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Re: Re: Cloudy water again...(warning, looooong)

HUGE amount of info in that last post, thank you so much for your time,
[Parts snipped]
> I looked through your previous posts, but couldn't find a value for your
> KH... With that and the pH you can figure out the CO2.
KH test for $3, I'll get right on it and let you know!

> >Now, I'm wondering, if the plants are happier, will they help keep the
> >water clearer (if thats a word)?  If not, what am I doing wrong?
> Yes.  Possible problem could be the earth eater stiring things up...
He does an aweful lot of damage to the areas surrounding my plants, bulbs
and almost uproots a lot of my micro sword, but not the plants themselves.
He wasn't such a great choice IMO.  Its too bad, hes very pretty :-(  But I
don't think he stirs up the gravel enough to cause the cloud, definately
something else...a lot bigger and more discrete (GW, balancing problems,
newb problems, heh).

> Call your water utility, or check on the web... They should have a listing
> of all relevent water parameters.
Checked their website...there was no direct info there, but I did e-mail the
supervisor so I should either get a pointer to where the info is, or a
direct e-mail back with the info (I hope :-).

> If it is GW, more (HEALTHY) plants will definitely help prevent it.  Part
> the problem could be a high fish load, and not enough aerobic bacteria
I would say I'm well below the 1"/g thumbrule.  I know its just a general
guideline, but the tank isn't crowded.  After the increase of CO2 the plants
seem to be much happier, I'll have to wait and see how they beat out the GW.

> >Side q, how can I get micro sword to fill out faster?
> Lileopsis sp. are relatively slow growers, even in ideal conditions, so
> don't expect too much, especially as your Geophagus gets bigger!
Guess I was misinformed...I really want a 'lawn' in the front part of my
tank.  Is there anything really good for this?

> Again, this is where you need to decide if you want a "plant tank" or a
> "fish tank with plants".  I think if you ponder this for a while, you can
> make many decisions much easier.
Planted, definately...thats what I bought it for, gf can do something else.
We actually had the same idea as you, she was going to take over the 10g and
be all happy (actually she wanted to do brackish, but 10g isn't really big
enough for it).  I was keeping another 10g for 'hospital' type apps, but I
could always run out and get another if need be.

> But, that being said, a full CO2 system from M3 (based in Cambridge MA) is
> 200.  You can find cheaper on the net.
I'll look them up and price it out.  Thanks for the local info!  I've also
looked at places like thatpetplace.com, but they all seem pretty much
similar.  M3 has pretty good prices and it looks like I wouldn't save myself
that much money trying to set it all up myself...

> "Circuits"??  You mean you want a CO2 / pH Controller?  Not worth it IMO.
> Read through the archives on this one.
Yes, circuits, hehe...I really liked the idea of CO2/controller setup.
Something like that seems perfect for me because I hate guesswork...I read
probably the whole section in the krib on CO2 and it seemed a lot of people
are using this approach with success.  I'm still pounding it out in my head.

> Also, FYI, check out this article on painted glass fish --
> http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/painted-glassfish.html
Unfortunately, I got that very same info AFTER we bought them.  I'm kicking
myself for buying them, and have on many occasions thought about setting up
the 10g aquarium JUST FOR THEM!  Oh, what a mistake.  I'm just hoping the
dye fades and they live through it, I'd be much happier that way.

> (The Bala get way too big for a tank this sized.  Shouldn't be sold for
> aquariums IMO.)
They're each about 3", 3.5" long, and have grown I'd say about 1/4" since I
got them.  They're one of my favorite and have read many articles on their
growth and conditions.  AFAIK, they _may_ grow to 10" in length, but
normally not more then 6-7" which is rather large for my tank, esp three of
them!!!  Yikes. hehe.  All the articles I've read on them have said they
normally don't grow too large without perfect conditions and a lot of
love...perfect food, ect.  I don't anticipate giving them their 'perfect'
conditions, they're not my main concern.  I do want them to be happy, but
having an 8" bala shark isn't my top priority :-)  If they ever do get that
large, perhaps I could find a happy home for them to someone local.

> First bit of advice, convince your GF that you _cannot_ expect to have a
ton of different fish types
I've tried, I think she's calmed down about it now...

> You need to take some of these fish back to the LFS IMO.
Awe do I haaaaave to?!? lol, it would be tough picking which ones would go.
I'll work on getting the 10g setup again and trying to hand off some of her
picks to her 10g.  Try to pawn it off like, 'I just want to help you start
up your new tank, hun.' <evil grin>
> she can put in pink gravel for all I care!
Yup, same here...

> Keep in mind there are some WONDERFUL and beautiful fish that work well in
planted tanks.
I love cichlids and the various types there are, but they all seem to be
more brackish (original reason for above mention of brackish 10g).  I still
enjoy a wide variety of fish, but I think concentrating on 1 type would be
beneficial.  I really enjoy puffers too, and angels, and my cats...I'd say
those are my favorite, HAH look at the mix :-)

> This would mean you have a GW problem...
Good call, my water cloud never seems to stay grayish white, but always
turns a greenish color...plus, when I run my mag with pleated and cotton
stuffed in, the cotton turns grean, not anything else...

> You have floss / filter-pad as a pre-filter before the water gets to the
bioballs right?
Of course :-) !  Filter pad, also pre-filter on the overflow and pad on the

> A surface skimmer can help.  Check out the Krib for more info.  I am now
using the one sold by Hagen for $10 on my tank -- works very well with
little adjustment.

Nice pictures on the Krib ;-)  I have read most of those articles in the
past and put them to the back of my mind...All I was thinkin was if I put
the aquaclear on the 20g bin it would probably be sufficient to break the
tension and the protein buildup, also add some additional filtration (and
degass some CO2, hmm).  If I were to do this in the meantime, should I use
no filter media other then foam?

> Sorry if I am being a bit negative, I just think you can avoid some major
> headaches if you make informed choices now, rather than later.
I don't feel negativity from this post at all, just some good advice!  No
headaches, all the better ;-)

> As for talking to people about your hobby -- I understand... Are there any
> fish clubs in your area?
:-/  The only club I could think of is my dad (saltwater) :-)  I'll keep my
eye out.

Again, thanks for your time, sorry for the book