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Thread: "Passionately Curious"

  1. #61
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

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    Planting done and water was filled up till the top using similar method mentioned above.
    Water volume at 2/3 of the tank was recorded so that I might calculate the actual
    volume of water in the tank after minus hardscape and substrate volume.
    For my 2ft tank, actual water volume was 51 litters out of 64.8 total volume.
    It can be seen volume for hardscape and substrate took into account about more
    than 20% total volume of the tank. Recording the water volume will be
    useful in the future when dosing fertilizer and medical for fauna in later stage.
    Crystal clear water after water fill up
    Direct front view
    A view from angle
    After done, CO2 drop checker was installed.
    It was blue colour at first since no CO2 was introduced to the tank.
    Filter inflow and outflow was set up. Still waiting for my inflow glass pipe
    to come and in the meantime, EHEIM inflow pipe took the job.
    Canister filter started working. Many tiny bubbles came out at this initial stage.
    CO2 was activated and connected to the main system.
    After setting up, everything was working as planned.
    Water quite clear at this point of time.
    Front view of the new setup
    Angle view of the setup. Definitely need an inflow glass pipe to make it
    look nicer. :P

    After done setup, I started dosing the first batch of fertilizer to the tank, followed instruction of the supplier accordingly. Dosing is as follow for the first day:-

    Descriptions Frequency Dosage Per 50L (ml)
    Seachem Prime Water Change 200L - 5ml 1.25
    Seachem Excel Daily 200L - 5ml 6.25
    Seachem Potassium 2-3 times / week 125L - 5ml 2.00
    Seachem Iron When needed 200L - 5ml 1.25
    Seachem Flourish 1-2 times / week 250L - 5ml 1.00
    BacterLife 1 time / week 50L - 5ml 5.00

    I dosed more Seachem Excel according to instruction given for initial tank setup. After that, I might follow 5ml per 200L water.
    There are still some background and mid-ground plant to be in place. So, wait for the stock to be available. Tank cycling started.
    My Planted Tank Journal: litiaquaria.blogspot.com
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  2. #62
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Hi All,

    I have tested the water at Day 1 and it has already show Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate as follow:

    NH3/NH4+: 4ppm
    NO2: 2ppm
    NO3: 10ppm
    pH: 6.4

    Is that normal? And how frequent should I change the water at the beginning? Water looks a bit cloudy today, too. I guess bacteria in Waterlife BacterLife has some effects on the water quality. Anyone use the BacterLife before?




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  3. #63
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    One-third of the aquarium water should be changed daily for the 1st week after that two to three days from the 2nd week onward. I'm using ada Amazonia too.

  4. #64
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Thanks boonware! I changed the water yesterday. It looks better now.


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  5. #65
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Hi guys,

    Just a quick question: Do you turn-off the filter during water change?
    Would the substrate be messed up with the outflow water from the filter if it is on?
    Would the beneficial bacteria died off when the filter off?
    And in case I off the filter during water change, how long is the allowable time in order to keep the bacteria stay alive?
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  6. #66
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by jackychun View Post
    Hi guys,

    Just a quick question: Do you turn-off the filter during water change?
    Would the substrate be messed up with the outflow water from the filter if it is on?
    Would the beneficial bacteria died off when the filter off?
    And in case I off the filter during water change, how long is the allowable time in order to keep the bacteria stay alive?
    It'll be better to switch off the filter during water changes, especially if you are changing enough of it for the water level to dip below the lily pipe outlet. It'll tend to generate alot of splashing if the filter was still in operation.

    Beneficial bacteria will still stay alive if the filter is switched off for a while. I usually switch off my filters for around 10-15 minutes during feedings (so that the pellet/live food don't get drawn into the filter) and also during water changes. No issues encountered so far.

    I have also left the filter off for up to an hour while doing more extensive cleaning of the canister, hoses, pipes and tank too. No issues encountered with the cycle either.
    :: Urban Aquaria ::
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  7. #67
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Aquaria View Post
    It'll be better to switch off the filter during water changes, especially if you are changing enough of it for the water level to dip below the lily pipe outlet. It'll tend to generate alot of splashing if the filter was still in operation.

    Beneficial bacteria will still stay alive if the filter is switched off for a while. I usually switch off my filters for around 10-15 minutes during feedings (so that the pellet/live food don't get drawn into the filter) and also during water changes. No issues encountered so far.

    I have also left the filter off for up to an hour while doing more extensive cleaning of the canister, hoses, pipes and tank too. No issues encountered with the cycle either.
    Thanks a lot, UA. You are always very helpful every time. I have just turned off the filter and doing water change about 25%. If it is not off, the outlet would flash water everywhere and may spoil the substrate below too.

    After 4 days of cloudy water, today the water suddenly looks much clearer when I back from work. However, I have spotted some algae (hair algae?) on the driftwood. Is that the sign of lack nutrient or CO2?



    Currently, I have turn on CO2 2bps in 6hrs (7am-1pm) and lighting 6hrs (8am-2pm). Shall I increase the CO2 timing and lighting and also dose more fertilizer?

    For now my dosing schedule is:

    Seachem excel: daily 1ml
    Seachem iron: 1.25ml/ every other day
    Seachem potassium: 2pm/ every 2 days
    Seachem flourish: 1ml/ once a week (so far I only dose once at the beginning)

    I have tested the water today and the parameters are as below:

    pH = 6.4
    Ammonia = 4ppm+
    Nitrite= 2ppm
    Nitrate=5ppm (reduced)

    It seems like Ammonia is being increase whereas Nitrate is getting less. Shall I introduce more Seachem Flourish to increase N for the tank?

    Up to today, it can be seen many new leaves are popping up. So I guess the plants have been developed well. Hope to have your advise on some matters above.








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  8. #68
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    The whitish film on the wood is just common mold/fungus feeding off the organic surface of the wood... its a normal effect that appears on most new wood pieces when introduced into a tank. You can manually clean it off if you find it unsightly, though it will usually also eventually clear up on its own. When you introduce shrimps into the tank later, they will also help eat it too.

    Although you don't have algae growing on the wood yet, just note that based on your scape layout with the main bare wood price being closest to the lights, algae will naturally grow on it eventually, so do expect to be regularly cleaning algae from that area. The other option is to just let algae coat the wood and embrace it as part of the natural aquascape.

    If you find that the plants are growing well with minimal algae issues, then by all means gradually increase the lights, Co2 and nutrient supply, then observe the effects. Its all a matter of trial and error... if too much light and you see algae growing quickly, then either reduce it, or inject more Co2 and add more nutrients. You can manage it either way.

    The startup period is the best time to adjust and experiment with the parameters, can make mistakes and still recover from it easily. Once livestock are added, then it become trickier as they introduce extra variables to contend with.

    If you find that nitrates are getting low, its okay to dose more of it... but do note that your tank is currently still cycling, so parameters are still unstable. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrates will spike up and down over the next few days and weeks as the various different bacteria colonies grow and develop, so what may seem low now might jump up higher the next day. So do track its progress further to determine if more of certain ferts really do need to be added at this stage.
    :: Urban Aquaria ::
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  9. #69
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Aquaria View Post
    The whitish film on the wood is just common mold/fungus feeding off the organic surface of the wood... its a normal effect that appears on most new wood pieces when introduced into a tank. You can manually clean it off if you find it unsightly, though it will usually also eventually clear up on its own. When you introduce shrimps into the tank later, they will also help eat it too.

    Although you don't have algae growing on the wood yet, just note that based on your scape layout with the main bare wood price being closest to the lights, algae will naturally grow on it eventually, so do expect to be regularly cleaning algae from that area. The other option is to just let algae coat the wood and embrace it as part of the natural aquascape.

    If you find that the plants are growing well with minimal algae issues, then by all means gradually increase the lights, Co2 and nutrient supply, then observe the effects. Its all a matter of trial and error... if too much light and you see algae growing quickly, then either reduce it, or inject more Co2 and add more nutrients. You can manage it either way.

