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marka83

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Everything posted by marka83

  1. Without knowing much about your water, substrate, and fertilization method, I'd say the light you have is insufficient for even low light at .06 watts. LEDs don't need to be high wattage to be effective for growing plants but I doubt that light is sufficient for growing dwarf hairgrass. Somebody more knowledgeable about led lights will chime in soon I'm sure. But I think a light upgrade is in the works. I use dry fertilizers in my tank, potassium sulfate, monopotasium phosphate, and Potassium nitrate, but stopped dosing the latter because my bioload took care of my need for nitrates. I also dose a trace element called Plantex CSM+B. All can be purchased at Greenleafaquariums.com. But I have high light and pressurized CO2. Additionally, your water is pretty soft, so you might want to look into a product called Seachem Equilibrium. It will help raise the mineral content of your water and raise GH. I would suggests doing some research on different planted tank setups. Since you don't want to do pressurized or DIY co2, look into what's called low tech planted tanks with or without excel supplementation. If you dose excel and you can have higher lighting and some ferts, no excel, you want low to medium light to prevent algae and little to no ferts. Even with research you'll have questions. There are a few experienced planted tank folks here that are very helpful as you move along in your tank build.
  2. People use a range of substrates for planted tanks, the substrates you are probably seeing are dirt, potting soil, mineralized dirt, or ADA soil. When you start you new tank with eco complete, you can cap that with you sand. The plants will root into the eco complete for nutrients. No problem. I wouldn't worry about whether plants will grow vertically or horizontally in a low light setup. Growth will be slow, and therefore management of unruly plants will be next to nonexistent. Aesthetically, the difference in the direction of growth isn't too different between high and low light, at least not enough to change a lighting scheme just to avoid one in preference for the other. At this point, grab your plants, supplemental light, some root tabs, and get the planting. You'll learn as you go. Good luck.
  3. Look great for a planted tank but I'd have to agree that those look a bit sharp for fancies.
  4. Thanks! We are going to do the deep sand bed using the old sand from the established tank. We heard a few ideas about getting the pump more quiet, but we were kinda hoping that it would break in and quiet down. Please follow the thread and drop some knowledge if you can, I'm new to reef tanks. I usually do a bunch of research when a problem comes up, but it'd be nice if the problems can be prevented lol. Are you doing the deep sand bed in the tank or in the refugium? All I do is keep researching. Anything I come across I will definitely share. Refugium.
  5. Thanks! We are going to do the deep sand bed using the old sand from the established tank. We heard a few ideas about getting the pump more quiet, but we were kinda hoping that it would break in and quiet down. Please follow the thread and drop some knowledge if you can, I'm new to reef tanks. I usually do a bunch of research when a problem comes up, but it'd be nice if the problems can be prevented lol.
  6. My roommate is severely impatient. We built the rock formation before getting sand in the tank. I thought we would then partially disassemble the wall and lay the sand bed, but he started making saltwater for the tank... We have a RO system permanently installed under the kitchen sink, but it takes about five hours to make 20 gallons of water. Additionally we only have a 20 gallon tub to store water, so the process takes a few days to get 100+ gallons of water. Because of that, he starts putting water in the tank before we get sand, then adds 40 pounds of sand after the water was in... not the end of the world, but just funny to watch! We have more sand coming but just delayed. The water is still cloudy but here are a few shots. We are pretty satisfied with the amount of hiding places for various sized fish. Our return pump is way too loud though.
  7. I also had a black moor that didn't live long, but I blamed myself for this. I bought him from petco and he seemed healthy. He was one of two new fish going into my planted tank. I didn't qt him, but he needed it. He fell ill a week after and I treated him in a QT for nearly four weeks until he passed soon after being introduced back into the main tank. When I went back to the same store all the fish in his old tank displayed the same symptoms he did. An immediate qt and treatment may have saved him. Learned my lesson though. I really want my second tank to be a black moor tank. Bare bottom, large pond rocks, and anubias.
  8. Having issues with our sand shipments. But when the sand is in I'll post an update.
  9. That's the sump on the 100 gal reef build right? It looked promising, how excited/exhausted are you? Lol. I got lucky in that an available tank that was in such great condition was online and since I'd been toying with the idea of an imminent upgrade I had the ad bookmarked for a few weeks before I measured the tank and decided to do it NOW haha. And since it had been up forever the guy let me talk him down to my budget (since I knew his filter and lights didn't work).Glad you worked it out. Hopefully we're getting our sand today. We have the rock wall built but we will have to semi break it down to put the sand in. I'll post pics later. This build also taught me how much you can turn a tank around with a glass scraper and some silicone. As long as the glass ain't scratched badly or cracked it's a potential winner of a tank with some fixable gremlins for cheap.
  10. Don't beat yourself up too bad, same thing happened to my roommate. An ad in CL said the tank was 60 gallons. My roommate didn't ask for the dimensions to verify the size. We went and bought the tank and stand. We get home and he checks the dimensions because it looks small to him. 40 gallon long tank. He contacted the seller who agreed to refund $20 of the purchase. No its being used as a sump for a 100 gallon tank project.
  11. Most likely it's just a rebranded product from other substrate manufacturers. I've never used it and have never heard any reports about it. Be sure the sand you choose isn't "live sand," they always look way cooler than freshwater friendly substrates... But will come with a bevy of issues: organic matter that will rot, critters, and possibly cause pH issues.
  12. that was the old recommendation we now generally recommend 15-20 gallons per fish, with 20 gallons per fish really being the ideal, 15 gallons per fish if they are little peanut sized guys. Ultimately, you need to upgrade when you see your fish outgrowing their tank For juvenile fish a 30 gallon may be fine for quite awhile, if they continue to grow, space gets tight, and you are seeing your nitrates get higher and higher, then it's time for an upgrade. My two fish have gone from a 29 to a 40 to a 75 and I am now saving for a 180. You will know if/when you need to upgrade I think. Never thought about using rising nitrates as one indicator! Sweet.
