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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Help me setup Project Avalon!!
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Help me setup Project Avalon!!

 
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Nischint
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 12:45 am Post subject: Help me setup Project Avalon!! Reply with quote

 Hi  folks,
 
 This  is  officially  my  first  post  on  the  forum  and  from  what  I  have  seen  so  far,  it  seems  extremely  promising  and  helpful,  to  beginners  and  experts  alike.
 
 I  am  in  the  process  of  setting  up  my  first  plant-only  tank,  which  I  have  nicknamed  Avalon.  Hence,  this  project  is  called  Project  Avalon.  Mind  you,  I  am  just  a  student,  so  I  can't  really  afford  proper  pumps  and  injectors,  so  everything  has  to  be  DIY  and  really  cheap.  And  I  mean,  really  cheap.  Spent  too  much  money  already  on  the  four  fish  tanks  I  have  and  the  girlfriend  says,  it's  either  her  or  the  fish.  I'd  like  to  keep  both    Very Happy  
 
 Here  are  the  details:
 
 Tank  volume:  18  gallons
 Tank  Dimensions:  2'6"  x  12"  x  12"
 Tank  Lighting:  36W  PLL  from  Osram  (6500K,  Length  18")
 
 Tank  Substrate:  1  and  a  half  inch  Golden  Sand  mixed  with  mulm.  Can't  find  any  good  laterite  in  bombay  from  any  reliable  source,  but  would  like  to.
 
 Tank  CO2:  I'll  be  using  a  simple  yeast  sugar  mix.  Was  thinking  of  getting  a  CO2  canister  but  too  expensive  and  big  for  my  needs.  Problem  is  I  don't  know  how  to  control  the  output.
 
 Tank  Fauna:  4  blue  morphs  (which  Beta  and  Madan  said  I  should  rethink,  since  they  dig  so  much,  so  I  might  go  in  for  some  other  really  colorful  fish,  suggestions  welcome),  6  guppies,  1  small  pleco  and  10  neon  tetras.
 
 Tank  decorations:  River  rocks,  driftwood  and  a  small  castle  or  boat  Smile
 
 Tank  Flora:  This  is  what  I  have  to  decide,  but  I'm  going  to  try  everything.  So  for  now,  the  list  includes  Riccia  Fluitans,  those  things  LFS'  call  banana  plants,  Microsorum  pteropus  and  various  Crypts.
 
 
 Now  the  thing  is  I'm  not  sure  about  how  to  go  about  in  terms  of  filtration  and  aeration.  I  have  decided  to  use  an  external  wet/dry  trickle  filter,  maybe  by  using  a  plastic  bottle  or  one  of  the  old  smaller  tanks,  which  will  have  to  be  deactivated  to  make  space  for  this  new  tank.
 
 Aeration  is  a  problem,  as  the  CO2  will  get  lost  too  soon.  PMDD,  micronutrients,  macronutrients,  I  know  little  about,  but  i  know  they  help  in  plant  growth.
 
 All  help  will  be  greatly  appreciated  and  I  shall  one  day  bear  healthy  sons  for  all  the  ones  who  help    :lol:  
 
 Thanks,
 Nischint

 
 Edit:  I've  heard  that  100%  Flourite  is  an  excellent  substrate.  Any  place  one  can  pick  it  up  in  Bombay?
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Madan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 7:46 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nischint  First  Things  First  -
 
 You  said  I  cannot  control  the  output  of  CO2  -  is  that  CO2  out  of  a  canister  or  is  it  CO2  out  of  the  DIY  yeast  set  up.
 
 Never  try  to  control  the  Flow  of  CO2  in  a  DIY  sugar  -yeast  setup.  The  flow  has  to  be  unhindered.
 
 Wet/Dry  trickle  filter  is  fine  -  but  do  not  have  a  shower  type  fall  of  water  in  the  filter  all  co2  is  lost.
 
 See  another  thread  in  this  forum  regarding  wet/dry  filter  and  co2  injection.
 
 Aeration  in  planted  aquaria  -  not  required.  the  aeration  will  drive  out  all  the  co2.
 
