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Old 20-06-2004, 04:05 AM
blank
 
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Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

I seem to have learned the basics of keeping the fish alive, but am still
hopeless with aquatic plants,so am considering starting again using Duplarit
G in the substrate. So here are my circumstances--perhaps someone will be
kind enough to advise whether Duplarit will be worth the cost.

Tank is 75 gal freshwater community setup about 4' x 18" x 2', with a 150
Gal/hr trickle filter & a Fluval 4 plus internal filter (260 Gal/hr) which
I run at about 50% flow. It has been established for 9 months.

Lighting is 3 x 30w T8 fluro tubes (Actinic blue, ColorMax and plain white).
I realise lighting is low, but cant do much about it because the hood is
pre-formed plastic to suit the tank (once piece of glass with rounded
corners). Lights on for 10-11 hours daily.

There are about 75 mainly small fish, such as neons, mollies, barbs,
rasboras, dwarf gouramis, corys, loaches, guppies, glass cats, danios etc.
I have, I believe, learned not to overfeed. Although I do get quite a bit
of green algae, but that is probably due to the fact that the tank gets
morning sun for about an hour--but the fish like the sunlight, so I can live
with the algae.

Substrate is aquarium gravel, with several largish pieces of driftwood.

Weekly water change of 20%; test results consistently as follows: pH 7.8,
EC 400, GH 7, KH 5, Nitrate 7, Phosphorous 0.75

The Krib CO2 table tells me that my water is providing virtually nil
available CO2, alas.

Now we come to the poor, sad plants. They are just the usual val, java
fern, sword plants, elodea, heteranthera. They cover about 20% of the
bottom in a more or less sickly, greenish-yellow looking miserable mess.
The val grows ok, but thats about all that does. Ive been trying various
combinations of excel, excel flourish and flourish nitrogen, using them at
the recommended dosage for a couple weeks, then adding or subtracting a bit
here and here for a couple weeks, looking for the right ratios. But, alas,
its still an essentialy dismal failure.

So my plan is to buy 1.2Kg of Duplarit G and start again. But that will
cost about $100 Australian. So I dont want to go to all the trouble and
expense unless there is a reasonable chance it will make a big difference.
What do you folks suggest I do?





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Old 20-06-2004, 05:05 PM
peepod
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

You've answered your problems:

Lighting - too low. (actinic - not needed in freshwater tanks)

No CO2.

With your current setup, adding Duplarit G will do you no good.



blank wrote:
I seem to have learned the basics of keeping the fish alive, but am still
hopeless with aquatic plants,so am considering starting again using Duplarit
G in the substrate. So here are my circumstances--perhaps someone will be
kind enough to advise whether Duplarit will be worth the cost.

Tank is 75 gal freshwater community setup about 4' x 18" x 2', with a 150
Gal/hr trickle filter & a Fluval 4 plus internal filter (260 Gal/hr) which
I run at about 50% flow. It has been established for 9 months.

Lighting is 3 x 30w T8 fluro tubes (Actinic blue, ColorMax and plain white).
I realise lighting is low, but cant do much about it because the hood is
pre-formed plastic to suit the tank (once piece of glass with rounded
corners). Lights on for 10-11 hours daily.

There are about 75 mainly small fish, such as neons, mollies, barbs,
rasboras, dwarf gouramis, corys, loaches, guppies, glass cats, danios etc.
I have, I believe, learned not to overfeed. Although I do get quite a bit
of green algae, but that is probably due to the fact that the tank gets
morning sun for about an hour--but the fish like the sunlight, so I can live
with the algae.

Substrate is aquarium gravel, with several largish pieces of driftwood.

Weekly water change of 20%; test results consistently as follows: pH 7.8,
EC 400, GH 7, KH 5, Nitrate 7, Phosphorous 0.75

The Krib CO2 table tells me that my water is providing virtually nil
available CO2, alas.

Now we come to the poor, sad plants. They are just the usual val, java
fern, sword plants, elodea, heteranthera. They cover about 20% of the
bottom in a more or less sickly, greenish-yellow looking miserable mess.
The val grows ok, but thats about all that does. Ive been trying various
combinations of excel, excel flourish and flourish nitrogen, using them at
the recommended dosage for a couple weeks, then adding or subtracting a bit
here and here for a couple weeks, looking for the right ratios. But, alas,
its still an essentialy dismal failure.

