Hi from beautiful Upstate New York Oct 24, 2018 1:21:28 GMT -5
Post by chuckm6421 on Oct 24, 2018 1:21:28 GMT -5
Hi Carl, Devon, all
I've recently returned to this hobby with a new interest in aquaria at a more sophisticated level than maintaining a goldfish bowl. For several years I kept a 20 gallon freshwater planted tank that we came into from my daughter's classmate. Thought it'd be a fun project for the two of us but it never clicked with her, so I kept it up anyway having had one many moons ago but without the benefit of the mighty internets to find lots of information quickly. Jump ahead to 6 months ago when I found myself serendipitously laid off from work and able to retire, and I decided to do an aquarium "right". Found a Craigslist 65 gallon (needing the bottom glass reattached) and basic stand and off I went (after completely removing and regluing and resealing the bottom).
Noteworthy, I suppose, about this setup is that I came across the postings of a certain eccentric Youtuber with a PhD who zealously advocated for anoxic filtration using a plenum and deep gravel bed. I researched the idea separate from his own work and found enough supporting work to decide to give it a go and I don't have any regrets now, 5 months on. This means my tank has a layer of Bioballs first with a plastic mesh (used by needlepointers) cover forming an intentional dead space, then 3 inches of a 70/30 mix of washed Oil-Dri baked clay and Carib Sea Eco Complete. Also, as part of the Craigslist deal, I relieved the seller of a Fluval Edge 6 gallon (free!) and rehabbed and stocked that as well. It also is using a plenum made from undergravel filter grids and an inch of the same substrate. That one's been...a challenge.
So what brings me here. Both tanks have shown good water quality test results, the dreaded nitrates hovering between 20 and 40, ammonia nearly undetectable, pH in the high 7's. But they're both in very bright rooms with the 65 gallon actually getting some direct sunlight late in the day around sundown. It has a Finnex 24/7 CC planted+ lamp which I think I've dialed in to the right balance of good quality light and no algae growth.
While there's no visible algae anywhere in the tank, the water, while very clear, still has a very slight green tint. In fact I picked up a Marineland Magnum diatom filter to see if diatomaceous earth (a filtration product I'm very familiar with) would clear it but it doesn't. So after consulting today with a trusted local fish store I set my sights on possibly UV sterilization which lead me to this most excellent website and forum (donation sent!).
I'm hoping to come up with a solution that does not include a submerged pump since I've tried to keep the tank as clean of technology and natural looking as I can. It's in the living room and the last place for something looking like a lab experiment!. I've been using an Aquaclear 110 HOB with a couple sponge filters tucked in the corners (mostly for emergency use, they're on a battery powered air pump).