Google Search

Friday, 29 March 2013

JBL ProFlora Bio 160

My woes with my planting situation on my Lido 120 freshwater tank have continued on for several weeks now and i have not managed to pin down “why” it is happening.

Speaking to the owner of my LFS, he asked if i dose CO2 to the aquarium. I did in the past with a TMC system, but that proved to be slightly poor and unreliable, so i removed it from the aquarium with the intention to one day install a pressurised CO2 system once the Reef tank has its supply rigged up for the calcium reactor… two birds with one stone…

In the mean time i have used Seachem Flourish Excel to provide a carbon substitute and it seemed to work wonders on the tank. Despite me not keeping the most exotic of plant life. What i do keep in the tank, has grown like lightning.

I have recently stopped using Excel and changed to EasyLife EasyCarbo as it worked out a great deal cheaper and looked to serve the same purpose. I'm wondering if this change has been one of the major issues and the EasyCarbo is not as good or effective as Excel? This is something i will certainly look at going back to if the problems persist and does not get any better.

Dave at my LFS suggested that a deficiency in CO2 saturation and carbon, due to using a different product may be a key factor to the plants receding so badly. Also with them disappearing, the algae blankets i am now getting on the substrate may be the product of elevated phosphate and nitrate levels due to there being no, or at least heavily reduced, nutrient competition.

We decided another go at CO2 dosing would be a worthy test. But seeing as i don't have he pressurised system in place, it was suggested to try the biological method of using a yeast and sugar based reaction to produce CO2 gas.

I have watched several videos and read How-To guides on constructing such a system, however JBL produce a nice bio-CO2 generator for around £35, which gives you all you need including a decent in-tank diffuser.

For the cost, it was easily worth a shot…

12-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-011

The kit is very simple, comprising of the following…

  • The Taifun S diffuser
  • 2x Refill kits for the two part bio system
  • A large clear container that serves as the reactor
  • A “Thermal Sleeve” (the black thing on the right)
  • A couple of meters of tubing (not shown)
  • A one way valve (not shown)
  • Instructions and various fittings.

02-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-001

The Thermal Sleeve serves the purposes of holding the reaction chamber…

03-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-002

It can be mounted inside a cabinet or attached the glass of the aquarium where it uses residual heat from the aquarium to keep the chamber warm, which aids the CO2 creation.

JBL advise the latter.

I have a slight advantage as a radiator is right alongside the aquarium, which will help provide adequate heating. I used the supplied sticky strips and secured to the glass along side the Juwel internal filter. Also in an ideal situation, the heater is of course stored in the same rear corner.

05-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-004

The bio mixture refill kits come in two parts. A large bag marked A which contains some form of sugar solution, and a small packet marked B which contains a few grams of yeast.

These refills are good for up to 40 days, and separate ones can be bought once you have run out. As said previously. The kit comes with two refills. Enough for around two and a half months.

07-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-007

These two pouches are added to the chamber…

08-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-008

Followed by topping it up to a marker with warm water…

09-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-009

The chamber is then returned to the sleeve and the pipework attached from the union on the top, through the one way valve and to the diffuser that needs placing inside the aquarium with a reasonable amount of flow passing around it…

13-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-012

14-JBL ProFlora Bio 160-013

10-JBL ProFlora Bio 160.02

I positioned the diffuser under the Nano 900 power head i have in the tank, which allows a bit of regulation of how vigorous the flow is around the diffuser itself.

11-Daily FTS Lido 120.25

As you can see. The plant life looks dire compared to how it did a while back, it was like a jungle playground for the fish!

The biological reaction takes a couple of days to really get going, and the first bubbles you see are mainly plain old air being pushed through in lieu of the CO2 arriving. I have found its ideal warm spot has been ideal too.

Eventually the bubbles started coming quickly, around 2 per second. And you can tell they are CO2 as they spiral around the diffuser they get increasingly smaller, compared to the air bubbles that didnt.

The bubble production also definitely slow down when the room cools, probably by half. A bonus as this mainly happens at night when its better to limit the CO2 input as they plants are not photosynthesising.

I wouldn't say the plant life has exploded back into a rich dense forest again over night, but i have definitely noticed, new and strong growth from the remaining stumps and the rhizome of the Java Fern. So it does genuinely feel like an improvement has been made.

I have since added a pH probe to the installed Apex controller (which i will elaborate on soon) which has shown my pH to seem quite high for the KH value currently maintained. Around 7.6 on average. Not too detrimental to life, but would indicate a low CO2 count.

I have also added a new CO2 constant checker, to try and keep a better visual check on, again i will post soon again about this device. Worryingly (sort of) it shows i am seriously deficient on CO2, but also expected!

I'm not sure the bio-CO2 will have the power to get to an ideal level and maintain it, but at least there is “some” in there, rather than the previous none.

I have also recently noticed that the blanket algae appears to be less belligerent despite me siphoning it out every weekend. Could this point to the plant life metabolising the CO2 and taking up the nutrients before the algae.

Time will tell for now.

1 comment: