Plants and algae question
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
SprManKalEl
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Plants and algae question


It seems I'm darned if I do and darned if I don't.

It has been a couple of years since I had a setup and I have decided to go ahead and give it a whirl. I purchased some plants from a very reputable aquarium store. I purchased all of my plants and fish from this place for my previous setup. I was successful in keeping the plants and fish thriving. This time not so much.

My setup is a 50 gallon tank. It is VERY old and it high not long. There are about 10 plants in there. I was told that they were low light. I was dosing the tank with liquid fertilizer and iron. I noticed that my plants were not thriving and looked a little sickly. I purchased a new light. I am using a 30W Flora-Grow T8 2800K light. I have only a standard light fixture with an all glass cover. I didn't like the liquid fertilizer so I put in Seachem Flourish Root Tabs. I am using a natural rock substrate, but am thinking of a more plant friendly substrate. Not ready to switch that out because of cash flow and I am still growing bacteria. Was going to do this as the tank started to become more established and in stages. I have increased the light to automatically come in at 8:30am and go off at 2:30pm and then on again from 6pm to 12:30am. My plants are starting to look a lot better but I've noticed a black growth on the slate rock that I have for decor and some green growth on the slate as well as the glass. Because I am cycling with fish I have been doing 30-40% water changes every 2-4 days in conjunction with a few doses of AmQuell, QuickStart (both not according to how much API suggests I use because I have been monitoring ammonia levels daily) and API Tap water conditioner. Because I don't know exactly how much water I am taking out using my Aqueon Python type siphon I dose 10ml of tap water conditioner with each water change. This is supposed to take care of 50 gallons. Am I using to much? I don't want to use too many chemicals. I have never liked it. How can I get rid of the black and green growths I have without sacrificing my plants?

The pic is included as a visual. As I was taking I noticed that there is green on the driftwood. Hope I provided enough information for help. Any suggestions welcome. Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:51 AM   #2
darthmilmo
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I tjink you would notice better growth on light in the 6500k to 6700k range. If you are low on cash, buy 3-4 spiral CFL bulbs (they sell them in that range and emmiting 23W). You can attach them with aluminim clamps. The wjole setup will set you back $60 at Lowes.

You also need to provide CO2 for your plants. Buy some Seachem Excel. Dose daily.


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Old 03-18-2013, 04:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmilmo View Post
I tjink you would notice better growth on light in the 6500k to 6700k range. If you are low on cash, buy 3-4 spiral CFL bulbs (they sell them in that range and emmiting 23W). You can attach them with aluminim clamps. The wjole setup will set you back $60 at Lowes.

You also need to provide CO2 for your plants. Buy some Seachem Excel. Dose daily.


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Agree with above... Cheaper (in the short-term) to dose Seachem Flourish Excel) + more light.

Your tank is still cycling (with fish) so take it easy on the chemical you are adding. Start measuring your doses. Too much dechlorinator|conditioner in your water can suffocate fish... and if you're doing water changes at night, too much dechlorinator|conditioner can suffocate your plants as well. Not sure how concentrated your chemicals are... just saying.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:23 AM   #4
BarbH
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Default Re: Plants and algae question

Agree with the above, you want to find a bulb that is around the 6700 kelvin range. You can find these at places like Walmart or Home Depot, and will cost you less than what you would pay at your lfs or pet shop. I have used the GE daylight bulbs which have worked well. With changing the bulbs I do think you might need to decrease the total amount of time that your lights are on for a little.

If you can get it I would suggest picking up some prime, it works well for a water conditioner, along with if you have any ammonia it will convert it so that it is harmless for a period of time. It will still show up when you use your test kit for ammonia, but it will keep your fish safe between water changes until your tank finishes cycling.

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
SprManKalEl
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Thank you for all the lighting suggestions. How do I get rid of the green and black growths?
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