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  L# TW's 7 FT 138G (523L) Planted Discus Tank
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SubscribeTW's 7 FT 138G (523L) Planted Discus Tank
Wingsdlc
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I asked Tom Barr about that & he said it wasn't necessary - though I think you're right - especially since you tested it. BUT, I'm too lazy to set up DIY plus I need the real deal churning away on current discus tank until shut down. It looks after the plants & keeps pH low for the apistos & discus.


DIY is a pain. When I had it on my old 40G long I was running three 2L bottles. Swapping out one bottle a week in a rotation. I didn't get near the response with the plants as I have with the real deal. It did make a pretty big difference with the terrestrial plants though. As T. Barr said though, it isn't necessary. When you think about it, plants grow without our help everyday.

I wasn't really picking on you about your post length or anything. I was just commenting. I guess I don't see a lot of real indepth post as often as I used to.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
Post InfoPosted 20-May-2008 23:14Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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I wasn't really picking on you about your post length or anything
hey, I knew that Wings, I was just playing

I tried DIY on the 43G before I got the real deal. It was a real PITA

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 21-May-2008 00:10Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Hi Robyn

I'm heavily considering pressurized for the 40g too even though I'm not heavily planted yet. Pitas I don't need, or constant fussing with diy. Seems way more appealing now to refill 1 tank once or twice a year then 2-3 bottles weekly. I moved my small hagen unit over to the 10g where it'll make more of an impact. Budget is pretty much tapped but going to try and save it up. I wonder if I'll think, why didn't I do this before ?

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 21-May-2008 02:09Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TW
I wonder if I'll think, why didn't I do this before ?
Yep, that's what you'll think Some people enjoy DIY C02 - but never again for me. I'm too lazy for all that mixing & changing of bottles.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 21-May-2008 11:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Smartiepants !

*runs away to work on the tank that'll never be as nice as yours*

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 22-May-2008 05:51Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
catdancer
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Robyn:

How is it going? I am hungry for an update about your new set up! I am fish-deprived and eager to look at pictures of beautiful discus!

Claudia
Post InfoPosted 18-Jun-2008 05:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Hi Claudia
I am fish-deprived and eager to look at pictures of beautiful discus!
Are your fish still boarding somewhere, while you set up. How has the move gone?

Well - regarding this tank - it is still in terrarium mode. Will be so for at least another 4 weeks. I pulled up all the HC, as there were issues with the lazy way I planted it - (didn't separate each little plant - simply spread them out on the substrate). The lazy way didn't work, as plants were laying on top of each other & I was having dead patches appearing (the underneath ones dying off). The 2nd issue, which would have been prevented by not being lazy in the first place) was that I discovered that mixed in with the HC was riccia. I didn't notice what was happening at first, but the riccia was growing at a fast rate & quickly taking over & robbing the HC of it's share of the light. Tried gently pulling the riccia out, but it was just pulling out the HC anway. So, I have almost finished separating each HC plant & only have a small section to replant. Very annoyed with myself for this error - otherwise could be filling it now. I am over having the 43G tank (with the discus still in it) sitting on a trolley in the middle of my lounge room floor. I'm sure the discus are giving me dirty looks, wondering why they arent' swimming around in the larger tank

Besides that, I am having health issues with my 1 of my 3 new wild caught Heckels (yes, yes, I know - you don't like Heckels). But at AU$200 each, I am engaged in a losing battle & not ready to give in till the bitter end. So glad they never made it into the main tank & all 3 are still in QT. Foolishinly, before the sickness was realised, I added "red alencer" (which I'm told is a Rose Red) to share QT with the Heckels. I think the metro has done it's job - but he is on a hunger strike & I think I am watching him starve to death. From what I read on discus forum, this is a common complaint - particularly with wilds, that after they have been successfully treated for sickness, they sometimes just refuse to ever eat again. This can happen with the hybrid domestic strains, I gather. Have you experienced this at all? If you remember the "patient". He did this too. He didn't eat for around 2 weeks during his treatment & then after recovery, didn't eat for around 4 weeks & one day decided to eat a live black worm & then he was back. I don't want to use live black worm in this case though, as they are just another way to bring parasites into the tank. Getting close to pulling him out to another much smaller tank - but I've been told that could just reinforce his stubborn wild instinct to continue his hunger strike (due to stress of the move). I've been getting a lot of help from a singapore breeder, who has written 2 books on discus & this is his advice. But even so, I am thinking of moving him to try the black worms.

Anyway, I look forward to enjoying the progress of you reestablishing your own tanks.

How's Schulzie (sorry, spelling???)

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 18-Jun-2008 06:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
catdancer
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Hi Robyn:

Sorry for the belated reply - I was too busy to check into FP and did not realize that I would not receive a reply-alert for your log. Stupid me, sorry about that ...

Hunger strike? Yes, I experienced this and it was something that almost turned me off the discus-lover track! My cute little bride and Hubble both fell victim to this behavior
I still blame myself for not removing little Hubble from the main tank. IMHO, it is better to remove a 'striker' from the tank to feed him/her with the food the patient desires. In hind sight, it is easier to successfully medicate a fish that has a full stomach and is recovering some of it's strength.
I feel for you and your problems, it really does not matter that I am not the biggest fan of Heckel discus (nowadays, after two dreadful visits to local stores I admire almost everything-fish with a roughly circular shape ...) though I have to admit that there were several nice green discus available (for a fortune)

My finned friends are still boarders but this has to come to an end. Either I fly them out to join me or I tell the guy in the store who admired them from the moment he laid eyes on them that they are his. Considering the quality available here the first!! Actually, not so much because of the discus (it is easy to get high quality discus in the US relatively inexpensive online) but for the finned company (cute bristle noses, rummies and the apistos). However, first I have to get new plants, the delivery of furniture and tanks took much longer than expected...

Schulzie: congrats, you spelled his name correct! The little bugger recovered from the stress of moving and made sure that a nice portion of my salary went towards the purchase of high quality cat food. It still does. His companion 'Francesco' (the purrfect cat, seriously), is also successfully recuperating from the stress of relocation and his disappointment of having to leave so much better living space. Cats do not have an appreciation for my professional and personal well being, although this provides the basis for aforementioned high quality food ...

I will post pics of the tanks ASAP, though most likely, they will look a bit like empty-tank-with-substrate-wood in the beginning.

Ciao

Claudia
Post InfoPosted 24-Jun-2008 06:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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things took longer than expected, but finally, today is DAY ONE of this tank's life filled with water. I finally have some pics to share. The water went in about an hour ago.

Full Frontal


Left Side


Right Side


The sand has been changed. It started out as ADA Bright Sand, which actually was not very bright. I wanted something whiter, so ended up with good old silica pool filter sand. I'm much happier with it. Earlier pics, without the water, show the ADA Bright Sand.

I don't have enough riccia yet, to cover all the rock border, so I know it still has an unfinished look. Also, the crypts & other plants still need to grow in.

Though my 2 filters were running for months on another tank, I think most or all of my good bacteria were killed in the transfer. I think they were turned off too long while I tried to figure out how to connect the UV steriliser, because an ammonia test come up 0.25. Had hoped I could add fish straight away, but not to be. I currently have a bowl in there with 3 green prawns to be my source of ammonia to finish the cycling job off.

Can't find pure ammonia to cycle with (only cloudy ammonia - which I'm told is NOT ok to cycle tank). So, I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for the prawns to do their job.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 21-Jul-2008 12:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited by FRANK
Hi Robyn,
The tank is going to be great!

I've a couple of comments (thoughts) about the cycling
of the tank.
You mentioned that you had two filters running in another
tank prior to this, and also mentioned that you thought
you might have crippled the bacteria colonies in those
filters because of the delay while you hooked up the UV
system. To provide for the newly forming colonies you
also mention you have three prawn in the tank.

My concern is that you have begun running the UV system.
While transplanting filters from an established tank to
a new setup does jump start the Nitrogen Cycle, still,
the bacteria have to get from inside the filter(s) into the
new tank. How does this happen? Since the nitrifying
bacteria is found on all the surfaces of the tank, I guess
it could "creep" out through the return hoses and perhaps
the intake hose into the tank, along the sides, and into
the gravel. Or, perhaps parts of the colonies could travel
through the hose, water born, and into the new tank.
What I'm suggesting, no matter how the colonies establish
themselves in the new tank, I think the UV system might be
a bit premature and might actually be counterproductive to
establishing the Nitrogen Cycle in the new tank. If any
part of the colony growth is water born, the UV system
will greatly impede it as it is designed to kill off any
water born life.

My other consideration is the size of the tank vs the
sources of urea (ammonia) for that tank. As big as it is,
I suspect that it will take quite a while for the colonies
to establish themselves, and then they will only be large
enough to handle the three prawn. If that is the case then
when you add fish, there could be a surge in
ammonia, followed by nitrite, and then nitrate as the
colonies grow to handle the added bio-load. In other words
the tank will "mini cycle" as the colonies grow to match
the fish.

You should, I would think, be able to find the pure
ammonia or if not, perhaps one of the "starter" bacteria
products used to start the Nitrogen Cycle?

I envy you that huge tank and it's gonna look great!
Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 21-Jul-2008 17:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TW
Hi Frank

Thanks for the response. There were 2 reasons I thought this would be OK for fish straight away. Firstly, that it's been set up as a terrarium since 18 May, in the waterless method recommended by Tom Bar. According to the thread I read on this, it is meant to be already fully cycled by the time you add water. The 2nd reason was that the 2 eheim 2028's have been running for much longer than that on other tanks. Combined, I hoped that would do it.

I agree with you about the UV, so it has not even been turned on. It's connected & water runs through it, but it's never been turned on.

One filter was off for a considerable time while I worked out the UV connection & both were off for a period when I drained the tank & then my new pump from the water ageing tank wouldn't work. Eventually I ended up using an old pump, but again, the filters were off unintentionally for a period (not that long).

I am hoping not all bacteria died in the filters & that the green king prawns are merely helping things along, but yes I know I will have to stagger the fish entry. A vet hobbyist I spoke with believes the bacteria doubles itself every 24 hours, so once my tests are perfect, I'll start the transfer, maybe one fish every 3 days. With the regular testing during that period & the knowledge of having the old cycled tank still running as backup, I'm fairly confident it'll work out OK.

In the meantime, do you think I should add another couple of prawns?

EDIT: added 2 more prawns

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 21-Jul-2008 21:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Shinigami
 
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I've heard the use of prawn is a very effective source of ammonia. I only used one prawn on a 55 gallon aquarium and it worked out fine, granted I didn't add very many fish... With the filter transfer, though, I wouldn't be worried at all. Transferring filters can't hurt the filters more than taking the filters and cleaning them in tank water to maintain them.

I'm a little concerned about the depth of the sand. If nothing stirs it up that sand can compact and basically form into cement/sandstone. I've had this happen with surprisingly shallow sand. Also, you could get anaerobic pockets that, when opened up by eventual digging, could release toxic hydrogen sulfide and such nasties. Even most catfish only go over the very surface; I have a catfish tank with at least representatives from seven different families of catfish, so this has been rather apparent to me with the sand pit that I made for them. The only way to get down in the sand fiswhise is to have a big hoover fish or have a burrowing fish. I don't know if you already know all this, but just throwing that out there in case.

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Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 05:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Hi Shinigami

Thanks for the advice. How long did it take you to cycle with the 1 prawn?
With the filter transfer, though, I wouldn't be worried at all. Transferring filters can't hurt the filters more than taking the filters and cleaning them in tank water to maintain them
I think the issue here is the length of time the filter was turned off. I have read/heard that good bacteria will start to die off after around 2 hrs of the flow of water through it ceasing. The one where the UV was attached was certainly switched off longer than that. Installing the UV involved not only the process of attaching the tubes, but hubby cutting holes in cupboard shelves so it could fit in & a trip to the hardware store, as we were a hose clamp short. Then both filters were off for at least an hour during another crises where the pump to refill the tank failed (after initial filling, followed by draining). I think that was certainly time enough for die off. My filters are never off anywhere near that long for general maintenance. I hope you are right that there is nothing to worry about.
I'm a little concerned about the depth of the sand
Worrying me too. The front is fine, it's just that middle section to wards the back. I am thinking of getting a bunch of MTS to burrow through the sand. Another thought is to have a glass or perspex wedge made to size of that section of the tank, in such a way that the sand sitting on top of it still reaches the level of the planted area, but is only 1" think, being that it is sitting on the said perspex. I'll think about these options for a couple more days.

