STARTERS

The Basics

Employee (if more personnel present add in notes)

Date
Time Started
Setup

Arriving before midday? First light won't start to come on till then. For some working light change the time of the light controllers (mounted on top right wall above tank). Move to 16:00 for low general. For 100% brightness change times to 18:00. Tip: though for LOOKING FOR ALGAE on the walls it's best to have LIGHTS OFF

Lay down drop sheets ESPECIALLY WHEN WORKING IN LOUNGE ROOM SIDE

Lift LIGHT UNITS up for working space. If doing large work (plant removals and other potentially messy things) lay down canvas drop sheet (folded in half, length ways) along the front of the tank)

Observations
FISH
Photos Before. 1-2 OVERALL. 2-3 CLOSEUPS on PLANTS
Peruvian Altum Angels (7) and Harlequin Rasboras (~50) Rummy-nose Tetras (30)

Take photos of individuals and check for CAUSES. Questions: 1. Is it just an individual or are many affected? 2. Check for uneaten food, levels of ammonia or nitrite. 3. Filter or heater stopped or malfunctioning?

Anything on BODY?
WHITE SPOTS?
FUNGUS?
WOUNDS?

Take PHOTO of cases and NOTE down details.

Plan for LARGE WATER CHANGE (75-90%) with thorough GRAVEL VAC. Use STRESS COAT and BLUE SALTS to guard against chlorine and infection.

CONTACT BRUCE IMMEDIATELY

Take PHOTO where possible and NOTE down details.

Looking good? Place a pinch of Tetrabits or a block of FROZEN FOOD in and observe how they eat.

The Workers: SUCKING CATS & FLYING FOXES

SUCKING CAT/s sighted? (1-2)

SIAMESE FLYING FOX/es sighted? (2-3)

How's the algae levels on GLASS & PLANTS?

This is an indication that there are no or low numbers of SIAMESE FLYING FOX. Mention in notes.

siamese flying fox

Remove as much as possible, prune old affected leaves off plants. Vacuum up loose pieces from after cleaning glass

This is possibly an indication that there are no SUCKING CATS. Mention in notes.

sucking cat

Check nitrate and phosphate levels.

Plan for an "Adrian Special"; BEFORE draining, turn OFF pumps, scrape all of every glass surface and carefully brush clean all rocks Then drain 80% water.

PLANTS

PLANTS PHOTO GALLERY (tap to open)

STAURAGYNE. (Tap for picture)

STAURAGYNE REPENS

STAURAGYNE

CRYPTS PARVA (tap for picture)

CRYPTS PARVA

PARVA

LOBELIA (Tap for picture)

LOBELIA

LOBELIA

ALTERANTHERA. (Tap for picture)

ALTERANTHERA

Alteranthera

BLYXA

BLYXA

How are the CRYPTS PARVA looking?
How is the STAURAGYNE looking?
How is the ALTERANTHERA looking?

Great. Prune any healthy taller stems and replant to improve coverage of ground.

How is LOBELIA looking?

CUT approx in half and, If healthy, reduce HEADLESS STALK by a further 50% and replant heads on front to hide the stalk.

Great. Be sure to SHORTEN DOWN any that are getting too close to the tall

CO2 SYSTEM. To test before 2:15 pm when it is programmed to come on, switch main POWERBOARD to MAN. This will turn the CO2.

DON'T FORGET TO RETURN IT TO AUTO!!!

WORKING PRESSURE
This is the right hand gauge on the regulator assembly.
This helps stability bubble rate and its adjustment
Ideal around 3-5 PSI
Adjustment with Alan Key (on floor of cupboard) in centre of regulator

CO2 Gauge

WORKING PRESSURE LEVELS OK?

If the WORKING PRESSURE is not high enough then opening up the the fine adjustment valve may not work to increase the bubble rate: use Alan Key to turn adjustment bolt clockwise. Watch to see if this increases the bubble rate and/or how much gas is diffusing through the stone inside the tank.

If the WORKING PRESSURE is TOO HIGH then the fine adjustment valve may be too touchy to refine the bubble rate (either too fast or nothing at all). In this case use Alan Key to turn adjustment bolt anti-clockwise to reduce the working pressure

With this high pressure system a BUBBLE RATE of around 1-2 bubbles per second is sufficient

Bottle empty? Or out of programmed time? Or some other issue?

