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Re: too much light

>> >Onis,
>> >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
>added unknown.
>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: