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Posts Tagged ‘co2’

Co2 for Aquatic Plants

Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Dupla CO2 Omega Reaktor

Dupla CO2 Omega Reaktor

I’m going to start experimenting with CO2 fertilisation for plants with this simple Dupla Co2 Omega Reactor, it’s just 200g of sugar and yeast, in a bottle with an airline tube into a tank. A DIY version can be made very easily with a pop bottle. I’ve dissolved the sugar in warm water from the kettle, I’m just waiting for the temperature to drop to 25 degrees C before and add the yeast, I don’t want to kill the yeast, if the water is too hot.

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Real-time energy widget

Monday, April 6th, 2009

okay, i’ve added the real-time energy widget to the sidebar from

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Monday, April 21st, 2008

I’ve noticed more tropical freshwater fish shops converting over to tropical marines only, and I hear rumours that our local Maidenhead@York, and Pets@Home are both adding Marine sections to their portfolio!

Also, have you noticed the popularity of CO2 fertilisation kits in stores, once upon a time, there was only Dennerle! Now we’ve got kits from Aquamedic, Dupla, Ferplast, Hagen, Hydor, JBL, Sera, Tetra.

There must be a market for growing plants!

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Arcadia ArcTank

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

This is my Arcadia ArcTank, it’s the first aquarium I’ve ever purchased that has arrived in a box! But I think that most modern aquariums arrive in boxes these days.

Arcadia Arc Tank 3
ArcTank 20L Boxed Aquarium

Arcadia Arc Tank 1
The Arcadia ArcTank includes an ArcPod 9w lighting unit, which contains a built-in reflector which a 9w tube fits into. It also includes an internal filter not shown. I’ve decided to purchase another ArcPod 9w lighting unit because of the plant selection for my aquascape Nano tank, and these plants require lots of light.

Arcadia Arc Tank 2
Only one ArcPod 9w lighting unit is included, I’ve purchased the second to double the lighting for plants.

To help the plants, I’ve also order a simple CO2 plant fertilisation set from Sera, called Sera Plant Care Kit, it includes

  • Sera CO2-Start – ideal CO2 fertilization for aquariums from 60 l up to 200 l.
  • Sera CO2 diffusion reactor and the Sera CO2-Tabs plus (20 tabl.).
  • Sera florena, 100 ml – plant fertilizer with iron, minerals and trace elements.
  • Sera florenette A, 24 tabs – growth promotor tablets with macro nutrients
  • Sera guide “Feeding aquatic plants according to nature”

It works by filling a vessel with CO2 from a tablet, which then diffuses slowly into the water. I may have to cut the tablet in half, as this tank is only has a volume of 20L.

I’ve also purchased a Dennerle Boden-Fluter 4 watts substrate heating element and sera floredepot, which is a long-term gravel substrate with growth promoter for freshwater aquariums. I’ve also purchased some aquarium substrate called AquaClay.

These are the plants I have selected for my Nano tank.

  • Wood with Anubias barteri, Vesicularia dubyana (Java moss) and Microsorum pteropus (Java fern)
  • Cyperus helferi
  • Echinodorus tennellus
  • Rotala wallichii
  • Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
  • Cladophora aegagrophila (moss balls)

I haven’t decided where to obtain these Tropica plants from yet. But I have several local stockists. I maybe able to do a deal with!

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Water Chemistry Lesson Part 1

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

The secret of breeding and keeping fish is all about managing water, and to successfully manage water you need to understand a little water chemistry.

pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of water. A pH reading of 7.0 is neutral. A pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline, and a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic.

pH is defined as follows: the lower-case letter “p” in pH stands for the negative common (base ten) logarithm, while the upper-case letter “H” stands for the element hydrogen. Thus, pH is a logarithmic measurement of the number of moles of hydrogen ions (H+) per liter of solution. Incidentally, the “p” prefix is also used with other types of chemical measurements where a logarithmic scale is desired, pCO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and pO2 (Oxygen) being two such examples.

In layman’s terms this means, that a 0.2 change in pH is a big change to fish, never try to change the pH of aquarium water by more than 0.2 a day.

I use an Aquarium test kit, manufacturered by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc to test for pH. This is a wet kit, but there are many different test kits around, and some dry kits which are quicker to use, but more expensive. I also use digital pH testers for quickness, but the pH probe has a life, and must be regularly calibrated before use.

ph Meters

pH should be tested weekly, since natural materials in the aquarium can cause a pH change.

K(c)arbonate hardness is the measure of carbonate and bicarbonate ion concentrations dissolved in water. These minerals are present in our tap, well and bottled spring water. The level of carbonate hardness in tap and bottled water depends on the source of the water and the treatment process it has undergone. Carbonate hardness helps stabilize pH in the aquarium. An aquarium with a very low KH < 50ppm will tend to be acidic. Aquariums with a very low KH level are subject to rapid pH shifts, if not monitored carefully, sometimes referred to a pH crash. Water with a high KH level > 200pm usually have a high pH. KH is usually measured in dKH.