So my plan is to buy 1.2Kg of Duplarit G and start again. But that will
cost about $100 Australian. So I dont want to go to all the trouble and
expense unless there is a reasonable chance it will make a big difference.
What do you folks suggest I do?





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Old 20-06-2004, 06:03 PM
blarg news
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

my guess is that it is definitely your low CO2

i was unable to keep any plant alive in my tank, I added a CO2 generator and
diffusor and suddenly not a single plant was dying.

your best bet is to try solving your CO2 problem first and see what happens.


"blank" wrote in message
...
I seem to have learned the basics of keeping the fish alive, but am still
hopeless with aquatic plants,so am considering starting again using

Duplarit
G in the substrate. So here are my circumstances--perhaps someone will be
kind enough to advise whether Duplarit will be worth the cost.

Tank is 75 gal freshwater community setup about 4' x 18" x 2', with a 150
Gal/hr trickle filter & a Fluval 4 plus internal filter (260 Gal/hr)

which
I run at about 50% flow. It has been established for 9 months.

Lighting is 3 x 30w T8 fluro tubes (Actinic blue, ColorMax and plain

white).
I realise lighting is low, but cant do much about it because the hood is
pre-formed plastic to suit the tank (once piece of glass with rounded
corners). Lights on for 10-11 hours daily.

There are about 75 mainly small fish, such as neons, mollies, barbs,
rasboras, dwarf gouramis, corys, loaches, guppies, glass cats, danios etc.
I have, I believe, learned not to overfeed. Although I do get quite a bit
of green algae, but that is probably due to the fact that the tank gets
morning sun for about an hour--but the fish like the sunlight, so I can

live
with the algae.

Substrate is aquarium gravel, with several largish pieces of driftwood.

Weekly water change of 20%; test results consistently as follows: pH 7.8,
EC 400, GH 7, KH 5, Nitrate 7, Phosphorous 0.75

The Krib CO2 table tells me that my water is providing virtually nil
available CO2, alas.

Now we come to the poor, sad plants. They are just the usual val, java
fern, sword plants, elodea, heteranthera. They cover about 20% of the
bottom in a more or less sickly, greenish-yellow looking miserable mess.
The val grows ok, but thats about all that does. Ive been trying various
combinations of excel, excel flourish and flourish nitrogen, using them

at
the recommended dosage for a couple weeks, then adding or subtracting a

bit
here and here for a couple weeks, looking for the right ratios. But,

alas,
its still an essentialy dismal failure.

So my plan is to buy 1.2Kg of Duplarit G and start again. But that will
cost about $100 Australian. So I dont want to go to all the trouble and
expense unless there is a reasonable chance it will make a big difference.
What do you folks suggest I do?






  #4   Report Post  
Old 21-06-2004, 03:03 AM
Eric Schreiber
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

blank wrote:

Tank is 75 gal freshwater community setup
Lighting is 3 x 30w T8 fluro tubes (Actinic blue, ColorMax and plain
white).


As others have noted, the lighting is a bit low.

I realise lighting is low, but cant do much about it because
the hood is pre-formed plastic to suit the tank (once piece of glass
with rounded corners).


Any chance of replacing the existing bulbs with Compact Flourescents?
They'll put out a lot more light in the same space.

I see a couple of other people have suggested that you need CO2, and it
would certainly help. However, providing CO2 on a 75 gallon tank is not
a trivial task. And, you may not really need it. I was using CO2 on my
heavily planted 20 gallong for awhile, and it worked really well. But I
got tired of replacing the yeast solution and just stopped using CO2,
and my plants many months later are doing just fine.

Something you might consider is trying different kinds of plants. I've
got about 8 species of plant in my tank, but I've tried at least twice
that many. You may find a variety that does really well in your tank.

--
Eric Schreiber
www.ericschreiber.com
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Old 21-06-2004, 12:06 PM
blank
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

Thanks to all that replied. I really dont want to go down the CO2 track
unless all else fails; it sounds like more cost and effort than I want to
devote to the fish. But Im absolutely determined to have excellent plants.
I work with plants at a fairly sophisticated level, and have a great garden,
so my ego insists I can master aquatic plants.

I guess I'd better find a good electrician who understands aquariums (now
theres a project that might take some doing) and see about re-wiring for
compacts fluros. I like that option.

But Im still in the dark about duplarit. Ah well.




  #6   Report Post  
Old 21-06-2004, 03:14 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?

