Planted Tank + Clowns + co²

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adampetherick
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Planted Tank + Clowns + co²

Post by adampetherick » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:55 am

Is it ok to have a planted tank with co² as well as clowns? What's the safe limit of co² ppm to have?

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:26 pm

Clown loaches need high levels of oxygenation to thrive, and adults will eat most plants (even if their diet is supplemented with green foods) :wink: .

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adampetherick
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Post by adampetherick » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:53 pm

even mosses and Windelov's fern?

Managed to get some Ricca Fluitans today that I'm hoping to grow as a carpet and over bogwood along with java moss which I thought would be quite safe.

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:09 pm

For young clown loaches, you'll probably find you'll be ok if you keep a large enough amount of plants in the tank with them, but adults will actively wreck them :shock: - even Java Fern.

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shari2
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Post by shari2 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:53 pm

OH YEAH! Just moved 5 clowns into my planted tank. Two bog wood pieces heavily covered with java fern. Within ONE day they had nosed their way underneath the fern roots to the wood and set them adrift. WHAT a mess! You should see the debris in what was once a very peaceful, relaxing tank...

Not to mention the bulldozing...bare roots showing on the 9" crypts, cabomba snapped off at the base. YEE GADS! They are aquatic landscape demolishonists. :roll:

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adampetherick
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Post by adampetherick » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:15 pm

damn !

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Post by JD » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:44 pm

Oh Adam, don't let these woman push you around:):):) Just joking.

They are right in that the clowns can be hard on the plants, but it can be done. Especially adding CO2. 20ppm was always the recommended maximum. And once you get the plants bubbling, your oxygen levels will be very high. Again, Emma and Shari are right in that clowns are very mischievous, and they are also overly nosey. I am fairly confident that the demise of Shari’s planted bogwood was due mostly to curiosity and not a vicious dislike for her decorating abilities. Don’t get me wrong, my loaches like to pop holes in my plants and eat the Anubias flowers. But if you create a good environment for the plants, the fish and plants will thrive. Once the loaches become used to their planted surroundings, and they are feed adequate vegetable supplements you can have a very peaceful tank and in my opinion a better one then without plants. You will loose some plants and be prepared to be flexible in your choices. I through out buckets of Anubia, Crypts, valisneria, Ludwigia, Pennywort, and anackerous monthly. There are a load of issues with planted tanks, and if you are ready for the further complication of a little harassment from locahes, you can obtain very nice results.

Here is a shot of my 90 gal tank as of Jan 06. It has been up and running since 1996.



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Here is a small article I wrote on CO2 years ago.
http://home.ptd.net/~jdietsch/co2.html

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:02 pm

Those clowns are still just babies though - you wait until they get bigger and you'll see what damage they can do :shock: :wink: . Also, as I said before, larger social groups of clowns will do even more damage.

My large specimens can uproot hefty Java Fern motherplants with relative ease when they want to (the bulldozing behaviour Shari has already mentioned) and they pop holes in all the leaves, and bite the leaves off at the bottom of the sturdy stems. Needless to say, we replace the motherplants every few months as they look so messed up. :lol: And our fish do get a very varied diet which does contain a good amount of greenfoods.

So Adam, your plants will probably be ok with smaller clown loach specimens, but larger ones will destroy them! Be very careful of dropped oxygen levels at night as the plants won't be photosythesizing - you'll really want an airpump or extra circulation to switch on during the overnight period.

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adampetherick
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Post by adampetherick » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:14 pm

Yeah I'd have a few large airstones on a timer from lights out till dawn, would the moss not be secure under hair nets, they might get trimmed back to net level but should still be some growth to recover?

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shari2
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Post by shari2 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:17 pm

I don't know if I'd want net anywhere near my 7" clown...he was actually caught in the act spine bashing the front corner of the tank today, trying to push over the bogwood...wouldn't want a spine to get caught in it...