Change over bottle. Should be another large one in cupboard

DECREASE by turning the INLINE FINE ADJUSTMENT on the WHITE PRESSURE VALVE ASSEMBLY anti-clockwise (NB this is counterintuitive and opposite to the main regulator fine adjustment valve. Can use a key to turn )

INCREASE by turning the INLINE FINE ADJUSTMENT on the PRESSURE VALVE ASSEMBLY clockwise (NB this is counterintuitive and opposite to the main regulator fine adjustment valve. Can use a key to turn )

If opening up the the fine adjustment valve doesn't work to INCREASE IT then it maybe the bottle is low so replace. Disconnect and install spare bottle in cupboard and make follow up field for Bruce to order a new bottle

Fine effervescence coming out in DIFFUSER STONE (at base of rocks RHS) ?

Plan for a Service to REPLACE DIFFUSER STONE. Instructions in service page

Tests part 1

Tests part 1

TEMPERATURE test (ideal 27 - 28.5 C)

Temperature

Has the auto after change happened recently? (Check Galcon solenoid program: scroll with MODE button to see programmed days and time)

This definitely will have cooled the tank down and so the most likely explanation for this. If it was just done for example a temp reading of 24 would be normal, even 23 in the winter months. If even lower then consult Bruce

A bit too cool. Are INLINE HEATERS functioning/plugged in? (2 on right filter, 1 on left)

Unplug faulty unit. Notify Bruce to arrange replacement. Increase remaining units a little.

Increase THERMOSTAT on the heater whose thermostat is switching off at a lower temp by the SUITABLE AMOUNT to bring it up within the range (see above) and make note of how much.

Increased THERMOSTAT by:

too warm. Are THERMOSTATS on heaters functioning?
(Does the indicator light come on and off when you turn the thermostat setting up and down?)

Decrease THERMOSTAT (anticlockwise) on the highest set heater by the SUITABLE AMOUNT to bring it down within the range (see above) and note by how much.

Decreased THERMOSTAT by:

if the THERMOSTAT doesn't respond to being turned down then better to have a cool tank than risking cooking the fish. Unplug faulty unit. Notify Bruce to arrange replacement.

Good. Refill with HEATER or KETTLES OF BOILED WATER (boiling water tap in kitchen) in COLD months.

Rinse 4 TEST VIALS in tank water: pH (square vial) and GH (large round vial) NITRATE & PHOS (small glass) MEASURE 5ml in each and SET ASIDE for later. Tip: use SQUARE VIAL or a SYRINGE to measure an accurate 5ml for the GH.

The Drain

The Drain (50%)
GRAVEL VACUUM (only for special occasions.) NB: if plants are doing well, then leave.

Gravel vacuum?

How dirty was it?

FAST DRAIN

Open DRAIN VALVE (pic below) NB set timer for about 5-10 mins. Its easy to get distracted with other things and forget! MAKE SURE YOU CLOSE IT PROPERLY AT END. IF UNSURE, LIFT HISE OUT OF DRAIN TO CONFIRM IT HAS STOPPED!

Drain Valve diagram

sussex drain
% Size of Water Change

The Refill

The Refill

Press manual button (finger symbol) on GALCON controller. See pic below. NB check on again later. It will probably need another go as 40 mins may not be enough. TIPP: if it is only 5 -10 mins remaining on the timer then you can stop and restart to bring up another 40 mins.

MANUAL SETTING ON CONTROLLER diagram ==>

CONTROLLER MANUAL TIMED REFILL

galcon controller

SOUP HEATER in COLD months or in large water changes. REMEMBER: always plug into WALL OUTLET. Mount so the heating element hangs in the middle OPEN SPACE, away from glass and plants if possible

Things To Do During Refill

CLEAN GLASS; easiest at LOW WATER LEVELS. SOFT ALGAE lightly with MAGNET CLEANER (MAKE SURE BOTH SIDES ARE SUPER CLEAN FIRST!!). Even if you can't see any, best to do a light pass over the whole thing. DARK GREEN spots: best with SCRAPER.

Work on PLANTS

FILTER SERVICE?

Which one?

Tap here for instructions ====>

INSTRUCTIONS: UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

CO₂ diffuser stone need replacing?

Tap here for instructions

CO₂ diffuser assembly

no label

Turn off CO₂

Unscrew Locking Nut. Note: this will be very tight. The base threaded nipple may decide to turn instead so you may need a second hand to stop it turning

The whole assembly down to the bottom washer should come out together. Remover the bottom washer and the old diffuser stone

Open new DIFFUSER STONE and remove OUTER RUBBER RING. (Pic above mentions using this as additional seal but here we will just leave the upper part of the assembly untouched)

Use brush or finger to clean out top washer a little under hot water but best to otherwise not disturb it.

Place new stone in centre of TOP WASHER and re-seat rinsed (in hot water) BOTTOM WASHER to lock the diffuser disc into position.

Carefully screw the WHOLE ASSEMBLY back onto the MALE THREADED BASE. For now just turn it up moderately firm. We'll probably need to tighten further but for now that will do.

Turn on the CO₂. Don't be surprised if there is big bubbles escaping out of the sides of the assembly. If it is excessively fast then, depending on where it's coming out of, we may need to check the stone is centre. In which case turn of CO₂ and repeat the above.

With CO₂ still on, tighten the locking nut in small increments, being careful not to crack the stone. Some big bubbles forming slowly on the edges of the stone is ok. As long as no gas coming from under the locking nut.

Tests (continued)

pH Test? 3 drops in 5ml. (ideal pre CO2 range 6.5-7)

pH

ADD approx 2 tsp CORAL SAND.

ADD approx 3 tsp CORAL SAND

ADD approx 4 tsp CORAL SAND

Most likely this is the due to the rocks
Has the CO2 been on for a while?

CO2 will reduce the pH so if its still high then perhaps a contaminated vial. Rinse test tube thoroughly and retest. (Any traces of ammonia or GH tester solution will give a false alkaline reading)

WOAH! Unlikely! Rinse test tube thoroughly and retest. (Any traces of AMMONIA TEST or GH TEST solutions will give a false alkaline reading) If still high then we must assume that there has been an excess amount of coral sand and all we can do is water change. It will eventually come down as the coral sand dissolves.

GH TEST. number of drops to turn from ORANGE to GREEN

GH (ideal range 4-7)

SIZE of water change:

ADD 1 Measure spoon GH POWDER

ADD 2 Measure spoon GH POWDER

SIZE of water change:

ADD up to 1 Measure spoon GH POWDER

ADD up to 2 Measure spoons GH POWDER

ADD up to 3 Measure spoons GH POWDER

Depending on SIZE of WATER CHANGE, add NO SALTS and let WC reduce the GH to within desired range

NITRATE TEST

Nitrate level (ppm)

Depending on state of plants, this is POSSIBLY grounds for increase in NITROGEN dose. Contact Bruce for further instructions.

GENERALLY this is the OPTIMUM RANGE. HOWEVER if there is POOR PLANT GROWTH observed then possibly means therefore not enough K and thus they are being starved. Contact Bruce for further instructions.

Has the COMPLETE dosed already today? Note, this dosing pump is programmed for every TUESDAY
If so then this will contribute to a higher nitrate reading

Almost certainly and LACK of POTASSIUM and/or OVER DOSE of NITROGEN
Are DOSING PUMPS for K and N well primed and unblocked?

Done a calibration of the PUMPS recently? (In the last 5months)

Look at POTASSIUM dose. Consult Bruce

Do a manual dose of 10ml of NITROGEN while holding a test vial underneath.
Did it dose the correct volume?

Has it been over-dosing or under-dosing?

OVER-DOSING by how much?

Perform a calibration of all three pumps

pump calibration

UNDER-DOSING by how much?

Perform a calibration of all three pumps

pump calibration

Look at increasing POTASSIUM dose. Consult Bruce

Look at increasing POTASSIUM dose. Consult Bruce

Give details of problem

If after fixing the problem, you're not convinced this was sufficiently causing problems in dosing of any ferts then CONTACT Bruce to discuss.

PHOSPHATE TEST

Phosphate level (ppm)

GENERALLY this is the OPTIMUM RANGE. Some say 1/10th of the nitrate level. HOWEVER if there is POOR PLANT GROWTH observed then possibly means therefore not enough K and thus they are being starved. Contact Bruce for further instructions.

Only phosphate source here is the fish food. Perhaps an increase in K dose will help. Make follow up note and discuss with Bruce later

Is there premature aging/falling off of leaves on any of the plants?

Only phosphate source here is the fish food. Perhaps a manual liquid dose or increase in feeding . Make follow up note and discuss with Bruce later

Then don't worry about it. Enjoy algae-free aquarium maintenance!

