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Co2 Suggestions
October 10, 2010
10:48 am
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jayuk
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Im setting up my 1st planted tank and would welcome any ideas on a Co2 system ,
which one would be a good starter kit etc , after copious amounts of reading and
investigating ive come to the conclusion its an alien language to me lol .

Im looking for something simple to use , and have seen a few with mixed reviews
so im at a bit of a loss i have to be honest . So if any of you guys have a system in place or ideas
any info would be very welcome .
Tank set up , juwel rio 180 , external filter ex700 , hydor eth 200 heater , caribsea eco complete
planting substrate and various plants , which seem to be doing well but in the long term i understand
co2 will make a big difference .

Thanks...jay .

October 12, 2010
10:56 pm
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jayuk
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QUOTE (jayuk @ Oct 10 2010, 11:31 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Im setting up my 1st planted tank and would welcome any ideas on a Co2 system ,
which one would be a good starter kit etc , after copious amounts of reading and
investigating ive come to the conclusion its an alien language to me lol .

Im looking for something simple to use , and have seen a few with mixed reviews
so im at a bit of a loss i have to be honest . So if any of you guys have a system in place or ideas
any info would be very welcome .
Tank set up , juwel rio 180 , external filter ex700 , hydor eth 200 heater , caribsea eco complete
planting substrate and various plants , which seem to be doing well but in the long term i understand
co2 will make a big difference .

Thanks...jay .


Oh well i guess not .

October 12, 2010
11:18 pm
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Bully
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With a 180l tank you are best of looking at bottled CO2, either via fire extinguisher or a commercial product such as those available from TMC and JBL. The natural CO2 options available (those that rely on you making up a yeast mixture) will likely become very cumbersome on a 180l tank, not only that but, they are more difficult to control effectively.

Another option is liquid carbon, and one of the best value ones is EasyCarbo. However, adding CO2 or liquid carbon is going to mean you will likely see an increase in maintenance required, not just in pruning, but in nutrients required and possibly in light required too. If you believe yourself to be a complete beginner to CO2 then my advice would be to go the liquid carbon route, the results appear to be not quite as good as you would get with CO2 although you will get a degree of control, daily dosing is best (split the recommended weekly dose into 7), and be sure not to overdose as it will be toxic to fish.

With all that said, if you are satisfied with the results you currently have, then why bother at all? /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

October 13, 2010
10:10 am
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jayuk
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Many thank's for the reply bully , i must admit i do consider myself a complete beginner with
the planted set-up , keeping africans for many years i had no need for plants except the odd
anubia and java fern , which were the only thing they never totally destroyed .

Reading between the lines i think you could be right and maybe wait a while , im pleased with
the results so far without the addition of co2 , so will allow them to grow on a while and the last
thing i want to do is harm the livestock . Maybe a better idea would be to set up another tank
and try co2 without any fish so i can 'tinker' around to gain experience with dosing , lighting etc ,
and see the results down the line /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />.

Jay .

October 13, 2010
7:43 pm
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Bluedave
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Jay - I would agree with Bully, if your plants are doing well and continuing to grow then do you really need to add CO2? Things will grow more quickly and you will have increased maintenance etc.

In a tank that big the fermentation types are useless - unless you put 2 or 3 set ups on there - they are also pretty hit and miss which can lead to algae problems.

Liquid CO2 will help but as Bully implies it will not be as good as injecting CO2 - probably more expensive for not so good results as well.

Adding CO2 to a set up will not help too much if you haven't got plenty of light either. Your plants thrive on a balance of CO2, light and ferts - you don't get the growth if any one of these is missing. The lighting in Juwel tanks is always low (usually around 1 WPG) and you really don't need to start worrying about CO2 until you are over about 2 WPG. In my planted Trigon I added 2 lots of interpet T5 tubes to complement the pair of T8 tubes that you get with the Juwel tanks - bumped the lighting up to about 3 WPG. Was a great planted set up but I was hacking back the jungle every week. Gave away or composted loads of plants every week!

What lighting levels have you got? Are you adding ferts - that may be more beneficial than CO2 if you have lower light levels. If you really do want a lush tank then you should consider CO2 but you need to ensure lighting levels and fert regimes are also in place.

Co2 does seem daunting but theres nowt to it and you can pick up some pretty cheap systems nowadays - I have a sera system in the shed that I used on a number of tanks (including the Trigon discussed above), the biggest of which was 500 litres, cost about £180 8 years ago - I think you can pick them up for less than £100 now.

October 13, 2010
10:20 pm
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jayuk
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Hi dave , thanks for the info too , the lighting i have is the standard juwel twin T5's 45w ,
im also using tetra plantamin fert which was suggested to me by my lfs guy . Apparently
it has a slow release system so you only dose once every 4 weeks , if you know of or
suggest any others that may work better i'll give them a try .

After reading many articles on planted set-ups with co2 the constant hacking back seems
to be the general rule , but the plants i have do seem to be doing well and growing nicely
so i'll take both your advice and not add any co2 to this tank and just let the plants along
with the fert run it course and see how it goes .

I also have a little 60l which at some point i would like to play around with and try co2 ,
to gain experience more then anything else , but without any fish so if i make any errors
it's a learning curve without harming any occupants , which is the only way to learn .

So be warned chaps ill probably be picking your brains regularly , but many thank's
for the reply's , very much appreciated .

Jay .

October 14, 2010
8:11 pm
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Bluedave
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In a 60 litre tank you could get away with EasyCarbo, just remember the same applies for the smaller tank - if you haven't got the light levels you probably won't need CO2.

Upping your light levels and adding CO2 has some stunning effects though - you just have to be prepared to put the extra work in!

P1150746.jpgImage Enlarger

Ask away when your ready mate - we sometimes take a little while to respond but usually come back with something worth listening too (well maybe not me but most other peope on the site!)

With regards ferts - if what your using is working then don't worry about changing them. Regular dosing and water changes are likely to give better results - I used to use a daily fert and a wekly water change.

October 14, 2010
11:07 pm
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jayuk
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Love the lush growth in the tank pic , i doubt mine would look as good but it does
look impressive dave , very nice . I can see your point about maintenance but have
to admit keeping africans for years and the constant cleaning due to the amount of
fish in small bodies of water , im kind of use to it and time isnt a problem although
will be a different regime .

Ok i think ive spoken too soon , came home tonight to find that on closer inspection
some of the plant leaves are turning slightly brown , its deffo not algae so im at a
loss . If im correct im running 2 x T5's at 45w each therefore giving me around 2.25w
per gallon ? , and its very bright in the tank , so i assume it cant be lighting so only
lack of fert or carbon is the issue ? I'll try to get some pics up maybe it would give a
better idea .

Im now thinking maybe go the easycarbo route at 1st and see how it works , but im
running carbon in the filter , which i dont normally use apart from cycling a new tank ,
would i need to remove this because of the absorbtion properties before i dose or leave
it in and dose ?

Found a site that sells easycarbo 1liter for £16.99 and seems cheap compared to other
sites so ill order some tomorrow .

Sorry about the many questions , your help is much appreciated so thanks again .

Jay .

October 15, 2010
7:22 pm
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Bluedave
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no problem with the questions mate.

I'd take the carbon out - no need for it really although if ou do want to keep it in it shouldn't affect the easycarbo.

Try the easy carbo for a bit - see how it helps, but remember that you need to dose regularly as irregular CO2 can be a trigger for algae.

I'd also up the fert dosing - how many plants you got in there? The more plants, the more ferts!

A pic would be great - we like to see peoples set ups.

October 15, 2010
7:26 pm
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Bluedave
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oh and people always say that their tanks will never look as good - rubbish! Plenty of light, plenty of ferts, bit of CO2, regular water changes and a bit of TLC - easy mate. (It did take 18 months of TLC to get there though, so patience helps as well, lol).

October 15, 2010
9:13 pm
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Bully
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Leaves turning brown can be expected with some plants, and much of it will depend on plant species, how long the tank has been set up, and other parameters. Brown algae is present in most new set ups, and is a diatoms algae, you will know if you have this as it is usually pretty easy to wipe away. With your tank, and that lighting, you should be able to grow nearly all available aquatic plants. Your challenge will be ensuring your plants are always out-competing algae, otherwise the algae will take a hold. One way to quickly establish the balance is to plant loads of fast growing stem plants, and over time replace them with slower growing species, aim to have something like 80% -90% of the substrate planted, and keep on top of pruning as stem plants will grow quickly and shade the slower growing plants.

As Bluedave says, a pic would be great /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

October 17, 2010
10:45 pm
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jayuk
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Thank's again for the quick response chaps , posted a couple of pics as promised ,
just waiting now for the easycarbo to arrive and start dosing , ill update the pics
hopefully as the plants start to flourish fingers crossed .
The grass at the front looks a little regimental but im hoping to shape it as it grows
to form a patch of carpet .

I think at some point i will install a co2 system its just a case of choosing what 1 ,
there's a new 1 from warehouse aquatics called sicce co2 life , cant find out much
info ive no doubt because its new but and opinions are most welcome .

Attached files

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October 17, 2010
10:54 pm
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MatsP
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I'm 99% sure the "palm" plants are not strictly an aquatic plant. They will not grow (and ultimately will die) when kept permanently under water.

Sorry, but I can't help with CO2 systems - I intentionaly do not use one since it's counterproductive for the fish I like.

--
Mats

October 18, 2010
7:45 pm
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Bluedave
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great looking set up mate - will soon grow out nice that!

I agree with Matsp unfortunately, you've got a fern in there which are bog plants, only used to bein submerged for part of the year, they'll start to fall to bits soon!

Your third pic looks like Bacopa (monnieri maybe? - have lovely purple flowers if you let them grow out of the tank) and you've got a couple of nice amazon swords. Do you know what the stuff in the foreground is? I can't see it very well in the pic but it looks like Lilaeopsis brasiliensis. Whats the red plant in the background behind the vallis, can't make that out either but it looks great.

What fish you planning on?

Not seen the CO2 system at warehouse aquatics - will have to have a look.

October 18, 2010
10:05 pm
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jayuk
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Thank's mate , im hoping it will grow out well with some tlc lol , just done some research
and it is the plant you mentioned in the foreground also known as brazilian micro sword ,
but it appears ive planted it wrong . Apparently i should spread it out and not plant it
in clumps so to speak because it will grow much quicker and not collect detrius , so ill
do a bit of re-arranging .

I must confess the red plant at the back is a silk plant a friend gave me , its from his
chamelion vivarium , it moves slightly with the water flow and isnt so rigid but , the
main purpose was to hide the join in the 3D background so yep i cheated lol .

Ill remove the fern and have a look at something else with a bit of colour to try
and break it up a bit too .
If you do get a chance to check out that co2 system your opinion is appreciated
mate thank's .
As for fish i wanted some ctenopoma acutirostre , leopard bushfish , was thinking
maybe a pair with some dithers that are big enough not to become a snack .
Congo tetra's seem to be the most common but im thinking maybe neon dwarf
rainbows , they grow to the same size and similar behaviour but jury's still out
on that .
The other option is angels and some emperor tetra's , which im not sure yet but
it wont be heavily stocked and i want a simple look and not so busy .

October 23, 2010
3:04 pm
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jayuk
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Just a quick update , decided to opt for a pressurised system from deltec , managed to get it for £120 ,at a later date ill get the adaptor to fit a re-usable cylinder .
Also added some more plants to fill in the open spaces a bit more with fast growing stem plants as you suggested . Just waiting now for the co2 system to arrive then see how things go .

October 23, 2010
6:20 pm
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Bully
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Well, you're really into it now /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Does the kit come with a drop checker? If not, I highly recommend one as it will help you to gauge whether or not you are maintaining not only the correct level of CO2, but also a safe level for your fish.

OK, just looked at the Deltec kit and it doesn't appear to have a drop checker, I would consider one essential equipment these days when using CO2. Here's a link:

Search for Drop Checker on Aqua Essentials

The Flora Grow one comes with 2 years worth of indicator liquid, so represents good value for money.

October 23, 2010
8:31 pm
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jayuk
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Im hooked now ! after lots of research i decided to do whats best for the long term ,
i did the same for many years with the africans ive kept , and many of them , and never
cut corners , so being my 1st planted ill do the same , instead this time its more about
time choosing plants and equiptment as opposed to carefully selecting compatible cichlids lol .

I did read about the importance of drop checkers and ordered a red sea 1 with fluid at the
same time , but the 1 you showed does represent good value...wished id seen it 1st but
thanks for the link and info .

Ive no doubt ill need advice when setting up the co2 system so watch this space /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> ,
and ill update as things progress thanks for all the help .

October 24, 2010
7:12 am
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Bluedave
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Good to hear you've taken the plunge!

If you added more plants why haven't you added an updated pic? /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

I imagine you'll have loads of questions when setting it up - I did! Ask away mate.

October 24, 2010
9:01 am
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jayuk
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I'll get on the case immediately sir ! /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> lol , couple of questions already

1st im running an external 700 lph with the spray bar pointing toward the
surface for movement , also a koralia nano 900lph , now do i continue with the
surface movement or once co2 is added create less surface movement
as possible , so not to send most of the co2 straigh out the tank ? .

Ive read that planted set ups need a certain amount of movement because
algae dislikes it , but at the same time plants dont like a strong current so im
confused a little .

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