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CO2 - whats going on?
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flyjawn
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Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Location: toronto

PostPosted: 2006.12.13(Wed)14:47    Post subject: CO2 - whats going on? Reply with quote

so I've got the hagen CO2 system running and after some advice I removed my biowheel to see if it would increase the CO2 numbers in my tank. I also added another CO2 bottle (DIY) and definitely notice an increase in the amount of bubbles feeding into the little ladder thing.

the algae growth has almost come to a complete halt and my plants are growing like weeds. BUT according to my test kit, the CO2 is still at around the same level. it's gone from 4 to about 6.6 which is still way too low.

could my test kit be the problem? I'm using the Tetra test master kit. I'm pretty sure there's no leaks in my system...

should I even care given that my tank seems to be thriving?
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ngocthach1130
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.13(Wed)15:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

me on the other hand after adding CO2 have notice the KH reading to remain at a constant 2 degree but pH have dropped to about 6.6 while it was 7 before. So I know the CO2 in the water have gone up. But with 110Watts in a 30 gallons tank algae is still blooming. Do you have any recommendation? I use liquid test for pH and KH from Aquarium Pharmaceutical.
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.13(Wed)16:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check to see if your reagents are not out of date...
On the API tests there will be a lot number at the top of the label, the last two digits are the year and if I'm not mistaken most reagents are good for 3~5 years after the year indicated.
Some where API has a web page with the exact figures but I can not locate it...
Don't know about Tetra perhaps a search of their web site will turn something up.

Flyjawn, what is your pH/KH and have you used any buffers or peat moss?

NGO... you need a little more CO2. What plants and how many? New set-up? Type of algae?

Fred
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flyjawn
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Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Location: toronto

PostPosted: 2006.12.13(Wed)19:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

my pH is at 7.5 and my KH is at 7.

I have no buffers or peat or anything that would be affecting the pH.

There are what seems to be lot numbers on my test bottles but I doubt that they were manufactured in 1928......... Laughing I must be looking at the wrong series of numbers. I bought the test kit at big als so its unlikely that it sat around in their store for long. I'll take a closer look once I put my daughter to bed.
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ngocthach1130
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.13(Wed)21:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's mostly thread and hair algae. I have an acrylic tank and on the top corner of the tank I've drilled a hole and put bracing on it. So it's braced to the wall to prevent tipped over. But inside the tank I have to use washer with nut and bolt. Over time it has rusted. So I'm guessing it's supplying the water with plenty of iron. I think that's the culprit. Also only recently which I changed the light and added CO2 along with changing the gravel.

Last edited by ngocthach1130 on 2006.12.20(Wed)15:14; edited 1 time in total
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.14(Thu)5:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

NGO...
You really need to up your CO2 and add some more fast growing stem plants. I seriously doubt that little bit of rust is the culprit... I probably dose my tank with more Fe than those bolts would ever add ;^)
You have just recently upped your lighting and changed the substrate this is the probable cause...

Up your CO2 to 20~30ppm
Add several bunches of fast growing stem plants; Rotala rotundifolia, Hygrophila difformis, H. polysperma, Ludwigia repens etc
You need to dose NPK & trace:
N(nitrogen) - KNO3
P(phosphate) - KH2PO4 or as I and others do, Fleet Enema
K(potassium) - K2SO4
For trace use Plantex's CSM+B
All of your ferts are available on-line from Greg Watson... sorry no link but you can find him through one of the links below.

Some very useful sites:
Chuck's Planted Tank Articles
Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
Steve Hampton's Aquarium Plants

There are some other excellent sites as well but these three should get you well on your way...

I found that as I progressed(learned) I seemed to "graduate" from one algae to another. Currently my tank is limited to a little bit of green spot and some very fine green hair algae on the front glass, neither become noticable til its time for my weekly water change & cleaning, both wipe off fairly easy, especially if I take the time to wipe the glass mid-week... I have some sort of algae in the substrate but that has slowed up considerably since upping my CO2.

Fred
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ngocthach1130
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.14(Thu)11:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm upping the CO2 is going to be hard. At the moment with 2 bottle of DIY there's a fluctuation in CO2 production. I'm thinking of putting pressurize but that won't be till a couple of month from now since it's holiday season right now and there aren't a lot of moneys to spare. I'll still replace those nut and bolt with some plastic replacement anyway since they're an eyesore. That and dosing the NPK will require some test kit for it. This is going to raise the already high cost of maintenance considerably. Guess I'll start with upping the # of plants and try to increase CO2 see how that goes.

Oh that and I'll try out those plants you mention but I'll stick with strictly rooted plant. I hate those rootless like anacharis or hornwort. Riccia is different because I can just bound it down. What do you think about javafern. I had some before but it was a pretty messy grower, sticking to everything.
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ngocthach1130
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.14(Thu)12:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from teh petstore. Got some Wisteria(Hygrophila difformis) and Ludwigia repens. The ludwigia is listed as red ludwigia and on this website have it too. But it look so much like the ludwigia repens. What's the proper way to plant these 2. The the petstore list the wisteria as floating fern Can I just stick it in the gravel for both or do they bond to stuff like drift wood.
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.14(Thu)18:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flyjawn,
Sorry to hi-jack your thread... I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. test kits and those are the ones with the date incorporated into the lot numbers. I don't know if or how Tetra dates their kits and couldn't find anything about it on Tetra's web site, perhaps if you e-mail them???
BTW do you have city water, well water, a water softening system?

NGO,
Strip several lower leaves from the stem and stick 'em in the substrate, you want at least two nodes(point where the leaves come off the stem) buried in the substrate. Leave some room between the stems as the H. difformis gets rather large leaves and the L. repens will branch prolifically... you don't want to block too much light from the lower leaves.
Be sure and check those sites I posted especially about the ferts, also on Chuck's site there is a collection of Karen Randall's Aquatic Horticulture articles... lots of very good info as well as a couple of articles dealing with planting, pruning, propagating etc.

You may want to add another DIY CO2 bottle or a more efficient way of injecting it into your tank.

I only test pH, KH and nitrAtes(NO3) as a matter of fact I no longer test for NO3 but that is only because in the past 6~7 years the NO3 levels in my source water has remained at 20~40 ppm. In about ten days my plants suck that down to 5ppm... instead of adding NO3 I just do a weekly 50% water change ;^) Which is advisable when you are dosing lots of ferts.

I believe what happened is you had a nice, stable(balanced) low/moderate light tank with plants well suited for slower growth and less light, once you boosted your lighting there were no fast growing plants to "fend" off the algae... Planted tanks are a fine balance of light, nutrients(CO2 included) and temperature. Once you achieve a balance then algae will be at a minimum.

Another useful article about dosing ferts and the one I base my dosing regime on for that matter... Tom Barr's Estimative Index

Fred
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flyjawn
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Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Location: toronto

PostPosted: 2006.12.14(Thu)20:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

hijack away! Smile the more information the better!

mine is city water by the way. I sent an email about the dates to the company so I'll wait and see what they say.
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