Additives

GH UP POWDER ADDED?

How many measured spoons?

Coral sand added? (Low pH)

How many teaspoons?

DOSING PUMPS. Only COMPLETE & POTASSIUM in operation
"COMPLETE"

Any AIRLOCKS to bleed out?

TEST THE LINE

Be sure to use a CONTAINER (GH test vial eg.) to catch the liquid while priming the line.

TEST LINES; Manual Dose ==> press BUTTON to the RIGHT OF EACH PUMP HEAD Only do as much as a couple of drops. Extra doses of Basic-gro is ok in small amounts.

Liquid moving through the line?

Is the SUCTION LINE immersed in the liquid?

Is it an OBSTRUCTION in the line caused by oxidised minerals from the liquid?

Remove SUCTION LINE from PUMP HEAD and WASH in hot water, massage or blow out the blockage and RE-ATTACH to PUMP HEAD.

WASH OUT the supply bottle. If there is reasonable amount of liquid still in it then gently DECANTER the clear liquid into a second container. As soon as it is no longer clear STOP (in the case of DAILY-GRO it goes from tea coloured to thick brown). WASH OUT SLUDGE and return the clear liquid to the bottle.

Where and how big was the airlock in the COMPLETE line?

PRIME/BLEED THE LINE

Be sure to use a CONTAINER (GH test vial eg.) to catch the liquid while priming the line.

TEST LINES; Manual Dose ==> press BUTTON to the RIGHT OF EACH PUMP HEAD Only do as much as a couple of drops. Extra doses of Basic-gro is ok in small amounts.

Liquid moving through the line?

Is the SUCTION LINE immersed in the liquid?

Is it an OBSTRUCTION in the line caused by oxidised minerals from the liquid (typically TRACE & IRON)?

Remove SUCTION LINE from PUMP HEAD and WASH in hot water, massage or blow out the blockage and RE-ATTACH to PUMP HEAD.

WASH OUT the supply bottle. If there is reasonable amount of liquid still in it then gently DECANTER the clear liquid into a second container. As soon as it is no longer clear STOP (in the case of DAILY-GRO it goes from tea coloured to thick brown). WASH OUT SLUDGE and return the clear liquid to the bottle.

Check that the CONNECTIONS between PUMP and FEEDER lines are well secure. If necessary, REMOVE feeder line, snip of tip with scissors and SOAK new tip in hot water to soften and REFIT.

Test CHECKVALVE. Blow air thru both ends. Should only let you in one direction. If it flows in both directions (or indeed none!) a paper clip wire or similar lightly poked into the rubber valve from both ends can fix this. Otherwise make note to replace valve.

Clean CHECK VALVES/ENDS OF LINES of dried/calcified buildup. They should be just hanging over the SUPPORT STRIP of glass and above the water line.

ADJUSTMENT DOSE: has the COMPLETE dosed before the water change?

Make ADJUSTMENT DOSE at a % corresponding to size of water change. Eg. 50% water change = 1/2 of programmed dose. It will ask you to confirm.

No macros dosed today so no adjustment necessary.

POTASSIUM

Any AIRLOCKS to bleed out?

TEST THE LINE

TEST LINES; Manual Dose ==> press BUTTON to the RIGHT OF EACH PUMP HEAD As long as not excessive, extra doses of K is ok

Liquid moving through the line?

Is the SUCTION LINE immersed in the liquid?

Is it an OBSTRUCTION in the line caused by oxidised minerals from the liquid (typically TRACE & IRON)?

Remove SUCTION LINE from PUMP HEAD and WASH in hot water, massage or blow out the blockage and RE-ATTACH to PUMP HEAD.

WASH OUT the supply bottle. If there is reasonable amount of liquid still in it then gently DECANTER the clear liquid into a second container. As soon as it is no longer clear STOP (in the case of DAILY-GRO it goes from tea coloured to thick brown). WASH OUT SLUDGE and return the clear liquid to the bottle.

Where and how big was the airlock in the POTASSIUM line?

PRIME/BLEED THE LINE

TEST LINES; Manual Dose ==> press BUTTON to the RIGHT OF EACH PUMP HEAD As long as not excessive, extra doses of K is ok

Liquid moving through the line?

Is the SUCTION LINE immersed in the liquid?

Is it an OBSTRUCTION in the line caused by oxidised minerals from the liquid (typically DAILY-GRO)?

