I just wanted to say thanks for all the help and support this site and the members have offered me over the years. I've not been around for a while due to other life events taking up too much of my time and recently I took the decision to rehome my fish with a lovely lady down the road who still have the time, enthusiasm and tank space they deserve and now have sold my tank to a couple who will collect it at the weekend. So I'm not a fish keeper any more, and while the industry works as it does now I don't believe I'll be one again.
To get the pearling effect you need a ton of light compared to what comes with a standard retail tank and even then it will only happen with certain plants. I put 208w T5 over my 4' tank and the Vallis pearls with or without co2.
Some people take a twin T5 balast and mount the tubes wherever they fit under the existing hood. Others like me take the hood off completely and put luminaires over the tank. If you have fish that jump removing the lid can be problematic although a new lid can be constructed if you'd a little handy.
Vallis has always grown well for me even when my lighting was only 60W over 220L. I suspect an iron rich substrate helped. I have struggled to keep it to the back and sides of the tank, each week there are new sprouts growing more forward and central where the evening sun catches the tank.
Re: Disaster, lost all 13 koi last year and colony of frogs!
Hello and welcome to the site :)
You say the filter has seen little use? The filter will need to be on 24/7 as it's main job is not to keep the water clear but to grow friendly bacteria that consume the ammonia and nitrite in the water. Fish produce ammonia all the time and it's highly toxic to them. The filter also creates water movement which aids in oxygenating the water far more than a few weeds can and should break up that oily surface film.
It takes 6-8 weeks to build a colony of bacteria in a filter that can help detoxify the water. So turning the filter on now isn't going to be enough to save the day. Can you test the water for ammonia, I think this should be your first step. If you find there is ammonia in the water products like AmQuel(used sparingly) and partial water changes will be required until the filter catches up.
A pond expert will be along soon and I'm sure they'll be able to offer more detailed advice - I assume the fiberglass was professionally cured/sealed to make it safe for the fish?
I can probably save you some time having read the tank specs. Your tank is too big for yeast based CO2 injection or any of the sub ?30 CO2 starter kits to be effective so you can forget them. However your lighting levels are too low to justify a pressurised CO2 system. You can dose with liquid carbon if you like but if you want to change anything you'll probably get the most benefit from uprating the lights. On the other hand, if things are working right now and you're not hankering to spend money and try something new - leave it alone and be happy :)
Thanks guys, yes the years have been passing an a steadily accelerating rate. I missed this thread until today!
As for what I did, my employees give me the day off on my bday so I took the rest of the week off too and played a mixture of golf and World of Warcraft. Spent a little time with good friends, I drank more than I normally do and ate far more than I should have. I also posed naked for a calendar about a week ago, but that's another story!
All in all an interesting start to the year. I hope to become more active on the forums again soon.
That's quite a dramatic drop to happen over a week. I wouldn't expect it to do any harm to the fish or shrimp in the short term but you shouldn't let it continue. If the KH drops much lower the PH could suddenly crash and that is bad.
Double check the test results and also check your tap water so you know where you stand. It's possible with the heavy rain recently that your tap water is different to how it has been in which case you might need to add some minerals when you do a water change.
Assuming the tap water has not drastically softened regular water changes should sort the problem out and stop it re-occurring.
As to the last question, no crypts aren't the aquarium canary, just a pain in the backside from time to time