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Old 07-06-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
MarkM
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Plants Starting To Grow


I am on my fifth or sixty attempt. Plants that I put in about six months ago have been growing, slowly, for about three weeks now. I have a 50g tank, low light, no CO2, light fish load, and ten plants. Plants are 2 bulbs unknown plant name, two anubus, some wisteria, a Java fern, and another two unknowns. Everything is showing some signs of growth except the wisteria. I am doing 40% water changes twice a month. Amonia, nitrite at zero, nitrates grow to 25 at water change time. Temp is about 75. I am dosing with PPD mix once a week.

Lights are only on for 5 hours a day, some sunlight during the day reaches the tank at an oblique angle.

Algae is not as under control as I would like. I am scraping the glass about once a week. Rocks and plants have dark scumy algae which I attempt to rub off once a week or so. I don't have many plants and they are growing slow in this environment. Do I need to add more plants to combat the algae growth?

thanks Mark
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
NWGBR
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I don't Think plants would help maybe some ottos or some sae
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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Adding some fast growing floaters like hornwort or frogbit will help with the algae in a new tank, but I'm not sure with a tank that is already established. Maybe someone else will chime in.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:09 AM   #4
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PMDD doesn't have any phosphorus in it. Perhaps the wisteria would do better with some. Add it away from the micro nutrient as phosphate will bind with iron and take them both out of solution.

More plant mass is always better. I have been keeping a planted tank for over a decade and wouldn't attempt a tank that is planned to be less than half full of plants when grown out. Wisteria is supposed to be one of those fast growing plants too though.

What kind of bulbs? Is the fixture T5HO, T5NO, T8, T12? T8 or T12 would be fine for a low tech tank, T5NO might be okay but T5HO would likely be more light than the plants can handle.

What kind of algae? Look through this page, perhaps you can recognize it from the excellent photos and descriptions. http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:51 AM   #5
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Default Lights and Alage Type

I followed the link that Kathyy supplied and I have Brown Alage or Diatoms. Says it is found in low light tanks and likes silicon. (I now have low light and most of the silicone joints in the tank are infested.)

Light is another story. I started with the light that came with my tank, a 2 bulb T8 fixture. I read everywhere that you needed 2 watts per gallon to get plants to grow so I bought a 2 bulb T5HO fixture, 50g x 2 v 2 x 54w. It took way too long but I bought a par meter and found out that my light was producing light just over the high limit of what is considered high light. I tried 1 bulb and that brought the par down to the middle of the high range. I finally found T5NO in 6500k. 1 T5NO bulb puts me in the middle of the low par value range. My T5NO bulb is running in my T5HO fixture so it is likely putting out a bit more power than it would with the correct ballast.

I could try and increase the light period, I could put another T5NO bulb in, or introduce snails or plecos.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:15 AM   #6
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Otos are famed for their diatom eating. As long as the fish in the tank aren't large enough to try to eat them they are a great addition to most tanks.

Sounds like you are on top of the lighting. I'd stay with the single bulb as long as there seems to be a good spread of light but keep the lighting period at least 8 hours. Sure hope the wisteria perks up soon, it is really pretty when it is growing well.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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If you're getting direct sunlight on the tank that's a sure fire way to develop an algae issue. Throw in a few snails and they should work it out though they may breed quickly. Some people don't like snails in their tank, but all of mine have them and they do well. Nerite are good but you'll end up with white eggs everywhere.

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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OK, I just increased my lighting time to 8 hours. Am going to do a water change and clean up the glass and infected plant leaves. I may run into town later today and see if the LfS has Otos if so I'll get a couple and give them a try.

Mark
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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I received several suggestions for tank improvement just a few days ago. I changed my lighting plan increasing my daily period to eight hours from five. This has appeared to slow the diatoms and increased normal green aleage growth a bit. I added four small Otos yesterday. Overnight the four new Otos have "cleaned" several leaves infected with brown diatoms and things are looking better with these two easy to make changes.

Thanks again,

Mark
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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Sounds like yo ve got a good handle on things. Best of luck.

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3 gal beta tank
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