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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, My name is Mike and I recently decided to jump head first into saltwater and fresh water tanks. I have some experence and have done more reading then my eyes can take on the subject of Fresh and saltwater tanks but this is def a hobby that book are not gunna get it done. This is a very hands on do it yourself hobby I have learned very quickly. So im kinda of (exuse the expression) going balls out and just blindly attacking a few projects at the same time. I have some questions about each of them so any feedback or questionsor even a simple "HEY THATS DUMB!" would be great to hear.

PS. Sorry for the lame copy and paste post but I was eager to get this posted :arg:

Ok my first project of 3, a 10 gallon freshwater tank that has Xmas moss and Java moss and going for the look of this



Now I know this is a saltwater reed forum but im just sharing my projects =) first two are freshwater FYI.

Currently my 10 gallon moss tank looks like so.



Clearly has some time and care to go but im pleased so far :)
My question for this project is, I have a CO2 diffuser can I be putting to much CO2 into the tank? Also is it bad to keep the lights on 24/7? My logic is plants need to eat and photosynthis should be always on to make them grow fast? Might be a dumb idea but again any feedback would be great.

Second project is a 75 gallon rimless Discus tank that will be holding some simple vegitation. My question is... Am i gunna have a big mess on my floor? I took the rim off and the bevel on the glass is less then a quater of an inch. Also the stand that is on... Well you can see in the picture lol. Is this a bad idea?




Lastly, this is where my real questions start. I have TWO (2) 10 gallon basic tanks that I want to have joined onto ONE sump and a refugment... Question is, the protein skimmer i have is ment for like 100 gallons, can I over do protein simm..ing? Also has anyone ever seen or atleasst what are your thoughts about my refugment and sump idea? Here is a pic so u can see.






Ok so Im goin to try and explain my madness with this sump frankenstine thing. Im going to have a T joint for inflow connected to whatever pump i can find. that will bring water into the sump. Inside the sump the massive protien skimmer does its thing and once that water is put into a seprate chamber of the sump 2 pumps will take from this clean water and send it though the refugment which will have macro alge and such. now since there are 2 refugments one will go to one tank and one will go to the other.... guess thats it? But I atleast wanted to post this because i know once i start trying to add the plumbing all together im gunna be on here for hours asking questions :clown:

So for thos that sat here and read this entire thing, thanks and i shall repay you with a ice cold beer :beer:


And also I been spying and lurking around for a while on this site and I havent seen one tank that I wouldnt want :bawling:

Glad to have finnaly made an account.
 

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You don't need the lights on 24/7 and you don't need the CO2 at night. You can put too much in even with a diffuser so you will need to set it and test the water. You may consider cutting your mat squares into shapes. I would cut them in more natural curves when I did mine.

Discus are very difficult to keep and require very good and specific water quality. Large drift wood is often added to the water. I would make sure the tank has been up and running for months (months) before adding a single discus to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I knew they were hard fish to keep. With water conditions and such, I have read tho since I have an RO system that it will be easier? And the reason of the driftwood? I was planning on just getting some ecosmart substrate (for plant roots) and some river pebble rocks from homedepo (boil them for an hour to get them clean) Is that a bad idea?
 

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Quo vadis, Domini.
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Dude ! The java-on-driftwood-so-it-looks-like-bonsai kicks major butt! :beer:
 

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Thank you. I knew they were hard fish to keep. With water conditions and such, I have read tho since I have an RO system that it will be easier? And the reason of the driftwood? I was planning on just getting some ecosmart substrate (for plant roots) and some river pebble rocks from homedepo (boil them for an hour to get them clean) Is that a bad idea?
I love freshwater planted tanks as much as I love reef tanks so you may get more than you want out of me. I've kept (successfully) 6 such tanks at one time. I have only one planted tank now and the rest of my tanks are marine, but I still love the planted!

Use RO/DI water for the tank. RO is good but RO/DI is much much better.

Driftwood is a great natural buffer for the water lowering your pH levels. It will also turn the water a tea-stained color which replicates the natural habitat of the discus. Also, it just looks really cool. You can still plant the tank. Nice thing is, the discus is an Amazon fish so Amazon swords and spears make great plants for the tank. These are hardy and propagate naturally in your tank via rhizomes (runners). So not only do you get a nice planted take but a natural Amazon biotope that mirrors your Discus natural habitat, making it double cool.

I've used river rocks in every freshwater tank I've aquascaped. But rather than buy them I suggest you go find yourself a river! Walking the banks and wading looking for that perfect rock is great fun and makes the tank truly your own design (with nature's help).

Take some white vinegar and put it on the rock. If the rock foams, don't use that rock. You can boil the rock if you want...I never did because by the time I got them in my tank they had been out of the water for days and anything would have been dead anyway but it won't hurt to do it as an extra precaution if you want. Better safe than sorry.
 

