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  1. JamesC

    Just got back from TGM...

    Remember that Brighty K also contains carbonate so will raise you alkalinity (KH) James
  2. JamesC

    Just got back from TGM...

    There is potassium (K) in both their TPN and TPN+ products. Here is the breakdown of TPN+ from the Tropica website. N 1.34% P 0.10% K 1.03% Mg 0.39% S 0.91% B 0.004% Cu 0.006% Fe 0.07% Mn 0.04% Mo 0.002% Zn 0.002%
  3. JamesC

    Fish death survey

    I lost one but it was a cardinal that was about 6 years old. James
  4. JamesC

    cloudy because of trace

    Some people have clouding problems whilst others don't. There are too many factors like light, water compostion, etc to say for sure if you will get clouding or not. Changing to another powdered Fe-EDTA based trace mix won't fix your problem. You need to dose one that uses Fe-HEEDTA. The main...
  5. JamesC


    Hardness of water comprises of 2 parts, temporary and permanent or more commonly known to the fishkeeping world as GH and KH. The 2 tend to go hand in hand so when GH is high so is KH. When you have a KH of 15+ I can tell you that a good number of plants don't do at all well. Then again some...
  6. JamesC


    I can name a couple more that I have in my tank that uses RO water. Utricularia graminifolia and rotala macrandra. In hard tap water they just die. Without a doubt this is the case. I only have cardinals but compared to when they are in hard water their colours are much more vivid. I would also...
  7. JamesC

    Can a Fire Extinguisher damage a Regulator?

    Yes a regulator can be damaged by a fire extinguisher for the reasons you have given. As long as the CO2 rate through the regulator is slow the CO2 has time to vapourise in the syphon tube that is inside the fire extinguisher. If however the rate is too fast then you will get liquid CO2 in the...
  8. JamesC

    Brain Teaser

    Bit difficult not to when opening the page as it's right in front of me. I've a large screen so can get a lot on in one go. First answer given 10 minutes after the puzzle was posted.
  9. JamesC

    Brain Teaser

    Well thank you to those who couldn't manage to keep quiet and had to post the answer, even after Dave asked not to. Just ruins it for everybody else.
  10. JamesC

    T8 alternative to Arcadia's T5 Plant Pro

    These are what I used to use - http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs-Tubes/Aquarium-10000K. Give quite a purple light very similar to the triplus/triton tubes. HTH James
  11. JamesC

    EI ratio

    Seems good to me. All you need to worry about now is CO2 and flow. James
  12. JamesC

    EI ratio

    This calculator works out how much build ups you get when adding ferts - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10937. If you do weekly 50% water changes then it's impossible to get double your weekly dosing levels. If you carry on the maths you were doing for several weeks you'll see...
  13. JamesC

    EI ratio

    Generally speaking there is often a fair amount of potassium in your tapwater so you don't normally need to add any more to the standard EI dosing. The 30ppm level is normally the amount you want and not how much to dose each week. So adding 15ppm per week and doing 50% water changes will result...
  14. JamesC

    fert recipe

    The parts you are missing are the Nitrogen and Phosphorus which can be added in the form of potassium nitrate and potassium phophate. For a standard dose of TPN+ of 5ml per 50 litres you add the equivalent of 5.9ppm nitrate and 0.31ppm phosphate. So if you wished to make up a separate solution...
  15. JamesC

    iPhone Apps

    Don't forget the apps that work with this forum. There are 2 to choose from, but they both do the same thing more or less. http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9979 http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11322 James
  16. JamesC

    Ammonia spike with new Akadama substrate, help!

    How much miraclegrow did you put in? You only need a sprinkling (1-2 tablespoons per square foot) on the bottom. This does need to be capped with a good quantity of akadama to prevent leaching. One of akadama's great properties is that it readily adsorbs ammonium (NH4+) - think of kitty litter...
  17. JamesC

    Storing PH meter

    pH probes should ideally be kept in a 4 Molar Potassium Chloride solution which can also be purchased of fleabay. Never store them in RO or DI water. James
  18. JamesC

    Born Again Skateboarder

    Been a bit quiet recently as I've been busy and also I've got a really sore back after building the construction below. You wouldn't believe how much it weighs and I had to manouver it into place. Not quite sure if I built it for my son or me but the wife knows for sure it was for the big kid in...
  19. JamesC

    The Importance of GH Booster.

