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Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)

Hi,

John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

Build Plans - Advice will be needed -NOW INSTALLED

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03 May 2014 20:41 #121 by alan 64 (alan)
all looks like a great job this tank will look amazing what kinda cash u running up to no id say uve spent a fair buck man

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03 May 2014 20:55 #122 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Coming close to 4k now I'd say, I'll update to expenses list in a few days :)

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06 May 2014 09:14 #123 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
ok, a big update today,

Started laying down the foundation of the gravel cleaner.
All siliconed them down to stop them floating away and blocked off the ends of the tubes, there are 9 in total


drill a whole in the wier and routed the air tubes (all 30 meters!!) to the back of the tank


routed down the me new air pump,


connected to my new air pump



and tested the next day



all works as expected

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06 May 2014 09:32 #124 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Also started scaping it a bit (alot to go yet)

Bottom layer of JBL manado


then added some structure to it


Added my ADA


Added some dragon rock




and started filing


alot of scum to clear away with the ADA


Once it over flowed to the sump i turned on the pomp but notice that my one-way valve was far to heavy, the pump force was only a small percentage of what it should be - so I remove it.

I filled the tank and disconnected the pump to check if my sump-2-drain system worked.

The water level in the sump only got this high before it auto corrected itself.




had one or 2 small drip leaks so i didn't keep it running over night - ill turn it back on when i get home.

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06 May 2014 23:39 #125 by Zebrapleco (samuel wasson)
This is great looking and can't wait to see it finished.

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07 May 2014 08:39 - 07 May 2014 08:40 #126 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Anyone any experience with Amazonia ADA soil?

I'm told its very high in ammonia, which I confirmed the other day.
The instructions also say not washing it is optional - as it could crumble the soil.

So its in the tank now, after a day its clear water, but when i agitate it at all, then the whole tanks is pitch black again and I'm sure anmonia is spiking again.

Any tips for cleaning this stuff once its in the tank?
Last edit: 07 May 2014 08:40 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh).

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07 May 2014 09:23 #127 by swai (Simon)
I hear at the start you need to do 50% water changes daily. Adding carbon to your sump will also help and do you have your uv up and running?

I've about 30kg of used Amazonia for my tank in the shed so will be using that when I get my new tank. Don't know whether I should wash or not before!

Marino, Dublin 9

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07 May 2014 09:35 #128 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
what Darren in seahorse told me was about 90% water change, (if i remember right ?) but because of my tank being so big he recommend an additive to remove the ammonia, which im doing.

I think I just wont aerate the soil, and just let it settle - disconnect the pump and leave it be.

On the plus side, tank ran all night without a single drip :)

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07 May 2014 09:50 #129 by swai (Simon)
Nice!

90% water changes! Your lucky your getting your tank set up before this so called water tax!

Yeah I would just leave it settle see how it goes.

Marino, Dublin 9

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07 May 2014 09:53 #130 by joemc (joe mc)
I have been reading this thread since the beginning, great to see the tank in place now with water in it.
One question though, why have you added the airline system in the gravel? I don't think the water will ever clear if you are agitating the substrate and with the type of substrate you are using I would imagine that it would crumble doing this
looking forward to the next instalment

FOR SALE
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Ebay Fish Foods Click here!

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07 May 2014 09:58 #131 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
you are correct, coming from an area where I never really used this type of soil before i had it in my head that i never want to "gravel clean" it so i added the air hose to do this for me. but upon reflection "gavel cleaning" is not needed on this soil type.

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07 May 2014 10:03 - 07 May 2014 10:08 #132 by joemc (joe mc)
live and learn isn't it!
you don't win all the time with your ideas and contraptions, but trying different things like you did is the way fishkeeping moves forward, so thumbs up from me for thinking about a new way to do something
joe
edit, I don't know if you have done this already or not, but stick some anti syphon valves onto the airlines, you don't want a back flow of water into your cabinet

FOR SALE
Catappa Leaves
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Ebay Fish Foods Click here!
Last edit: 07 May 2014 10:08 by joemc (joe mc). Reason: to mention anti syphon valves

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07 May 2014 16:20 #133 by alan 64 (alan)
i used ada in my 300 ltr tank and the last thing u want to do is agitate it also i would br very carefull when u initaly put plants in with ur dosing as u can get algea blooms with the ada, and y are u adding anything to remove ammonia let the filter do that the ada is great for a fishless cycle and u will end up with a very strong filer, and as far as cleaning the ada dont touch the stuff when u have plent of plants in there it will look after itself and ur water will be spotless

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08 May 2014 13:19 #134 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
thanks Alan, that's what I'm going to do :)

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08 May 2014 18:50 - 08 May 2014 18:51 #135 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
wow, 17 thousand views on the topic !!


added one of the plants

(not expecting it to survive with my high anommia levels)



and added my lighting units :) coming together :)
Last edit: 08 May 2014 18:51 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh).

