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Old 11-03-2006, 09:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lyquidphyre
Im not totally sure whats wrong with my CO2. I have checked and checked and checked for leaks and have found nothing. I am wondering if the place I take it to (the beer barn) doesn't fill it up all the way... or if checking for leaks emptied it out more than I thought. It runs out anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks- it just depends. I think it has lasted at the most 3 months and that was when I first got it. Im sure it would have lasted longer if I knew what I was doing then =o)
That is something that is going to have to be looked into. You are going to have to look into leak checking the system again, LOL. Do you happen to know the flow rate at which you set it at? You are also going to have to monitor the the KH and pH while you are injecting the CO2 inorder to gauge how much you are injecting. (did you replace the seal between the valve and the regulator?)

Originally Posted by lyquidphyre
As far as lights, I have the second one you linked. And it's good to know NOW that I should never touch the actual bulb, haha.
I just hope that the bulb is a 10000K bulb an not an Actinic bulb. I wouldn't think a single fixture would contain an Actinic bulb, but ya never know.

Originally Posted by lyquidphyre
Aside from keeping up with my CO2 and fertilizing from Greg Watson... what else would have to be done to keep up my tank (aside from the usual tank up keep)? Like I said, Im in college which means time and money are always limited. I would really love to get my tank up and running to where it runs on it's own so to speak (and by runs on its own I mean, all I have to do is dose and feed my fish because lately it's been a pain to up keep with all the algae and such). Er, not so much runs on its own.. but the amount of effort I put into it, I see. Right now I have put so much time and money in it and it's no where near where I want it.

How much does greg watson typically cost?
I am going to list the EI routine and taget ranges for your tank taken from:

http://www.barrreport.com/estimative...test-kits.html (a good read if you have the time)

60 Ė 80 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/4 tsp K2S04 3x a week
+/- ľ tsp (15ml) Trace 3x a week
50% weekly water change

EI target ranges
CO2 range 20-30 ppm
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher
GH range 3-5 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher
KH range 3-5


fertilizers to order:

CSM+B (Trace mix)
KN03 (Potassium Nitrate)
KH2P04 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
K2S04 (Potassium Sulfate)
(I would also purchase (2) 8 oz twin neck dosing bottles)

When I purchased my ferts, I spent 34.47 including shipping. that was for all the ferts that will last for atleast a year and two dosing bottles.

The EI regime is just a simple way to maintain a range of nutrients within the aquarium, so the plants do not became limited by one nutrient, which would allow algae to thrive. It can be altered to suit your needs.

At first this seems daunting, to say the least, but give it a week and you will see that once a routine is established, there really isn't much to it. The best part is seeing the plants grow day after day.

(ps if my thoughts seem incomplete, I apologize, my current medical condition requires that I remain on narcotics, so my mind sometimes wonders. I have only been up for 41 hours now)


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Old 11-03-2006, 10:11 PM   #12
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250-watts is not too much if you get your CO2 running an dose EI ferts. I have 324-watts on my 72g now (upgraded from 216-watt) and I have come to learn that if I keep my ferts and CO2 correct, I have VERY little algae problems. Virtually nothing to speak of. The upkeep is really with water changes and trimming / replanting plants, but I find that fun. So in a sense if you balance out your tank on the high-end, your algae maintenance should be reduced or eliminated.

If you want a low-light, low maintenance tank you should look at perhaps a 150-watt setup or less... LFS in general are full of yahoo's who are in no place to give you adequate advice, and their suggestion to go down to 40-watts of light, or that 250-watts would kill your plants is just crazy talk. That is a MH light you have there. They are typically much more expensive than your standard fair and more common in the salt water world. Having only one over 75g will probably give you lighting-regions in your tank. How high above the tank is the light and what is the light dispersion like? Better to plant high-light plants directly under the light and lower light plants further away.

My suggestion would be to fix your CO2 problem and get some Greg Watson ferts (not expensive at all when compared with seachem liquids). Rkilling1 gave you a good run down on all of that

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Old 11-03-2006, 10:24 PM   #13
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While you certainly can grow any plant under that 250watt MH lamp. That much light needs CO2, and a solid fert schedule such as Rkilling is suggesting. That much light without those two things equals algae.
If you are up for it though, Greg Watson ferts are very inexpensive. And EI is easy, but you have to follow its schedule with some discipline, and keep up those weekly 50% water changes.

If you are not up for that that much maintenance, then perhaps a less intense light would be better for you. From that perspective there are many choices for a tank your size. I would not personnaly recomend the 48" NO fluorescents like the LFS guy did. But anything from a 2x 65w Compact Florescent, to a nice light like Dapellegrini reviews in this post would do well.
The nice thing about a light like that, is you can turn half of it off for lower light while you get things under control. And then, turn it all on someday when you get the CO2 and fert thing going.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:20 PM   #14
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Thanks for your help rkilling1 and everyone =o)

I think I will stick with my 250 watt light, some how get my CO2 canister fixed and then go from there with greg watson and such. I figure I will be graduating in December, so I should have more time to work with my tank and my plants.

Thanks so much again!

*goes to bookmark this thread*

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Old 11-04-2006, 11:11 PM   #15
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The important part is getting ferts and CO2 in line. I have 520W CF on my 75G, no problems. Since my tank redo, I've cut the lighting down til I get more plants. I had very little algae with 520W up until I had to treat for ick and cut off my CO2. Then BBA took off like a rocket, and had a bugger of a time getting rid of it.
55G Filstar XP3 - 16" Fire Eel
75G Medium Planted - Filstar XP3 Low Light - Established Feb 2006
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:37 AM   #16
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Some observations from your regulator picture:

Your cylinder looks like it is aluminum. The place where I got my CO2 said aluminum cylinders can leak more than steel ones, and mentioned something about the O-ring. The guy said that a lot of people come back to get an aluminum cylinder refilled after only 2 weeks. Ask at the place you get your CO2 if they can give you any tips for hooking up an aluminum tank to prevent leaks. Make sure to use a new O-ring every time you re-attach the regulator after a fill-up.

Is that a Milwaukee regulator? It looks like mine as far as I can tell. The right side gauge looks too high. In my directions it said it should be set at 10 on the inner set of numbers. You could be allowing too much gas to come out. Dial back the big knob - slowly! and it may take a day or two to stabilize. Don't try to turn it back all at once - go gradually. Re-check your regulator hookup directions too just to be sure. I got a troubleshooting page with mine.

I hope this helps - I only got my pressurized setup last week, so I'm not super familiar with it yet myself!

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Old 11-05-2006, 10:45 AM   #17
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I am not sure if my tank is steel or aluminum, but it looks just like yours, and it has been running for 2 months now -- still shows almost completely full. I bought mine on recommendation from a guy I work with that uses the same one for his 300g reef tank. Completely different usage in his case (feeding a calcium reactor, not plants), but it usually last him 3-6 months growing massive amounts of coral...

Purrbox had a good post going on her move to CO2, including problems with leaking bottles:


Good luck. Looks like you have some pretty nice equipment in general.

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light, lighting

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