To help things along, I'm about to add a clean stocking filled with substrate from the old tank.

Ammonia today tested upwards, now reaching 1.00.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 12:49Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Robyn,
As far as the prawns were concerned, I've no idea how
big those critters are nor now much urea they produce
especially when compared to a grown discus.

Assuming that they were small "crayfish" I did not think
one would equal even a quarter of the output of a grown
discus and that it could possibly cause problems when
you add your fish to the tank.

I agree with your vet. Frankly, as much as vets deal
with our furry and feathered friends, I'm amazed that
you have found one who is conversant with fish. I've
read a couple of articles that mention the growth rate
of the bacteria colonies and each placed it as doubling
every 24 hours.

Shinigami, is correct with the concerns about the use
of sand in a tank. Most planted tanks have a substrate
depth of 3-4 inches and that is when using a #2 or #3
grain size gravel. With sand, the general depth to avoid
the pitfalls Shinigami mentions is around 1 inch.
The problem with sand, shallow depth, and plants, is that
many of them will not stay rooted. The weight of one inch
of sand is not the same as 3-4 inches of gravel and the
plants can work loose from the sand (swaying in the currents)
and float to the top.
Keeping a sand bed "loose" requires some cories and some
MTS snails along with gravel vacuuming. Gravel Vacuuming
sand is problematic at the least, and a real PITA as a
norm. With your tank, White sand simply does not stay
white over a long period of time. The impurities in the
sand (any iron) stain it rusty in places, and the waste
detritus blackens it.
Most "white" tanks are considered "show" tanks and are
set up on a "one time basis" for a few days or a month or
so. "White" tanks also can be a problem for some species
of fish. They are "skittish" about open areas in those
tanks as "Nature" has taught them that they are highlighted
from above by the white sand, and are easy pickings by
birds. This results in them sticking inside the planted
areas and generally avoiding the open white areas.
I assume, over time, that they would overcome that stressor
and mingle with less inhibited dither fish.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 12:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TW
Hi Frank
As far as the prawns were concerned, I've no idea how big those critters are nor now much urea they produce especially when compared to a grown discus.
They're about 4" long, not taking into account they are curved. There are 5 of them.
I'm amazed that you have found one who is conversant with fish
On another forum I frequent, where the main topic of interest is discus, there are two forum members who are vets. One is in London (great for advice, but too far for consults) & one has just moved to Sydney, so I have used him already for metro prescription (yes, it's prescription only in Aus). Other than these 2, I have never come across a single vet who knows a thing about fish. Most won't even help you, but my local one takes sympathy on me, as she was the vet for our dog. As long as I act like I know what I'm talking about (re symptoms, diagnosis & dosages) I have also managed to convince her to give me fish prescriptions. Other than that, no vet has ever agreed to help. You ring & ask for help & they just tell you "no - we don't treat fish". Sad, really.
The problem with sand, shallow depth, and plants, is that many of them will not stay rooted
No plants intended for the sand.
With your tank, White sand simply does not stay white over a long period of time. The impurities in the sand (any iron) stain it rusty in places, and the waste detritus blackens it.
Lucky I have 30kg of washed sand in waiting to replace the dirty stuff. I'll have to ask those that recommended the sand to me about this. They allege to have kept such discus sand / planted tanks for years (albeit without the ADA substrate area). Maybe, they just keep replacing sand as it dirties. They often recommend the sand, as the darker the tank is, the more peppering occurs with pigeon blood based discus. I only have one pigeon blood, so that's not why I did it. I just wanted to try something different, after being inspired by tetratech's tank.
Keeping a sand bed "loose" requires some cories and some MTS snails along with gravel vacuuming. Gravel Vacuuming sand is problematic at the least, and a real PITA as a norm
I have cories & thinking about getting MTS snails or the perspex wedge I mention above. I will have to see how the gravel vac issue goes. It seemed OK when I was emptying the tank - none appeared to be drawn more than halfway up the funnel & like gravel, dropped down as I raised the vac higher. I will be careful though & it is good to be forewarned of problems.

Thanks to both of you for your good advice.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 13:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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TW,

I can't believe how big that tank is from the full tank shot. You sure have a lot of room to play with.

Here are a couple of comments:

~Riccia - I wouldn't worry too much about covering every rock that separates the gravel from the sand. It think if you did it would make it much less natural looking. I have even seen some tanks where they purposelessly mix the two different materials to make it look like it would if you encountered it in a lake or on a river. I kind of like that feel.

~ Are the stems on the left side there just to get the ball rolling? If not they seem a little out of place.

~ I really can't wait to see this thing filled in! I think it will be super great!!

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 19:25Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Hi Wings, thanks for the visit
can't believe how big that tank is from the full tank shot. You sure have a lot of room to play with
The length is great, but I regret the width (only 19" ).
~Riccia - I wouldn't worry too much about covering every rock that separates the gravel from the sand. It think if you did it would make it much less natural
Having a little trouble making that look natural. The border rocks are siliconed in place to keep the substrates separate, so I have extra rocks to put on top. I'll play around with adding some extras bare & some extras covered with riccia.
Are the stems on the left side there just to get the ball rolling? If not they seem a little out of place.
I think you mean the hygro willow. It had uprooted & floated together as a bunch. I do plan to keep it, as I really like that plant. Later, I'll post another picture with it planted as it should be & maybe you can let me know what you think then.

Thanks for the suggestions and nice comments

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 22-Jul-2008 22:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Shinigami
 
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I would agree that having something under the sand so that the sand wouldn't have to be so deep would be better. My corys only go over the very surface of the sand, so I feel as if it doesn't actually get mixed as much as you think having bottom feeders would mix it, even with my sand only being about half an inch deep. None of my fish cause mixing all the way down through foraging, except for one time when my 8" royal plec decided to take a sand bath. I do have a couple burrowing catfish, but I wouldn't rely on them to turn over all the sand since I'm not sure of their under-sand behavior...

Hmmm, it was a long time ago I did the prawn method. It probably took about a month? I was going off of no biological filtration in a completely sterile tank, though, so it was a full-length cycle.

I can't say I know exactly how much time it takes for bacterial colonies to die off, but I can say that back in the way beginning when I did full tank teardowns my filters would definitely be off for hours, plus I would remove the filter media anyway for new stuff. My fish all made it through just fine, but now I know I don't have to do all that anymore.

--------------------------------------------
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Post InfoPosted 23-Jul-2008 06:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Robyn,

I don't have much time, but here are a few comments to your tank as seen in the last few pictures from the recent filling:

All, of course, is IMHO

* The design looks very nice and will look even better when plants have grown in to fill the spaces
* I like the more natural look of ADA Bright Sand, it is more natural than the very bright white sand you have now. You mention silica? You know that is the source for diatoms.
* UV sterilizers do different things depending on flow rate. If you calculated yours to work against algae in the water (green water) then turn it on, your beneficial bacteria will be just fine
* I am shocked to see no fast growers, I think you are asking for serious trouble
* Make sure your lighting period is short, I would say no more than 8 hours to begin with
* I know that you by now are a pro with tank setups, so I don't doubt that you will weather this phase, but carefully observe the tank and notice any turn for the worse, and act immediately without panic.

Enough, keep us posted,

Ingo


Proud Member of the New Jersey Aquatic Gardeners Club
Post InfoPosted 23-Jul-2008 14:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Hi Shinigami, thanks again for the info & advice. Re how quickly the beneficial bacteria dies. I'm no scientist, but just going by what I've read here on various posts here over past years. I hope you are right though. I will think further about the wedge thing under the sand. Shame I didn't know of this issue before I put the water in - would have been easier. But, we live & learn.

Hi Ingo - Thanks so much for popping in.
All, of course, is IMHO
Naturally, & I'm always pleased to hear it.
The design looks very nice and will look even better when plants have grown in to fill the spaces
Thanks, a compliment indeed coming from you
I like the more natural look of ADA Bright Sand, it is more natural than the very bright white sand you have now.
I guess that is one of those things that come down to personal tase. I am just the opposite. I didn't like the ADA Bright Sand at all - feeling it looked dull & dirty. In any case, Frank doesn't believe my white sand will stay white for long. (But I have plenty spare to replace it with, if it becomes too dull for me). Besides, I feel the photos show it whiter than it really is.
You mention silica? You know that is the source for diatoms
It's been washed really well. A whole day plus was spent in washing each 20kg of the stuff. I hope I don't have issues. I'll just have to see how it goes.
UV sterilizers do different things depending on flow rate. If you calculated yours to work against algae in the water (green water) then turn it on, your beneficial bacteria will be just fine
Flow rate was calculated so that it's main purpose is to keep the water parasite free for discus. The algae benefit is an added bonus. Given that it is rated to kill parasites, do you think it will still be fine for my beneficial bacteria?
I am shocked to see no fast growers, I think you are asking for serious trouble
Willow hygro is a fast grower (I think). I also have 15 stems of wisteria floating. It's not planted, as ADA's powersand isn't as kind to replanting as other substrates. To minimise the powersand (white pumice stone) rising to the surface when uprooting temporary faster growers, they will just float. I've read they will do the same job, as they would if planted. Plus I just pull them out for photos. Do you think I should have more than 15 stems? I can get more this weekend.
Make sure your lighting period is short, I would say no more than 8 hours to begin with
As my divided breeder had initial issues with this, I have been even more conservative. I think too conservative really. Today 96watts for 3 hours & 192watts for 1 hour. Too short? Should I up the lighting period? In the long term I am aiming for 8-10 hours, but plan to build up to that gradually. Just not sure how gradually to do it.
I know that you by now are a pro with tank setups, so I don't doubt that you will weather this phase, but carefully observe the tank and notice any turn for the worse, and act immediately without panic.
Hahaha, you're too kind. I was intending to pm you for advice soon, though I know you're busy. I'd like to get your opnion about how to modify EI to suit the ADA setup, plus an altered water change routine. I believe I will do 2 x 25%, rather than 1 x 50% weekly changes.

Enough, keep us posted,
Yes I will. Cycling is not going how I hoped. Ammonia is steadily climbing still (0.25, then 1.0 and today 2.0) so I think it may be several weeks before my fish move in. 25% water change today, as is recommended for the first 10 days of an ADA set up.

I know you are terribly busy with your job, but any opinion on my comments/queries would be greatly valued.

Thanks again for all your good advice.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 23-Jul-2008 15:45Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Robyn,

Besides, I feel the photos show it whiter than it really is.

That is so true and one reason why I didn't like it so much. As you well know, I like to take shots of my tanks, and the white was so hard to balance out against the rest of the tank so that everything else looked too dark in comparison.
But my main reason is that it looks more natural, I think

A whole day plus was spent in washing each 20kg of the stuff. I hope I don't have issues. I'll just have to see how it goes.


I don't know if one can wash it off or if it leaches into the water over time, a slow release so to speak. Even the time when you had the water sitting in the bottom should not have helped with that too much as there was no flow. I guess we will see.

Given that it is rated to kill parasites, do you think it will still be fine for my beneficial bacteria?


You got me, I don't know. The people I know use it for algae control. Besides that, I think your tank will populate beneficial bacteria in no time and not rely on the filter to do so. I believe that the filter's beneficial bacteria hosting is way overstated in regards to a planted tank with loads of surface area (on glass, substrate, plants, rocks, wood, and what not). It will maintain itself.

