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Re: too much light
- To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
- Subject: Re: too much light
- From: Onis Cogburn <k5vkq at ix_netcom.com>
- Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 18:48:02 -0500
- In-Reply-To: <35B38C25.2D28D96D at email_sps.mot.com>
- References: <22.214.171.124.19980720095439.00ae5120 at popd_ix.netcom.com>
>> >Im no expert, but I believe your subject title answers your question.
>> >I would suspect that you have too much light and nutrients available in
>> >the water column for the amount of plants in your tank.
>> >The soln. would prob. be to either add more plants or to reduce the
>> >available light.
>> >BTW, I would be very interested in knowing more about your "under the
>> >sink" filter design. Sounds interesting.
>> >You can email me here or respond to the list, Im sure others would be
>> >interested as well/
>> >Thanks and Good Luck
>> >Joe Anderson
>> >PS Dont you think that lone cardinal could us some companions?
>Hi Joe. Thanks very much for the response. To answer your question; plants
>no, nutrients possibly. I have a very heavily planted tank. I put in
>roughly a hundred dollars of the easier (and also less expensive plants)
>when I planted the tank. The problem I have is not with the plants
>themselves. With high light levels, the plants have to be pruned at least
>once a week just to leave the fish some room to swim. For plant growth, the
>conditions seem very good. Color good, no spots on the plants. Good growth
>rate. But the condition also applies to the algae. I haven't been able to
>achieve that magic point where the plants starve the algae. So far both
>have prospered with the long term growth rate of the algae going up and the
>long term growth rate for the plants dropping. I'm sure it's the nutrients
>but I don't know which ones.
>I was attracted to the Conlin/Sears method because it offered me a way of
>"growing by the numbers". I believe there is a talent that gardeners and
>farmers have. They recognize the needs of the plants and are able these in
>the form of fertilizer, placement, shading to get optimum results. We all
>have these; mine is in engineering and related activities. I have none for
>gardening. Give me a plant without explicit instructions and I will kill it
>in 24 hours. The possibility of growing plants by using testing as a method
>of keeping growing conditions optimum was attractive and also my only
>The filter system grew out of my experience with plantless tanks. I thought
>I should build the system with a good filtration system and this would help
>reduce problems. As it turned out, the filtration capacity is greater than
>what is the usual norm but not near the level of many of the more complex
>systems. It can be argued that there is no need for even any filtration in
>the planted tank although I have observed increases in the algae infestation
>as the flow rate drooped due to clogging in the pre filter and also when the
>primary filter was run without any medium. Growth rate of the algae
>decreased when the flow rate was increased and when biological supporting
>medium was replaced in the filter.
>I have always been somewhat turned off with most aquarium products (the
>engineer in me I guess). To often they are flimsy or even shoddy. Whenever
>I can DIY for equal or less money and produce a "industrial strength" job, I
>will do so. This was the case with the filters.
>The plumbing department of most hardware, building supply and department
>stores such as WallMart carry water filtration equipment in their plumbing
>department. The selection runs from simple line filters to RO units. Most
>sell several sizes of household/undersink filter canisters and filters.
>Most common of these is a more or less standard size that accepts a
>cartridge of 11" long and about 3 inches in diameter. The paper cartridges
>are around a buck and a half apiece and have about the same filtering
>capability as the "Magnum" type. The canister housing itself is around
>eight to twelve bucks. It accepts a half inch pipe thread. There re also
>housings with larger diameters. One that I chose accepted an 11" long
>filter element, 6" in diameter. Input and output are 3/4 inch pipe thread.
>I used one each of these for the filters for my aquarium. Initially I used
>the 11" paper cartridges but as paper can clog easier poly "wool", I started
>rebuilding the cartridges. By cutting or pulling the net loose from one and
>peeling it back over the other end, I could remove the paper core. This
>left the end caps, the netting and the central perforated core intact.
>These were strengthened with silicon sealer (cheaper at the hardware store
>than the pet store), and rolled on a piece of poly "wool" batting from
>WallMarts cloth department. An 11" by 8 to 12 inches is about right. I
>then rerolled the netting back over the "wool" and secured with more silicon
>sealer. After overnight curing, the filter element is ready to use. When
>It gets dirty, I drop it into a container of bleach for a few hours and
>rinse well and it is ready to go again. I've made three and I've been
>cycling them for about a year and a half.
>The complete filter system is constructed using 3/4" and 1/2" PVC pipe, a
>Rainbow "Quiet one" pump, and a CO2 reactor. I call it a reactor for lack
>of a better name. It is an 18" piece of 3" PVC pipe who started life to be
>a live sand filter but when I blew all the sand out into the aquarium,
>became a reactor. At present it is filled with marbles to extend the travel
>of the CO2 bearing water.
>I used my 4" table saw to cut several slits crossways in a piece of 3/4"
>PVC. I capped it with a PVC "cap" and this is my filter system input. I
>installed a 3/4" ball valve and a rigid to flexible fitting using short
>pieces of pipe and elbows. The pre filter comes next followed by the main
>filter. The two filters are connected using a piece of rigid PVC and
>fittings from the hardware store. The input to the pre filter and the
>output of the main filter are fitted with a threaded to flexible fitting.
>The input and output of the pump are fitted with threaded to flexible
>fittings and the output of the pump is also fitted with a second ball
>valve. The reactor is next and the input side is also fitted with a
>threaded to flexible fitting. The output side is rigid 1/2" PVC using
>elbows and a short length of PVC so that it hangs on the back of the tank.
>The PVC extends about half way down the inside of the tank and terminates
>into a "T" using two pieces of 12" PVC and a "T" fitting. The 12" pieces
>were capped and 1/4" holes drilled along the pipes and orientated so that
>the water sprayed back and down.
>The placement of the pump after the filters allows a convenient entry point
>for CO2 and air injection. At the input to the pump impeller, the pressure
>is actually below atmospheric pressure. This makes injection of air easy.
>Simply provide a controlled "leak" and the impeller will blend it with the
>water and encourage absorption. The same goes for the CO2. I constructed
>two bubble meters using thin walled rigid vinyl tubing. The air is adjusted
>using a aquarium airline valve and my CO2 input is formed from a brass
>aquarium valve that had a tapered seat. This was soldered to a fitting that
>matched my CO2 regulator and screwed onto the regulator. By tightening the
>valve down finger tight, I get just enough flow at 20 to 30 lb regulator
>pressure to vary the pH between 6.4 and 7.2. I also added a second tap into
>the filter line. This one just after the pump. Here there is a positive
>pressure. An airline can be used to deliver a small amount of water under
>pressure. My plans were to use a small "jet" pump made from a PVC sleeve
>and a 1/16 tube to pump a very small amount of water through the substrate.
>By burying a 1/2" PVC pipe in the substrate and using this as an input, the
>currents from an substrate heater could be simulated (minus the heat) The
>thing works great. Now if I could just get the algae problem cleared up so
>I could use it. I don't use it at present since it would just induce an
>There is one disadvantage with this setup. With the pump placed after the
>filters, they must be cleaned more often than were the filters placed after
>the pump. As the filter becomes more clogged, the pressure between the
>filter and pump drops. This encourages leaks and air separation from the
>water. Doesn't seem to affect the overall CO2, O2 level in the aquarium but
>is most noticeable is a drop in water flow rate.
>Overall, the system does what I intended and it is "industrial strength".
>k5vkq at ix_netcom.com
>Onis Cogburn wrote: