The Aquatic Gazette

jcardona1′s Wild Discus Biotope (4)

In Build on May 15, 2011 at 00:01

Welcome to Edition 4! If you have missed out on Edition 3, it can be found here: Enjoy this edition!

jcardonal: I am very stoked! Just received my new group of wilds about an hour ago. I purchased three large Alenquer semi-royal Blues from John/Snookn. These guys are beautiful! John had them labeled as blues but he said lately they’ve been looking very red. Who knows, but they do look very nice. Here’s some pics in their QT tank which will be home for the next 4-6 weeks. I’ll be watching them closely to see if I need to give them a de-worming.

I got the RO/DI system hooked up. Thanks again to Second time I’ve ordered from them. Their products and service are top notch! I picked up the 5 stage Ocean Reef +1 unit, and hooked it up to the chloramine filter I bought from them some time ago. So I’m essentially running a 7 stage RO/DI unit

Hookup was a breeze. The unit started producing pure water in no time, with no leaks at all. Here’s a quick rundown of all that is going on for those that are new to RO/DI units (this is my first one as well).

*in order of water flow*
1. GAC Chloramine cartridge (granular activated carbon)
2. GAC Chloramine cartridge (granular activated carbon)
3. 5 micron poly sediment filter
4. 5 Micron Matrikx NSF rated CTO/2 Workhorse carbon block
5. 0.6 Micron Matrikx NSF rated chlorine guzzler carbon block
6. Dow Filmtec 75gpd RO membrane
7. DI cartridge w/ refillable resin

8. Pressure gauge for water going into RO membrane
9. Inline dual TDS meter (measures straight tapwater and water before RO membrane)
10. Inline dual TDS meter (measures water after RO membrane, and after DI filter)

Waste water is going into my laundry drain. Maybe in the near future I can figure out a better use for it so I’m not wasting so much water.

And here’s some photos of the TDS meters in action:

Tapwater straight from the faucet
After passing through the RO membrane
And after the last stage, the DI filter. Purest water you can get. 0ppm TDS!!!

To re-mineralize the RO/DI water with essential minerals I’ll be using Kent’s R/O Right and Discus Essentials. I’ll add this after each water change, for the amount of water changed.

I have also ordered a TDS meter so that I can keep track of my parameters now that I’m using RO/DI water. I ended up ordering the Hanna Primo meter on eBay for less than $20 shipped. Very neat little unit, works like a charm. I tested the GH and TDS as follows:

TDS: 109ppm
GH: 80ppm, 4.48 dH

RO waste water
TDS: 132ppm
GH: 100ppm, 5.6 dH

RO/DI pure water
TDS: 1ppm (taken from water in barrel)
GH: < 20ppm, 1.12 dH (1 drop to change color)

190g tank
TDS: 313ppm
GH: 100ppm, 5.6 dH

30g quarantine tank w/ Alenquers
TDS: 87ppm
GH: 40ppm, 2.24 dH

In summary, I was surprised that RO waste water was actually higher in TDS and GH than tap water. I guess there’s a higher concentration of solids is in the waste water. Also of note, is that my 30g QT tank has the most ideal water. I’ve done 3-4 10g water changes on this tank using pure RO/DI water. This would be the ideal readings I’d like to have on the 190g. It will be a couple weeks before I can get this low on the 190g.

BUT, the 190g has come down in GH a lot!! Before I started using RO/DI water, my GH was at 220ppm / 12.3 dH. Huge difference! I wish I could have gotten an initial TDS reading before I started adding pure water.

It has been three days since the Alenquers were added to the quarantine tank and they were quite spunky this morning, so I snapped a few pics before work. I actually gave these guys a water change using RO/DI water, so the GH is even lower in this tank than my main tank.

And here is a small update on my LED light fixture. I was having a few issues with the first driver board and they weren’t dimming and turning off correctly. I think I may have fried the drivers when I first hooked them up to the power supply, since the voltage was turned up. Anyway, Aaron was kind enough to send me a new driver board. This one was even better than the first. The layout is identical, but this one is mounted to a nice little heatsink and fan to keep things cool.

While I was changing things out, I switched everything to a bigger project box because the PCB would not fit due to the heatsink/fan. So, I also decided to mount the project box underneath my stand; it was sitting on top of the light fixture before. This will make it easier to work on, and also easier to hook up to my laptop when I want to change the lighting program.

The only hard part was routing the wires back up to the light fixture. I only had to run the 4 negative wires from each driver, since this is what controls the PWM signal, and one positive wire to power all the strings. The LEDs are controlled independently by the CAT4101s, so there’s no issues with using one positive cable to power them all up.

Nothing beats sitting on the couch and watching the simulated sunrise and sunset from the LEDs

Edition 5 is a pictorial update of this amazing tank. To continue to it, click on this link:


credit: jcardona1


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