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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
Help for a beginner

Hey there,

Just getting into the planted tank thing over the last 2-3 months and encountering some problems that I was hoping to get advice with. Here's my set-up:
  • Tank = 4ft x 1ft x 20 inches
  • Substrate = Fairly standard dark gravel (small pebbles) with JBL Aqua Basis Plus underneath
  • Lighting = 2 x T5's (54W, 10000K)
  • C02 = Daily dosing with Seachem Flourish Excel
  • Filtration = Eheim 2215
  • Plants = Pogostemon Stellatus and Indo Fern
  • Fish = 20 x Harlequins + 2 x Siamese Algae Eaters
  • Water changes = 20% every week or so

My basic problem is that plant growth is very slow. The Indo Fern basically hasn't grown at all in the last 2 months. I had some Ambulia in there but it stagnated as well and I got rid of it.

Surprisingly, the Pogotemon has done OK with some nice bright green and violet growth at the top of the plants although the bottom of the plants are covered in a thin film of algae and not looking good. I've cut some of this excess growth and replanted and these seem to do OK as well.

Overall, algae has not been an issue but there is small amounts of darkish algae over most things making everything look stale rather than healthy.

Key questions I have are:
  • How many hours of light should this set-up need?
  • What would you recommend (if anything) when it comes to nutrients?
  • Is the 10000K nature of my lights a problem?
  • What advice would you offer to get plant growth happening?

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