    Cool, probably wasn't potassium then. But yes GH Booster contains loads of potassium sulphate and depending what one you use it often has more potassium sulphate than the calcium and magnesium sulphate. Bit of a con really, at least Seachem call their one Equilibrium which is much more...
  20. JamesC

    The Importance of GH Booster.

    Great you got it sorted. Remember though that GH Booster contains quite a lot of potassium sulphate as well and it may be this that is causing your plants to suddenly pearl. From my own experience I've noticed that adding potassium has a greater immediate effect on plants than adding calcium or...
  21. JamesC

    Akadama - A cheap substrate

    GH solution is really just calcium and magnesium salts, or you could just use calcium. Tapwater contains these so the cheapest and easiest way is to just soak in tapwater for a week or two doing a water change every now and again if you want. Many people don't bother with doing this and just...
  22. JamesC

    Chemical abbreviations

  23. JamesC

    Water Board Results

  24. JamesC

    Calcium sulphate

    Gypsum is the dihydrate which is what I use and what AE and Fluid Sensor sell. It isn't that soluble but does dissolve in time. When first added to the tank it may create a milkiness for a couple of hours. The other form is the hemihydrate which is plaster of paris. It gets hot when water is...
  25. JamesC

    fissidens and liquid co2

    It can vary from tank to tank. Some people report no problems whilst others do. James
  26. JamesC

    Glutaraldehyde - Other names and uses

    You asked an almost identical question in this thread which I replied to - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10557 The product is a mixture of chemicals. It has 150g glutaraldehyde and also 100g of a Quartenary Ammonium Compound in 1 litre of water. It is a pretty nasty solution...
  27. JamesC

    New online plant store

    Could I ask that all questions and correspondance for plantedtanks.co.uk be asked on their website and not on the forum here. Thanks James
  28. JamesC

    Adding salt to the aquarium water....is it a good thing?

    My local Maidenhead Aquatics, but I'm sure a home brew one is fine as it's food grade. James
  29. JamesC

    Adding salt to the aquarium water....is it a good thing?

    Your water is nearly RO water anyway. Adding the remineralising agent as it is would be fine for your water. Not sure what you mean by stablity. The chemicals don't break down and the plants don't use much so the GH remains constant. I do my water changes using 25l carboys so I just add the...
  30. JamesC

    Adding salt to the aquarium water....is it a good thing?

    Just in case you haven't seen it you may wish to read this thread all about water hardness - http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=4869. As sodium isn't multivalent it plays no part in the GH of water and should be minimised in planted tanks. With your very soft water I would increase the...
  31. JamesC

    Your opinons on this reactor??

    The bees knees. This one is for very high flow rate filters/pumps as it has the bypass valve on it. I use the one that doesn't have the bypass valve and think it is a brilliant piece of kit. James
  32. JamesC

    New online plant store

    I've been contacted by a new plant supplier which looks quite promising. If anybody wishes to give them a try I'd like to hear back on your views. Website is http://www.plantedtanks.co.uk There is a 10% discount off your order. Use UKAPS1 as the checkout code. This will only be available for UK...
  33. JamesC

    Fishless cycling and EI dosing

    You don't fishless cycle planted tanks. I would stop all ammonia dosing and do a water change. If you really want to do a fishless cycle then take the plants out and turn off the lights until it is complete. Adding large amounts of ammonia to a brightly lit planted tank is asking for mega...
  34. JamesC


    You don't want to be putting that stuff in your tank. Glutaraldehyde is bad enough but definetly not QAC's. If you use it at work as a sanitiser then it will also do a good job of sanitising your tank. James
  35. JamesC