Do you think I should have more than 15 stems? I can get more this weekend.


15 stems in a 10G is fine, but not in a 138G . I have seen it by now quite a few times, the "I can do without fast growers in a high tech tank" speach. And so far, almost all failed. I would not dare to do it except if the tank is not that important to me and serves as a trial anyway. In my lousy 40G I had about 50 to 80 stems of Rotala Rotundifolia to get it settled, plus some other weeds (wisteria and what not).

Today 96watts for 3 hours & 192watts for 1 hour. Too short?


Is that really what you mean? Or is it 2x96 for 3 hours and 4x96 for 1h? Even the latter I would declare as pushing it. You have CO2, you have AquaSoil, you need some light to balance this. I would say that 6h should be the minimum, with maybe 1 or 2 on all 4 lights. Then I would suggest to expand it to 8 hours by 30min on a weekly (2 weeks if it seems to work better) basis, and after that it is up to you

I believe I will do 2 x 25%, rather than 1 x 50% weekly changes


You know that 2x25 is not 50%, right? It is less. If you do so then keep an eye on the ferts and adjust the EI a little downwards. Ideally you could do 10% every day, that would be great. One thing that seems to become more popular in larger tanks these days is an automatic water changer system that does just that.

Oh, and with regards to EI in the first place. Do not add ferts for at least the first month and do 50% water changes at least twice a week. AquaSoil is so potent that you don't need any ferts during that time, then you can start to add K and then, even later, slowly up the fert dosages to EI levels. I would further assume your current high ammonia levels come at least partially from the AquaSoil as it leaches into the water column (not that there is current).

I personally would not add fish and other critters to the tank for a while (month to two), except if you keep their numbers really low and the water changes high, again for AquaSoil reasons. I had no fish/shrimp in my 40G for a looooong time, forgot all about them, LOL.

Again, as usual, all is IMHO only,

Hope this helps,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 24-Jul-2008 19:31Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Given that it is rated to kill parasites, do you think it will still be fine for my beneficial bacteria?



You got me, I don't know. The people I know use it for algae control. Besides that, I think your tank will populate beneficial bacteria in no time and not rely on the filter to do so. I believe that the filter's beneficial bacteria hosting is way overstated in regards to a planted tank with loads of surface area (on glass, substrate, plants, rocks, wood, and what not). It will maintain itself.


Any organism that flows past that UV light a couple times as hour is as good as dead. But like LF said, between the filter, what grows in the substrate, on surfaces of hardscape plus the N removing properties of plants I wouldn't worry about nitrifiers. As I'm sure you already know, I'd avoid stirring up the substrate once it's settled.

Just curious - why bother with the bowl of dead shrimp to begin with? The AS is already leaching plenty of ammonia, it's just going to skew the readings. Keep the plants growing and your eventual fish should be fine.




Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 24-Jul-2008 21:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TW
Hi Ingo & NowherMan6

Re: the white sand. I don't take so many tank photos. Mainly there's a flurry of pics & questions during setup, or major changes, but that's it. I don't tend to play around with my scapes, like you. When I get happy with a layout, it stays. So, lots of pics would be pretty boring for everyone. My tank is for me to look at & (hopefully) enjoy, so what it actually looks like in real life,is more important than how it photographs. Naturally, I would have liked you to like it, but on this one, we will have to be good friends & disagree I just didn't like the darker look of the ADA at all & purposely went looking for a lighter sand with no pH effect.
don't know if one can wash it off or if it leaches into the water over time ....I guess we will see.
Yeah, guess so. Hope it's ok. Think it will be, as it's exactly the same brand/type/grade that many of the long term discus people in Aus use. They claim to have used it for years, including for tanks of wild discus which require pristine water conditions. So, I'll wait to see if I mirror their experience, or strike problems. They also claim it doesn't have the anerobic & compacting issues of other sands (it has larger grains). This issue discussed a few posts higher up. A suggestion from other users (who also have a thicker pfs bed in places) is that at water change time, not only do you agitate with the the python, but gently move a chopstick in the sand to mix it around (not while cycling though).
"I can do without fast growers in a high tech tank" speach
No, I'm not making that speach. Just underestimated what I needed. I will raid LFS this afternoon, but suspect they won't have the amount of fast growing stems you recommend. I will float some - others will weigh down in terracotta pots, unless you strongly recommend otherwise

or is it 2x96 for 3hrs and 4x96 for 1hr
Yes, that's it. Though it has already increased by 1hr since that post. I will do as you suggest & increase to 6hrs total. Maybe 2x96 for 5hrs & 4x96 for 1hr, increasing as you suggest to 8. Thanks for hints

Thanks for EI & WC advice, which I will take on board. Auto water changer system sounds great, but for now I will battle on with my water ager/storage tank & pump.
I had no fish/shrimp in my 40G for a looooong time, forgot all about them, LOL.
hahaha. Agree I can't move fish in until water conditions are pristine, but how could I forget about my beloved discus. The 165L (where they live) is sitting in the middle of the rumpus room floor, with power cords that don't allow me to shut a cupboard & which I trip on every now & again. So I do hope that by at least a month, I can start the staggerred introduction.

It's been a long time NowherMan6. I hope you have some tanks to share here.
Any organism that flows past that UV light a couple times as hour is as good as dead. But like LF said, between the filter, what grows in the substrate, on surfaces of hardscape plus the N removing properties of plants I wouldn't worry about nitrifiers.
I get what you're saying about beneficial bacteria being all over the tank decor, but unsure if you're saying I should (or shouldn't) turn UV on. If it won't slow the cycle down, it would be good for it to be dealing with any algae issues that might crop up.
As I'm sure you already know, I'd avoid stirring up the substrate once it's settled
Do you mean while it's cycling. I'm only taking out water from the mid level water column - no gravel vacing now (apart from a test to see how the sand reacted to the gravel vac). But when it's cycled, I know not to gravel vac ADA AS, but I intend gravel vacing the pfs.
Just curious - why bother with the bowl of dead shrimp to begin with? The AS is already leaching plenty of ammonia, it's just going to skew the readings. Keep the plants growing and your eventual fish should be fine
Never had AS ammonia issues before in my smaller ADA tanks (prev largest is 3ft). Discus, being totally unsuitable as cycling fish, I wanted to do fishless cycle. Hobbyist in Aust can't seem to source pure ammonia, only cloudy. Apparently, the pure is an ingredient in bomb making (or so I'm told) and it's availability is restricted. The prawns seems to be how the Aussies recommend to do a fishless cycle - so that's why I added them. You think I should take them out? My ammonia levels are quite high. Last night tested at 2.0ppm

Thanks for all your input guys.

