Everyone else is doing it, so why can't I...

Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by STRiDER, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    I'm already losing track of what i've done so far, so I'll keep the journal :D

    Setup: 1.5m Boyu Tank (310 litres)
    3 x 40W Fluorescents
    Dophin c-1600 Canister Filter (1100 l/hr) onto Spraybar
    Style King Sp-1800 Powerhead with filter (1100 l/hr)
    300W Heater

    65 kg Pea Gravel Substrate
    2 pieces Bogwood
    1 Rock
    30 Assorted Plants

    6 Neon Tetras
    4 Siamese Algae Eaters
    2 Corydoras Bronze catfish

    Day one (09/11/2006)
    (Whole set-up done from 19:00 to 23:30 on a Thursday!)
    [​IMG]
    Only had halve the substrate and only half the plants.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Day 3
    Added 6 Neon Tetras, filters was running for at least 2 weeks in previous tank, so hopefully the tank is already cycled.

    Day 7
    Added the rest of the substrate, planted all the plants, added one bogwood and the rock.
    Also introduced 2 Catfish and 4 Algae Eaters.
    [​IMG]
    Added spraybar, removed bubbles from powerhead and moved filter into cabinet.
    Also 25% waterchange.
    [​IMG]
    Water still a bit cloudy though.
    [​IMG]

    Thats me so far
    Trip to Nick at Riebeeck Kasteel tomorrow :JumpfJ:


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    what time you going to nick? other Andre and i will hopefully be there late afternoon
     
  3. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Sorry Henk for only replying now.

    Was at Nick's in the morning :funnyh:
    Awesome setup. The best looking tanks I've seen outside of Gauteng!

    Spent a quick R600 on goodies ;D

    ----------------------------

    Anyhow on with the journal

    18 Nov 2006

    Visited Hartlands

    Bought:
    1. New light to replace actinic (white 6500K daylight)
    2. Test Kit
    3. Fish Food - micro wafers and blood worm - yummy!
    4. Ceramic rings to replace carbon in filter (wanted seachem, but Nick must order)
    5. Immersible pump that will be used for water changes
    6. Fertilizer tablets for plants

    7. 6 x Dwarf Ottocinclus
    8. 10 x Neon Tetras

    New fish are added and so far happy! Ottos seems to love it!
    Light replaced.

    Still to do:
    Replace filter media
    Insert fertilizer

    One other thing : the "Chines Algae Eaters" must go back to LFS. After research I found out they are not exactly what I thought they were :-[. Will swop them for Tetras.

    Cheers for now!
     
  4. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    R600 - is that all? you are lucky - i normally spend all the cash in my wallet.... i have NO self controle when it comes to his shop
     
  5. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    :D That was all the cash in my wallet :D
    If he took credit cards, well :eek:

    Journal Time
    20 Nov 2006

    Water test results:
    pH : 8.0
    NO2 : 0

    Will test later this week to see if pH drops.

    Im also struggling to keep the tank below 29 deg C during smeltering hot days. Hopefully this wont kill the fish :eek:

    Inserted plant fertilizer tablets next to plant roots.
    Replaced carbon in filter with ceramic rings and gave filter a general quick clean.
    Will hopefully add Seachem Purigen to filter next month 8)

    Also did my first feeding of frozen bloodworm. Boy did the tetras go crazy :p
    Will however have to find a way to halve the frozen blocks. It is way too much food at this stage.

    Water is still a bit cloudy, maybe a gravel vacuum and water change should be done.

    Later
     
  6. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    20 Nov 2006

    Another 20% water change while vacuuming gravel. Man, is this a tedious task. Will take several of these to finish the job.

    Bought 4 new Neons ;D

    Working on a plumbing system to ease water changes. Got a 100 litre container and will add plumbing to canister filter pipes to be able to 1. pump water from tank into garden and 2. pump conditioned water from container into tank. Definately a weekend job though...

    Decided on plastic black background. Later this week maybe...
     
  7. Rattail
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    Rattail Algae harvester

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    May I suggest that you read Diana Walstad's "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". Makes life a lot easier. I NEVER vacuum the gravel, and do 10% water change every week (because I lack a bit of faith - read the book to know what I mean by that).
     
  8. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Hi Rattail

    I will look out for the book.

    The main reason I vacuumed the gravel is because it was not completely clean. I got all the dirt and sand out of it when washing, but small bits of dead plant material remained. This constantly got thrown up in the current and floated around the tank. It's a lot better now.

    As for the amount of water to change, well I would not mind only changing 10% - I will however let the tank first stabilize over the next month or so and after rigorous water testing I will decide if I can change less at a time (I'm still not exactly sure how effective my filter will be)

    Thanks for the headsup though - I'll keep all advice in mind!!