    Potassium Chloride KCL

    Personally I'd use potassium sulphate but the others you mention will work also if not dosed too much. James
  36. JamesC

    Potassium Chloride KCL

    KCl won't hurt livestock unless you put loads in. I use KCl as do others but you just have to be aware that adding too much can cause problems with your plants. What are you trying to achieve is the real question and why do you think you need to add extra K? If dosing pot nitrate and pot...
  37. JamesC

    Potassium Chloride KCL

    K2CO3 raises alkalinity which depending on your setup and how much you dose may or may not be a good thing KCl adds chloride which in very small doses is beneficial but plants don't like too much (read salt) If you want to add potassium the best thing to use is potassium sulphate which is very...
  38. JamesC

    Dosing EI causing Cloudy water?

    It doesn't make much difference if you dose the macros and traces on alternate days or the same day as the phosphate is in the water anyway. As your water is very hard you may have cloudiness problems if you use an EDTA based trace mix like what Aqua Essentials or Fluidsensor sell. The answer is...
  39. JamesC

    Does accuracy of 4dKH solution matter?

    There are lots of posts around how to make your own 4dKH solution and how important it is to be accurate, but does it really matter? When you add a couple of mls to your drop checker and then add some drops of bromothymol blue you are in effect diluting the 4dKH solution. I've seen it...
  40. JamesC

    kH disapears in tank

    KH test kits don't measure carbonate hardness but instead alkalinity. This thread explains a lot more about it - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=4869. Therefore if you add a buffer then the alkalinity that your KH test kit measures will change. pH up buffers are normally HCO3...
  41. JamesC

    Fish welfare vs CO2 levels.

    Fish welfare has popped up before. Some people like to buy fish for a certain scape only to return them some weeks later. Others like to treat them as pets and keep them until they die. As long as the fish are well looked after and transported with care then there shouldn't imho be that much...
  42. JamesC

    kH disapears in tank

    I lived in Waterloo and went to the British School Of Brussels in Tervuren. So mainly spoke English but also learnt French fairly well. Do you have much wood in your tank? Can't think of anything else unless you are adding phosphate buffers. James
  43. JamesC

    kH disapears in tank

    Hi Bert, Great to see someone from Belgium. I spent 12 years of my young life living in Brussels. Anyway what substrate are you using? Clay substrates often lower the KH of tanks but over time this does slow down and stop. Wood can also lower KH but not that quickly. James
  44. JamesC

    Easycarbo Short term fix or not?

    They don't put any warnings on the label as by law they don't have to. Would you buy an aquarium product if it had these warnings which I've taken from the MSDS for aqueous glutaraldehyde? James
  45. JamesC

    Easycarbo Short term fix or not?

    Doesn't sound too good Paulo. If you don't mind I'd be interested in hearing what your doctors says about it. I noticed that in the link provided in this discussion - Is this guy bonkers?! - Tom Barr says this about gluteraldehyde/Excel, Easy Carbo etc. James
  46. JamesC

    Easycarbo Short term fix or not?

    Not that I'm aware of. CO2 is so much better than Excel, etc anyway. James
  47. JamesC

    Easycarbo Short term fix or not?

    Once added to the aquarium the liquid carbons have a half life of about 6 hours. This means that after 6 hours there is 50% the active ingredient left, after 12 hours there is 25%, etc. They also decompose in the bottle so you shouldn't keep them for long periods of time. Coming back to the...
  48. JamesC

    HEEDTA micro on ebay

    The seller has got back to me and it was a typo. I have corrected my first post so it now shows the correct figure. James
  49. JamesC

    HEEDTA micro on ebay

    Dunno yet but I've brought some out of curiousity. James
  50. JamesC

    HEEDTA micro on ebay

    I tried to buy from them a while ago but they wouldn't ship to me unless I brought a pallet load of the stuff. What is interesting though is that the analysis is exactly the same except for the Boron which Intermag have at 2.0g per litre and the eBay seller has at 0.2g per litre. Shall contact...
  51. JamesC

    HEEDTA micro on ebay

    Mainly Rotala Macrandra seems to suffer from shrivelled growth shoots. Increasing Boron seems to help loads. Tropica have the ratio of B:Zn at 2:1 whereas most DIY trace mixes tend to have more Zn than B. Adding more B to get the 2:1 ratio seems to work. May be coincidence or not. All my other...
  52. JamesC

    Bit Confused?

