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CO2 cylinder refill and a small introduction
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fabiano pita
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Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Location: Colorado Springs - CO

PostPosted: 2004.02.23(Mon)10:36    Post subject: CO2 cylinder refill and a small introduction Reply with quote

Hi everybody

My name is Fabiano Pita and I just moved to Colorado Springs, CO from Brazil. In my baggage I brought my aquatic plants (more than 10 species), my lights, brazilian substrate (earth worm compost), and my CO2 cylinder.

Currently my plants are in a 10 gallons tank with yeast CO2 injection. They are relatively doing well (actually my Heteranthera zosterifolia even bloomed yesterday!).

I just ordered my 90 gallons tank and it will arrive soon. The next step is to fill up my 8 pounds CO2 cylinder. Does anyone know a place to have it filled up at Colorado Springs or Denver area? I hope the regulator input/output matches the standard in the USA (it has a 3/4 inch size), otherwise I will have to look for an adapter. Does anyone around have "welding knowledge" to help me?

I hope to learn with you on this board like I learned a lot on the Brazilian version of Age of Aquariums. As soon as my plants are recovered from the trip I will post pics. I would be happy to help and exchange rare aquatic plants.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Fabiano
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.02.23(Mon)22:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the US and to the English board Fabiano. It will be fantastic to be able to hear from someone who has approached things a bit differently, and who has lived among many of the plants and fish we collect. Personally I'm very excited to hear more about your "Brazilian substrate".

Regarding your CO2 tank, I would imagine that any wielding supply company in your area could help you with the adapter if in fact you need one.

Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself and I hope you are able to settle into your new home quickly and have your display tanks setup. We all look forward to hearing more about your plans and progress.

Also, I'll give up a tip, we are fortunate to have Tom Barr, (screen name Plantbrain) posting on the English forums. Not only is Tom a pioneer of many of the current methods used by aquatic gardeners in the US but he's also a leader in forward thinking progressive and innovative approaches. My point is, if you see a post by Plantbrain, read it carefully, they are all chocked full of great information.

Cheers,

Steve
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2004.02.24(Tue)0:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Fabiano, it's nice to hear from you again (Fabiano spent a year in Ames at the same time I did and we met personally there). I hope your new life in Colorado will be great! That was really smart of you...to bring some plants and humus along Wink

Steve, the 'Brazilian substrate' he's talking about is locally called humus - treated earthworm compost. The treatment technique and its creative application to planted tanks in Brazil has been developed and popularized by Vladimir Sim
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ReefJones
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Springfield, MO

PostPosted: 2004.02.24(Tue)14:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us more about this substrate "humus" I would love to know is it made by the person who wants to use it, or is it purchased somewhere? Is it readily available to us here in the US? Is it just dirt and compost that has had earthworms eating and living in it.(kind of like under the rabbit cage at my parents farm, where we used to dig nightcrawlers to go fishing?)
My brain needs info, please help out here, Marcos, Fabiano!
Reef
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.02.24(Tue)20:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Marcos...I seem to recall Zeco referring to his worm garden before, or maybe I'm confusing issues. The idea sounds very intriguing and spectacular results are obviously possible too. Though the talent of the people using this rich substrate is unquestionable very high. Does it seem to you that people in the US place higher levels of lighting over their tanks? I ask because the trend currently being recommended by many experts is that most people over light their tanks and that lower levels work better. I also wonder if the richer substrates would be more, or less, problematic when compared to Flourite in a tank with really high lighting levels?
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2004.02.27(Fri)18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReefJones wrote:
Tell us more about this substrate "humus" I would love to know

I've contacted Vladimir and asked him if he's interested in having his article translated to English. Since I haven't personally experimented with humus (I can't even read the article, it's on a server that unfortunately doesn't load for anyone outside Brazil) I don't want to go into too much detail myself, maybe fabiano or Zeco can describe some of their personal experiences so far.

Steve Hampton wrote:
Does it seem to you that people in the US place higher levels of lighting over their tanks? I ask because the trend currently being recommended by many experts is that most people over light their tanks and that lower levels work better.

No I don't think the aquascapers in the US are any different from others I've seen around. I think that as soon as people all around the world started realizing that finding a balanced combination of lighting+nutrients+CO2 could lead to plants growing like crazy in the aquarium without an algae explosion, they began to naturally push the concept to the limit and see what happens. After all, it *is* fun to see your plants pearling profusely every day, and watching your entire aquascape redo itself only a week or two after heavy pruning.