    The startup period is the best time to adjust and experiment with the parameters, can make mistakes and still recover from it easily. Once livestock are added, then it become trickier as they introduce extra variables to contend with.

    If you find that nitrates are getting low, its okay to dose more of it... but do note that your tank is currently still cycling, so parameters are still unstable. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrates will spike up and down over the next few days and weeks as the various different bacteria colonies grow and develop, so what may seem low now might jump up higher the next day. So do track its progress further to determine if more of certain ferts really do need to be added at this stage.
    Hi UA,

    Thanks for your prompt advice. I am much clearer now. I actually want to have the nature look of wood with algae on it. Lol. So I think just leave it that way then.

    For the first week, I will try to keep the lighting and CO2 at 6hrs and will try to increase to 7 hours on the 2nd week and 8hrs from the 3rd week onwards. CO2 for now with the rate 2bps is quite OK since I saw the drop checker always has green colour. I will keep it as the constant and tweak other parameter to see how it works.

    I am happy seeing the clear water now.





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  10. #70
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Morning Jacky, did u use seachem stability and bacterlife togather? if yes is there a reason for it? as I understand tht both are for cultivation of BBs right? how about seachem excel? u do have Co2 injected, so why additional seachem excel?

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    Cardinal Tetra / Rummynose Sp. Platinium / L183 Stralight Bristlenose Pelco / Nirate Snail / Yamato Shrimps

  11. #71
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by exo View Post
    Morning Jacky, did u use seachem stability and bacterlife togather? if yes is there a reason for it? as I understand tht both are for cultivation of BBs right? how about seachem excel? u do have Co2 injected, so why additional seachem excel?

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    Hi exo,

    I only use WaterLife BacterLife for BB cultivation and hopefully it would boost the numbers of BB in the filter at the beginning period. So far, I only dose once on the first day. I will add another dose of BacterLife every 7 days as per instruction. Hopefully, the 2nd dose onward would be more effective for the existing BB in the filter right now.

    For Seachem Excel, I use it as a supplement source of Carbon for the plants rather than only use CO2. You can refer to the below link for details explanation. How is the shopping process so far on your side?

    http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...rishExcel.html
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  12. #72
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Just part of my journal on Day 2 (11 March 2016) that I would like to share:-

    Planting Complete

    I went to GC one more time to buy some new stock of Tropica 1-2 Grow! plants which would fill the blanks in the tank and complete my planting scheme.

    Mid-ground: Staurogyne repens: mid-ground
    Background (left): Echidonorus tenellus 'Green'
    Background (center): Pogostemon erectus

    Ready for planting
    Sketch of my planting scheme

    This time the work was done very fast. In about half an hour, I was able to finish planting the new one to the tank. It looked more complete now with background and mid-ground plants.

    Echidonorus tenellus 'Green' was planted at the top left corner.
    There was only few plants in the tub, so that looked so little there.
    Pogostemon erectus was planted at the centre background.
    Staurogyne repens was planted at the right mid-ground and also
    some under the driftwood. Hopefully it would grow well under the
    shade since it is a hardy plants that can thrive under low light condition.
    Staurogyne repens under the shade.

    The tank's water was not clear and quite cloudy with whitish-gray hue colour from day 2. Hopefully, it would be clearer after the first week with few water changes. For now, planting stage has been completed. I had setup the schedule for lighting, CO2 and fertilizer dosing and will follow up according to the plan. Let's start the journey!

    Planting complete

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  13. #73
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    I have noticed the ISTA External CO2 Reactor does not really mix 100% CO2. Still has some tiny bubbles come out from the outflow pipe. Is there anything wrong with my set up or is it a norm?






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  14. #74
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    I have 2 of those running on 2 seperate tank and both have no bubble coming out. I suspect its due to the trap air at the top of the reactor, just tilt it upside down during operation to get rid of all the trap air

  15. #75
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by Realcaster View Post
    I have 2 of those running on 2 seperate tank and both have no bubble coming out. I suspect its due to the trap air at the top of the reactor, just tilt it upside down during operation to get rid of all the trap air
    Oops. I really saw little air trap at the top of the reactor. But it is so hard to tilt it upside down now since all the hose are connected.


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  16. #76
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    If you occassionally see one or two tiny bubbles exit out of the outflow pipe, its okay as it could be due to some excess bubbles managing to escape out.

    I find that the propensity of that happening depends on the bps rate too, higher injection rates load more gas into the reactor chamber so the gas pocket being dissolved is larger, higher chance of occasional bubbles escaping out prematurely.

    Usually for reactor systems, you can run much lower bps (compared to normal diffusers) and still achieve optimal Co2 levels in the tank. Just slowly reduce it over time and observe that the drop checker can still maintain the green color.

    For reference, i can run my reactors at as low as 0.5 bps in established 2ft planted tanks and the drop checker is still green and the plants are still pearling.

    Also make sure that both rotors in the reactor are spinning freely and at same fast speed, the dissolving action depend mostly on the speed of those spinning rotors. If you notice one rotor not spinning as fast as the other, open it up and see if there are any parts of the plastic rotor need trimming.

    Positioning the reactor upright also helps with better dissolving action, so the rotors can mix the gas properly. If the reactor is sitting at an angle like in your photo, the rotors will be imbalanced and may not mix the gas as well.

    If all those things are okay and you still see tiny bubbles exiting often, then it could be an air leak at one or more of the joints leading to the outflow, would be good to check. Tighten the seals and see if it helps.
    Last edited by Urban Aquaria; 18th Mar 2016 at 11:36.
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  17. #77
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Excellent observation UA .

    Do you know of any CO2 reactor that takes in 19mm hose?

  18. #78
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Thanks UA.

    I have checked the rotors and very sadly see the bottom rotor is not spinning. I didn't notice it until seeing your post. Don't know if it has not been working since setup time.

    http://youtu.be/qCNlkCLEJJM

    Will have some more work to do this weekend already.

    Anyway, I think CO2 is still being injected in the tank so far since the drop checker shows green colour all the time and the plants still grows well. Touch wood.

    So what I need to do is trimming the wings of the rotor a bit so that it can spin freely right? I should have done it before the setup. Really a lesson learnt.


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  19. #79
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by Realcaster View Post
    Excellent observation UA .

    Do you know of any CO2 reactor that takes in 19mm hose?
    So far i've not seen any off-the-shelf Co2 reactors which are designed specifically for 16/22 hoses... but the ISTA Mix Max L size model reactor is packaged with adaptors which allow it to be used with 16/22 hoses. This model also has a much longer reactor chamber which is designed to work better with higher flow rate filters (ie. 1,000-2,000 l/ph). You can usually find this reactor model at most popular LFS like C328 or Seaview.

    Here is a reference photo from online:



    Photo from Google Images.

    Note that since this reactor model is still using 12/16 ports (with adapters to enable it to match 16/22 hoses), the overall filter flow rate will be reduced to a certain degree due to the narrower ports.
    :: Urban Aquaria ::
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  20. #80
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    Re: "Passionately Curious"

    Quote Originally Posted by jackychun View Post
    Thanks UA.

    I have checked the rotors and very sadly see the bottom rotor is not spinning. I didn't notice it until seeing your post. Don't know if it has not been working since setup time.

    http://youtu.be/qCNlkCLEJJM

    Will have some more work to do this weekend already.

    Anyway, I think CO2 is still being injected in the tank so far since the drop checker shows green colour all the time and the plants still grows well. Touch wood.

    So what I need to do is trimming the wings of the rotor a bit so that it can spin freely right? I should have done it before the setup. Really a lesson learnt.
    Based on your video, it looks like both rotors at the top of the reactor are spinning quite well... the bottom part in the reactor is actually not a moving rotor, its just a permanently fixed support to center the up-flow tube.
    :: Urban Aquaria ::
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