And my guy is no where near the size of Emma's. Gotta get a bigger tank, or find him a new home... :cry: Very upsetting cause I'm finding that the group is so much more interactive now that they are in the heavily planted tank. Having a ball they are... :roll:

Course, it's not so heavily 'planted' anymore, but it has lots more 'floating' plants... :evil:

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Post by JoeKuhlii » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:28 pm

CO2 does not displace O2 in water, so you can maintain high ppm of both. Airstone at night won't hurt, but consider turning off the pump to let the CO2 build up an hour or so before lights on. If you're still planning on a planted sump, you could light it with a reverse photoperiod (opposite the main tank) to help O2 and CO2 stability while increasing nutrient uptake.

No help on the Clowns but they sure do sound like a problem when mature. I tend to agree with JD if only because healthy plants generally have stronger stems and denser leaves; I keep Anubias and Crypts and a couple stems with a Goldie, for example, along with floating Anacharis for them to munch on. (It grows faster than the fish consumes it.) Tom Wood has a gorgeous tank with many softlkeaved plants and Goldfish. I realize these are different fish of course, but it is still common that people insist Goldfish cannot be kept with plants.

Gorgeous tank and great article/site/logs, JD.

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:17 pm

Personally I would not subject oxygen-loving species such as clown loaches to an environment with a higher than natural level of CO2. They are river-dwelling fish with a high oxygen, high current requirement. The preferred conditions of these fish are not conducive to high levels of plant growth within the aquarium environment. Whilst smaller specimens may be able to 'cope' with these conditions for a time, larger specimens will simply suffer and even perish.

The most successful planted tanks are those with low stocking levels of smaller species of fish with a much lower demand for oxygen. I know of people who have transferred healthy specimens of barbs, for example, over to their planted tank, to find that within hours they were drowsy and suffering from oxygen deprivation (they even had losses). The CO2 was then switched off and the remaining fish made a full recovery.

The needs of the fish should come first, and not what we think 'looks best' to us.

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JoeKuhlii
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Post by JoeKuhlii » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:13 pm

Emma,
I do not contend your points about Clowns, of course, but the last issue with a healthy planted tank is O2. With enough pearling, healthy plant mass, we can feel confident O2 is near or at saturation, otherwise plant output would be dissolving into the water column. We can only put so much O2 into the water, and in this sense it should not matter if that O2 is coming from equilibrium/surface agitation or plants. I don't have a DO meter but respectfully feel confident about this. People successully keep breeding populations of high current/oxygen demanding fish in dense planted tanks.

I like plants for more than the aesthetic, and I certainly believe plants could make any fish tank healthier, even if just as an emergent outboard filter, providing nutrient uptake while drawing CO2 from the atmosphere.

This is not to say injecting CO2 won't effect fish -- over my head, but I'm aware excess concentrations can effect respiration. CO2 may cause another nutrient to be a limiting factor, stopping the plants from producing O2. However, properly injecting CO2 into a healthy planted tank will increase plant production and therefore dissolved O2 during the lighting period. Easy enough to adapt the system with surface agitation and turning off CO2 at night, if necessary.

Simply another point of view on the cause and effect, and I acknowledge that unlike you and other experts/professionals, I am only a hobbyist. I would follow your advice against Clowns and planted tanks.

Joe

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crazy loaches
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Post by crazy loaches » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:37 pm

I am new to this forum but I'll post observations I have had with fish in my CO2 injected 75G tank. I used to inject CO2 24/7. In the past I have had some incidents, namely the powerhead that adgitated the water surface failing or simply falling off the suction cup leaving no agitation. CO2 levels during the day are normally in the 15-20 range. My plants werent pearling so my O2 levels were probably below saturation at the time. On the couple nights I lost agitation, I awoke to most all my fish gasping at the surface. I did not notice any of my clowns gasping though. After adjusting the spraybar up and leaving for work (and crossing my fingers) I have come home to find a tank full mostly of dead fish. The Clowns seem like the most resilient fish, as I have yet to have one die despite all the other fish deaths (including other loaches I had). I have three that are around the 4" to 4.5" length and another three that are around the 2.5" length (recently added).

My current setup I have upped the CO2 to 25-30ppm, and run it only with the lights. Also a very light surface current from my spraybar. Plants a heavily pearling. The only death I have had since my setup has been working good was a poor little botia striata that got sucked into the prefilter of one of my powerheads. Poor little fella. All my other fish appear to be at thier best. I dont try to say whats best or not, just offering my observations.

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