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Re: [APD] aeration & a planted tank

Ok, my turn to blog.

I run a NON-CO2 set-up. My plants are doing ok and whilst I don't want 
them to grow really fast cause I don't like having to do maintenance 
ttoo often I have noticed that fertilisers ie Seachem Flourish 
(AU$20ish) and Seachem Iron ($20ish) are necessary for my tanks well 
being, I mean if I don't use them then they plants start to die.

I did some experiments with DIY CO2 but decided for the amount of 
maintenance and the associated cost of Yeast (couple bucks) and sugar 
(couple bucks) it wasn't worth it for my 300 gal tank.  If I went for a 
pressurised CO2 kit costing me Australian$300 - $550 the refill cost was 
about $20/quarter year or if I wanted to do it the other way and make my 
own pressurised CO2 I could pay AU$100 ish and get a refill which would 
last me maybe 2 years plus get a needle valve for $80 and maybe a 
regulator for $150ish.

But again maintenance was a problem and a danger of pressurised gas 
around my 3yr old daughter / both for her and the fish dying of CO2.

The liquid ferts cost about $40 combined per quarter which is probably 
the cheapest easiest set-up.  Dump them in the tank at feeding time 
twice a week or if you want to be slacker once a week.

Again my plants are doing ok the stuff like duckweed etc are doing too 
good for my likening.

Fish gasping:
Well I've noticed my tank naturally hovers around 7.4pH due to me 
replacing 10% - 60% water once or twice a fortnight, generally favouring 
30% cause that's how long it takes me to syphpen the bottom of my tank 
clean most weekends.

If the water goes above 8.4pH my fish head for the surface and gulp air. 
I understand there is a relation ship between hardness and CO2 and pH 
but think its all crap in this context (I'll get to when its not crap in 
a second). If there is a large change in pH over the span of 1 month or 
so the fish gills have to adapt to the new water pH and hence don't 
function properly (in my opinion).

If you get a stable pH and consequently a stable GH and KH then we can 
start looking at CO2 levels using the relation ship formulas. Remember 
plants are slow growing creatures and as such bacteria and water quality 
generally need to be maintained and established over at least a month in 
order to make a good judgement. This is however where I fall over cause 
I only have 3 or 4 months experience with plants... how ever I do belong 
to a plant group where most people have been doing it for 5 years or so.

Their opinion is keep every thing balanced. If something gets out of 
hand then something ie algae or fish starts to take over or suffer.  
Fertilisers and Substrates are the key and it seams the people who 
fiddle less tend to get a better balanced tank the quickest.

My current conclusions (cause we're always learning):
Micro, Macro neutrents are important don't buy anything unless it says 
exactly how much of what is on the label.  Phosphate sucks when you 
can't control it. My fish food has too much phosphate hence why I think 
phosphate sucks.  Buy you ferts from a large company cause they are 
probably more reliably work. ie dupla or Seachem. Fish breed when the 
water is above 27 degC and are generally happiest about 28degC (tropical 
fish I mean).   A large canister filter is better cause you don't have 
to clean it as often hence the system is more balanced without ups and 
downs of bacteria. Plants require water flow cause they grow better in 
front of the water outlet than in the centre of the tank. Guppies/TIger 
barbs are NOT fin nippers when fed there greens ie Wardley Algae Discs.

Nuf said.

S. Hieber wrote:

>Can more folks report on non-co2 set-ups where they don't
>have morning-gasping and don't have aeration other than a
>water (or filter) pump?
>Scott H.
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