EDIT: Wiped out LFS supply of wisteria. Additional 50 stems in the tank.

How long does a new tank require the temporary fast growers?


Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 25-Jul-2008 06:26Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Hi Robyn,
In reading the posts since my last entry, I'm concerned
with the impression that one can "dial up or down,"
the flow to kill specific "critters" and not kill
others. This is "sort of true" and could lead to
some errors.

In the Drsfostersmith website, there are a series of
well written articles about UV systems. This is one
of them:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?dept_id=0&siteid=6&acatid=418&aid=435

If you choose too small a pump, while you kill every
living thing that passes through it, you also run the
risk of ruining the system. It depends upon the flow of
water past the bulb to keep it within normal operating
temperatures. These Quartz bulbs run quite hot. Burn
your skin hot!. Do not go below the lowest flow rate
that is specified on your system. If you choose too
high a flow rate then the UV light will barely
affect anything living flowing through the system.
Most will choose the lower of the two rates listed
(Kills bacteria, algae spores, etc.) and will also
kill parasites. Not many who use a UV system choose
the higher flow rate and are concerned only with
parasites ignoring the bacteria and algae.
As was also mentioned you don't want to run it while
cycling the tank, or while medicating the tank.

Also, if you handle the bulb or the quartz sleeve the
bulb fits into, with your bare hands you transfer
body oils to the surfaces. This oil concentrates the
heat and light and the glass will soften and actually
partially melt. This distorts the physical shape of
the bulb, and can make it impossible to remove
the bulb w/o breaking the assembly when it comes time
to replace it. You see this in the old style slide
and movie projectors.

Just some thoughts.

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 25-Jul-2008 16:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Robyn,

... but on this one, we will have to be good friends & disagree

Sure, no problem, but don't come back crying when you find out that you don't like the color anymore

... but gently move a chopstick in the sand to mix it around

I used to do the "chopstick" method (although I used my tweezers for it) for a while in the 29G, and so did a few others in my local club. But independent from each other we all started to just let the sand sit and to leave it alone. I think the anerobic bubbles issue is more common in deeper layers of sand, if it is not a myth in the first place.

I will float some - others will weigh down in terracotta pots, unless you strongly recommend otherwise

You will know better than me if that works for you, especially with the addition of the new other 50 stems of Wisteria (good job on plundering the LFS). I could imagine that this would create quite some shading and as such hinder the healthy growth of the low and light desiring plants at the bottom of the tank. One way to avoid the issue with having to pull the plants out from the AquaSoil is to not root them but to weigh then down with plant weights. My fast growers were placed in the tank like that, but eventually they rooted anyway (and I can tell you Rotala r. can develop quite some large roots in AquaSoil). Nevertheless, pulling them out made some mess, but overall I sure don't regret it.

The 165L (where they live) is sitting in the middle of the rumpus room floor, with power cords that don't allow me to shut a cupboard & which I trip on every now & again.

The fish don't mind the cords and stuff . One month should be good enough to add the first fish, but time will tell when the tank is settled.

... but unsure if you're saying I should (or shouldn't) turn UV on. If it won't slow the cycle down, it would be good for it to be dealing with any algae issues that might crop up.

My personal opinion would be to turn it on. You will not cycle like a plantless tank anyway, but you know this already anyway (as it is not your first planted tank). Just keep your water changes up.

Never had AS ammonia issues before in my smaller ADA tanks

Might have to do with the fact that these tanks always had a large plant mass from the get-go. But it is most common to see ammonia in newly set up AquaSoil tanks, that's why you do the 2x per week 50% water changes in the first few weeks. As a matter of fact, 50% is recommended for every other day in the first two weeks.

How long does a new tank require the temporary fast growers?

I would suggest to watch the tank and when all looks stable for at least two weeks then start to remove them in stages, some each week. Remember, you have time to make this tank look beautiful, no need to rush.

Hope this helps, and as usual, all is IMHO,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 25-Jul-2008 17:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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If it won't slow the cycle down, it would be good for it to be dealing with any algae issues that might crop up.


I'm still not sure how it would slow the cycle down, especially since, as LF said, you're probably not going to get a traditional cycle while you're stuffed with plants.

As for algae control, keep in mind it will control green water but that's really about it. You can still get BBA, hair algae, diatoms, staghorn - the whole gamut really.

Very old picture, but this was the result of a UV filter and sub-par tank husbandry.



Just wanted to make that distinction in case there was any question - UV filters will not prevent most kinds of algae

Do you mean while it's cycling. I'm only taking out water from the mid level water column - no gravel vacing now (apart from a test to see how the sand reacted to the gravel vac). But when it's cycled, I know not to gravel vac ADA AS, but I intend gravel vacing the pfs.


I just meant in general, especially once the tank settles. Stirring up organic stuff from the substrate is a good way to foul the water. Especially with the peat and other nutrient content of AS, it's a good way to get algae outbreaks and possibly cause stress to your fish. That's all I meant.


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 25-Jul-2008 21:49Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Thanks for the replies, Frank, Ingo & NowerwhereMan6

Thanks for the Link Frank. Very helpful. Also, I was careful to match recommended flow rate for max parasite /algae kill on the UV with my filter.

Ingo - these pics are for you, if you pop back

Before Temporary Fast Growers


After Temporary Fast Growers


Sort of ruins the look ...... BUT, I know it's for the best Planted all the wisteria in pots (except I have one floater), so I don't have to deal with the little pumice stones (AS Power Sand) that pops to the surface whenever I pull up a plant.

