Hi everyone. New around these parts. I came to find some information to help me recover my planted tank, which has really been suffering after we moved from the Cleveland area to the Toledo area.
I have a 55 gal tank that, at one time, I could barely contain the growth of some of my plants. I had been cutting them back and giving away plants to friends and family because I had so much growth. After we moved, I was able to keep plants but new growth was spotty, at best. For the past 6 months I have been watching most of my plants retract back to their pots or root systems. Right now I have only one plant that I can call a success, and really that's pushing it. It's nice and big but it doesn't have the color it used to and the new growth shoots that I am used to finding in the gravel are at a minimum.
I started my live plant tank about 9 years ago and, honestly, was completely ignorant and lucky at first. We were in an apartment at the time and with only a T8 grow bulb in a 26 gallon tank I was producing Anacharis and Cabomba so fast I couldn't give it away fast enough. We then moved into a house and upgraded to the 55 gal tank. At first we struggled with really any plants. After research, I decided it was a lighting problem as I couldn't get enough light into the water with T8 bulbs. I ended up getting a 130W Coralife aqualight and that was indeed the magic that allowed me to start growing again. I couldn't keep the Anacharis and Cabomba for some reason, but switched up to Kleiner Bar Sword and Red Rubin and had a lot of success - again, had to give a lot of growth away.
Now we move again... and I really have zero growth, in fact I've lost all of my Kleiner Bars and only have one decent Red Rubin left. I'm using the same 10,000K Coralife CF lamps, although I want to change to their 6700K lamps which seem to have a better balance of outputs in red and blue (and less green). But my pH, gH and kH are all different, now, and I'm wondering if these are really the problem that I am having.
My Tap results:
My Tank results:
My heater is really old and I am replacing it, but it's only fluctuating between 73 and 76 - so it's not like I'm a disaster on heating.
I know I've let my bulbs run a little long, which is why I am replacing them.
I run two whisper 60 filters that really seem to do a great job.
I use a mix of gravel and fluorite substrate (and admittedly have not added fluorite in some time.
I have never had to use fertilizer in the past (though I came close before, when I ended up going with more light in the tank after upgrading to the 55).
I admittedly have never tested for, or used, or learned much about CO2.
I have approximately the same number and biomass of fish (many are even the same individual fish) in the tank and the fish leave the plants alone (they're not eating them, anyway).
One other item... I have very little green algae growth (just a little on the glass, but overall it's very low) but I am collecting reddish algae growth on the glass at or beneath the gravel/fluorite line that I cannot get rid of. I have never had this before moving here, and so I wonder if this is a clue that helps diagnose at least part of my situation.
I need some help here. My tank used to be pretty impressive and with mostly little effort. Now, I'm really struggling.
I can try to provide more info if needed. Thanks for any help, guys. My wife and I would really appreciate it.