    They may not all fit as standard. JBL used to manufacture their regs slightly oversized so they couldn't be attached to a standard CO2 bottle. They have since stopped this and now manufacture them to a standard size. James
  53. JamesC

    HEEDTA micro on ebay

    Some nice stuff they have for sale there. I've done some quick analysis for those wanting to know how it compares with Tropica's TPN. In their listing they say to dilute 6 parts water to 1 part trace solution but I do it differently to get it the same as Tropica's and so the dosing to tank will...
  54. JamesC

    Coca Cola

    People even used to add soda water directly to their tanks. James
  55. JamesC

    How its made - Oliver Knott's NatureSoil

    As are most of the clay based substrates. This is exactly what Akadama except Akadama hasn't got the nice roundness that Nature Soil has. As with most things you are paying for the name. A lot of the substates actually come from the same place, the main difference being the packaging. James
  56. JamesC

    Jbl regulator

    Ah, learn something (or two) everyday. I had the older JBL reg that had no adjustment and the pressure was set around 1.2 Bar. James
  57. JamesC

    Jbl regulator

    The low side pressure on JBL and many other aquarium regulator combos is fixed inside and cannot be changed. The only adjustment you can make is with the needle valve, that has been circled in the previous post, to change the bubble rate. Why do you want to change it? The setting it's at should...
  58. JamesC

    Cheap HO T5 fluorescent tubes - Update with photos

    This is what I'm using except that I've go a Grolux as well to provide a bit of pink which I like. Even without the Grolux those two tubes I think work quite well together with the 840 bringing out the colours of the wood. The last two numbers are the colour figures for the tubes. The 860's are...
  59. JamesC

    Normal trace or Trace Elements plus??

    Here's the old thread - http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8006. Trace Mix Plus is the one to go for. James
  60. JamesC

    Why does it run out so quickly?!?

    TBH your CO2 usage seems about right for the bubble rate and the time it's on. I go through 6.5kg in about 4-5 months at around 3bps. These are large bubbles though so if you have a bubble counter with small bubbles it can make quite a difference. To save gas I'd go with turning it on 2 hours...
  61. JamesC

    Macro/micro dosing

    No real big reason. Some find it easier to dose on alternate days and sometimes the iron in the micros can react with the phosphate in the macros creating a white haze to the water. This haze can also happen if dosing on alternate days as well to a lesser extent. James
  62. JamesC

    Born Again Skateboarder

  63. JamesC

    Born Again Skateboarder

    You worked at Rolling Thunder in Brentford? Wow that's the skate park I went to when I was young. There's some pictures of it here - http://vintageskateboardmagazines.com/Skateboard!%28UK%29Issues/Skateboard!%28UK%29Issue16.html. I used to love the half pipe which was 55 metres long and had 1/2...
  64. JamesC

    Born Again Skateboarder

    Hard to believe but I've taken up skateboarding again after a 30 break. My 9 year old son brought a skateboard with his xmas money and so I dug out my old boards from the garage. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed from before so have now treated myself to a new board. Things have come a long way...
  65. JamesC

    help with theplantedtank's EI article and dosing calculator

    I think your maths has gone wrong. 33g dissolved in 250ml water to make the solution. If you dose 5ml in 50 litres of water you add 8ppm NO3. Do this 3 times a week and you add 24ppm NO3. So if your tank is 300 litre then you need to add 300/50 = 6 times the amount ie, 30ml 3x a week to achieve...
  66. JamesC