  13. I think you're right. I think this site recommends at a minimum 20 for the first fish and an additional 10 after. Yearly upgrade won't be necessary, when you're ready just go as big as you can afford, have space for, and can stand to maintain.
  14. A ten gallon tank should work well for the moment. You should be able to purchase one from a store or cheaper on CL. If you don't want to purchase equipment right now, just follow the qt guidelines linked above, keep up water changes, and feed lightly. Although he is a small fish, a smaller body of water will necessitate more water changes since his waste will foul the water more quickly. Added that he has no cycled filter to dispense of harmful toxins, a ten gallon tank will provide a much needed buffer. Of course this would be a temporary arrangement. You may be able to find 29 gallon tank from CL for cheap and that would house him for awhile. Or, you could qt the fish and upgrade your main tank since a 30 gallon tank for two goldfish is overstocked as is. You could also put an ad in CL offering the fish for free, maybe a fellow fish keeper will take the little guy in? I know I would if I had the tank space. You never know..
  15. So my roommate has a 24 gallon nano reef and fish tank, and he decided to start this massive 100 gallon tank. We bought the tank off CL. It was in bad shape. It housed maybe two dozen Cichlids, two turtles, and yes... a crawfish! Local stores took the inhabitants. We first cleaned it, removed the upper tank trim, and then resealed the tank. The stand was un-sealed and assembled with finishing nails and staples, so we had to put in wood screws, stain it, and poly seal it. We cut and installed the side panels and installed magnets so we could rip away the panels to access the sump. The sump is a 40 gallon long tank that used to house a lizard we bought from CL. We sealed it and installed baffles. We designed the sump... we basically argued and debated every point till we reached agreements, but it's my rommates build and his money so obviously he has final say and veto power lol. The sump will have a pvc tube stuffed the something for mechanical filtration, then it will go through a pro skimmers, after baffling we made a bio ball section, the more baffling and the refugium, then the return compartment. We drilled the tank ourselves, installed a surface skimmer, have two outflow and two backup pipes, with two return pipes at each end of the tank with check valves. The main outflows have ball valves. The backups simply dump into the sump. We also have a closed loop circulation for laminar flow. We are still working out how to get the best surge and turbulence flows in the tank. We just received the rocks. These are dry rocks, not live rocks. Live rock is pricey, so my roommate decided the build the hardscape with dry rock, some live rock, and just take the extra time to seed the dry rock. The dry rock was on sale for like $2 a pound. We have alot of work to do. Hardscape, sand, finish circulation scheme, lighting, cycling, choosing livestock, build a equipment cabinet that will house equipment, top-off water, salt water, and a QT tank... the list goes on. I am new to reef tanks and I wouldn't personally invest in one. I am freshwater planted tank through and through. But I love learning new things, designing stuff, watching things grow through our care and preparation, so I am all for this tank! If you have advice or stories you want to share please post them! We already have some regrets lol on the design. We didn't need such a redundant system and the backup drains were drilled to close in height to the mains... but you learn right?!
  16. If it's live sand that's usually used in a saltwater tank then you will need to cycle the tank or increase water changes. Live sand, like live rock, has dead stuff in it. The organic stuff rots and gives off ammonia which starts your cycle. Live sand will usually have some critters too, like fire worms. WC will help. I'd keep an eye on water parameters for awhile too.
  17. Had some in my tank too. I thought it was constipation so I fed peas and I'm watching for green poop.
  18. Pretty sure someone posted this previously but I thought it was pretty cool. http://m.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/community/community-news/einstein-the-fish-saved-by-lifebelt-1-5564306
  19. Ok let us know what you choose. Sorry if the responses where a little info heavy. Lighting is a big deal for the planted tank folks round these parts, but it has always been a civil discussion lol. T8 will be cheaper and produce a little more heat, T5 is more compact, more efficient, produces less heat but cost more. Good luck!
  20. Let's see what a moderator wants you to do first. Sounds like a swim bladder problems. I know the NLS has a habit of floating when sprinkled onto the water surface, which could have caused the consumption of air. If the mods think that's the issue, then they will recommend the appropriate treatment for it. Sorry, I'm not tenured enough to give advice on specific treatment but you'll get an answer on treatment soon.
  21. Yes. That's an option. If you do some research you might be able to find someone who has bought and tested stuff already. I wasn't comfortable getting shop lights, so I searched for grow lights that people use for indoor gardens. Just be careful because grow lights can be extremely powerful. Look for something relatively low wattage if you want medium light. Additionally, you will need to do some planning for mounting the light and possible splash protection depending on your setup. That's why it's a good idea to price the options and compare. Sometimes it's worth it to buy a light purposed for aquarium use because you don't have to deal with all this extra planning and building. But I like to build stuff so it was fun. Definitely find some par articles and charts to get an idea of what you need power wise.
  22. I built a canopy and installed two 39 Watt T5HO Sunblaster fixtures. Each light was like 30 bucks.
  23. Additionally, you don't have to buy expensive light fixtures branded for planted aquarium use. They offer style, convenience, and functionality that aquarist want but they aren't necessary. You can repurpose lights branded for other uses, just use 6500k bulbs at the appropriate wattage. Getting to know PAR is important because the watts per gallon adage doesn't take into account differing tank dimensions which greater alter light intensity. You could possibly repurpose a shop light or something and get great results.
  24. If you're not changing the fixture then you can't increase power if that's what you're looking for in terms of adding plants. Otherwise you have a choice in bulb temperature and an optional reflector. I use sunblaster 6500k bulbs. Do you know how many watts your current fixture is?
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