 Injecting  co2,  well  simply  push  in  the  tubing  from  the  DIY  sugar-yeast  bottle  into  your  power  filter.  That's  the  simplest  way  to  do  things  or  else  use  an  air  stone  to  bubble  the  co2  into  the  path  of  the  filter  outlet  so  that  the  co2  bubbles  are  carried  around  the  tank  by  the  current.
 
 As  for  laterite  just  drive  down  to  the  outskirts  of  Mumbai  with  your  girl  friend...  look  around  for  freshly  dug  up  red  soil  and  get  a  small  plastic  bag  full  of  it.  Real  cozy  way  of  doing  things.
 
 Usually  when  a  girl  friend  says  Tanks  or  Me  it  usually  is  -  tanks  for  me  -  all  the  best  again  getting  her  involved  in  your  pursuits.  Collecting  laterite  will  be  a  good  start.  You  can  then  go  on  rock  collecting  trips,  then  driftwood  collecting  trips,  then  fish  collection  trips  and  finally  aquatic  plant  collecting  trips    :lol:    :lol:  .
 
 Fluorite  I  heard  is  damn  expensive  at  least  that  is  what  Samar  posted  a  while  ago.  Better  spend  the  money  on  petrol  and  have  a  picnic  with  the  girlfriend  while  collecting  laterite  and  have  the  best  of  both  worlds.
 
 A  word  of  caution  -  do  not  mention  that  you  are  looking  for  laterite  -  make  it  look  like  you  found  it  accidently  !  :lol:
 
 Last  but  not  the  least  -  Loose  the  castle  or  boat  -  underwater  horrors  in  my  opinion.
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Samar
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 4:17 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Nischint,
 
 I'm  very  new  at  this  game  myself  but  since  I  am  in  Mumbai  you  could  come  over  to  my  office  (Kala  Ghoda,  Fort)  and  residence  (Nepean  Sea  Road)  to  look  at  my  six  tanks.  I've  largely  moved  to  concentrating  on  plants  though  there  are  a  lot  of  fish  too.
 
 Laterite  is  good  quality  red  mitti  which  the  plant  nursery  guys  buy  for  landscaping  or  potted  plants.  You  don't  need  a  lot  so  make  sure  that  you  source  good  quality.  You  are  welcome  to  come  and  pick  it  up  from  my  office  if  nothing  else  works  out.
 
 I  have  CO2  cylinders  at  both  places  and  except  for  the  Reactor  and  Bubble  counter  which  you  would  have  to  source  from  Rufus,  the  cylinders,  valves,  piping,  pH  meters  etc  are  all  available  in  Mumbai.  Again,  if  you  see  it,  its  much  simpler  to  understand.
 
 I've  also  used  white  sand  which  the  drip  irrigation  guy  sells  for  sand  filters  and  it  gave  me  both  the  2-3mm  stuff  and  the  5-6  mm  grain.  I  tested  it  with  HCl  acid  and  it  seems  to  be  calcium  free  and  the  plants  are  thriving  in  it.  It  sells  for  4.50  Rs  a  kg  and  is  cheaper  than  golden  sand.  I've  done  one  tank  with  golden  sand  just  for  variety  but  it  was  very  difficult  getting  the  5-6  mm  grain  and  a  majority  was  smaller  grained  than  2mm.  You  are  welcome  to  borrow  the  sieves  that  I  used  to  sort  it  out.
 
 PMMD  I  have  mixed  as  per  Madan's  instructions,  and  have  had  very  good  growth.  Can  give  that  to  you  also.
 
 You  are  also  welcome  to  some  of  the  more  gaunthi  plants  that  are  growing  like  weeds.  I  have  others  but  they  might  not  be  ready  for  division  or  propagation  yet.
 
 Call  me  on  98201  32512  and  we  could  fix  up  a  time  to  meet.
 
 Samar  Gupta
 Mumbai
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Nischint
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:57 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Thanks,  Madan  and  Samar.  I  think  I  will  meet  up  with  Samar,  my  girl  doesn't  have  too  much  time  for  fishy  things  Wink
 
 Just  read  somewhere  about  this  3  watts  per  gallon  thing.  What  are  the  details  on  this?  How  much  light  do  I  need  for  an  18  gallon  planted  tank,  a  29g  angelfish  tank  and  a  50g  oscar  tank?
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Nischint
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 4:16 am Post subject: Eureka??! Reply with quote

 Okay,  okay,  I  just  had  a  brilliant  idea.  Damn,  why  didn't  I  think  of  this  before?
 
 My  50g  oscar  tank  is  housed  under  a  table,  and  on  the  table,  I  currently  have  two  smaller  tanks  (8g  and  3g)  in  which  I  have  a  few  plants  and  fish.  I  was  and  still  am  going  to  deactivate  the  two  smaller  tanks  and  put  the  18g  plant-only  tank  in  their  place.  Initially,  the  problem  of  maintaining  both  tanks  for  their  different  needs  was  getting  me  down.  But  I  think  I  have  hit  on  a  perfect  solution.
 
 I  use  an  internal  power  filter  with  a  sponge  in  the  oscar  tank  to  filter  the  oscar  poop.  I  thought  of  redirecting  the  output  to  go  up,  towards  the  plant-only  tank,  where  it  empties  out  under  the  water  surface.  A  small  pipe  is  attached  CO2  injection  bottle  (sugar-yeast  method)  which  puts  the  CO2  bubbles  right  in  the  output  pipe.  So  that  takes  care  of  diffusing  the  CO2  into  the  water  and  making  sure  that  it's  not  lost.  Once  inside  the  plant-only  tank,  the  plants,  which  now  have  abundant  light,  CO2  and  ammonia/nitrites/nitrates,  should  grow  pretty  well.  A  few  iron  pills  or  laterite  should  take  care  of  fertilising  and  adding  other  nutrients  directly  into  the  tank,  or  diffusing  it  into  the  output  pipe  should  not  be  a  problem.  On  the  other  end  of  the  tank,  an  overflow  pipe  takes  the  excess  water  and  dumps  it  down  into  the  oscar  tank  via  a  spray  bar.  This  takes  care  of  aeration  in  the  oscar  tank,  along  with  the  purification  of  the  water.
 
 Do  tell  me  what  you  think  of  this  and  if  you  can  suggest  anything.
 
 I  am  concerned  about  just  one  thing.  The  plant-only  tank  will  have  a  few  fish,  like  guppies  and  neons,  so  I'm  hoping  that  the  fish  will  survive  with  aeration.  The  plants  can  take  care  of  providing  oxygen.  But  the  real  problem  seems  to  be  the  overflow  pipe.  I  don't  know  whether  it  should  be  a  pipe  or  a  box.  If  it  is  a  pipe,  then  I  might  have  to  drill  a  hole  into  the  side  or  back  glass,  which  I  don't  think  is  a  very  safe  thing  to  do.  With  an  overflow  box,  I'm  not  sure  about  the  physics  of  the  whole  thing.  I  could  extend  the  height  of  the  tank  by,  say,  one  inch,  by  attaching  a  one  inch-high  sheet  acrylic  on  top  of  the  four  sides.  This  way,  I  can  make  a  hole  in  the  acrylic  and  safely  use  it  to  attach  the  overflow  pipe.
 
 With  this  method,  all  I  need  to  do  is  clear  out  the  sponge  once  a  week  and  perhaps  change  the  water  once  every  two  weeks.  And  I  can  save  a  lot  of  money  Smile
 
 What  do  you  think?  Obviously,  I  can't  experiment  with  this.  I  just  hope  the  filter  can  pump  the  water  vertically  at  least  18  inches.  It's  a  Bodyguard  AP800F  with  an  Hmax  of  0.7  m  (Max  Height??)  and  capacity  of  500  liters  per  hour.
 
 HELP!!!  Click  the  link  to  see  a  picture  of  the  proposed  plan.
 
 http://www.indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules/coppermine/albums/userpics/10009/setup.jpg
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Samar
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:18 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Nischint,
 
 This  is  in  response  to  your  question  about  the  lighting  hardware  and  how  to  get  3  watts  per  gallon.  
 
 I've  tried  some  different  configs  1)  6  ChLighting  Aquarium  tubelights  2)  6  Hitachi  Aquarium  tubelights  3)  6  Osram  42  watt  CFL  (Compact  Flurocent  Lights)  4)  6  Common  household  tubelights.  All  these  bulbs  are  available  in  Mumbai.
 
 I'm  getting  over  3  watts  per  gallon  and  am  not  unhappy  with  the  setup.  Nonetheless,  will  be  trying  out  one  tank  with  Metal  Halide  lighting.  Its  more  expensive  to  setup  but  it  works  well  with  an  open  hood.
 
 Regards,
 
 Samar  Gupta
 Mumbai
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:43 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nischint,
 
 For  a  sump  type  system  drilling  holes  on  the  glass  for  an  overflow  will  not  help.
 
 The  following  Siphon  overflow  is  the  only  thing  that  I  know  of  which  is  going  to  do  the  job  for  you.
 
 Having  a  spray  bar  on  the  return  line  to  the  Oscar  tank  will  drive  all  the  CO2  away.  The  oxygen  the  plants  produce  will  be  good  enough  for  the  Oscars.  With  your  DIy  setup  you'll  have  no  CO2  left  for  the  plants  to  use  if  at  at  time  you  allow  water  to  free  fall  through  air.
 
 Check  out  the  pic  below.
 
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=coppermine&file=displayimage&pos=-476
 
 Don't  be  so  obsessed  with  aeration  in  a  planted  tank.  I  have  never  used  an  airstone  in  any  of  my  planted  tanks  and  the  oxygen  is  at  supersaturated  levels  in  these  tanks.  You  don't  need  aeration  in  a  planted  tank  -  period.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:51 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 "I  am  concerned  about  just  one  thing.  The  plant-only  tank  will  have  a  few  fish,  like  guppies  and  neons,  so  I'm  hoping  that  the  fish  will  survive  with  aeration.  The  plants  can  take  care  of  providing  oxygen."
 
 Well,  Nischint  you  are  confused  about  what  aeration  means  -  aeration  means  providing  a  method  of  recharging  the  oxygen  in  the  aquarium  water,  when  your  plants  are  providing  the  oxygen  where  is  the  need  for  further  aeration?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:15 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Samar,  MH  lights  are  not  for  me,  I  am  going  to  go  for  the  2  36W  Osram  PLL's.  That  will  give  my  18g  about  4w  per  gallon,  which  should  be  more  than  enough.
 
 Madan,  thanks  for  the  details  of  the  siphon  overflow.  Is  this  something  that's  easily  available  somewhere.  I'd  like  to  buy  it,  if  it's  not  too  costly.  Otherwise  using  a  DIY  siphon  overflow  is  not  too  bad  an  option.
 
 I  am  not  going  to  let  the  water  free  fall  into  the  air,  the  output  pipe  loaded  with  CO2  will  be  embedded  inside  the  tank  and  under  the  water  level.
 
 Could  anyone  suggest  some  good  plants?  What  I'm  really  looking  for,  other  than  great  looks  and  easy/medium  maintenance,  is  something  that  will  literally  cover  the  tank  and  look  dense.  Which  was  that  plant  with  runners??
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:45 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 "Which  was  that  plant  with  runners??"
 
 Ech.  tellennus
 Ech.  quadricostatus
 Ech.  sp  dwarf
 Sagittaria  platyphyla
 Sagittaria  subulata
 Vallisneria  gigantica
 Vallisneris  spiralis
 Cryptocoryne  wendetii
 Cryptocoryne  blassi
 Cryptocoryne  parva
 Cryptocoryne  balansae
 Red  Tiger  Lotus
 Accorus  graminnus  var.  Japonica
 Eleocharis  acicularis
 Hydrocotyle  verticilliata
 
 There  are  too  many  to  list  here.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 11:11 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 I'll  take  all  that,  and  do  you  give  fries  with  that??  Very Happy
 
 Can't  find  those  plants  here  at  any  plain  LFS.  Could  anyone  send  them  to  me?  Or  better  yet,  I  have  a  cousin  in  Bangalore,  who  can  pick  up  the  plants  and  he  can  send  them  to  me.
 