    Leaking Azoo CO2 regulator

    You've got exactly the same regulator as me. What you have circled is the safety release valve to gas off any CO2 when the pressure gets too high. From what you have described this looks to be exactly what has happened. The pressure shouldn't be as high as 1000psi. Mine runs around the...
  67. JamesC

    Auto Dosing EI with a dosing pump (diagram and calculations)

    Remember that the bottle has to be set up above the tank as it a gravity fed system. James
  68. JamesC

    Auto Dosing EI with a dosing pump (diagram and calculations)

    Now that I've been using the SP3000 for a while I've come to the conclusion it is a load of rubbish. The solution keeps running back into the bottle all the time which is pretty poor imho. The way to get around this is to install a non-return valve for liquids or place the dosing bottle at the...
  69. JamesC

    removing water from co2 diffuser

    :text-+1: James
  70. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    I would say the Koralia's are better as they give a slower but larger volume of water flow. Normal powerheads, pumps, etc give a high speed jet of water that doesn't seem to provide such a good flow of water around the tank. James
  71. JamesC

    is PMDD+PO4 a method?

    Not sure what you are trying to ask. EI is based on a a set of chemicals that are added to a tank at set amounts. PMDD is the same. Both can be modified to suit your particular needs. James
  72. JamesC

    has anyone read this? (sears-conlin article on algae)

    If you haven't already take a wander over to CAU - http://www.cau-aqua.net/ and look how the CO2 enriched tanks there are set up and also the dosing. Lighting is fairly high, CO2 is high but water column dosing is lean. Yes ADA AS is used but a lot of the scapes use moss, ferns etc that get all...
  73. JamesC

    has anyone read this? (sears-conlin article on algae)

    Couldn't agree more. I've got so fed up listening to the EI brigade that I no longer bother posting. James
  74. JamesC

    Azoo CO2 Regulator Review

    Update on the regulator. Over the first couple of days I noticed the guage on the low pressure side slowly dropped down to about 2 bar so I had to increase it back up to ~3.5 bar. After doing this it has remained constant and possibly I shouldn't have changed it in the first place. After the...
  75. JamesC

    Water Chemistry

    Under normal EI levels you should be fine. Just don't go heaping in loads of chemicals as some people do. James
  76. JamesC

    Water Chemistry

    Both ways work. I prefer using using something like GH Booster as I have more control over it. If crushed coral works for you then stick with what you are doing. James
  77. JamesC

    Water Chemistry

    Most of the fish we tend to keep in planted tanks do better in soft water. Most plants do fine in a range of water parameters but some do a lot better when the water is soft. CO2 dissolves slightly easier in soft water which in turns leads to less wastage. Less water marks around the top of the...
  78. JamesC

    Water Chemistry

    Most people would kill to have your water. It is very soft so it would be advisable to add some GH Booster to add a couple points of GH. This would add Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium mainly. As long as you add the normal N and P along with your traces then the world is your oyster in regard to...
  79. JamesC

    EQJ Trading light fitting needing repair. Advice needed.

    Here you go - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4878 James
  80. JamesC

    Azoo CO2 Regulator Review

    Have just purchased one of these Azoo regulators off eBay and thought I'd share my view and experience with using it. The eBay seller is called goaqua88 and is based in Taiwan. This is the actual item - AZOO-CO2-Pressure-Regulator-With-Magnetic-Valve-plant. I paid £37.91 with £11.50 P&P...
  81. JamesC

    Crypt Balansae arriving from abroad

    In the listing this is what it says: James
  82. JamesC

    I'm Giving Up With Trying to Keep Shrimp

    Plant distributors often add copper sulphate to control snail and pest populations. New plants should always be rinsed prior to putting in your tanks as copper and shrimp don't mix at all well. James
  83. JamesC

    Shutting off DIY CO2

    Yes I would think this should work fine and the anti siphon valve is a necessity. There should be enough back pressure in the tubing going to the tank to force all the CO2 out through the open solenoid valve. Then when valve is closed all the CO2 would then go up the tube to the tank. TBH I...
  84. JamesC

