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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 03:56 AM
Planted Tank Guru
jreich's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 2,940
Originally Posted by learnbot View Post
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?
1: i would start with 6 hours and slowly work your way up from there (patience youg grasshopper)

2: look into dry ferts, by far the cheapest and works the best
try or

3: 10k may be a small part of the issue, but i wouldent rush out to get new bulbs, most people with planted tanks used 65 - 68k, but you can use many difrent bulb temps.

4: again patience young grasshopper planted tanks take lots of time especially since your just using excell, maybe look into DIY co2, then after you get the hang of that and some $ invest in a nice co2 regulator and tank. Dont be afraid to trim dead / dying leaves. Remember triming stimulates new growth.

btw ferns usually are slow growers, your fern is probably just now aclimated to its new home and should start sending out runners soon.

goog luck and welcome to TPT!!
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