Help my plants are all dying!! Lighting maybe??
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
shamrock
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Help my plants are all dying!! Lighting maybe??


Newbie here..I have a 36 gallon bow front tank. Started it up 3 months ago. All my plants are dying. I had my water tested & they said the water is fine. The fish are doing great. I am starting to think it my be the lighting.
I am a COMPLETE NEWBIE...and I don't know a lot of the lingo, but here is what I believe I have...
Basic setup was from Petsmart..
Filter -Top Fin 40
Tank 28 inches wide X 18 tall
Basic hood -Aqueon Fluorescent bulb says T8, 17 Watt, 8,000 Daylight, 24 inches
Substrate is sand
Any & All hel would be appreciated!!! Thanks
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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lighting sounds weak. Any ferts? No Co2? Not going to get much to grow in there. I would say bump the lighting up and dose with excel and flourish.

Spend some time reading in each section. You have alot to learn. It has nothing to do with water quality you are missing the nutrients and light plants need for photosynthesis. You can do a successful low tech setup without CO2 or going crazy with lights. However you are going to want to list off what plants you are working with so people can make appropriate suggestions. Some plants just dont do well in low tech setups.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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To say I have a lot to learn, would be an understatement..lol I'm kinda overwhelmed!!
I will look into ferts (whatever that is lol), I really have no desire to get into Co2--I have enough on my plate with being a newbie!!LOL As far as plants, I'm open to suggestions, I guess I'm looking for plants that are relatively easy to maintain (& not kill...) What type of lighting do you think I need?
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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well,
Light
Lets start on your lighting whats your budget? Are your light fixture dimensions constrained by a hood? You can have too much light, you have not enough. Also dont be lured in the watts per gallon technique. This is outdated and innacurate but still widely used. The kind of light matters (flourescent, LED, etc.) You can spend 50 dollars or 500 haha, lighting has alot of options. Are you handy? You can save money by doing a little work yourself.

Subtrate
Sand can be a tricky substrate, sometimes gasses and organic materials can build up in pockets. Good to get something to stir it up a little. How deep is it?

Plants
There are many plants that are easy to grow in lower light. Spend some time in the low tech section of the site. That would be non CO2 or DIY CO2 setups. As a rule of thumb, plants with small leaves need more light than plants with large leaves. E.g. Amazon swords are a good beginner plant. Hardy, have large leaves. They can get large. I like to have larger plants in the back smaller in the front. Tiger lotus are also nice and do well in lower tech.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...ht-plants.html

Fertilizers
Ferts are fertilizers. Sechem makes a line of products called flourish. They are readily available and work well. There is a specific one called flourish excel this is good to dose as a substitute for CO2.



Respond according to each section with your answers/questions/comments and we will deal with it that way. Since you have alot of questions/needs dont want to overlook anything.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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Hi shamrock,

You are on the right track, you may have several lesser issues but 17 watts of T8 lighting on a 36 gallon Bowfront (30" long; 21" tall) is just not sufficient for healthy plant growth. The 17 watts may be adequate for fish viewing but according to Hoppy's helpful chart it is so low it doesn't even qualify as 'low light'. If it were me, and a planted tank was my goal, my first step would be to increase my lighting.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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OK
Lights-My budget..haa since I really do want to have live plants, I am willing to spend "some money", I was thinking 50-100 bucks..but don't tell my husband!! I do have a hood. it came in the basic package that they sell at Petsmart. When I started looking up as to why my plants were dying, I did the whole watts per gallon, but I was still thinking I had insufficient lighting (so I guess I was right with that one!!). And an answer to if we are handy...my husband is, but not so much with electricity
Substrate- It is sand, and about 2-3 inches deep. When I change the water I give it a good mixing.
Thank You thank you thank you
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #7
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Ok well there are some nice options for the price range. You could retrofit your current hood with something like this

http://www.marineandreef.com/Hagen_G...p/rhg11555.htm

you could get an all new suspended unit and ditch the hood.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=23590

or you could retrofit with LEDs, which are the most energy efficient and not need a fan so no noise.

http://www.ecoxotic.com/aquarium-led...s-12-watt.html

probably a little over a hundred for led. You would need the 8000K strip, 2 reflectors and a transformer. probably around 115 with shipping for all of that.

So there are some options.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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Carpalstunna, You are THE BEST!!! Thank You sooo much for all your advice, You too Seattle Aquarist, that Hoppy knows his stuff too!!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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yes you can learn more than you want to know thats for sure. Just read read read and try site searches for things. Many people have answered your same questions. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock View Post
Newbie here..I have a 36 gallon bow front tank. Started it up 3 months ago. All my plants are dying. I had my water tested & they said the water is fine. The fish are doing great. I am starting to think it my be the lighting.
I am a COMPLETE NEWBIE...and I don't know a lot of the lingo, but here is what I believe I have...
Basic setup was from Petsmart..
Filter -Top Fin 40
Tank 28 inches wide X 18 tall
Basic hood -Aqueon Fluorescent bulb says T8, 17 Watt, 8,000 Daylight, 24 inches
Substrate is sand
Any & All hel would be appreciated!!! Thanks
everyone started to give you advice before even asking what kind of plants you got. i will ask this now, so what kind of plants you got?

when they tested your water they said everything is fine, am guessing they said you have 0 nitrate. you must have some nitrate in water for the plants to grow. your lights might be ok for low light plants such as java moss, java ferns etc.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpalstunna View Post
lighting sounds weak. Any ferts? No Co2? Not going to get much to grow in there. I would say bump the lighting up and dose with excel and flourish.

Spend some time reading in each section. You have alot to learn. It has nothing to do with water quality you are missing the nutrients and light plants need for photosynthesis. You can do a successful low tech setup without CO2 or going crazy with lights. However you are going to want to list off what plants you are working with so people can make appropriate suggestions. Some plants just dont do well in low tech setups.
I asked, she just didnt answer
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #12
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You could get this light, http://www.fishneedit.com/30quot-2bulbs-fixtu302.html and use it with the legs that come with it, to get good low light, which will grow a lot of different plants, especially if you dose Seachem Excel, about 4 ml per day. This is not a great T5HO light, but it just happens to produce almost exactly the amount of light you should start out with. I would get the 6500K or one each 6500K and 10000K bulbs.
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