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08 May 2014 19:50 #136 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
I have used the amazonia myself a few times. Not much of what you put in the tank will survive the intial ammonia spike (I remember it went way over8 ppm when I used it).

The ammonia will only go down after water changes. I use to do 90%, then 80% then 50% until the ammonia levels drop down to more "normal" levels (2 ppm).

With a tank your size I'd say ammonia reducers will come handy though.

Also, ADA Amazonia will make your water very soft and the fact that you are using an RO system will make your water even softer so you will need to add supplements of some sort. For starters use something to increase the KH/GH among other things.

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08 May 2014 22:53 #137 by alan 64 (alan)
You can add what u want u will not get the kh upp on this big tank with all that ada my kh was always 0 and my ph was 6 nevef any problems I added 1 scoop of aquador every week just so there was some thing in there

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09 May 2014 09:29 #138 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
I know my tap water is...

GH 120ppm
KH 240ppm
PH 7.0

once the anommia drops down, I'm expecting the GH / KH to drop to about

GH 100ppm
KH 200ppm
PH 6.5-7.0

with any luck I wont need to add any additives,

I'm still doing a very high water change every day (need to measure)

annomina was rated @ 1.2ppm yesterday and nitrates @ 5ppm

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09 May 2014 15:54 #139 by alan 64 (alan)
the least amount of additives the better if ur ammonia is down to that now i would back off on the water changes now and let the filter start building up its bacteria i take it ur gna be running c02 on here as i spotted the fire extuingusher so with a thank that big try use mostly slow growing plants as i found out with fast growing plants in a big tank u will be crusifyed trimming them back i am not kidding if i was to do it again i would go with slow growing plants and at the start some fast growing floating plants that can be removed when the slowgrowers are established and that way u might not get any algae issues with a bit of luck ha

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09 May 2014 16:10 #140 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey there

Yes Alan is right, 1.2 ppm is low enough. I would let the tank settle now and let the cycle complete.

Like Alan said additives (such as aquadur) do little to increase the KH but they do work, the only problem is thatit is a pain to use as it requires constant additions. You will also need to mix it well with every water change and because of the way you are doing the water changes this will be difficult for you which means you add the mix seperately and make sure that you dont overdose as fish dont like quick KH/GH changes (so now it will a good time to try it as your tank is empty)

I had a much smaller tank (250 l) and I use to put 1 spoon of aquadur (aquadur spoon included) per week to keep the KH between 4-5. It was a big of a pain. Water hardness doesnt bother me much it is the lack of buffer that concerned me so (as Alan said) I used Co2 to try to keep a steady pH (around 6.4). This proved to be very efficient. However, I know that trying to keep steady levels of CO2 with a sump is hard as well (due to Co2 loss)

With time, the Amazonia soil will bring down the water hardness no matter what you do so I had to add aquardur on weekly basis which was a bit of a pain. The stuff is brilliant, I still use it on my new temp tank. It will literally grow anything so be careful with lights and the plant that you chose as otherwise they will overtake the entire tank in a matter of weeks.

Right now I have not Co2 in my Amazonia tank and my KH is close to 0 and my pH is around 6.5 (it is an old amazonia that I am using). Amazonia provides most of the nutrients my plants need and whatever it is missing I add it!

I am going to get the seneye for freswater (I alreadyhave the reef one) so I can monitor my pH and to make sure it doesnt fluctuate very much.

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09 May 2014 17:54 #141 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Thanks for the tip, I've lowered the drip feed to 141 liters (18%) per week.

I'll do another gh and kh check next weekend. And i'll be setting up the Co2 next week also.

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09 May 2014 22:42 #142 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
Tank looks great now that it is in place.