KH Test Kit

General Hardness is the measure of calcium and magnesium ion concentrations dissolved in water. These minerals are also present in in our tap, well and bottled spring water. It also depends on the source of the water and the treatment process it has undergone. Hard water > 200ppm is high in calcium and magnesium, while soft water 50 – 100ppm is low in these minerals. GH is usually measured in dGH.

To convert both GH and KH to parts per million (ppm) multiply by 17.9.

I use a test kit manufactuered by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc to test for KH & GH.

Why am I telling you all this? Over the forthcoming weeks, I’ll be installing a Dennerle CO2 system into my display tank to aid plant growth, and I’ll be using terms such as pH, KH and GH, so you’ll understand what I referring to!

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A Snails Tail

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Here are the first pictures of 25 Amazon Swords (Code 37) which arrived from
These are temporarily stored in a water vat at 28 degrees C, and the same ph as
the display tank, the plants will be planted out in.

water vat is a builders type waste bucket, which holds approximately 70l of
water, it is aerated by an aging Hagen 201 powerhead, heated by a Rena 300 watt
heater, (I removed from aquarium use, because it occasionally overheats – I
should find the guarantee and return to lfs). The airstone at the bottom of the
picture is currently connected to the new ring main on test, out of view is an
Eheim 1262 internal pond pump, I use to pump water to the tanks in the fish
house. TIP Do not rinse aquatic plants under cold tapwater, cold water
and chlorine will shock and damage the plants. Treat your aquatic plants

I plan to connect a complete Dennerle
CO2 System to the display tank to aid plant growth, here is a picture of
the Dennerle  pH Controller,
which connects to an electronic solenoid, which controls the amount of CO2 into
the aquarium. This is the later model, which has buttons to set the pH range,
the older models, do not have these buttons, so bargain accordingly.

are available quite cheaply now that
have introduced the new

DENNERLE pH-Controller Evolution und Evolution DeLuxe range
includes a CO2 auto-shut off valve, so there is no need to purchase the
additional solenoid valve, as with the older system. (I’m sorry the web pages
are in German, I don’t know why Dennerle,
removed the English site, and replaced with Under Construction?)

evening on checking the fish house and inspecting the new plants, when taking
these photographs, I spotted a snail making a break for freedom, it was half way
up the airline tubing, when I spotted it. I don’t currently have snails in the
fish house, well I didn’t! It’s not unusual to find snails arriving on plants,
I’ll have to plan the next stages carefully, otherwise I’ll have a snail
outbreak. I’ve got snails only in one tank, and that’s the second display tank,
these are Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Melanoides tuberculata, a good
website can be found

on the little creatures, but there in a tank with three Clown
Loaches, so it benefits the loaches at night! I don’t like using chemicals in
any of my tanks, especially any "snail off" remedies, back in the early 80’s my
friend who kept tropical fish, had an massive outbreak of snails in his fish
tank, he had some lovely fish, so he dosed his tank with some "snail off" liquid
in a bottle, after a few days, he asked me if it looked right, the tank was
opaque brown with the "snail off" cure, he had read the label incorrectly, in
the process, all the fish died, except his Red Tailed Black Shark "Fergal",
which I shortly after inherited, he stopped keeping tropical fish after that
event. Fergal lived for many years after, in the hole in his house brick, which
was found on the beach, completely rounded. I’m always reminded of that event,
every time, I use any chemicals, and never add them directly to the aquarium. I
always measure the amount in glass Pyrex beakers (remember science classes from
your school days!) away from the aquarium. I’ve seen too many mistakes made
measuring chemicals over an open aquarium.

This blog entry is dedicated to all those fish that died unnecessarily in
1980! David if your reading this contact me!


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Aquarium plants by post.

Friday, September 16th, 2005

To spruce up my 48″x18″x12″ display tank, which contains two large old male marble angels, six bueno aires tetras and a 17 year old Syndontis Ocellifer and Pterygolichthys Gibbiceps, or The ‘Sailfin Plec’ can sometimes be confused with the suckermouth catfish, Hypostomus plecostomus, but one look at the broad dorsal base which contains between 12 and 13 rays, and the difference is immeasurable, also the first ray is equal to the length of the head. The small anal fin has 4 to 5 rays and its head is conspicuous by the large nasal flares. The “syno” and “pleco” are often seen scraping in the tank, the Sailfin Pleco was recused about 12 months ago from a local tropical fish shop in York, it was in bad condition when I purchased it, fungus, very thin, torn fins, it has almost full recovered. It’s quite small for it’s size at approx 6″-7″.

I’ve purchased some aquatic plants mail order from Java-Plants. I’ve not purchased plants by post for many years, but the selection in the area is not very good. We have some Tropica stockists but these plants are very expensive, too expensive for tetras to eat.

I’ve ordered 25 Amazon Swords and 50 Vallis. I’ll drop my comments back here, after they arrive. I’ve also got a Dennerle CO2 Professional System for plant fertilisation, but not connected it up yet. Another project for another rainy day!

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