Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Plants, Aquariums, and Cons

I've found Rex's Planted Tank Guide to be quite useful. As a teacher and scientist I've been irritated by advertisements for the water purification gadget (the Eco-Aqualizer) you see to the right. Rex gives an excellent analysis. Find it here: bad science. Add your web site suggestions via a comment. I am also enjoying The Planted Tank. The forums are great and I like to browse the submitted aquariums. Read more!


Aqualight Lunar Blue Moon Glow
The DrF&S price looks reasonable.
I'm inspired by this pic of a tank lit by the above light.
Note: not my pic.
As I mentioned in my first post my lighting consists of two 36 inch and two 24 inch fluorescent tubes (100 watts total). The doublestrip 24 inch fixture was on hand and I purchased the doublestrip 36 inch (DrF&S) $94.99. The bulbs are a mix of Flora Sun 24" 17W ($15.99), Nutri Grow Plant Lamp 36" 30W ($16.49), and Spectra Rays Full-Spectrum 24" 20W ($11.99).
More to come. I'll do a post on my thoughts regarding these tubes.
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Tannic Acid

My Malaysian driftwood is releasing tannins as expected, but not as much as I thought it might. As you can see the water is only a little brown. Aesthetically, it looks natural. What about water conditions? The pH I inherited from the previous setup was over 7.0. The eco-complete substrate may raise the pH a bit, whereas the driftwood tannins may lower it. My goal is an acidic environment for Blue Rams (pH below 7). I'll be patient as see how the water stabilizes over time and I'll continue to do small water changes every day or two. I won an auction for a Co2 generation system day before yesterday. I'll report on this when it arrives. Injecting Co2 should keep my pH where I want it. I have more to learn about water chemistry for sure. Wow, check out this heated discourse on water chemistry. Total alkalinity/buffering capacity 120ppm. Total hardness 120ppm. Nitrite at or near zero. Nitrate 80ppm. I found this article on driftwood. There's lots of good info out there in various forums as well. Read more!

What's under there?

Here's a peek at what's under my tank. I'm looking forward to giving the Seachem Matrix a try. It'll go in the Fluval 305. See anything interesting? The plan is to work on water quality this week. Add plants Monday, assuming they arrive then. And add fish shortly thereafter.

Is anybody out there? I'll post a picture of the tank with then now tannin added water later today. Read more!


I hope to have a heavily planted tank with Blue Rams as the fish stars. Some of these tanks are my inspiration. I plan to only post original pics, so I'll forgo posting any pics of other folks plants or fish. Instead here's a pic of me and my buds. L to R, Pat the archeologist, John the statistician, Luke the carpenter, and me, David the psychologist. I'm doing 10-20% water changes every day so I'll post an update when I do that tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see if the driftwood affects the Ph of the water.

We've been friends since high school. What to know more? Just let me know. Read more!

Current Occupant

Emerald Green Cory or Brochis splendens.
He/she has survived in this tank for years, even back when Earl the red ear pond slider lived here. I'm happy to have him here eating and pooping, but I feel I either need to get him some species mates or find him another home.

Would he be a good member of a community tank with blue rams? I wonder if he would eat any eggs they produced. I read female Green Corys have more girth and males are more slender. I'm thinking this is a female.
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