Remove SUCTION LINE from PUMP HEAD and WASH in hot water, massage or blow out the blockage and RE-ATTACH to PUMP HEAD.

WASH OUT the supply bottle. If there is reasonable amount of liquid still in it then gently DECANTER the clear liquid into a second container. As soon as it is no longer clear STOP (in the case of DAILY-GRO it goes from tea coloured to thick brown). WASH OUT SLUDGE and return the clear liquid to the bottle.

Check that the CONNECTIONS between PUMP and FEEDER lines are well secure. If necessary, REMOVE feeder line, snip of tip with scissors and SOAK new tip in hot water to soften and REFIT.

Test CHECKVALVE. Blow air thru both ends. Should only let you in one direction. If it flows in both directions (or indeed none!) a paper clip wire or similar lightly poked into the rubber valve from both ends can fix this. Otherwise make note to replace valve.

Clean CHECK VALVES/ENDS OF LINES of dried/calcified buildup. They should be just hanging over the SUPPORT STRIP of glass and above the water line.

Packing up

SUPPLIES;
ANY REFILLING TO BE DONE IN SINK OR OUTSIDE!

LIQUID FERTS (Dosing Pump)
Currently only running COMPLETE and POTASSIUM

COMPLETE FERTILISER. HOW MUCH IS LEFT?

THIS IS PROBABLY NOT ENOUGH TO LAST. Change over Bottle with a new 1 litre bottle
Use the remainder of the old bottle to top up another time.

HOW MANY FULL BOTTLES LEFT?

Great. Any empty bottles with some leftovers to top up the current bottle with?

POTASSIUM. HOW MUCH IS LEFT IN DOSING BOTTLE?

THIS IS PROBABLY NOT ENOUGH TO LAST. Refill from 5 litre supply bottle

HOW MUCH POTASSIUM LEFT IN SUPPLY

Great. Any empty bottles with some leftovers to top up the current bottle with?

FOOD REPLACE/ REFILL? (Tetrabits, frozen food)

WHICH KIND?

Will any need replacing next month?

Which kind?
AUTO FEEDER

AUTO FEEDER topped up?
Hold finger over opening to prevent food spilling

If the barrel is still pretty full then possibly the opening is closed or not open enough.

Make sure the opening has not shifted. Run a test feed to check its putting in not too much/too little food

Battery ok?

Replace batteries (2 x AA, ask Faye), NOTE DOWN PROGRAM TIMES FIRST as you'll lose all info! Call Bruce if Help needed

Make note in ACTION here and address to Bruce

Replace batteries (2 x AA, ask Faye)
Program for 2 single rotations at 15:00 and 21:00.

Make note in ACTION here and address to Bruce

Feeder Time of day correct?

FEED ARROWS showing?
Sign that program is activated
Down-facing arrows ⬇️ next to program number, 1 per rotation programmed

Make ACTION note here for Bruce and activate a conservative setting of: 2 programs with one rotation (one downward ⬇️) per time programmed

AUTO FEEDER returned to position and tested?

Equipment Check

MOST IMPORTANT: were the lights OFF when you arrived?

HAVE YOU OVER-RIDDEN THE LIGHTS (changed the time) TO BE ABLE TO WORK?
Lights are programmed to come on around 12.30pm

Reset the TIME on CONTROLLER

Correct time on SYSTEM controller (mounted on wall below dosing pumps)?

Contact Bruce

LIGHTS: all LEDS working?

Details

If you have lifted the LIGHTS then gently lower them back down to the height you found them

Notes. Any extra work performed? Any additions of fish? Any questions...?

FINAL CHECKS

HEATER and FILTER PUMPS ON and functioning?

OUTSIDE GLASS, CABINETRY etc CLEAN & DRY?

Finished (or close to) refilling? Check the remaining time on the REFILL TIMER and if more than 5 mins then close off. You can leave it to overflow a little. But we don't want to chill the tank too much

POWER BOARD SET TO "AUTO"? This currently only runs the CO₂ and DOSING PUMP

MOST IMPORTANT #2: is the DRAIN PROPERLY CLOSED? Check the end of the drain hose to confirm nothing flowing out. The tap should be vertical.

WORKLIGHTS IN CUPBOARDS TURNED OFF?

Got your: BASKET STRAINER? TOOTH BRUSH? TEASPOON?

Photos After. 1 x OVERALL. Both sides, 2 half shots CLOSEUPS of any REARRANGED PLANT.
Time Finished