Need advice with the following 10g tank - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice with the following 10g tank

Hi guys, I have been lurking the forums for quite some time now and I would appreciate it if you give me advice with my tank questions.

Plants : It is a 10G tank with glossostigma, hairgrass and baby tears.
Fish : Some amanos, guppies and neons.
Substrate: Carib Sea + Ada amazonia
Light: 2x CFL light bulbs keeping them on for 6 hours . Now here I am not exactly sure how much the lights output is. My friend who gave me the tank and the lights said they are 4-5 Watts each which if true means they are a little low for this tank. But from googling them I am finding they are actually 13.5 Watts each. I am not sure who to believe.
CO2 : Fluval mini CO2
Filter: Eheim 2211
Fertilization: I am doing the EI fertilization with KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 and Plantex 3xweek with the dosing requirements for 10G tank.

My problem: The plants are slowly dying. I also have algae problems. The plants slowly turn very dark green and have algae strings on them , very few new leafs can be seen growing and after they grow they also turn dark. The glass of the tank doesn't have the light green algae that can be seen from high light, but rather dark and orange kind of algae that I need to remove every few days in order to keep it clean. The aquarium is not very near a window, but the room where it is is kind of sunny with an Eastern / Southern windows so I wonder if the light from the outside makes the algae problem.

I have measured the following characteristics of the water:

ph: 7
KH: 3-4
GH: 3
Phosphates: 2-2.5 ppm - this is in the middle of a fertilization cycle
NO3: around 9-10 also in the middle of the cycle


Any suggestions what the problem might be can be helpful. For now my only unknown is the lighting. It "seems" that the light is ok. I think it is lower than optimal but if it is lower why I have so much algae problems ?

Thank you very much!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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These are the light bulbs I have.. at least from googling the model number on them:
http://energy-star-lighting.findtheb...ent-Light-Bulb
Also they are positioned sideways, I have read that there is a huge difference how your light bulbs are positioned. So my question is are they optimal or not ? Thanks.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you .
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:06 PM
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From the little I have seen about spiral versions of fluorescent bulbs I think they are more efficient when they are vertical, with the ends pointing into the tank. You wouldn't think so, which is why I was surprised to see that.

Go to page 2, post #21:
PAR Data-Spiral Power Saver Bulbs, lighting question

Do you have a drop checker or any other way to estimate how much CO2 is actually getting into the water?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have read that post many times and that is why I am wondering about the light conditions. I have a drop checker. I turn the CO2 in the morning and at that time the color is dark blue. At night before I turn the CO2 off the color is green to light green.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:26 PM
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How long has the tank been setup? How old are the bulbs? If they're old or not daylight you might want to replace them.

I'm no expert but you've had no other responses so I'll say a bit. I have a similar setup to yours. I'm running 2 13w cfls on my 10g but with no fertz or CO2. Been running for a month without serious issurse.



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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The setup is almost 10 months old...It's not that the plants die instantly, they just don't perform well. The bulbs are not new, but seem to be working fine. They are both 13W

But yesterday I made an experiment. I put additional stronger bulb and the plants instantly started producing oxygen, which never happened before. So I am almost sure my problem has been the lights.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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Cfls lose their effectiveness after a while. Some new lights and a longer photoperiod and you should be fine.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Cool thanks!
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