    ----------------------------------

    Diary:

    Tank looks a lot brighter after water change and gravel vacuum. All fish still happy so far.
    I need to return two Chinese Algae Eaters to LFS. (Turned out they will eventually not suit my tank)
    I can however not catch them :mumum: (Maybe a spearfishing gun? :doo )
     
  9. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    If you have a very sharp kitchen knife, you should find that with some pressure (onto a chopping board!) you will easily be able to chop the blocks in half. You can also defrost the cubes (nuke them or stick them in hot water) and split in half, refreeze the second half for the next day.
     
  10. STRiDER
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    24 Nov 2006

    1. Added black background!! Really looks a lot better now!

    2. Finished the aquascape! I moved all equipment to the right side of tank (I'll explain why
    later). Added another piece of bogwood and finished planting everything.

    Scape still looks a bit low, but I'm hoping the plants against the back wall will grow quickly 8)

    3. 2nd Water test (1 week after last change). NO2 zero and pH 8.0

    Still havent managed to catch the two algae eaters :evil

    Must really study this weekend, but will hopefully start on plumbing for easy waterchanges :laughing:

    QUESTION (for those who actually follow this... :slp:)
    After two weeks of running and NO2 at zero, can I start adding more fish, or should I wait another week.
    (Current stock is 20 Neon Tetras, 2 Corydoris Catfish, 6 Ottocinclus and 2 Chinese Algae Eaters)

    Oh, yes I know pictures.... maybe later today
     
  11. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi STRiDER,

    With a high pH of 8, I'm just wondering what your NH[sub][/sub]3 Level is, because if it is around 0.3mg/L or higher, then I'd say you are heading for problems with the NH[sub][/sub]4 in the danger zone. Also, what is your NO[sub][/sub]3 level? Because an ideal level of say 50 to 60 Mg/L is ideal and indicates that the bacteria is doing their job.
     
  12. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Didnt do much this weekend :-[ (studies driving me up the wall!!)

    As far as NO3 and NO4 - I dont know as I could not get a test kit locally to test for it :(
    I only know that NO2 is 0. I will try and get a master test kit this week to test the Nitrate and Ammonia.

    Someone said I must put something in my filter to lower the pH. What is this and where do I get it. Did unfortunately not have time this weekend to do research...

    Anyhow - here is the tank with its new(est) aquascape. Im not entirely happy with the wide variety of plants - its called brute force method. I'll see which ones do well and which doesnt. Then I'll cut down on the variety (and the circus factor :hippy:)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also no plumbing done this weekend... so little time...
     
  13. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    peat granuals or fibers. Panormama sells it or ask nick to order for you
     
  14. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Thanks Henk!
     
  15. STRiDER
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    Finally enough time to finish the plumbing!!

    I added two pipes to the in and outlet pipe of the filter. One pipe is fairly long and reaches the garden. This is used to pump water out of the tank.

    The other pipe pulls water from a 100litre plastic container where water is conditioned before going into the tank.

    The filter pump does all the work and its just a matter of opening and closing shut-off valves. No priming needed ;D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The pipes are closed off with small plugs at the end and then coiled behind the cabinet when not in use.

    So far water changes has been in the order of 20% weekly.
    -----------------

    pH still at 8.0 (same as the tapwater).
    Will get peat granules this weekend and see if I can control it down to 7.0.

    Also got 6 Zebra Danios. They seem to love swimming near the surface and tries to eat anything that floats - the odd mosquito as well ;)

    ------------------

    Still has not managed to catch the two Chines Algae Eaters, and boy are they growing fast! If this goes on I'll have to empty the tank to get at them... :mumum:
     
  16. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    Before you add peat to your filter, just add a good handful to a bucket of your tapwater and leave it for a week, then measure the pH. Make sure it doesn't crash to anything ridiculous.
     
  17. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    Why do you want to mess with the pH anyway, better to just leave it alone.
     
  18. STRiDER
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    ::)

    The more you read, the more confusing it gets...

    Maybe I should start a poll... to peat or not to peat :p

    Please remember that I'm very new to this. I cannot find conclusive evidence on what will happen to my fish with a pH of 8.0 over a long period of time.

    If they will adapt to this pH and I know that they will do fine, then I will leave it at 8. If it is going to affect them then obviously I want to do something about it.
    Let me rephrase:
    I do not want to tinker with pH unless necessary!

    There has been some very conflicting advice regarding the whole pH problem.

    I guess I'm back to research... :coff:
     
  19. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Hi Strider

    1) make sure your pH is really 8 - some test kits are very unreliable.

    2) check your tank to find out what your carbonate hardness is.

    If your hardness is low then I would not stress about it, but let us know and we can see what to do going forward
     
  20. STRiDER
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    STRiDER Noob

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    Thanks Andre

    That was my first idea (re-test water with different kit)

    My current LFS cannot provide a master test kit though.

    Im in Cape Town till Wednesday though - can anyone give me directions to Panorama Fish Shop. Will get another kit there hopefully...
     

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