But then comes an inevitable effect of people who come into the game later on, see all these super-lit tanks around the net and get the wrong impression that it's the ONLY way to keep any plant alive and well in the tank. The same happened with CO2 injection, how many topics do we get here and all over the net asking if it's POSSIBLE to have a planted tank without CO2? A few years ago this was getting so annoying that I wrote that little 'CO2 Fever' article on the site together with a friend Eloy.

I think that things should naturally evolve towards the general realization that hobbyists should choose the level at which they want to keep the lighting+nutrients+CO2 balance according to their goals for the planted tank and their willingness to invest money and time on it...pretty much the same as with other 'hobbies', including cars...so it's great to have an incredible 'Too Fast Too Furious' competition-style planted tank if you're up to it, but you can just as well have and really enjoy a very nice take-the-kids-to-school-and-travel-on-weekends style planted tank Wink

With my own little planted tank I've setup here in JP I'm going towards this second style mainly because right now I don't have all the time I used to have to dedicate to fish tanks. I'm using a standard Amano style 60x30x33 tank with standard Amano style substrate, but only HALF the lighting level he uses in tanks this size, and so far I'm pretty happy with the results. It may not be ADA competition material, but as Tula commented in my thread in the Photo Album it's a long-term sustainable, rather easy to maintain, and yet rewarding setup.

Quote:
I also wonder if the richer substrates would be more, or less, problematic when compared to Flourite in a tank with really high lighting levels?

I really don't know. The current trend in the tanks I've seen on the Brazilian board using humus seems to be about 1 W/L (4 WPG) fluorescent lighting, very rich substrate and no liquid fertilization.
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2004.02.29(Sun)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found out that a summary of Vladimir's article has already been translated to English and is available over at e-aquaria, in a description of Enrico's Dutch tank:

http://www.e-aquaria.com/des_monteiro.html
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.02.29(Sun)21:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing the pre soaked soil method also does the same thing I'd bet.
The boiling will kill everything, likely keeps the material from breaking down for a few days/weeks. The boiling and drying etc, causes oxidation and removes or converts the NH4=>NO3.

I think there are many examples of nice looking soil tanks that also use CO2 as well in the past. If you look at what is in typical soils, it's quite rich.

It's not a question of a substrate base layer being "too rich" except with respect to NH4/urea.

You can add zeolite, peat, soil, KNO3/KH2PO4 soaked materials, Jobes sticks etc all down there and then see how it affects growth.
If the water column is well supplied, plants really don't gain much from the substrate with perhaps exception to Fe when the lighting is high from what I've seen. But if you limit or run the water column down in critical nutrients, then the plants will have no choice but to try and use substrate sources. Then a rich substrate becomes much more critical and useful to a plant.

Plants will use the _same nutrients_ after they are broken down either from organic sources or inorganic nutrient additions.

This method of adding a richer substrate minus the NH4/Urea is good though, many folks neglect a dosing at least a few times over the years, so it's a good back up. Are the 4w/gal of NO FL's or as PC's or MH's?
Not much is available and the cost issue have me leaning towards NO FL's.

I had a Russian guy build a 6 ft UV sterilizer, that's the only length of germicals UV lights he could get:-) It killed Green water real good.



Regards,
Tom Barr
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ReefJones
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Springfield, MO

PostPosted: 2004.03.01(Mon)14:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

So back more to my first question, can I just get some earthworm dirt from the compost heap? or can these castings be purchased somewhere?
Reef
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2004.03.02(Tue)5:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think there are many examples of nice looking soil tanks that also use CO2 as well in the past. If you look at what is in typical soils, it's quite rich.


Tom, I agree with you that you can apply similar treatments to several other soil-type substrates, although there should be some differences in the proportion of the various macro- and micro-nutrientes depending on what you start with. In fact I wish I'd known about the relevance of this type of treatment before the one and only experiment I ever made using garden soil in a tank about 6 years ago...it started out great but turned out a disaster about 6 months after setup. Mad About the same time an inexpensive laterite gravel collected locally where I lived became available and I switched to that instead over the next few years.

Quote:
If the water column is well supplied, plants really don't gain much from the substrate with perhaps exception to Fe when the lighting is high from what I've seen. But if you limit or run the water column down in critical nutrients, then the plants will have no choice but to try and use substrate sources. Then a rich substrate becomes much more critical and useful to a plant.


Even if the plants prefer to take nutrients from the water column I believe there may be an advantage in forcing the plants that can do so to get them from the lower substrate levels. Leaving the water poor in nutrients and concentrating them in the substrate helps to keep them from becoming available to algae, only to the plants. I'm doing some tests with this right now on the only tank I have set up and so far the addition of SeaChem Flourish in this tank with ADA substrate seems to be having a negative effect...
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