 Anyone  offering  them  plants  that  Madan  mentioned  ?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:52 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 If  you  get  your  lighting,  PMDD  and  CO2  running  right,  getting  dense  growth  is  a  bit  of  a  curse.  The  very  common  plants  that  I  picked  up  from  Bangi,  a  plant  vendor  in  Mahim,  just  exploded  into  growth  and  started  growing  across  the  surface  of  the  water.  Not  having  the  same  results  yet  with  my  imported  plants,  but  that's  due  to  frequent  fiddling  overhauls  I've  been  doing  with  the  tank  setup.  The  weed-like  plants,  though?  They  just  go  back  to  their  explosive  growth  in  a  couple  of  days,  no  matter  the  disturbance.
 
 Samar  Gupta
 Mumbai
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 8:02 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 You  will  find  these  plants  locally  in  Mumbai...  In  fact  a  few  of  them  I  picked  up  at  Crawford  market  from  Rafat  Khan.  Don't  go  and  ask  him  for  the  plant  by  name  though.
 
 The  leaves  may  look  different  but  that  may  be  due  to  growing  conditions.
 
 Plants  will  explode  into  growth  with  ideal  conditions  especially  in  a  newly  setup  tank.  That's  when  stem  plants  are  a  curse,  they  need  constant  pruning  and  sometimes  replanting  of  the  crowns.
 
 I  have  seen  the  ordinary  cabomba  grow  5  inches  in  8  hours  in  my  tank  and  since  then  I  am  afraid  of  these  "weeds".
 
 With  all  the  explosive  growth  you  learn  a  lesson  as  to  which  plant  grows  how  big,  which  needs  more  light  etc.,  first  hand  and  then  you  can  use  this  knowledge  while  planting  your  second  tank.
 
 Leads  to  better  aquascaping  in  my  opinion.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 12:13 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 I'm  not  getting  a  good  enuff  output  from  my  sugar-yeast  CO2  setup,  and  a  cylinder  is  too  expensive  and  big  for  me.
 
 Has  anyone  considered  dry  ice?  You  could  handle  it  with  gloves,  put  it  in  a  small  box  with  grills  or  something,  and  just  immerse  it  in  the  tank.  Take  small  cubes,  of  course,  else  the  water  will  freeze  in  no  time.  But  it's  pure  CO2,  so  fish  can't  get  to  it  and  burn  themselves,  and  it  will  melt  quickly  enough  and  put  pure  CO2  in  the  tank.
 
 Has  anyone  tried  this?
 
 Another  thing.  Couldn't  find  Osram  tubes,  will  Supriya  brand,  same  wattage  do?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:51 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

                                                   
Nischint  wrote:                
I'm  not  getting  a  good  enuff  output  from  my  sugar-yeast  CO2  setup,  and  a  cylinder  is  too  expensive  and  big  for  me.
 
 Has  anyone  considered  dry  ice?  You  could  handle  it  with  gloves,  put  it  in  a  small  box  with  grills  or  something,  and  just  immerse  it  in  the  tank.  Take  small  cubes,  of  course,  else  the  water  will  freeze  in  no  time.  But  it's  pure  CO2,  so  fish  can't  get  to  it  and  burn  themselves,  and  it  will  melt  quickly  enough  and  put  pure  CO2  in  the  tank.
 
 Has  anyone  tried  this?
 
 Another  thing.  Couldn't  find  Osram  tubes,  will  Supriya  brand,  same  wattage  do?                

 
 Check  your  DIY  setup  for  leakages.  I  am  sure  you'll  find  something.
 
 Dry  Ice  is  poison  -  put  a  small  cube  in  your  tank  and  it  will  raise  the  CO2  concentration  so  high  that  your  fish  will  die.
 And  where  are  you  going  to  find  a  small  cube  of  Dry  Ice  daily?
 Dry-Ice  will  vanish  even  when  you  store  it  in  your  freezer  as  it  requires  -40  Deg  C  to  remain  soild  if  I  am  not  mistaken.
 
 I  am  game  for  experimentation  as  long  as  you  are  going  to  try  it    :lol:  .  Post  the  results  here  and  I'll  read  it  in  April  sometime  next  year.
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