Not another drop checker?!

Indeed!!! I know how much you love your drop checkers and I also know how much you love your brands. After all people trust brands, especially big ones. So I would like to introduce to your the:

Fluval CO2 Indicator

So what’s different about this one? Not a lot to be brutally honest but then, who cares? It performs the job it needs to and in a planted aquarium (which uses pressurised CO2), a drop checker needs to become your best friend. You need to pay a lot of attention to it and see what colour it’s changing to.

Drop checkers work by monitoring your pH (not CO2 as most think). You see pH levels are effected by CO2 (which is an acidic gas). The more CO2 you pump into your aquarium, the more the pH drops. A drop checker shows this change by the colour reading. Yellow = too much CO2, Blue = too little CO2. Green = PERFECT!!

Your goal is to maintain a lovely green colour so change your CO2 flow rate to suit. When you achieve that magical green colour, it indicates you have the desired amount of CO2 in your water (30ppm = 30 parts per million). Plants love this level of CO2 so give them what they need.

monitor your CO2 levels with this drop checker

 

Tropica Premium and Specialised Fertilisers – which one for my tank?

With the launch of Tropica’s new range of products, I felt this would be a great time to introduce their fertilisers which I might add have always been of excellent quality. Using Tropica does not guarantee you results but it’s certainly a positive step in the right direction.

So to avoid confusion, if you have a planted aquarium that does not use pressurised CO2 you need

Tropica Premium Fertiliser

This recipe is based on aquariums that have a reasonable amount of fish relative to the number of plants. The liquid is orange and you need 5ml per 50L of water every week.

If you have a tank which used pressurised CO2, you need

Tropica Specialised Fertiliser

This fertiliser (coloured green) ensures it provides macronutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus into your tank which are key nutrients plants need and a high tech set up. Remember high tech = pressurised CO2 being used. Use at 5ml per 50L on a weekly basis but this is only a guide so you will need to tweak your dosage to suit.

Have you tried the new Tropica fertilisers yet? Let us know the results :)

 

My tank has hair algae – how do I get rid of it?

Does this picture look familiar?

Don’t you just hate this stuff?!

I can almost guarantee that you will have probably seen this at some point in your aquarium. It’s a frustrating algae because it looks awful and can be hard to get rid of. But don’t panic, as I can solve your situation. PHEW! *wipes brow*

Let me first sort out an old wives tale and set some of you straight:

It has nothing to do with excess nitrates or phosphates

Now I’d like to quote some text from UKAPS which is an excellent forum for those who do not know. Clive, who writes a lot on there has a real knack for words and I just love what he wrote:

Hair algae has absolutely nothing to do with high NO3 or high PO4. Hair algae is strictly associated with poor CO2. My tanks always have super high NO3 and PO4 and they never get hair algae – until something goes wrong with my CO2.

Just because you are adding CO2 it does not mean that you are adding enough. Do not fall off the wagon. Do not look for other reasons. Only try to realize the truth. Moss is a low light plant, so when you pummel it with high light it suffers more than other plants if the CO2 is not excellent. Therefore the moss is telling you that it is suffering too much light and not enough CO2. You think your CO2 is good but your moss disagrees. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters what your moss thinks.

Step number 1 is to reduce you lighting intensity significantly by 50% if possible. This will reduce the environmental pressures on the moss.

You also need to increase your CO2 levels without killing your fish. If this cannot be accomplished by gas injection rate increase then you need to add more liquid carbon and this has to be done daily, not once or twice a week. The liquid carbon is hostile to CO2 related algae and at the same time it delivers CO2 to the plant. You can use the bottle recommended daily dosage or you can multiply that by 2X or 3X assuming that you don’t have plants that respond poorly to liquid carbon such as Riccia or liverworts/bladderworts or assuming that you don’t have fauna that are sensitive to liquid carbon such as some shrimp.

Increase you number of water changes per week for a few weeks if this is possible.

As you lower the growth demand via reduction of the light intensity, and at the same time improve the available CO2, you’ll find that the mosses and other plants will respond positively and will grow faster. The hair algae will subside. Use a toothbrush in a spiral motion to remove as much of the hair as you can.

This advice is soooo good and so honest. Let me know what you think. Have you suffered from hair algae or maybe you are suffering right now from it. Either way, let me know!

Tropica 1-2-Grow! plants. Have you tried them?!

We’re delighted to announce that we are stocking the Tropica 1-2-Grow! plants and they’re looking awesome. The plants really are perfection in the making. And they may look small but don’t be deceived, because the sheer number of plants in them in staggering. Each container is jam packed full of incredibly healthy plants, just waiting to be chopped into smaller pieces by you and planted into your aquarium.

For those that don’t know, 1-2-Grow! plants are grown in labs in tissue culture. That means there is never any chance of algae, snails or pesticides of any sort – it’s simply impossible. Perfect for sensitive fish or shrimp.

You can find our range of Tropica 1-2-Grow! plants on our website by clicking here. As you will be able to tell it’s quite diverse already from mosses to stem plants. And because they are grown by Tropica, you know the quality and consistency is always 100%. It’s a really brave move by Tropica to introduce these sort of plants on a commercial scale. I know they feel it is the future of aquatic plants, but the question is do you?

Have you tried these plants yet? Do you think they are good value? Perhaps there might be a reason why you don’t want to try them and I’d love to hear why!! Reply below!

120cm tank aquascaping video

Here’s another cracking YouTube clip that I just have to share. I say this time and time again but ADG are just the best at these vids and their aquascaping is A1.

If you’re looking for inspiration then these guys should be your mentor. And don’t forget you can use any wood and rock combo to get the same effect. Be creative.

notice the 50% water change too. Take note peeps. Are you doing your 50% water change weekly?