The shot also shows the old 43G on a removalist type trolley. It's been like this since May, with power cords hanging around, preventing the cupboard behind it shutting
The fish don't mind the cords and stuff . One month should be good enough to add the first fish, but time will tell when the tank is settled.

But hubby does mind. Plus the fish weren't too happy when I tripped over the power cord the night & unknowingly pulled out the filter & heater plugs. 24 hours later I noticed - and that was reported as being our coldest day so far this year I've tucked the cords underneath it more now, so I don't do this again.
Just keep your water changes up.
Been doing around 30% daily. Tomorrow will be 1 week since water. I will drop them to every 2nd day, until day 10 & then will see how I go without water changes until it's cycled. Or, should I keep up weekly changes till then. My past practice with uncycled tanks was not to do any water changes at all till cycled, so this changing of water bus is new for me (when cycling).

Thanks for the algae pic, NowherMan6. I knew that, but thanks for checking that I did. I haven't turned it on yet, as water is not looking green. I removed the prawns, as the AS is producing enough ammonia on it's own. The water quality immediately improved (eg looks clearer & smells better, too for sure). It was developing a smell If the water starts to go green, I'll re-think.

Ammonia is now 1.0ppm.

Thanks for all your input, guys /:'

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 27-Jul-2008 11:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Frank, for some reason the pictures in your link don't work, but I think the 25W Aquastep that site sells for $135.00 is the same one as I have. The reason I'm unsure is they don't mention the brand (Pentair) and the largish price difference. Anyway, this is the one I have http://www.aquariumsuppliesaustralia.com.au/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=2186 although the bottom part of the link gives the specs for the 15W & not the 25W.

Cheers, Robyn

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 28-Jul-2008 00:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Robyn,
Hummm... That's odd, when I clicked on the brand names
of the UV systems in the first chart, all but one worked
and gave me pictures of each unit. The one gave me an
"I'm sorry" picture with a dog looking sad.

Your's looks great. I noticed the different wattages
available. I don't know if they sell a unit that you can
change bulbs in and perhaps change taps on the transformer,
or if they sell three different models in that brand.

I gotta admit, I sure wish I had someplace to put at tank
like that one! And, I do agree 24 inches would be better
than 18.. but gosh!!! So many possibilities with
aquascaping!

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 28-Jul-2008 01:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Hi Frank
Hummm... That's odd, when I clicked on the brand names of the UV systems in the first chart, all but one worked and gave me pictures of each unit. The one gave me an "I'm sorry" picture with a dog looking sad.
I'll try on the home PC to see if that shows the picture. All I get here are is an X, to click to show the picture - but clicking it doesn't work.
Your's looks great. I noticed the different wattages available. I don't know if they sell a unit that you can change bulbs in and perhaps change taps on the transformer, or if they sell three different models in that brand.
They sell 3 different sizes in the brand. I bought the biggest 25W).
I gotta admit, I sure wish I had someplace to put at tank like that one! And, I do agree 24 inches would be better than 18.. but gosh!!! So many possibilities with
aquascaping!
Do you mean 18" wide. It's 19" wide, but still would be so much better if it was 24" wide. I had the darn cupboard before I got into tanks, so I am stuck. In case you meant the height, it's 20" high, as hubby insisted it matched the height of the African tank, which it is near. Again, I would have liked 24" high.

Cheers, Robyn.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 28-Jul-2008 06:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
Yup, I meant the width. 2 feet would have been
"nicer" but heck, it's great!
Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 28-Jul-2008 08:16Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Frank, the pics in the link worked at home. This is the one I have, the 25W model http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13954 I wish our 2 countries shared the same power voltage (Aus = 240W, US = 110W). Otherwise, I would buy all my tank electrical appliances from US on line & have them shipped. The price difference is in the $100's & I bought 2 of them

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 29-Jul-2008 05:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Robyn,
For some reason it never occured to me that you all
used 240V as a household standard vs the 110VAC that
we use here in the States.
I knew Europe was different but not Ya'll.
I wonder, is your AC Voltage at 60 Hz as is
ours? Perhaps the expense of a converter might make
it more profitable to purchase the less expensive
stuff from the States?

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 29-Jul-2008 11:08Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Frank,

you won't believe it but the Aussies have a lot in common with Europe. They use the metric system instead of puzzing around with 3/8 of an obscure inch versus what-not and they calculate distance in kilometers versus miles

Buying from Europe is probably not an option due to the exchange rate of the Euro and shipment charges ...
Post InfoPosted 30-Jul-2008 00:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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We spell the British way as well, which is why sometimes you might think I can't spell (sometimes you'd be right, too), but a lot of the time it will be because we spell the English way & USA have changed the spelling of some English words.

Buying from Europe is probably not an option due to the exchange rate of the Euro and shipment charges ...
Buying from US certainly is an option. As at today, the Australian Dollar = 0.952925 US Dollar. I recently bought a Timex GPS Navman (for running - not for street directions) on-line from www.prosportwatches.com Shipping was only about $29 to Aus from memory. Again, I saved $100's. The biggest hassle was that Timex wouldn't allow prosport to sell to an end user outside of the US, so we had to scrounge around to find someone in the US to have the item posted to, who then posted it to us. Other products from that site can be sent direct (eg I nearly bought the garmin instead & they can post that direct). I don't think the site you gave me, Frank, ships to Aus (not positive, though) but I have another US aquarium site that will. I can get converters you mention, but it's just one more thing to have to plug in & I don't really want that. Just wish we had the same voltage or that someone would stop over charging us here. I'll get off my soap box now


Claudia, did you get my 2 pm's. I'm still not sure if one of them went through to you. You didn't say anything about my new tank pictures. Did you see them?

Cheers, Robyn.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 30-Jul-2008 01:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by TW
Hey Claudia, here's an example of the savings on my UV purchase, if I had bought on line from US.

I paid AU$858 for 2 x Pentair Aquastep 25W UV's

Link provided to me by Frank has them selling for US$135.

Converted at today's exchange rate, I would pay $AU282 for 2 of the US products (plus postage), instead of AU$858. A massive saving.

Cheers
TW
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EditedEdited by catdancer
We spell the British way as well, which is why sometimes you might think I can't spell


Don't worry, I learned British English in school and I prefer the metric system not only because I am still a European by heart but because I am a scientist (science uses the metric system).

I did get the PM THANK YOU and I owe you detailed responses to be delivered ASAP!!

I am aghast about the prices you have to pay in AUS and I think I already commented on the difficulties to receive plants from abroad (although this is also very difficult here in the US!)

Claudia
Post InfoPosted 30-Jul-2008 05:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Da...Dum .. Da...Dum
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male australia
Hi Robyn ... Tank looks fantastic .... Like Ingo I would suggest that you plan to make room for some fast growers to be a permanant part of your scape . I always found Giant Hygro does the job in a back corner for me . Unlike Ingo .. I love the white sand look ...hope it stays white for you over time .


Garry
Post InfoPosted 02-Sep-2008 14:59Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
poisonwaffle
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Mega Fish
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male usa
First off, I'd like to say that the tank (aside from the temp fast growers) is looking great so far! And I agree with you that the new pool filter sand looks better (though less natural) than what your originally had in there. I do think that you need a little more 'big' hardscape... maybe a few large rocks... possibly one propped up/laying across/over one of the rock ridges?

About the hydrogen sulfide... no, it is NOT a myth. It's a very real problem in sand. I've had it in two of my tanks before. I had a 10 gallon tank with an RUGF filter that I built specifically to stir the sand... there were a few dead spots, and when I was digging in the sand about a year later, I ran into a few pockets, and it was nasty! I also had it in my 29 gal planted tank (which had pea gravel and MTS... no sand). I couldn't clean the areas that were too densely planted, and the MTS didn't go in the plant roots... I had a lot of pockets when I tore down that tank... bleh. Anyway, be careful about hydrogen sulfide... it's nasty. I'd put some MTS in the tank to keep the sand stirred (even if it's shallow sand), and be sure to manually stir it around every now and then.

You say you're planning on adding fish every few days... I don't see why you even need to go that fast at all. You've got a lot of time, money, and hard work put into this tank... why risk it by adding fish too fast? I vote a good 2-3 months to let the tank not only cycle, but to let the plants establish root systems and to let micro-organisms (paramecia, random protists, infusoria, etc... just not algae and diatoms) establish themselves. It may not be entirely necessary, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to do it. It'd also be a chance to let your fish QT for longer.

Btw, Australia does have the same 240v 50Hz power standard as Europe.

And I need to quit babbling...

Anyway, the tank looks good so far... have fun with it, and keep us updated
Post InfoPosted 04-Sep-2008 14:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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female australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited by tw
Hi Garry

Thanks for popping in. The only permanent fast grower is the Willow Hygro. For the time being, still many pots of wisteria in there. I have begun the task of gradually removal.

Hi Poisonwaffle

Thanks for the tank compliment. I don't think I have room for additional big pieces of hardscape. I've several large pieces of wood in there & by the time you work around them, deduct sand space - I don't have much room for plants. Mightn't seem so in the pics - but in reality, when looking for planting space, already there is not so much. Any place from where a piece of wood ends to the tank walls, another piece of wood, rock or sand is not very much space at all. I appreciate the advice though.

Re: sand & anaerobic issues. I've asked about this on several forums. Here's a summary of the end result of my queries:-

1. pool filter sand has larger grains than sand usually used in tanks. Because of the larger grain size, it doesn't compact.
2. pool filter sand is made to stay moving, ie not compact, otherwise it would not filter. Sand that clumps would do so, even in the current of a pumped water column
3. To prevent sand compacting,when you vacuum/clean the substrate use something like a chopstick or BBQ stick to turn the sand, so dead spots & pockets do not develop in the first place. Use gravel vac to dig down in non planted areas to turn the sand. Plants roots will aerate the areas they are in.

I've received enough advice from long term users of pool filter sand in discus tanks, that I feel safe. I always stir up the sand when I vac. Means removing pots each time, but as these are being gradually removed, it will get easier with each pot removed. Even if plant roots don't aerate sand, I don't have plants in the sand, so I'm able to stir up all areas of sand with each water change. Water change is twice a week, so it's stirred fairly often. I'm very grateful to everyone who brought up the issue here though, as I wasn't aware of it previously. I have some well loved discus, which I would not want to loose to hydrogen sulphide poisoning.

You say you're planning on adding fish every few days... I don't see why you even need to go that fast at all
A big motivation was the trolley with the old tank & grumpy hubby who was sick of it. Because I had planned for this tank so long in advance, one of it's 2 filters was running on another tank since Sept 07. The 2nd filter was running on another tank for several months. The tank was set up as a terrarium for 2 months, which according to Tom Barr = a fully cycled tank on 1st fill-up. I researched and planned for so long, that I was fairly sure it was safe. Still, I didn't just rush in & do it. Water tests were done, yet more advice asked & 1st residents observed carefully. By now, all are in the tank, very happy and my rumpus room no longer has a "trolley tank". Rest assured, I wouldn't have gone ahead with stocking, had my discus shown signs of distress - grumpy hubby or not LOL. The fish didn't need to QT. They are already my long owned & loved pets, many eat out of my hand. I do have 3 new wild discus in QT though.

The only fish I wish I hadn't added are my sterbai corries. HC root system wasn't sufficiently established. They promptly dug it all up. Given up on HC now, as if I replant it, they just dig it out again. Grrrr. Currently deciding an alternative foreground plant.
Btw, Australia does have the same 240v 50Hz power standard as Europe
. Yes, as does most of Asia. USA seems to mostly be the odd man out. It was USA prices I was comparing to. At that time, exchange rate between AU$ & US$ was favourable for me.
And I need to quit babbling...
Not all. Pls keep up the babbling

Sorry, this post ended up longer than thought.


Cheers
TW
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