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Old 03-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
rexpepper651
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plants not growing.


so some info here first. im using 2 48inch t8 6500k bulbs on my 55 gallon tank. dosing with flourish comp and using seachem root tabs. temp is about 78 degrees. pool filter sand bottom. i do 50% water changes once a week and dose after water change the day after that is. so heres my problem. nothing is growing. at first there was a lil new growth. now nothing. all i have is about 7 or 8 jungle vals in my tank. my fish ate everything else. heres what my tank looked like after a week of being pplanted i dont have a pic of it now but the jungle val is about 13 inches high an no new growth. i dont get whats going on. i want more vals like a whole tank of them but they arent growing. whats causing this? im just getting frustrated! please help
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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im also been battling diatomes for about a month and a half now. i think thats from the sand?
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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How long has the tank been setup? What fish do you have and how many. What's your feeding schedule? What's your photoperiod? How much do you dose? With very little plants, I would dose less than recommended. I would suspect that the lights doesn't have enough oomph. Upgrade to T5, LEDs, MH, T5HO, or CFL with appropriate PAR for your liking (low/med/high light).

The diatoms are either from a lot of excess nutrients, too long of a photoperiod, or your tank is still new and cycling.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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I have very little new growth in my tank too, except for some new plants that I got from a different tank. Could be that they're still using leftover stored whatever mineral is lacking, from the old tank. I have had them for at least 1-1/2 months, though.<br />
<br />
I dosed the tank with Potassium last Saturday, but only have seen a small amount of growth, and my Sword's leaves are continuing to deteriorate, brown tips and edges.<br />
<br />

pH 7.4, KH 2, GH 5, Nitrates 20 after 25% water change.

I like the layout of your tank!
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
so some info here first. im using 2 48inch t8 6500k bulbs on my 55 gallon tank.(
That's your problem right there - you do not have enough light for that tank.

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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I would increase the lighting but I have some Cyanobacteria in the tank, the most on some wood and a floater right under the light. But I'll try it - 2 10w CFLs.

Re: Low Tech-> Plants have stopped growing

Last edited by Django; 03-15-2013 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: refine, add sentence
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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the tank has been up and running for like 10 months now. i have 2 angelfish, 8 Ba tetras, 1 bloodfin tetra, 2 corys,2 black loaches,3 black skirt tetras. lights are on for 10-12 hrs a day i feed once a day in the morning when i get home from work. i thought 1.5 watts per gallon would be enough?
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
i have 2 angelfish, 8 Ba tetras, 1 bloodfin tetra
lights are on for 10-12 hrs a day
i feed once a day in the morning when i get home from work.
i thought 1.5 watts per gallon would be enough?
1. Get rid of te Ba tetras, for they love to eat plants. Found this true in my tank

2. Don't feed them every day. Every other day is best

3. Watts per gallon is out dated. The tank is too deep to grow anything but moss, ferns, and anubias with that light.

Options are:
1.Make caves and buy anubias or ferns or moss. Chiclid forum has a lot of examples.
2.Upgrade your light. Cheapest upgrade is a T5HO striplight hung as Hyzer did.
3.Get a 20 gallon tank. It is short enough to have other low light plants with that light
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: plants not growing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
the tank has been up and running for like 10 months now. i have 2 angelfish, 8 Ba tetras, 1 bloodfin tetra, 2 corys,2 black loaches,3 black skirt tetras. lights are on for 10-12 hrs a day i feed once a day in the morning when i get home from work. i thought 1.5 watts per gallon would be enough?
Ditch the ba tetras. Feed every other day (this is what's causing the dialogs). Swap the lights. Your lights are too weak. 1.5watt per gallon would possibly be enough if we're talking t5, t5ho, CFL, or LEDs. For t8 you'd probably need much more as t8 is a really weak bulb. Also, watts per gallon is outdated. PAR rating is what you want to look at. Watts only measures how much electricity is being consumed. That doesn't necessarily mean you're getting more light. 65w t5ho will be a ton brighter than a 65w t8.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #10
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Ditch the ba tetras.
Yeh, for they ate my plants. He has algae problems with low lights thus possibly he is over feeding the fish.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:52 AM   #11
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According to the chart using 2 white painted surface t8's hanging 25" above substrate you may be getting approximately 35-38 PAR according to this chart (chart shows single bulb fixture but you double the PAR in the chart to get the amount for 2 bulbs):




I say may because there are variables that can cause it to be different (how old bulbs are, whether ballast is good or subpar, etc).

Quoting Hoppy:
"I don't believe there is any consensus about the definition of low, medium and high light. But, here is my definiition, subject to, and almost certain to change:
Low light - 15-30 micromols of PAR - CO2 is not needed, but is helpful to the plants
Medium light - 35-50 micromols of PAR - CO2 may be needed to avoid too many nuisance algae problems
High light - more than 50 micromols of PAR - pressurized CO2 is essential to avoid major algae problems"


So 2-T8's should be enough to grow most low light plants. You may not see real fast growth and some red plants won't be real red but they will grow.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:41 AM   #12
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im not seeing really any growth. i might keep my tetras since they dont bother the java ferns or the jungle val so an all val tank is fine. i wish i would of came on here for help when i was setting up my tank an what have you. i got miss leading info from another forum. so what i get from all this is. feed less, better lighting and i should see better results? for the lighting i plan on going with the t5s home depot has. ill just keep my diy light fixture and change out the ballast and bulbs. one bulb or two? arent the t5's from home depot only normal output?
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: plants not growing.

For a 55 I would do at least 2. Might be worth the hassle to wire in separate switches.

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Old 03-16-2013, 07:25 AM   #14
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alright cool someone was suggesting 3 cfls but i dont think those would work but do they?
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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Try to dose Excel, & you did not say what filter you are using. I see a lot of surface agitation going on . You could be outgassing a lot of Co2, which is going to hurt your situation.
Switching to canister filters keeping them below the surface to create a gentle surface ripple is the way to go. Increase bio mass! Your lights are fine if you keep the spectrum in the 6500k-6700k spectrum fertilize lightly & watch the nitrates & PO4 carefully. Keep nitrates from crashing & the same for the PO4. Dose Flourish lightly do your water changes & dose Excel , you need more carbon, the lights could work if you stay with low light plants.
Watch that sand BGA loves that stuff! I really think the lights will work as long as you use the proper spectrum & adhere to above advice. They will grow slowly but that can be nice meaning low maintenance . My 2 cents, Roger
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