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Old 03-21-2011, 11:54 AM   #41
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It's been a busy week coupled with a case of spring fever, so my tanks were a bit neglected this past weekend. I'm planning to get to them tonight and get some pictures. In the meantime, here's a quick literal update:

I didn't get the CO2 tank for my birthday, but I got $50 towards the purchase of one. There's a fish swap/flea market next Sunday, so I'll scout around there for a deal and hit the internet if I can't find anything. I'm thinking at least a 10lb cylinder so I can possibly hook up a couple tanks.

I still need to pick up a phosphate and a new nitrate test kit, so I haven't adjusted my ferts at all. The high-light plants aren't growing as quickly as I'd expected. I'm hoping it's just a shortage of carbon and not a light deficiency (or possibly excess).

GSA has taken over the front glass again. It's not thick enough to look very green, but it makes the tank look cloudy.

The najas grass and the mystery plant are running rampant. The mystery plants is over two feet long now and is starting to branch out. I still haven't seen any roots, but I might try planting it like a stem plant. The glosso has new, very short growth. I'm thinking about trimming some of the older, taller shoots and planting them to attempt a shorter carpet.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:14 PM   #42
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I rent my gas and tank from a welding shop for $3 a month. Idk if you have asked or have the option. Benefit is that you just exchange tank. No filling cost. If you own your own, you have to have your tank cleaned before filling. Maybe something to look into.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:23 PM   #43
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I'd rather own my tanks. Renting wasn't that cheap around here and you still need to pay for the refills. My nearby welding gas supplier closed down so I have to find a new one. I've got three empty tanks from my cutting torch and MIG welder that need filling also, so maybe I'll get my act together and find one.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:47 PM   #44
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Here's a FTS. I pulled out the water sprite before it takes over the tank, so it's looking a little bare.



Here's some glosso growth. There are a lot of shoots like this and they're all very short.



Here's a shot of the mystery plant. Still no sign of roots. I pulled it out and dumped it in my 40B.

Any suggestions for plants? I've found some deals on AquaBid that I might take a chance on.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:23 PM   #45
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Is the rotala w growing ok? I see 1 big stem in there...


How about some mid grounds like dwarf hair grass or maybe some more stems. Try some rotala m and really take that fixture for a drive
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:32 PM   #46
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Following: I also have the mystery plant in my gourami tank. Grows like crazy but never see a root.

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #47
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The rotala is growing, but not very fast. The big stem you see is the tallest of the bunch. There's three or four shorter stems by the tall stem and another three or four stems behind the mystery plant.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:18 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
I followed this: DealExtreme: Customer Uploaded Photo Gallery - 2000mA 30W Power Constant Current Source LED Driver (85~265V)

It's in the customer images section on the LED driver page I linked to earlier in the thread. I have no idea how the poster figured out which resistor could be used to control the current, but it does work.
Hi,

Great thread. I've already ordered the LEDs and driver to build a more conservative version of your light. However, I have a question about the pot that you used, because there seem to be a contradiction between the schematic and the description of the schematic you linked to. The description says that when the pot is at 0, the parallel combination of 390R and 100R is applied. But the schematic says the pot is 1k - 10k. In that case, when the pot is at it's physical 0 point, it still has a resistance of 1k, so the the parallel combination applied would be 390R + 1100R. So, did you use a 1k - 10k pot, or a 0 - 10k pot?

Thanks.

-- Bill
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:01 AM   #49
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wmsky, welcome to AA!

Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what the exact resistance range is on the pot I used. I know the top end is 10k, but I'm not sure about the bottom end. I grabbed the first pot I saw with the 10k upper range because I wanted to finish the project and I intend it to be temporary.

Looking at the schematic again, I see your confusion. With a 1k-10k pot, you lose a bit of the lower end adjustment compared to the 0-10k pot. I wasn't really concerned with low-end adjustability since my goal was a high-light tank. I wired the pot so it's in the 10k position when the the detent clicks, so I know when I've got max current and the knob won't turn with an accidental touch.

Tank update: I think I scored big on Craigslist yesterday. I purchases a pair of 20lb CO2 cylinders for $35. One still has something in it too, but I don't know how much. The bad news is I think both tanks are out of hydrotest date. I have to do some more research. One tank is definitely aluminum, the other might be, but I didn't find any obvious markings when I looked the bottle over.

I'm hoping to see if my free CO2 regulator is in working order tonight, but it might have to wait for the weekend. The solenoid clicks when you plug it in, but I don't know about the actual regulator. If the regulator works, I'm a small powerhead and drop checker away from the high-tech CO2 system I swore I'd never get when I started with plants.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #50
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What kind of thermal paste did you use? Thermal adhesive or thermal grease? Thermal grease is abundant around where I live but im afraid it wont hold the leds to the aluminum tube.

On a side note, I ordered less and a driver from a company called cutter electronics. The less are a little more expensive but they have a much larger selection. Plus they have an led driver with a potentiometer built in. In total I spent about $100 for 12 leds and a driver. More expensive than what you spent but I like the led color I chose a bit more.
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