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About Brett4Perth

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    Sandsifter (Devoted)
  1. What a drama Craig. Our hobby is full of interesting tales Cheers Brett
  2. General hardness is the concentration of calcium + magnesium ions in the water. I am not sure what your test kit is measuring exactly. Cheers Brett
  3. Hi Parrdog, Most plants are pretty tolerant of pH. Whether it is 6.8 or 7.8 probably wont bother them much. More important is to have adequate Ca and Bicarbonate levels, a kH of 4 is reasonable target to aim for. Cheers Brett
  4. I agree with Simon, you are unlikely to have success with Java fern planted in the substrate. Better to attach it to some wood or rocks, cotton or fishing line works well. Cheers Brett
  5. Magnesium Sulphate (Epsoms salt) is an effective laxative in humans, if you eat it Not sure how you would get the fish to eat it In any event, giving your fish diarrhoea will not fix worms, only constipation So if your fish really do have worms, then I suggest you use levamisole Cheers Brett
  6. Don't be too hard on the doc, it is illegal to perscribe government subsidised medication except for the approved indications. I doubt treating your fish is one of them. Cheers Brett
  7. Hi Jamie, Brown algea is often a phase that newly set up tanks go through. I am sure that the high nitrates didn't help. Give your tank some time and let it settle in, now that you have rectified the nitrates. an effective brown algea eater is Otocinclus. These are great for planted tanks and stay small. One will probably clean up your tank in a few days. My only concern about Oto's are feeding them once all the algea is gone. Many seem to starve to death in small tanks. Cheers Brett
  8. Do they turn out the lights at 10pm !! I didn't know that, but then I am always in bed by 9:00 Brett
  9. I suspect that most of these hardness test kits are lucky to be within 20% of the "true" result. The kH tests do seem to be particularly disparate though. pH of 8.4. What did you expect it to be? Cheers Brett
  10. To answer Daniels CO2 question. CO2 in the water is in equilibrium with the CO2 in the air. This exchange takes place at the water surface. Co2 travels from air->water and from water->air. When the two rates are the same the system is said to be in equilibrium and the CO2 concentration is stable, about 3-4 ppm CO2 at standard temperatures. If you increase the CO2 levels in the water, then the rate of CO2 loss to the air is increased and the levels gradually fall till they return back to the equilibrium levels. You can only maintain persistingly high Co2 levels by continuosly adding CO2. How much you have to add depends on how much is lost, which is dependent on the surface area (which does not change) and the degree of surface agitation (which you can vary, and is dramatically increased by wet/dry filters). So wet/dry filters make it more difficult to keep your CO2 levels elevated. However, if you are NOT adding CO2, the increased surface agitation increases BOTH the rate of CO2 loss (to the air) and gain (from the air) the same amount. The net result is no change to CO2 concentrations. I am not sure why your plants did not grow with a wet/dry filter. Perhaps there was some other explanation. Maybe high oxygenation resulting in oxidation of trace elements???? Cheers Brett Aquatic Rocks, that is a nice tank. I would like to see it. Maybe you can pm me?
  11. CO2 of between 10 and 20 ppm, is about right for plants. As it says on the graph CO2 > 35 is potentially dangerous for your fish. So, if your kH is 3, pH range of 6.5 - 7.0 is about perfect. If your pH is lower than this then you are adding too much CO2. HTH Brett
  12. Wet/dry filters only "lose CO2" if you are adding extra. They make absolutely no difference to a non-CO2 tank. I have a fabulous low light , non CO2 planted tank with this set-up. Cheers Brett
  13. Filters in planted tanks mainly promote water circulation. There function as biological filters are less important as the plants remove most of the nitrogenous wastes. Undergravels are not usually recommended as they provide poor water circulation and make it difficult to keep nutreints within the substrate. Cannisters are usually prefered as the outlet can be adjusted to minimise surface agitation, this is only really relevant if you are adding CO2. Smaller tanks may get away with just a power head for circulation and no filtration at all. Clearly your fish load will influence this. Cheers Brett
  14. Hi Parkap, Try this link It is the most comprehensive discussion on DIY CO2 that I have found. Look at the chart that compares pH, kH and CO2 levels. You can see that the more CO2 you add the lower the pH, If you know the kH, you can calculate the concentration of CO2 you must have to achieve that pH. kH is also refered to as carbonate hardness because it essentially measures the amount of carbonates in the water, mostly bicarbinate at the pH levels found in aquariums. Yes, shell grit is mainly calcium carbonate and will increase your carbonate hardness and consequently your pH. However, the increased "hardness" is not enjoyed by "soft water" fish, like your apisto's. Depending on the species they may tolerate increased hardness, but most are from very soft environments. Caccatoides are an example of an Apisto that will tolerate harder water. Try and stabilise your CO2, this can be difficult with DIY, what sort of set-up are you using? Cheers Brett
  15. Not sure I agree with this, Watts/gallon is not as informative as I would like but it is the best guide I have found so far, short of using an underwater light meter. 30W standard fluoros over a 90l, 60cm deep tank is low light and will significantly limit the types of plants that you can grow. I have seen plenty of beautiful low light planted tanks, but plant selection needs more care. A bit off indirect room ligth can make a lot of difference to these "skinny" tanks (such as near a window). More light will give you more options , with or without CO2. It is much easier to block out some light than add in extra later on. Cheers Brett
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