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Old 08-06-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
Django
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My plants are not grrowing


My plants are not growing, Cabomba is losing leaves below top. I need some help figuring out what's going on in my 10 gal.

I havw done a lot of things so it's difficult to point to any one. I think it started after I pruned everything. But I put the prunings of my Water Sprite in floating, so the light was less. I took them out last night. I'm getting some brown algae popping up on the glass. BTW, the tank has been running for 3+ months. I started dosing Flourish Complete 3-4 weeks ago.

pH is 6.8 I started seeing nitrate a couple of weeks ago after they were zero for about 10 weeks.

I'd be glad to give more information if needed.

Thanks
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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what lights are you running
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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T8 18" 15 W "Full Spectrum" came with Aqueon canopy appearance daylight.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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im no expert but it sounds like your lighting levels are low. cabomba requires higher light if i remember correctly. Usually any lights that come with a kit wont produce enough light to sustain plant life besides anubias or moss
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:58 AM   #5
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15 watts of T-8 over a 10 gallon tank is at the low end of low light. With the best reflector it would still not really be enough.
Using the old watts per gallon guide the smaller tanks need more wpg than somewhat larger tanks. Look for something at least 2 wpg, and more like 3 wpg is better.

I usually use 2 of those bulbs over my 10 gallons, and that is closer to the low end of medium light. I need to dose with carbon and some ferts.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
15 watts of T-8 over a 10 gallon tank is at the low end of low light. With the best reflector it would still not really be enough.
Using the old watts per gallon guide the smaller tanks need more wpg than somewhat larger tanks. Look for something at least 2 wpg, and more like 3 wpg is better.

I usually use 2 of those bulbs over my 10 gallons, and that is closer to the low end of medium light. I need to dose with carbon and some ferts.
Thank you, Diana and everyone for your feedback.

The thing that gets me is that all the plants were growing like crazy around 2 months after starting the tank. Then, after I pruned all of the plants and put the prunings from the Water Sprites floating, growth slowed to a crawl. I took out the floaters the other day and I hope this will let some more light in.

I am concerned about the Flourish Comprehensive that I started recently, this being the first time I've used fertilizer.

I have a 2-T8 fixture but I took it off and bought a canopy because I thought the tubes were too bright, besides the evaporation.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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For low light plants, your lighting is fine. I would change bulbs though, and go for something in the 6,500k-6,700k range. As for cabomba, I've never had any luck with it. It will grow inches a week, yet always shed the bottom leaves as it grew. Did nothing but make a mess in my tank... I agree that it is more of a medium light plant.

Dosing ferts should be fine, just let your plants be the judge. Start once a week and go from there.

Brown algae (diatoms) are normal for a new tank, and can last for months. I had the room in my community tank so I just added a few oto's. They made such short work of the algae I had to start prepping them food within a week. You can always ride it out and typically it goes away over time.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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you can always try asian ambulia, they look very similar to eachother and a lot less demanding.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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I guess I'm going to have to switch to the old tubes. They're on a strip light fixture and they're longer than my tank, so really unesthetic. I will have to get a glass top too.

I really don't want to put carbon in my tank. Too bad fluorescents don't have dimmer switches. I guess I've heard a lot of people say they don't like the idea of carbon chemicals. I really don't know much about it and what it contains. How do you know when you need carbon chemicals?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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Ambulia is best. Looks like fanwort but can tolerate low light.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django View Post
I guess I'm going to have to switch to the old tubes. They're on a strip light fixture and they're longer than my tank, so really unesthetic. I will have to get a glass top too.

I really don't want to put carbon in my tank. Too bad fluorescents don't have dimmer switches. I guess I've heard a lot of people say they don't like the idea of carbon chemicals. I really don't know much about it and what it contains. How do you know when you need carbon chemicals?
Just buy a fixture to fit your tank and lighting needs...

People don't like carbon because it soaks up nutrients/impurities. Planted tanks require a balance, When you have just the right amount of lighting, co2, filtration and ferts you have a successful planted tank.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:21 PM   #12
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Well, for now, I've got the old fixture over the tank. It certainly seems bright enough and will be alright until I can find a suitable new canopy. I don't know what I'll end up with - maybe a T5.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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Funny it started after you pruned. Maybe when the plants were taller they got enough light (light levels go down with distance from the light). After you pruned they were not tall enough to get enough light. Also the plants you left floating were not helping either.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:36 PM   #14
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Yeah, I don't know exactly what the Cabomba was complaining about, except if it is a medium-light plant - I'd like to try ambulia. I know I carved up the planted Water Sprite and afterwards most of it turned brown, and the Wisteria just seemed to hang in there and not do too much.

But, back to the dual T8s that have been on the tank for two days. I have results already! The Wisteria had grown low-light leaves (flat edges) and within the past day or two it is growing "crenelated" leaves (fingers on the edges) - those are high-light leaves for Wisteria.

One thing, I notice that there is a little bit of green algae on the wood and maybe on the lower leaves of the Wisteria. I thought that algae grew and prospered when there are excess resources (light, ferts, NO3). My NO3 is 20 ppm. I don't think that will be a problem. I just hope I don't see a bloom with this dual T8.

Thanks
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django View Post
I really don't want to put carbon in my tank. ... How do you know when you need carbon chemicals?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
People don't like carbon because it soaks up nutrients/impurities.
I think two different types of carbon are being discussed here, and it's important to not confuse the two.

Carbon, such as CO2, or a chemical form of carbon, such as Seachem Excel, does not soak up nutrients or impurities. It is used by plants as the physical building blocks to make new plant matter when growing (new leaves, stems, etc.).

The chunks of black carbon that is used in filter media is very different. While it does soak up impurities, it does not soak up nutrients. It is generally not needed for most aquariums so it's not used; however, it can be useful for removing tannins and medicines from the tank water. It has nothing to do with plants since it's not mixed with the water, but rather remains in a solid form.

The carbon Django was talking about, I believe, is the carbon plants use for growth. The carbon Zenzu was talking about, I believe, is the carbon used in filter media. The two have nothing to do with each other.

Quote:
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I thought that algae grew and prospered when there are excess resources (light, ferts, NO3).
Algae grows when there is an imbalance of resources, not necessarily an excess. You can have some things in excess and be okay, such as CO2 and ferts. The one thing you cannot have in excess is light. Whatever amount of light you have, you must match it with CO2 (or an equivalent carbon source), ferts, and plant mass. If any of those things are insufficient in comparison to the light, algae will take advantage of it.
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