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Which Seachem products to get

This is a discussion on Which Seachem products to get within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> wow, that sounds like an intense addition O.o. In the long run, CO2 systems are much cheaper than dosing excel, since after the initial ...

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Which Seachem products to get
Old 08-03-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
 
wow, that sounds like an intense addition O.o. In the long run, CO2 systems are much cheaper than dosing excel, since after the initial setup, your costs are restricted to just buying replacement tubes of CO2 or in your case whatever reaction u need for CO2. Excel is fairly pricey and if you dose regularly, it gets used up pretty quick. And yea a CO2 system has less work involved. But excel is still fairly easy to dose, its by capful so there's no tedious measuring.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:08 PM   #12
 
I had three related questions. How many bubbles should I be seeing because so far I have seen zero coming out of the tube and into the reactor. It has been at least 48 hours. I just wish I was more knowledgeable aboout plant species and a better mind for arranging the plants and decor in appealing ways. Here is the link for the Co2 system.

A DIY CO2 system

Also, my other question is what will I see when there is a lack of Co2. I read something about deficiencies but if there is a lot of growth supported by co2 and then the co2 runs out or is cut off somehow what will happen. Will new growth stop or will things slowly start to whither and curl? Just curious.

I am also confused about the ph hardness relationship, it said that my co2 ppm was like 15 and I should aim for 20-25ppm. I guess I'll tackle that when I come to it. Will adding excel to my tank lower the ph like adding co2 does? I already see a difference in the plants from a few days of excel. I am about to test the GH, KH, and PH and write it down so I can plan for any changes or needed additions for buffering. My nitrates are high also so about to do a water change.

For a 55 gallon I just don't see myself doing the upkeep for 3-4 bottles of yeast and sugar so excel until I can get the other stuff.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
 
Interesting, not sure if it is normal. It appears that my KH has gone from 9 degrees to 4.5 degrees in one month. Is this something I should reconcile by adding lime stone or something similar? Is there a certain level I want to have to be able to add Co2 to the desired 20-25ppm? Honestly I would like to replace the entire substrate but I think it will be at least 2 years before that happens. My GH was difficult to read somewhere between 11 and 14 degrees. PH remains a steady 7.4.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:35 PM   #14
 
Think these last 2 posts might do better under a new thread. Apparently if my KH continues to lower I can have a sudden PH drop. Confused as to raising my KH, my GH is plenty hard I think. I thought I read something about adding limestone or another mineral. Whatever I was reading I think stated that just adding chemicals to raise the KH was a bad idea. If you can help me with this or suggest the best thing to add to the aquarium it would be great. I would like to avoid buffers that prevent me from using the KH ph table to measure co2 in the water unless there is a cheap easy way to measure co2 some other way.

I emailed my water department asking for some information on the tap water. Guess I'll test it sometime too to have a reference.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #15
 
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I've just read through this thread from the start, and in my view things are getting unnecessarily complicated. The initial question was which Seachem product, and that was answered. Excel is not a substitute for Flourish, they are two different things. Flourish is a basic complete macro- and micro-nutrient liquid fertilizer that provides the nutrients required by all plants (except Java Fern and mosses which manage without). Carbon is provided by the respiration of the fish and some other biological actions in the aquarium. Light has to balance the carbon and nutrients. Once you start dosing with Excel or adding CO2 you are altering the balance with the nutrients and light, and if these are not in balance (and in the balance the plants require) the plants will not benefit and other problems with plants and fish may occur.

The initial question in a planted tank should always be, what are you aiming for? It is easy to have a lush thriving tank of healthy plants without any additonal CO2 in either gas or Excel. And no need to mess with the hardness; water coming out of the tap will have a degree of hardness and a pH value linked to the carbonate and general hardness. These may be adequate for what you want in terms of fish and plants. The pH sometimes is a clue to the hardness--what is the ph of your tap water (assuming this is the water being used in the aquarium)? And what pH value do you want ideally for the fish in the tank? The plants can be chosen to complement these issues, and will be more successful in the long term.

Byron.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:59 AM   #16
 
Sorry for going off on a tangent. A lot of this has been a learning experience and I have to admit to being haphazard from the start which has cost money and time but, I am exploring things too and trying to absorb everything I can. My plants are all looking pretty good since I started the excel. I would say my favorites are the echinodorus, amazon swords, flame moss, and this stargrass type stuff that I haven't identified although it grows like a weed. I still think I need to find a good carpet plant that I have the system for that will spread out on the gravel. As far as what I want in an aquarium I guess it would be something like this.

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...5-22_front.JPG

The excel seems to be making a positive difference with all of the plants and I think Co2 is the limiting factor. My concern is that I read about pH crashes when the Kh gets low and seeing the drop in mine from 9 to 4.5 degrees in one month made me wonder if I have something to worry about.

I was trying to find out what ideally my parameters should be for fish and plants and was told it is better to select fish based on what you have and that they can generally adapt. I don't think I'll be adding anymore fish or plants other than a carpet plant. I updated my aquarium to list all my fish and plants also. Here are the readings I got from my tap water. Not sure if this has been the best response but I wont be adding any other species so if my parameters are good I shouldn't have too much to worry about.

5-10 Nitrates ppm
0 Nitrite
about 150 ppm GH
about 40 ppm KH
about 7.5 PH

Last edited by saulat; 08-04-2009 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: adding something
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:14 PM   #17
 
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As you probably know I don't bother with CO2, so I'll stay out of that part of the issues and leave it for others; except to say that adding CO2 will lower the pH (so I have read many times) and many seem to turn it off at night to prevent further reductions, so be careful there.

Luckily I have very soft tap water so have never bothered at all about hardness. I have a very small amount of dolomite in the filter chamber to add a bit of mineral, and it keeps the ph from dropping below 6. 150 ppm of GH is medium hard so there is probably some buffering action in the water, and the CO2 may well affect things, as those with more experience in this area can detail.

Light should always be the limiting factor, or algae will take control. If you go with CO2 you will need bright light (don't know what is there now, maybe already enough). Which will probably mean having it on less to again keep light as the limiting factor in plant growth.

Byron.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:25 PM   #18
 
I have 4 28 watt T5 bulbs, 2 6700k, 1 10,000k, and 1 pink freshwater bulb. I run them 9-5pm and 7-11pm for 12 hours total. I could probably use better filtration so maybe I'll switch over to a canister filter before I bother playing with Co2 or hardness levels. Thanks.
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