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I am going to comment on you skimmer question... (not a planted guy here... prefer my plants outdoors :) )

That is a Euroreef RS100 right? That is a GREAT skimmer, and is actually perfect for that size tank. You will not be over skimming with that skimmer and you setup. I would really rate that skimmer at 100g for lightly stocked tanks and about 75g for moderately stocked tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you both very much for taking the time to answer some questions.

tcamos- No such thing as to much information lol. And I will look into getting drift wood and replicating a more natural scape for the discus. I have a small DIY CO2 diffuser that I was planning on putting it in the 75'gallon. the diffuser is rated for a 20 gallon but i just wanna put it in there just to help the vegitation a little. Would you advise for this or no? And I would love to get natural river rocks but I live in FL and the only rocks we have here are ugly nasty things that just show up once u start digging lol.

FutureDoc- It is not a RS100 but a RS80. I have zero experence with salt water plumbing, I get the concepts and have read alot but I never actually done it. But with 2 ten gallons and the sump which looks about 10 gallon this wouldnt been over skimming? Also I have no idea how this thing works haha, i pluged it in and started playin with it, still have no idea what Im doing.

*Gets a fresh beer, types in "Google.com"*
Looks like a busy night lol.

Again Thank You both.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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RS80 is still a darn good skimmer. It is actually my favorite skimmer that I have ever owned. I use it when giving skimmer lectures of how to spot a good skimmer. Still, I found it to be slightly undersized for my 65g when fully stocked with SPS, so you might want to keep the bioload down for a full blown SPS reef, but refugiums should help a lot. The RS was originally rated for 80 gallons.

It works fairly simply, you keep the skimmer in about 6-8 inches of water, and then let it run. Clean the collection cup out every 4-7 days and anywhere there is brown goo... you dont need to take the entire out for a full cleaning in vinegar but ever 6 months or so. Keep the air like unrestricted (take that orange switch off as it does nothing but hurt the performance) and then use the outflow tubing to adjust the water level. I found it best to have the top of the bubbles (and the foam above) to be right where the twist lock is for the collection cup, keep it there produces a good amount of semi-wet/dry skimmate.

Here was mine chugging along on my old frag system...


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That was extreamly helpfull. My problem was that i wasnt being patient, didnt see foam in 2 minites so I figured I did something wrong lol.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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nope, it can take a while for it to foam. It depends on the bioload. If you don't have organics in the tank it will not foam, so there has to be something in there. The pic with a lot of foam was with a heavier bioload and it was running a lot "wetter". Still, it is a awesome skimmer.
 

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Thank you both very much for taking the time to answer some questions.

tcamos- No such thing as to much information lol. And I will look into getting drift wood and replicating a more natural scape for the discus. I have a small DIY CO2 diffuser that I was planning on putting it in the 75'gallon. the diffuser is rated for a 20 gallon but i just wanna put it in there just to help the vegitation a little. Would you advise for this or no? And I would love to get natural river rocks but I live in FL and the only rocks we have here are ugly nasty things that just show up once u start digging lol.
The amount of CO2 is going to depend. The larger tank is going to have a greater surface area so the gas exchange is going to be greater, which means the CO2 that is in the tank will vent quicker and so not benefit the plants. The surfage aggitation also will aid this gas exchange so what kind of powerheads and filter you have will also precipitate it. Finally the volume of plants in the tank will make a difference more plants require more CO2.

I would say that putting in something desinged for 20 gallons won't make a dent in your plants needs. However, it won't hurt anything and may provide a good way for you to hone your CO2 skills. If you really want to do it right I would look into a preasurized system. There are some good ones out there, and affordable.

Here are some resources that I've used over the years.

http://www.azfishkeeping.com/sections.php?c_section=planted (this is my web site's planted tank section).

http://www.myfishtank.net/mft-news/takashi-amano-planted-tanks/ (the first photo on this page is a blue discus tank done by Takashi Amano, the king of planted tanks, and the reason they are popular today)
http://www.azaquaticplants.com/
http://www.aquajournal.net/index.html
http://www.azgardens.com/c-24-aquarium-co2-systems.aspx (this link goes to their CO2 system page, but check out their plant section too)
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/index.html (CO2 stuff)

http://www.arizonainverts.com/ (this one is freshwater shrimp, trust me, you'll want some)

http://www.applesnail.net/content/snails_various.php#Physidae (this is a page on freshwater snails. They are an important part of our reef tanks, and should be considered an important part of our freshwater tanks. If you have plants, you'll want to know which ones DON'T eat them).

So...now you really have some reading to do! Too bad we're on a reef tank forum...
 
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