Struggling for growth in my 5.3 Gal nano - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Struggling for growth in my 5.3 Gal nano

I've had this ~5 Gal nano going for about 2 months now and i'm really not getting any growth. Basically when i first started the tank i had no CO2 and had only 8W of light running. My plants were nice and healthy, but definitely not growing fast. (I have variegated rush and sunset hygro)

Just recently (last few weeks) i've been running twice as much light 16W (~3 WPG) and starting using a DIY CO2 sugar/yeast reactor. Unfortunately i'm still waiting on a ceramic glass diffuser to arrive, so i'm making due with a make-shift CO2 bell.

However, since adding the extra lighting and the CO2, i am having extensive problems with my tank. I'm now dealing with some Brown-algae(Diatoms)/Red-algae issues, which is most likely not helping my situation (competing for nutrients). I have a snail outbreak and their little eggs are everywhere. And my hygro are slowly turning yellow and needless to say are not growing at all.

Things i am about to do are: Add new diffuser for CO2 (the CO2 bell seems a bit useless), dose tank with Excel, cut back light to 8W and times from 12 hpd to 8-10hpd.

Any advice? i'm getting so bummed out on this tank, because it was going so well before, and now it looks like rubbish.

Oh yeh, what ferts should i use? i'm using Eco-complete for substrate, should that keep the plants happy for a while? or will i definietely need ferts for growth? Help!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 02:18 PM
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A few things.

1- WPG doesn't work on smalelr tanks I run 27 watts over my Mini M that is just over 5g

2- With the added light your diffuser may not be adaquate. Stop my PetsMart/ PetCo and grab a Lime Wood Diffuser would work short term till your Ceramic shows up.

3- Flourish Excel never hurts.

4- Dry Ferts are the cheapest. I use ADA, but you can also use Seachems, Pfertz, Tropica, etc line as small tanks don't take much.

The added lighting with no ferts is the main problem as even with the bell diffuser you are getting some CO2 jsut not enough.


Fluval Spec III Shelf!

Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:15 PM
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The Eco-Complete will keep the plants happy for maybe a month/6 weeks-ish, then you will have to fertilize. So if you've had the tank for two months, it's probably about time to start.

I learned this the hard way with my nano tank. The end of the effectiveness period of the eco complete coincided with the busy part of a college semester so I didn't have time to really take care of it, and most of my plants died. My anubias survived, but has some very stunted leaves.
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