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Starting new tank - codename Frankenstein - critique wanted

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  • #16
    I wouldn't name it (the tetra) for a non- stem project. It's nice that you tried to study the thing a bit, though, fish dot mongabay is a nice starting point -especially if you like to consult those fish lists, sorting them by country or by river. There are many resources on the web, however, aquariumphoto dot dk and seriouslyfish dot com are useful enough. On the former one I have seen some activity in early 2012, I guess it's great news. Just look for the african barbs or tetras. Don't get barbs with the fauna you already have, though. I am assuming that you already have your project and that you may want to get something from it -first, but I am warning you that almost any new interesting info would simply change the scape radically. On the latter one, it's easy to search for places like congo, west africa and so on. You will figure. It has a short description of the habitats, though, it is plainly copied from one related article to another once the species gets rare.

    There was also a list of plants on the web, and I guess there is a quite dusty one on the aquaria central -forums. Look for the african biotopic plants topic. Or try to search directly on the web, for west african biotopic/biotope information, though I guess you already tried that. One would be Ranalisma humile (Echinodorus humilis). Search it. I won't send you to rare or demanding ones (although I have seen you do have some resources), due to the theme you have picked and I wouldn't want to try to change it as much as I was willing to, in my previous post. So, no rayon vert aqua -this time. And yeah, that's the vermiculite. Use it for potting emersed ones, -only. If you will turn the project into a high maintenance one, I guess you will use ada (soil, sand, whatever you think might fit - it would not be as light in color as it is now, though, or that's what I think -at least) and mahogany or some other red or darker wood that would mimic it.

    White sugar sand is quite good in the very front of the scape or in the middle as a pathway to the back side, if you have a heating cable under it to support the substrate bacteria -only, and if you are thinking to use it into some other project, with a pair/matriarchate/patriarchate of tilapia/other bottom dweller. The smallest tilapia I know if is Tilapia joka and it comes from the same stream as the tetra I was referring to as being a nice shoaling for a lawn of stem plants setting. I was interested in this tilapia also because of its somewhat different behavior comparing to its genus. The wild caught ones are available from time to time, though -I guess it is on the red list and therefore very rare, but hobbyists from Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom were known for decades as T. joka keepers and lovers. They should have forums and market places. I won't add more than this and I guess it is pretty off the track already, thinking that you already have your setup on wheels and running.

    Comment


    • #17
      Wood. The last one would fit the (current) project, I guess, but the sand won't. Talking the color.

      Comment


      • #18
        Thanks client! very nice advice. Where were you three months ago?

        I did not have aquariumphoto.dk in my bookmarks, good tip. I do use seriouslyfish.com extensively. For this setup I searched "West Africa" there and I read all the profiles (there's a lot of them). Some fish were too large for this tank, and most barbs/characins need very soft black water which I don't want. That's how I came up with a short list of Phenacogrammus interruptus (Congo tetra) and Alestopetersius caudalis (yellowtail Congo tetra) to accompany my mouthbrooders. The yellowtails are harder to get and I like more how the Congo tetras look.

        All your other tips are great and I don't mind at all going off track. You are right - for this setup it's kind of late, I want to see how it takes off in its current form, but once that's off the list I will start planning the next one. Your info will come quite handy!
        Nothing is simple.

        Comment


        • #19
          Algae and worms(?)

          After one week of traveling abroad I was expecting everything to go wrong in my absence, but it didn't (much).

          Practically no algae on the glass. The CO2 diffuser did fail but I was planning to replace it anyway with a Tunze diffuser - which I did.

          But I did find a long, wavy strand of green/brown algae (see below). Looking at the algae through a handheld microscope at 50x I also saw some worm-like thingies.

          The algae is not widespread at all, there were only 2 spots with it in the entire tank. So it's not a crisis, but I'm curious.










          (go hi res)

          Please help me identify the algae and the worms.

          Thanks!
          Nothing is simple.

          Comment


          • #20
            Spring Time!

            Hi Florin,

            What do the algae feel like? Descriptive terms such as soft, rough, slimy, gritty so forth.

            How well anchored.

            I am fairly sure it is a red algae a form of Black Beard Algae, though it could be Rhizoclonium. Probably it will be a CO2 issue.

            First thought on the worm is that it definitely is not a worm,
            initial thought, a nonparasitic flatworm Turbellaria something from the phylum Platyhelminthes, a Planaria. If you can grab one and if it has “crossed eyes” then that is it, they are harmless, but indicate an excess of food, high dissolved and particulate organic material. May be relate to the CO2 problem.

            If there are no “crossed eyes,” it is some sort of Dipteran Larvae, which doesn’t narrow it down much. If you do not find “crossed eyes,” I can probably narrow it down a bit beyond the fact it is obviously aquatic. A picture or two would help, as in out of the water.