"blank" wrote in message ...
Thanks to all that replied. I really dont want to go down the CO2 track
unless all else fails; it sounds like more cost and effort than I want to
devote to the fish. But Im absolutely determined to have excellent plants.
I work with plants at a fairly sophisticated level, and have a great garden,
so my ego insists I can master aquatic plants.

I guess I'd better find a good electrician who understands aquariums (now
theres a project that might take some doing) and see about re-wiring for
compacts fluros. I like that option.

But Im still in the dark about duplarit. Ah well.


There is nothing in the dark about it.
You don't need it given your goals.
If gardening is your goal, you need to realize that CO2 is very much a
fertilizer like NPK.

Carbon is roughly 40%+ the biomass in a plant. Terrestrial plants have
little problem accessing the CO2 in air. Aquatic plants need roughly
30ppm to fully saturate their CO2 needs at their max light levels.

So why add something that will cost you 100$, when it's only less than
0.06% of the issue like Fe?

You would get much more use out of the CO2, even at low light. That
would maximize the light use efficiency if you do not want to use more
lighting.
Retro fitting could also be done with existing lighting.

But if CO2 is out of the question you need to try a non CO2 approach.
Do NOT try and do a mix of CO2 and non CO2 approaches!

Both methods work, but for different reasons.

Non CO2:
Some folks use sand and soil, some use sand peat and soil, some use
Onyx and peat some use Flourite and peat.
I prefer the Onyx and sand mix over the long term.

The substrates are roughly 10cm or so deep. The bottom is 2 cm of
ground peat moss that has been wetted and soak and a day or two. If
you opt for the soil method, soak this for 2-3 weeks. This will leech
out and nitrify the NH4 to NO3. NH4 is the enemy and will cause algae
if it's rate of production or addition is too great for the tank.

Use easy to grow plants and plant heavily.
This is the same in any tank.

Add alagae eaters.

Add 10-25% of the surface with floating plants like water sprite.
These have no CO2 issues and can soak up any shock loads.

Do not do any water changes except topping the tank off for
evaporation except when you have to go in a do a good cleaning/pruning
which should be in the 3-6 month range.

The fertilizer for the plants= fish food and waste.
You should add about 1/4 teaspoon of SeaChem Equilibrium once a week
or two.
It has a few nutrients that will help.

So regular fish feeding is a key to this method.

When you add CO2 and or/more light, this remineralization process
cannot keep up with the rate of plant growth and we need to add CO2,
more light, KNO3, PO4 etc to keep the plants actively growing.

These inorganic sources might not jive with your natural gardening
methods and approaches. But hydroponics is essentially the terrestrial
equivalent, but we cannot have NH4 because of algae which is not an
issue in terrestrial systems, but we don't have fugal or insect
herbivores pest either. There are few aquatic plant diseases,
actually, I've never seen one.

The other thing to consider when getting CO2 etc. It's cheap once you
have it. KNO3, KH2PO4, a kg or so will last for many years and only
cost a few$.
Plant cuttings can be sold to the LFS's and friends etc each week or
two with CO2.

So these things pay for themselves rapidly. Plants are much easier to
raise and ship than fish. They also grow much faster.

So if you like gardening and like it to be active and have less
patience, CO2 wikll agree with you.Non CO2 tanks take more patience
and time. Some plants are tougher without CO2 also and will need
phased in slowly after the other easy to grow plants have been well
established.
It might tank 2 years to get a tank where you could have it in 2
months with CO2.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 24-06-2004, 08:02 AM
Nitesbane
 
Posts: n/a
Default Duplarit G -- is it worth the money?


"blank" wrote in message
...
Thanks to all that replied. I really dont want to go down the CO2 track
unless all else fails; it sounds like more cost and effort than I want to
devote to the fish.


CO2 doesn't have to be expensive. I have a 55 gallon tank that isn't
planted very heavily but not lightly either...it's hard to find any decent
plants at the stores around here. I only have one 40w Aqua-Glo (18,000K).
I added a bottle of DIY (Do It Yourself) CO2 and my plants seem like they're
on steroids. The stores don't label them, but I believe I have java moss,
an anubia of some kind, water sprite, anacharis...some viny thing, a purple
one, and one that grows straight upwards (about 25cm tall) with two leaves
at each segment.. The water sprite doesn't do very well, and the micro
sword doesn't either (probably because of my crappy lighting), but
everything else is doing great. Google DIY co2 and you'll find lots of
methods, and it's verrrry very cheap. :-)





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