Aquascaper 600

Wills

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This is my first foray into properly planted tanks, in the past I've kept to many diggers, herbivores and just descructive fish to succeed. But now with a smaller tank and wanting to focus on something new here we are! I've been posting a few WIP posts about this tank so I wanted to consolidate them all into once place as it develops over time.

I'm facing a couple of challenges so far with the Co2, its not dipping down over night, I think this is because the plants are not using enough of it through the light period so hopefully this will get resolved. I will not be adding fish to the tank until this is stable and I feel more confident in using Co2 injection.

Planting has gone quite well, I got a set of cheap aquascaping tools from Amazon which have really helped. There are a couple of plants I just cant get to plant fully but hoping over time they will take root and burrow down into the substrate. I have seen some pearling though so thats quite cool!

Next step is waiting on a delivery of some Bucephalandra, Mini Bolbitis and one more type of crypt for the back right corner.
 

mbsqw1d

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Love it. Very dramatic.

I'm facing a couple of challenges so far with the Co2, its not dipping down over night
Would you expect co2 level to dip at night? I thought this is when it increases as the plants respire during this time.

Does the substrate contain ammonia/nitrate? What liquid ferts are you using?
Are you noticing much pearling during the photoperiod?
 
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seangee

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I'm facing a couple of challenges so far with the Co2, its not dipping down over night, I think this is because the plants are not using enough of it through the light period so hopefully this will get resolved. I will not be adding fish to the tank until this is stable and I feel more confident in using Co2 injection.
When I had a planted tank I set the CO2 to turn off an hour before lights out. I know some people use an air pump during the dark hours but I never had to. Still early days though - by the time you get to mandatory weekly trimming they will use it all :rofl:
 
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Wills

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Thanks everyone :) really pleased with it so far.

Love it. Very dramatic.

Would you expect co2 level to dip at night? I thought this is when it increases as the plants respire during this time.

Does the substrate contain ammonia/nitrate? What liquid ferts are you using?
Are you noticing much pearling during the photoperiod?

When the lights are off the plants will start using oxygen to rest so if there were fish in there it would cause problems. Co2 is a food for the plants which then produce oxygen for the fish. I might just need less Co2 time through the day for now. I might get a second diffuser and an air pump to run through the night though if it does not improve.

The substrate is tropica aquarium soil so does leach ammonia for the first week or so. Im doing daily water changes at the moment but thats just for the plants and it will settle down over time. Im using tropica specialised fertiliser (the one without nitrates and phos as my tap water has enough of them haha).

My epiphytes arrived today so might get chance to put them in the tank tonight. One of the plants has some weird white mite looking things on it though they look dead but going to keep an eye on it as I dont know what they are...

Wills
 
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Quite pleased with 3 days growth :) The Micranthemum Umbrosum has had it so I've taken it out on the far left, it looked half dead in the pot - it was the only invitro pot I got that wasnt Tropica so lesson learned... I got some Crypt Tonkenisis which I wasnt sure on so had left it out but I've decided to give it a go, that section of the tank is a little shaded, flow is an issue because of that wood so I figured a crypt might do ok as a hardier plant? Trimmed the leaves off Juris style so hope it comes back.

Had a very small patch of green algae on the top of the left hand stucture - fortunately the top 2 bits of the stack are loose so i just took them out and scrubbed. This is right near where the M.Umbrosum was so assuming it could be linked. I've added some Frogbit to the tank to try and help soak up some nutrients.

I finally got round to adding some Buce. I had planed on some mini Bolbitis too but when I put it in it just didnt look right so I've left one rhiozime on the left structure to see how it does but not sure. Shame as I've always wanted Bolbitis but just dont think it suits this tank.

Really hope I can keep the algae under control.

Wills
 

Byron

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The issue of CO2 at night as you have stated it confuses me, though it may just be the terms used.

I'm facing a couple of challenges so far with the Co2, its not dipping down over night, I think this is because the plants are not using enough of it through the light period so hopefully this will get resolved. I will not be adding fish to the tank until this is stable and I feel more confident in using Co2 injection.

Fish, plants and some species of bacteria respirate continually day and night, taking up oxygen and releasing CO2. This exchange will be roughly the same 24/7. In addition there is the breakdown of organics (primarily in the substrate) by the de-nitrifying bacteria and this too is 24/7. During photosynthesis, the plants take up CO2 and release oxygen; this occurs only during daylight, which means light that is sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis (and assuming nutrients are sufficient in balance).

So there will always be an increase of CO2 during darkness; the same level (roughly) is occurring each night, but plants are not using any of it at that time, so it increases substantially. Turning the CO2 diffusion off at night will not affect the build-up of CO2 from the natural sources.

This can be dangerous in any planted tank, whether low-tech or high-tech. The fish, cories especially noticeable, in my low-tech natural planted tanks have more difficulty getting oxygen as the darkness progresses due to the continual increase of CO2, and in the early morning their rate of respiration is much faster than it should be. Or it was, as I increased the surface disturbance as soon as I spotted this one morning, and now they are fine.
 
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mbsqw1d

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The issue of CO2 at night confuses me, though it may just be the terms used.



Fish, plants and some species of bacteria respirate continually day and night, taking up oxygen and releasing CO2. This exchange will be roughly the same 24/7. In addition there is the breakdown of organics (primarily in the substrate) by the de-nitrifying bacteria and this too is 24/7. During photosynthesis, the plants take up CO2 and release oxygen; this occurs only during daylight, which means light that is sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis (and assuming nutrients are sufficient in balance).

So there will always be an increase of CO2 during darkness; the same level (roughly) is occurring each night, but plants are not using any of it at that time, so it increases substantially. Turning the CO2 diffusion off at night will not affect the build-up of CO2 from the natural sources.

This can be dangerous in any planted tank, whether low-tech or high-tech. The fish, cories especially noticeable, in my low-tech natural planted tanks have more difficulty getting oxygen as the darkness progresses due to the continual increase of CO2, and in the early morning their rate of respiration is much faster than it should be. Or it was, as I increased the surface disturbance as soon as I spotted this one morning, and now they are fine.
I hadn't noticed my corys having difficulty during the night/next morning, and to be fair, theyve evolved to cope in low o2 waters.
However, as I inject a small amount of co2 (artificial co2) throughout the day, it stands to reason that the energy stored up by photosynthesis (+ the extra photosynthesis enabled by the artificial co2), will then be used at night for growth, and as such, a higher amount of respiration will be done by the plants (than without the additional 'artificial' co2).
I've added an airstone to come on when lights are out .. whether this is beneficial I don't know.. I guess its just giving me some piece of mind for now.
 
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Wills

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I quite agree, I am enjoying this stage of a high tech tank but I do worry long term if I am going to be comfortable enough with it to add fish to this tank... The plan is to turn Co2 supply off hours before the lights go off so that when the lights go off plants have used the artificial supply up so in theory it should be the same as your tank over night. This morning my drop checker was nearly blue but it didnt drop any further so thats a problem for me right now but as the plants fill in and grow should get to the right place. For on a night I need to get an effective airstone, maybe even 2 and get the surface agitation up to allow the best possible gas exchange from when the plants are taking in oxygen.

There are a couple of pro aquascapers I am following that take great care of their fish, a lot of the pro's tend to strip tanks down every 6 months or so but 2 in particular stand out to me George Farmer who has had some of his fish for years and Oliver Knott who is keeping a large group of Schoudenti Puffers in a high tech tank.

I was planning to get a school of galaxy rasboras and a small group of red eye red tail puffers but I think I might just stick to the school and leave the puffers for an other tank/time.

Wills
 

Byron

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I hadn't noticed my corys having difficulty during the night/next morning, and to be fair, theyve evolved to cope in low o2 waters.

No, this is a very different issue. It is not the minimal oxygen that is the problem for the cories, it is the excess of CO2 which poisons them. That is why they are respirating faster in the very early morning, the high CO2 is detrimental to their physiology. The strong surface disturbance ensures more oxygen comes in which means more CO2 must leave the water.

However, as I inject a small amount of co2 (artificial co2) throughout the day, it stands to reason that the energy stored up by photosynthesis (+ the extra photosynthesis enabled by the artificial co2), will then be used at night for growth, and as such, a higher amount of respiration will be done by the plants (than without the additional 'artificial' co2).

Something tells me this may not be how it works. "Growth" is photosynthesis, and photosynthesis cannot occur if the light is not of sufficient intensity. Photosynthesis ceases. Of course, the assimilation of ammonia/ammonium continues day and night 24/7, so perhaps this is what you are referring to?

I've not come across whether or not the level of normal respiration changes, I will see if I can track that down.

I've added an airstone to come on when lights are out .. whether this is beneficial I don't know.. I guess its just giving me some piece of mind for now.

This is actually beneficial 24/7, day and night. A few years ago the previously held maxim that surface disturbance drove off necessary CO2 was under challenge, and several planted tank authors reversed their stand. I was not able to track down the data behind this, whether it is just surmise or proven fact. But my increasing the surface disturbance 24/7 has been appreciated by the fish, and the plants do not seem any the worse, though I also don't know if they are any the better for it.
 

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I quite agree, I am enjoying this stage of a high tech tank but I do worry long term if I am going to be comfortable enough with it to add fish to this tank... The plan is to turn Co2 supply off hours before the lights go off so that when the lights go off plants have used the artificial supply up so in theory it should be the same as your tank over night. This morning my drop checker was nearly blue but it didnt drop any further so thats a problem for me right now but as the plants fill in and grow should get to the right place. For on a night I need to get an effective airstone, maybe even 2 and get the surface agitation up to allow the best possible gas exchange from when the plants are taking in oxygen.

There are a couple of pro aquascapers I am following that take great care of their fish, a lot of the pro's tend to strip tanks down every 6 months or so but 2 in particular stand out to me George Farmer who has had some of his fish for years and Oliver Knott who is keeping a large group of Schoudenti Puffers in a high tech tank.

I was planning to get a school of galaxy rasboras and a small group of red eye red tail puffers but I think I might just stick to the school and leave the puffers for an other tank/time.

Wills

There is increasing evidence that increasing CO2 for plants does impact fish. Here are a couple of articles that explore this. The first is specific to diffused CO2 in freshwater planted tanks; the second and third are dealing with the effects of increased atmospheric CO2, but they are just as relevant as increasing CO2 is increasing CO2 no matter how or where.



 

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