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Back again... Another new start...

bugs

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Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
Longish Winded Background Story...
Hi all. Not been around for some time, having downgraded to a small basic tank while I got on with renovating my home. I've still got a couple of rooms to do and some other projects but having tired of looking at the sorry excuse of my current aquarium I decided to do something about it.

One of my top priorities was to deal with the things that have aggravated me with previous tanks; such as having a hood exposed to the water surface (i.e. not condensation cover) that ends up full or moisture and growing algae!).

So... I've had a modest tank made by ND Aquatics. 750mm x 230mm x 380mm tall. Braceless with a cover glass sitting on supports. I'm not proposing to have a hood - simply sit the lights on the tank.

I've bought a Juwel internal corner filter which will house the heater too. Best filter I've ever had (I've had a few, including a couple of Eheim externals), the Juwel just does the job and is what I used with one of my most successful planted tanks (back in the days of heated under gravel cables!).

I've bought the Interpet Tri Spec light and bluetooth controller.

Today I bought three pieces of wood to audition and some gravel.

Going forward, I plan a un-complex planted tank. No CO2 gas cylinders, solenoids, baggies of various powdered ferts etc this time. I'm proposing to use liquid CO2, plant feed, etc...

So, the point of this post...
Back in the day I seemed to just know which products to choose. These days I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. No retailer seems to back and recommend a core range, instead offering a variety of products seemingly for the same purpose. As a result, I'm stuck on which substrate and dosing to use? Nothing on the various retailer websites seems to explain why I might choose one product over another....

Any advice gratefully received!
 

PARAGUAY

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Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,626
Location
Lancashire
Welcome back, know what you mean about the time I joined UKAPS LEDs as a example the jury was out, sceptical reviews now in just a few years every manafacturer promotes them, still got T5 and T8
 

bugs

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
TNC Carbon - check.
Tropica Growth Substrate - check.

Thank you!
 

Fiske

Member
Joined
5 Oct 2016
Messages
385
Location
Denmark
TNC Carbon - check.
Tropica Growth Substrate - check.

Thank you!

Be aware that Tropica Growth Substrate is for use under a layer of gravel. It is powderish and absolute hell to wash out of the gravel if doing a rescape. Very good product though, I've used it a lot, and probably will again.

Tropica Aquarium Soil (this one is found in a powder version too) is for use without gravel, just like ADA Amazonia etc.

Just make sure you grab the right bag. I've been on my way to buy the wrong one at least once.
 

bugs

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
Thank you. I'm topping off with gravel. I noticed Tropica have changed the names slightly too on their site - not helpful!
 

bugs

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
Hmmm... Getting sucked in... Considering CO2 now, for a couple of reasons....

Firstly, it's just occurred to me that daily dosing of liquid carbon will be a pain, especially when on holiday! Secondly, the basis of liquid carbon is rumoured to be a particularly nasty chemical.

So... To help with my ruminations, I have a couple of questions...

I want to keep it simple. I've chosen undemanding plants. I'm not looking for rapid growth, just plants that are alive and healthy. Rather than have a solenoid, could I low-dose the CO2 round the clock? (Solenoids were not even a thing with my first tank and all seemed to be fine.)

Like everything else, lots of choices when it comes to CO2 kits and accessories. In the past I seem to have had more success with the circular bubble ladders rather than mist diffusers. I used disposable welding gas bottles. What is currently on trend?

Thanks.



Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,228
Rather than have a solenoid, could I low-dose the CO2 round the clock? (Solenoids were not even a thing with my first tank and all seemed to be fine.)
Yes!
If you have oxygen sensitive fish, you can just add in a powerhead or air pump on a timer (eg run intervals or continuous beginning ~2 hours after lights out until 2 hours before lights on) though I've not seen the need for this ... you'll be able to suss the need while at home

My first experience with a solenoid was the one that stuck closed (occasionally) & then completely while I was far away on holiday ... and the lights stuck on (there was a power outage presumably)
It was a prehistoric scene when I returned several weeks later :eek: :wideyed: :wideyed: :wideyed:
(As it happened tank was sans livestock - a whole 'another story - so I just rescaped ... actually went Tanganyikan :)rock & sand & some plants ... for awhile ;) )

Aquasabi has some basic single & dual stage regulators - important part is the precision needle valve - ask for the manufacturer on this
Diffuser - Aquario Neo has excellent reviews & offers various sizes (I have Tropica's diffuser which includes bubble counter & non-return valve that's OK but weakest part of the system but it's also nicely inexpensive ;) & you can buy replacement membranes - an extra that's always clean is grand)
If you like the ladder, try it - they are relative inefficient though

Bubble counter - whatever you like
Non return valve
Tubing - any of the plastics sold for CO2 use will eventually harden & need replacing (1-3 years)
Adapter - to fit regulator to whatever CO2 you choose

CO2Art seems to sell only kits, but has great service/warranty & decent prices

I use Tropica fertilizers as like having the trace & macro option (my tap is very soft)
Evolution Aqua the Aquascaper fertilizer seems to have great reviews as well (&a George Farmer :D )

Aquarium Gardens has an Aquascaping event June 1
Destination Aquatics July 1
- something like this is likely well worth your time :)
(my area is completely void of such events :( )

Tropica website offers great basics - & an App - just click through all the links in each category
Their Inspiration page offers lots of scape options & include CO2 etc details
 

bugs

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
Thanks for such a comprehensive reply. Much appreciated!
I see some valves are double stage, primarily (it seems) to ensure pressures are maintained right to the end of the gas supply. Does anyone use one of these vs single stage? Worth the extra?
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,228
If you're likely to forget to monitor your gas cylinder & run it all the way to empty, it's worthwhile to invest in a dual stage regulator (just confirm that it really is dual stage & not just dual gauge)
BUT if you have very sensitive shrimp, you may end up with some DOAs anyway as that "last gas" has higher concentration impurities - the degree & type of impurities also varies with grade of gas, eg welding vs paintball vs bar vs medical etc

General recommendation with gas cyclinders is to switch them out before they completely empty

Note there are numerous reports of end of cyclinder "dumps" into tanks even with dual stage regulators ...
 

bugs

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
372
OK, thanks. It's a 55 litre tank so I'm proposing 600g welding gas from Machine Mart (£14). I'm anticipating getting a few months off each cylinder so not such an overhead to keep an eye on them and get to a point when I can predict when they're likely to run out.
 
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