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Old 03-16-2013, 08:30 AM   #16
acitydweller
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1. Plants generally do better in the lower 70's. at 78, they are likely just going to stunt a bit and inching a few degrees up will show yellowing. You'll see in discus biotopes that only certain plants can survive the temps.

2. Increase plant density. Regardless of your feedings and dosing, there's simply not enough plants in the tank to make use of all the nutrients, hence the algae...

The problem in your tank is attributed to an imbalance and the algae is just a sign of it. Adding more light at this stage would only increase the algae growth exponentially. deal with the algae first before focusing on your plant stunting as there would be less variables to contend with. lower the temps a tad and add fast growers.

IME, having fast growers in a large tank helps to establish an equilibrium and also allows for some flexibility in the event that one overfeeds or doses nutrients excessively. Using either co2 or excel would help with the algae but know that's only a bandaid to cover the tank imbalance. people have successfully run their tanks in thsi manner for ages and you can too but just know common practice is sometimes not the best because when either the co2 or excel runs out, the problem rears its ugly head again... you also havent listed any plants which are demanding enough to require co2, which is why i am commenting here. if you want some fast growers, send me a pm.

If you are dosing enough co2, dont worry about having too much surface aggitation. The reality is people dont acknowledge the current in tank which sways the plants actually fosters the co2 exchange between the plants. one really cant talk about one without acknowledging the other. the return pipe in your cannister can be adjusted so that you have the plants sway a little, but not to typhoon levels of course...

good luck!
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:54 AM   #17
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hmm so more jungle val is needed your saying?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:00 AM   #18
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i use a aqueon 55/75 filter i did have an air stone on but turned that off after about a week of the plants being in the tank. ill order more order more plants or take a trip out this weekend and look for some. ill try an get 5-10 more vals and see how it goes from there. all so much helpful info thank you everyone
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:58 PM   #19
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Hello rex...

You can have a nicely planted tank with the setup you have, you just need to get the right plants. Your lighting is fine, just subdued or low. If you want to keep your current lighting, then get some plants that prefer low light. Attached is a pic of a 45G with no more lighting than you have. This tank is even taller. I use a couple of 6500K, 32 watt, florescent bulbs.

The ground plants are Anubias and Java fern. The stems are floated close to the light and I have Anacharis (Waterweed) and Pennywort.

Vals need stronger light and some varieties don't tolerate the Seachem liquids very well. There's a form of carbon in the product that's not good for some Vals. If you want to dose liquids, API, Tetra, Earth Juice and Nutrafin are good. I rotate the ferts every few days to give my plants a variety.

Large, weekly water changes provide healthy levels of nitrates, phosphates and sulfates too.

Just a couple of thoughts.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #20
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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?
Changing the balast to add T5 to the unit? T5's that are 18 watts are NOs. If they are about 24 watts they are HO (high output). Make certain that you can buy a replacement bulb there for the fixture. Last time I looked at a T5 light strip they didn't have the replacement bulbs at the store I was at.

How about adding some Hygophila difformis. It is actually a weed thus can grow in any situation.

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Watch that sand BGA loves that stuff! I really think the lights will work as long as you use the proper spectrum
Algae eater would keep that in check. Oh I forgot the 10000K bulbs in T8s are better for deep tanks like yours. The fact that plants aren't growing isn't important. With low light some just survive. With a big tank like that you certainly want more plants. Thus unless you add a rock background I don't you are going to be happy with amount of plant growth with the lights you have.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #21
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its a home made light basically a box with two sets of lights in it.i wired everything. all i need to do is replace the t8 ballest with a t5 and get same bulbs. its not a fixture premade like you see in youre garage or stores. i built it just for the tank sits right on top
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello rex...

You can have a nicely planted tank with the setup you have, you just need to get the right plants. Your lighting is fine, just subdued or low. If you want to keep your current lighting, then get some plants that prefer low light. Attached is a pic of a 45G with no more lighting than you have. This tank is even taller. I use a couple of 6500K, 32 watt, florescent bulbs.

The ground plants are Anubias and Java fern. The stems are floated close to the light and I have Anacharis (Waterweed) and Pennywort.

Vals need stronger light and some varieties don't tolerate the Seachem liquids very well. There's a form of carbon in the product that's not good for some Vals. If you want to dose liquids, API, Tetra, Earth Juice and Nutrafin are good. I rotate the ferts every few days to give my plants a variety.

Large, weekly water changes provide healthy levels of nitrates, phosphates and sulfates too.

Just a couple of thoughts.

B
i dont know if i want to spend more m oney on plants that might get ate. id rather keep the fish and fill the tank with more vals and change lighting or possibly move the fish to a diff tank but i havent even begain to set the other 2 tanks up yet.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:40 AM   #23
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its a home made light basically a box with two sets of lights in it.i wired everything. all i need to do is replace the t8 ballest with a t5 and get same bulbs.
What about the end caps. Sure it is not cheaper to just by a T5 light strip at Home Depot or Lowes? That reminds me the Lowes strip lights I looked at had a better warranty.
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i dont know if i want to spend more m oney on plants that might get ate. id rather keep the fish and fill the tank with more vals and change lighting
Then to fill the space you could make a rock wall made with styrofoam and cement. Should check out the cichlid forum.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:48 AM   #24
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i get paid friday so ill most likely go out and get some more plants and price out some lights. ill add more plants first to see what happens then ill start thinking about lighting if i dont see any change. it seems that most of you who have posted here agree that lights and lack of plants is causing my lack of growth and diatom problem.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:03 PM   #25
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From the looks of your tank, you have mainly jungle val and some water sprite. I had those with low/medium light and saw plenty of new growth. Focus on the base for the vals and see if new leaves are forming. I'd caution making the jump to t5HOs too quickly. If you are going with double bulbs, add one bulb first and see how that affects things for a week and adjust height for correct balance before deciding on adding another bulb. I switched from 2 T5NOs to 2 T5HOs and created a rather sudden downward algae spiral that I'm just starting to bounce back from after adjusting lighting photoperiod and distance. I will say that the larger vals seem to grow slower for me than the smaller varieties based on what I have observed in past month. YMMV.

More plants may certainly help. Not sure how much they eat up in nutrients, but the banana plants that are readily available at pet stores seem to grow super fast for me. Getting new leaves every other day or so which are always noticeably bigger than the one before, all this, in spite of all the constant rescaping and stressing of it I've caused.

Didn't see you state anything about ferts, so that may be something to consider as well or perhaps its just the plants settling in. Only been running for about a month and a half right? Could see better growth as they now are settled more.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:21 PM   #26
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Default Re: plants not growing.

You can grow vals in the amount of light you have - T5s don't solve every issue. If you want to grow vals, excel is not the solution, either. Vals are notorious for not getting along with excel very well. Add a few more vals to your tank & try some judicious fertilizer addition. Seachem comprehensive worked well for me until I switched to dry ferts. Sometimes plants hibernate or get a little shocky after being added to a tank. Patience & a clean environment will usually bring them around

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Old 03-20-2013, 12:41 AM   #27
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i get paid friday so ill most likely go out and get some more plants and price out some lights.
You get more for your buck buying plants from members of this forum. I have always gotten more than I had paid for. If you see any wisteria, water sprite or Anacharis get them. For they are low light, fast growing stem plants. Also check craigslist for lights.

Here is a 55G tank will Vals and no Co2 added.

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Old 03-20-2013, 05:42 AM   #28
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water sprite and wisteria i had an was stripped clean in a day by my fish. ill try some anacharis an see how that goes. i saw that dwarf sag was a great low light plant as well? i dont know if shes on here but i know a member on another forum who offered to sell me plants for cheap before they go online an she lives rather close.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:58 PM   #29
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water sprite and wisteria i had an was stripped clean in a day by my fish.
Then sags, anubias and ferns are best to have. You can make caves to fill the space. Here is some inspiration
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #30
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this guy was going to give me some el nino ferns for free just had to ay for shipping but i couldnt find much info on them. dang that is sick! thanks for the ideas for my empty 55 i have!
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