my first planted tank...please help :/
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:35 AM   #1
jonnyboy
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Question my first planted tank...please help :/

I've had my tank for a few months now and am getting frustrated with my plants. They are not dying, but don't look healthy are are not growing.

TANK: 20gal 24Lx13wx17h
LIGHT:18" 15watt full spectrum
SUBSTRATE: 1/2 eco complete substrate. 1/2 quarter inch stones
FERTILIZER: Flourish Seachem. Weekly doses
TEMP: always right around 79 degrees
PH: around 7, but just ordered an API Pro kit to replace test strips
All other tests seem to be in normal ranges....according to test strips
FISH: 7 fish, 3 red cherry shrimp. just lost my Oto Cat
PLANTS: 2crypt parva, 1rangeri sword, 2bronze wendtii, 1lutea, 3noname grasses

My main question is why my plants arent growing. lights are on a 9hr cycle, I use weekly flourish seachem doses, weekly 25%-40% water changes always with conditioner....is it the lights? I just ordered a Co2 diffuser to go with my DIY Co2 system which will be in in a few days.
If you tell me to get better lights please give me some recommendations and/or links....I've been reading and shopping for the past couple nights and am really not sure which way to go. Theres so many options and brands and I don't want to buy the wrong one. Aqueon doesnt make a good versatile hood, so I'm ready to make a decent investment.
ANY advice will be MUCH appreciated!!!
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:07 AM   #2
mitchfish9
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Definitely upgrade the lights! And if you are going with the pressurized co2, upping the lights, as well as upgrading to a dosing regimen(you can google EI dosing). Theres tons of options for lights depending on what you want to spend, but I would look at Hoppy's article in the Lighting section on this website. Learn about PAR, then make a light decision based off of that knowledge. But the light is the main problem your having right now in my opinion.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Thank you Mitchfish! always nice to have reassurance. guess I'll jump into research mode and try to learn at least the basics. And I'm experimenting with the yeast and sugar Co2 system. I looked at pressurized and its def out of my price range. I actually set it up 4 hours ago with just a regular air stone till i get my diffuser in, and it looks like it about ready to start bubbling already. being cautious with it though.
as far as dosing goes, is there a basic 'all in one' mixture you would recommend? instead of buying everything seperately....

nice bowfront btw! that size will be my next buy cuz this tank is unfortunately a joint financial effort with my gf.....so she has to approve with all the plants i get.....and she doesn't like my 'overplanting' ideas....
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
Redtail84
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Lighting options are pretty versitile with this type of tank. I personally am running 2 x 20 watt LED flood lights over my 20 long and am getting great results with the lights, DIY CO2 and twice weekly dosing of Flourish comprehensive. If you want to go T5 HO, you can start looking around online for a 24" fixture. there are several out there. I don't really have any experience with T5. I just know that I've seen a lot of different options.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
CoffeeLove
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Default Re: my first planted tank...please help :/

I have a dirted 20gal long tank with two dome reflectors with I think 13watt cfls. No co2 and good growth.

---
I give my fish coffee
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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thank you redtail. i have been looking at the T5 lights. would love LED, but theyre super expensive to get LED's that will actually benefit the tank. I'll def look into the Flourish Comprehensive too!
I have a while to do research for my next tank, but do like the idea of a dirted tank like coffeelove has
For anyone reading....are there any types of moss or a ground cover that would do good in a very low light situation? I'm thinking of having a cave setup in my next tank
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
Mantis992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyboy View Post
thank you redtail. i have been looking at the T5 lights. would love LED, but theyre super expensive to get LED's that will actually benefit the tank. I'll def look into the Flourish Comprehensive too!
I have a while to do research for my next tank, but do like the idea of a dirted tank like coffeelove has
For anyone reading....are there any types of moss or a ground cover that would do good in a very low light situation? I'm thinking of having a cave setup in my next tank
Check out the 24 in finnex fugeray or possibly the finnex ray 2
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #8
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i like both of those actually! currently researching and pricing out the "LEDgroupbuy" DIY kits. satisfaction of building it yourself, and they look great. read nothing but good things about the site. thank you for the recommendations though!
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
Django
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I have a problem with plants not growing. And a similar Sword symptom. I dosed potassium and it has helped a little. But I had a plant with pinholes before I dosed. I think I'm missing something. Lighting is ok.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Django, Look into Flourish Seachem. They have many different dosage options. I'm still in the learning stage, but it sounds like you aren't giving enough nutrients. Mitchfish told me to look into EI dosing, (http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ing-guide.html) which is what you ultimately need to do to keep a healthy planted tank. I'm going to try going by these guidelines to see what happenens. I also made a DIY Co2 system that is currently on 24/7 and have been watching my buds start to grow faster already!
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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So I went with the finnex ray 2 LED lights, and My amazon sword buds are growing a noticeable bit each day. still have lots of brown and pin holes on the leaves though. Will they go away? seems like its getting worse....or should I be dosing twice weekly?

Also, the day after I installed the lights my plants were pearling! next day I noticed alot of green hairlike algae starting all over the plants. Is that due to improper dosing or is it normal for a significant light change?

I'm looking for personal preferences on EI dosing please. Should I buy all my fertilizers seperately? or gradually switch from Flourish Seachem to a different fertilizer?

THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP!!! I'm still a wicked noob....
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:08 PM   #12
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Here's a pic of the algae. I'll post a better pic of the plant once I'm home. There's also a soft white algae on the glass, and brown algae on the substrate/gravel. Gonna pick up one or two more oto cats to go with the one I already have and maybe some amano shrimp
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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You went from a low light tank to a high light tank overnight! If your tank isn't heavy planted, algae will start to grow with the new light. I'll let other experts chime in, but you may need more CO2.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:34 PM   #14
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just read a little about neutral density filter sheets to reduce the light. I'll get some tomorrow and whatever else the experts may suggest. thanks kclone!
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #15
Hilde
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The crypts need richer substrate. Seachem Tabs are the best. Cheapest at LNT.com for they don't have any shipment charges.

I would add a siesta period of 4 hrs. Lighs on 4hrs 2xs.

What about Co2? Cheapest route is to dose with Cidex diluted. Excel contains 1.5% Glutaraldehyde. Excel alternative is Cidex 2% Glut matched to excel is dilluted 3:1 solution which is 75% metricide/ 25% water. Then dose 10ml daily until it dies. If you don't have fish in the tank lower the water and dose.

For the lights you might want to hang them to decrease the light to make it a low tech tank. Hoppy has info on that. Also Hyzer made his 29G tank with a T5O light strip

You basically need to decide if you are going to keep low tech or high tech. High tech is high maintenance and required injecting Co2. With high tech you can have red plants

Last edited by Hilde; 03-19-2013 at 07:44 PM.. Reason: added text
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