I can only echo what has already been said.
Amazonia leaches a lot of nutrients at the start which your Ammonia/Ammonium test kit will pick up on. This needs to be reduced with water changes and/or an Ammonia absorption media like zeolite.
Each time you disturb the Amazonia it will leach a bit of Ammonia/Ammonium. So when it comes to planting I would drain it. No spikes, no mess and less chance of an algae bloom at the start.

GH 120ppm
KH 240ppm
PH 7.0
once the anommia drops down, I'm expecting the GH / KH to drop to about
GH 100ppm
KH 200ppm
PH 6.5-7.0


I think there may have been some confusion on an earlier post regarding how much the Amazonia soil can reduce the PH, KH and GH.
I was referring to the German scale or measurement.
So instead of having a GH of 120ppm you would have dGH-6.7 or KH-240ppm you would have dKH-13.4
You just multiply the ppm by 0.056 or divide it by 17.86. I just find it easier to work with lower numbers with my small brain. :lol:

The Amazonia soil will bring these down to 0 or close to it and keep every thing stable.

Darren.

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09 May 2014 22:48 #143 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Thanks Darren :)

Good to know the difference between kh and dkh :)
Should I start draining and planting this weekend? Or wait a while longer?

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09 May 2014 22:56 #144 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
With Ammonia 1.2ppm you wont damage the plants. I say go for it.

Quick tip. If you don't get it all planted in one go just cover the tank with cling film. The plants will be fine the next day.

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09 May 2014 23:03 #145 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Awesome, I'll give that a go tomorrow :)

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09 May 2014 23:15 #146 by swai (Simon)
Looking forward to the planted pics!

Marino, Dublin 9

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09 May 2014 23:17 #147 by swai (Simon)
That's some great info Darren. I'll hopefully be picking up my tank from sh soon and will be using amazonia soil. Cheers.

Tank looks great now that it is in place.

I can only echo what has already been said.
Amazonia leaches a lot of nutrients at the start which your Ammonia/Ammonium test kit will pick up on. This needs to be reduced with water changes and/or an Ammonia absorption media like zeolite.
Each time you disturb the Amazonia it will leach a bit of Ammonia/Ammonium. So when it comes to planting I would drain it. No spikes, no mess and less chance of an algae bloom at the start.

GH 120ppm
KH 240ppm
PH 7.0
once the anommia drops down, I'm expecting the GH / KH to drop to about
GH 100ppm
KH 200ppm
PH 6.5-7.0


I think there may have been some confusion on an earlier post regarding how much the Amazonia soil can reduce the PH, KH and GH.
I was referring to the German scale or measurement.
So instead of having a GH of 120ppm you would have dGH-6.7 or KH-240ppm you would have dKH-13.4
You just multiply the ppm by 0.056 or divide it by 17.86. I just find it easier to work with lower numbers with my small brain. :lol:

The Amazonia soil will bring these down to 0 or close to it and keep every thing stable.

Darren.


Marino, Dublin 9

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10 May 2014 15:32 #148 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Drained it and planted what I trimmed from my other tank. Didn't want to throw everything in just in case something went wrong. But about 50 or so repens planted now and slowly filling the tank again.

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10 May 2014 18:29 #149 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Word to the wise, don't drain the tank before planting. Only half drain it because no matter how careful you are the ADA soil will turn the water brown. And when it settles, it settles onthe plant leaves. So you end up with dirty plants :( had to clean them hhalf way through refilling

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11 May 2014 11:49 - 11 May 2014 11:52 #150 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
ok so photos of yesterday and today,

so i used a small pump to drain the main tank into my new sump-2-drain system, (worked very well)


After that i trimmed my 80liter tank and i think planted about 150 repens (8 rows with about 17 plants on each row)
As i mentioned ealier, i need to clean then plants half way through the refill, (no photos im afraid)


So this morning i did a water test (had the orginal number the wrong way around- but now corrected)


GH80ppm / dGH 4.48was 240ppm / dGH 13.4
KH20ppm / dKH 1.12was 120ppm / dGH 6.7
No3<5ppm
ammonia0.3ppm
pH6.9


And the sump is starting to take shape


left to right

water return with filter sock
Fry / Breading area with netted overflow to stop them getting out - need to get lights
Filter area


left to right

filter area
return pump, VUC, water drip feeder from RO uint and my Sump 2 Drain system (which im very proud of :P )

and some photos now that the dust in the tank as settled
11 guppies (tester fish) and 150 repens


Last edit: 11 May 2014 11:52 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh).

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