    Traces in tap water

    It's not when it's in the bottle that it's the problem but when you add it to the tank. With regards to the solution in the bottle the easiest way to prolong its life span is to add some acid like hydrochloric acid or ascorbic acid. James
  85. JamesC

    Traces in tap water

    Fluidsensor's traces along with many others are EDTA based. It is often found the Fe-EDTA bond is weaker when in hard water. The only problem is with the iron as free iron rapidly reacts forming insoluble ferric precipitates that are out of the reach of plants. If you dose daily you should be...
  86. JamesC

    CO2 reactor

    Do you find it reduces flow? It amazes me that the Aquamedic 1000 comes with such small connectors that are designed for filters used on small tanks since they claim it's for tanks up to 2000 litres. I would have brought one of these if it weren't for this fact. Instead I had to buy one from...
  87. JamesC

    CO2 reactor

    Oh, yes you're right. I just presumed it was the same as mine. I actually got mine from Aquamas who I think no longer trade on Ebay but do have an online shop. This is the one I brought...
  88. JamesC

    CO2 reactor

    This is what I use and love it to bits - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-boost-1000-Aussen-Reaktor-bis-1000-Liter-Aquarien_W0QQitemZ200399438118QQcmdZViewItemQQptZde_haus_garten_tierbedarf_fische?hash=item2ea8bcc126. Needs a fairly decent filter (as they all do) to prevent a build up of gas at the...
  89. JamesC

    Just to get my head around this...... PO4

    Wikipedia is your friend - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphoric_acids_and_phosphates. Basically salts like potassium phosphate are orthophosphates. Doing a Google search brought up loads of articles on the different types of phosphate and plant uptake. Here is one such article -...
  90. JamesC

    Just to get my head around this...... PO4

    There are three types of phosphates - orthophosphates, polyphosphates and organic phosphates. Orthophosphates are what we add to our tanks and farmers put on their fields. Polyphosphates are metal ion complexed phosphate that are used in things like detergents. Organic phosphates are...
  91. JamesC

    To the computer experts... see if you can solve this

    I remembered this post from a while ago. As a side earner I fix up old laptops to sell and have just brought a second hand screen that when turned on had exactly the same thing as Aaron's above. I dismantled the LCD panel and sure enough there between the front glass screen and the polarizing...
  92. JamesC

    Kelvin and plants?

    Exactly. Forget Kelvin numbers as they tell you very little to what spectrums the light contains. Nearly all fluorescent tubes contain a variety of wavelengths which is why you can use any old tube to grow plants. Generally speaking plants use the red and blue wavelengths for photosynthesis, so...
  93. JamesC

    possible clearer algaue info.

    The article was talking about NON PLANTED TANKS. James
  94. JamesC

    Achieving redish color in plants such a eleoharis and glosso

    Just a list of a few thoughts of my experiences. Contrary to popular belief adding lots of iron has no affect on making plants go red. As long as plants have enough then adding extra makes no difference. Limiting NO3 can give a few plants a pinkish hue to them but the downside is you end up with...
  95. JamesC

    One for James

    Sure you don't mean 500g? 500kg is half a tonne :shock: . As a comparrison I go through 6.5kg in about 4 months on my 200l tank. Just means he agrees with the 2 previuos suggestions. What are you using for your solution in the drop checker? James
  96. JamesC

    possible clearer algaue info.

    Actually it makes a massive difference. Have high NO3 and PO4 in a fish tank with no plants and with lots of light can cause massive algae problems. Limiting PO4 and NO3 along with excellent filtering are the way to reduce the algae. Also light makes a large difference. Planted tanks on the...
  97. JamesC

    One for James

    Both 1 and 2 point to CO2/flow problems. Some plants are more susceptible than others which is why sometimes you see some plants struggling whilst others grow like wildfire. James
  98. JamesC

    How Do I Work Out K/Mg/Ca in Tap Water?

    Doesn't really tell you much. Is there not another report. My Thames Water report is slpit in two halves. One the same as your one and also another report that deals with water hardness. James