            Once again, I must compliment you on your video skills.


            Biollante
            The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

            Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
            • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
            • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
            • When in doubt "don't."

            Comment


            • #21
              Nice Tank As Well, I Love Lotuses

              Hi Florin,

              Since you seem as I am a “word” person, referring to your original post, regarding the plural of “lotus.”

              (Or perhaps I really am just an old gasbag.)

              Since lotus is from the Greek “lotos,” as in The Lotos-Eaters, the plural should be “lotoi,” but since it is the Americanized, not Greek spelling the plural is “lotuses.”


              Biollante
              The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

              Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
              • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
              • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
              • When in doubt "don't."

              Comment


              • #22
                Hi Bio,

                Unfortunately I failed to be mindful of the algae's texture and now it's gone. I will have to see if it reappears.

                I'll hunt for the "worms" in the weekend to see how crossed are their eyes

                "CO2 issue" - yes, I had about half the regular CO2 for a week.
                "high dissolved and particulate organic material" - also yes, there has been plant melting, I tried to clean up but probably there's still leftover mulm. Also some shrimp died - not sure if that's relevant for DOC but maybe there was some NH4 in the soup as well.

                Thanks for the pointers!

                Florin

                Edit: also thanks for the vocabulary tip! I now also look forward to my lotos yielding a delicious crop of honey-sweet fruit
                Last edited by Florin Ilia; 04-10-2012, 07:37 AM. Reason: saw Bio's second post
                Nothing is simple.

                Comment


                • #23
                  pH Fluctuations, Ya Gots Your CO2, DOC, POC, KH, NH4, NH3, It Is Too Much!

                  Hi Florin,

                  DOC and POC are all in the neighborhood of ammonia/ammonium.


                  While you can have DOC and POC without ammonia/ammonium, you cannot produce ammonia/ammonium without DOC/POC.[INDENT=2](Tracking the POC/DOC-NH3/NH4 thing is why I am spending a small, fortune to track total Nitrogen.)
                  [/INDENT]
                  The lower the pH the less deadly the effects of ammonia/ammonium, this is where fluctuations in CO2 can provide a deadly assist.
                  :chargrined:
                  • Even normal fluctuations in CO2, such as turning of CO2 injection at night can turn an ammonia spike deadly by raising the pH.
                  • Since there is scant evidence that leaving CO2 levels constant throughout the night is harmful,
                  • I am coming to believe that pH swings in systems on the edge are for more damaging.
                    • By definition, I believe an immature tank is on the edge.

                  Before anyone gets to excited, I think we need to remember:
                  1. Elevated CO2 in solution does not displace O2 in water as it does in air.
                  2. In nature areas of elevated CO2 do not turn on and off at night.
                  3. If there, is a reduced level of dissolved O2 it is because plant respiration continues after photosynthesis and O2 production stops and is not due to the presence of CO2 in solution.

                  Biollante
                  The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                  Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                  • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                  • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                  • When in doubt "don't."

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Bio, since excess OC is a possible culprit here, would you say this is a good time to finally put that KMnO4 to use?

                    Also, based on your advice I am now letting the CO2 on 24/24.

                    Florin
                    Nothing is simple.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      A Little Normal PP

                      Hi,

                      Yes, I think I almost suggested the PP.

                      As I recall you have 0.1N solution of KMnO4, so that works out to 3.16mgml KMnO4.
                      (N = Molar massredox, electrons gained )(You may note this assumes acidic conditions, PP is far more effective in acidic conditions therefore the safer value as PP reactions move toward acidic.)

                      Confirm that it is 0.1N KMnO4, obviously, if I misremembered, the quantities are wrong.

                      Since you have had, some unwanted help move in that likely mistook the excess organic material as an open invitation; I think a 2mgl- KMnO4 dose is in order.

                      Call it 125-liter water column so 125-l • 2mgl- PP = 250-mg PP
                      • 250-mg PP3.16mgml PP ≈ 79-ml 0.1N PP.
                      • Turn off or remove any activated charcoal, Purigen, Chemi-Pure, chemical filtration.
                      • Providing extra aeration is a good idea.
                      • Add the PP note the time.
                      • If the water goes muddy yellow or brown or clears in less than 4 hours add another full dose.
                      • Continue until the water column stays in the pink for 4-hours.

                      As a rule anything over, 6-mgl (3-doses) indicates a (serious?) problem.

                      Obviously if it is 1N KMnO4 it is about 7.9-ml, though I would actually recommend adding 10-ml of 1N KMnO4 to 90-ml distilled water and dosing 79-ml of the new solution.

                      Biollante
                      Last edited by Biollante; 04-13-2012, 12:12 AM. Reason: N not M
                      The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                      Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                      • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                      • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                      • When in doubt "don't."

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Yes, I have the 0.1N solution, good memory!

                        I will perform the procedure over the weekend.

                        I don't know how obvious are the color changes due to PP. They'd better be obvious, a few days ago I removed (prematurely) the AC I was running and the water is stained yellow from the wood, so I will have to spot changes on top of that baseline color.



                        Maybe I can submerge something white and photograph it periodically with identical settings, then analyze the pics on my PC to detect the color changes.

                        Fun
                        Nothing is simple.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Pretty In Pink

                          Hi Florin,

                          The color difference is dramatic when treating with PP, especially at the full dose.
                          • Placing a white object in the tank is a good idea.

                          If there are excess organic materials that will be obvious, it is muddy yellow or brown as soon as you see this add another dose.

                          Do not worry about the yellow tint that is an excellent indicator of excess dissolved organic material. In fact for folks that use sphagnum moss tea or so called black water extracts, those will use up some of the PP and need to be dosed after treatment.

                          The difficulty can come toward the end of the 4 hours; the “pink” may be very pale. I use a glass jar; actually, I use an Erlenmeyer flask and hold it up to the light.

                          Remember you are using a very high quality PP solution, so unlike us poor schmucks that roll our own and do not generally normalize, you are getting 100% of the PP (3.1607mgl) as opposed to the roll your own crowd where it is likely closer to 94-95%.
                          So be careful in your dosing not to exceed 2mgl (2-ppm), the therapeutic level for the tank is anything over 1.75mgl (1.75-ppm) after oxidation of excess organic material. Maintenance doses are under 1.5mgl, in tanks I have been experimenting with no water changes, EI dosing, I have found .75mgl every six weeks, sufficient.
                          Remember you can stop the reaction any time by using dechlorinator (any antioxidant),
                          • in fact if you have just changed your water and overdosed the dechlorinator, the PP will have to burn through that as well.
                          • Additional aeration is a good precaution but is not required.
                          • In tanks with high dissolved organic loads it can look ugly, it is ugly, persevere, dose again.
                          • Remember to dose trace, especially iron the day after.
                            • You may also find you need to increase the Nitrate dose since the plants may be adapted to high Nitrates from an organic source.
                          • For a couple of days after the treatment you will have the clearest water you have seen.

                          An odd (to me anyway) side effect is the tanks smell like a freshwater lake after a storm.


                          Biollante
                          The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                          Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                          • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                          • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                          • When in doubt "don't."

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Tons of dirt?

                            I started the treatment at 12:03, it is now 18:07 local time.

                            The water keeps getting a dark whiskey color in less than an hour after I dose the PP, or dark yellow if I leave it longer. As instructed, I repeat the dose. I am now at the 6th dose (!!!) and the water is again whiskey color so this won't be the last dose.

                            Below the whiskey color I can see the water has also become cloudy.

                            2 or 3 hours ago I took some water in a glass and overdosed PP. It got pink and it still is.

                            The snails and shrimp move around as usual, I see no signs of distress.

                            I will add a detailed write-up, with pictures, when the ordeal is over.

                            I wonder if I really have that much dirt or if it's the manzy messing with my PP. Not only it's been in water for less than 3 months, but some pieces still have bark on them.
                            Nothing is simple.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The Usual Suspects

                              Hi Florin,

                              Well something is/was going on…
                              The yellow tint in the water column along with the apparent planarian infestation is strong evidence of high dissolved organics.

                              Treating a water sample separately is an excellent way of telling exactly how much PP you need.
                              • If it turns out you need significantly more or you never complete the treatment (4-hours in the pink) it indicates you have rotting material “pumping” dissolved organic material into the water column.
                              • Driftwood is always among the “usual suspects.”
                                • Bark is bad.

                              Critters, unless they are already stressed or ill are simply not affected by PP treatments of 2mgl (2-ppm), in fact established bio-filters are generally not harmed.

                              The danger to critters in PP treatments center on oxygen levels,
                              • in well-oxygenated tanks (high DO) added aeration is not necessary.
                              • The problem is that in tanks with high dissolved organic material, the oxygen demand is much higher and
                              • as PP oxidizes organic material, oxygen combines with carbon, producing CO2.
                              • This is the reason I always recommend aeration,
                                • even in maintenance situations with no perceived problem.

                              Biollante
                              The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                              Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                              • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                              • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                              • When in doubt "don't."

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                11 hours, 8 doses, couldn't complete it. I did a 50% water change.

                                It's too late now for the detailed writeup, I'll do that tomorrow.
                                Nothing is simple.

                                Comment

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