initial setup

Any idea?

Thanks
 
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