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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Need some advice here

So I dove into the high tech tank for the first time, going from a 125 gallon low tech dirted tank ( did well with most plants I had but super messy and kind of a pain). So I added two high lights, CO2 injection with a NilcocG reactor to help dissolve most CO2 into the water. My only issue here is the substrate. Somewhere during my research I read that Seachem Fluorite was a great substrate. I opted to go all in on that and had to buy 8 bags to fill my tank. $$$. Now I am waiting for my tank and current plants to take off and nothing is happening. Granted its only been 3 weeks but I planted at least 200 small propagations of Dwarf Hairgrass and id say 1/3 has died. How can this be? My only thoughts are that the substrate is too rough for the DHG to grow and root, or that they are semi heavy root feeders as well and I don't have any nutrients with my substrate.

Now here lies my question; Should I tear it all down and start over again with some sort of aquasoil which is also going to be a lot of $$$, or give this substrate more time? I do dose the water column regularly as well.

Any advice on which substrates are preferred to grow a thick DHG carpet would be great!!!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:06 AM
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I am guessing based on your post that you are not using fertilizer or not using both macros and micros in a tank that is currently fishless???

If so then thars your problem. Flourite sand/gravel is inert and all your plants will die unless you give them fertilizer. Thrive is a popular all in one fertilizer.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:15 AM
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Yep, if your only adding light and CO2 your only doing 2/3 of the equation needed for plant growth.

Also what are you considering high light in how deep a tank?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:55 AM
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Answers to the above questions will allow us to help you considerably. Also, let us know what the CO2 level is in your tank and how you know. In any case, when I had Fluorite, I had no problem growing - and spreading - DHG, but it does take a month or two to get going. It does benefit from high light and being planted only 3-4 strands every half-inch or so. I used no root tabs. All dosing was and is via the water column.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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I am guessing based on your post that you are not using fertilizer or not using both macros and micros in a tank that is currently fishless???

If so then thars your problem. Flourite sand/gravel is inert and all your plants will die unless you give them fertilizer. Thrive is a popular all in one fertilizer.
I do dose an all in one fertilizer as well as two 72” double standard lights from Dustin’s fish tanks, and one 48” FluvalSmart planted 3.0.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Answers to the above questions will allow us to help you considerably. Also, let us know what the CO2 level is in your tank and how you know. In any case, when I had Fluorite, I had no problem growing - and spreading - DHG, but it does take a month or two to get going. It does benefit from high light and being planted only 3-4 strands every half-inch or so. I used no root tabs. All dosing was and is via the water column.
As far as CO2 level I am waiting for a better PH reader to come in due to the other one I bought not reliable. I have two of the glass drop checkers at the moment as a rough start to see.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, if your only adding light and CO2 your only doing 2/3 of the equation needed for plant growth.

Also what are you considering high light in how deep a tank?
As mentioned in a reply I have two 72” double standard LED lights from DFT, and one 48” FluvalSmart 3.0 light. Tank is about 22” deep
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 03:43 PM
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I do dose an all in one fertilizer as well as two 72Ē double standard lights from Dustinís fish tanks, and one 48Ē FluvalSmart planted 3.0.
What fertilizer are you using?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I do dose an all in one fertilizer as well as two 72” double standard lights from Dustin’s fish tanks, and one 48” FluvalSmart planted 3.0.
What fertilizer are you using?
EI dosing
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:31 PM
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EI dosing
Ok, can you tell us what exactly you are using and dosing?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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EI dosing
Ok, can you tell us what exactly you are using and dosing?
At the moment I cannot tell you the exact dosages but I use NilcocG dry fert or macros and micros
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:13 PM
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Well unless you are somehow dosing not enough, you should be good on ferts. There aren't many issues that would kill your plants. Basically whats left is crazy water parameters and bad light. Regarding the light, the fluval is a good light. Dustin's lights have zero data associated with them which is crazy but thats how it is. So they are kind of an unknown how much ppfd they are actually putting out. I mean they don't list the watts. So... yea if that is a potential red flag.

Is the hairgrass thats growing under the fluval by any chance? Do you have the fluval turned up on intensity?

Regarding the water, do you know your water parameters including hardness?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well unless you are somehow dosing not enough, you should be good on ferts. There aren't many issues that would kill your plants. Basically whats left is crazy water parameters and bad light. Regarding the light, the fluval is a good light. Dustin's lights have zero data associated with them which is crazy but thats how it is. So they are kind of an unknown how much ppfd they are actually putting out. I mean they don't list the watts. So... yea if that is a potential red flag.

Is the hairgrass thats growing under the fluval by any chance? Do you have the fluval turned up on intensity?

Regarding the water, do you know your water parameters including hardness?
As far as Dustin’s lights go, the one has done great things for my low tech fitted tank, I’m sure having a fitted tank itself helps but it was great. The FluvalSmart is turned up all the way. Right now I’m only having lights on for 6 hours. I’ll bump that up a bit, first week had algae but not since. And honestly I haven’t even tested water parameters due to be a slow process build and what not. I do not have a means of measuring KH either at the moment.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 06:41 PM
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As far as Dustinís lights go, the one has done great things for my low tech fitted tank, Iím sure having a fitted tank itself helps but it was great. The FluvalSmart is turned up all the way. Right now Iím only having lights on for 6 hours. Iíll bump that up a bit, first week had algae but not since. And honestly I havenít even tested water parameters due to be a slow process build and what not. I do not have a means of measuring KH either at the moment.
The fluval light is capable of producing a high light environment, but only right under the light. Dustin's lights.... who knows. It might be high light, it might be low light. I looked for anyone posting ppfd information and came up dry. I have a shop light I paid 30 dollars for overtop of my quarantine tank growing out low tech plants. Its working great. If I tried growing dhg in that tank I know it wouldn't do well. How is the dhg doing under the fluval as compared to the rest of the tank?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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As far as Dustin’s lights go, the one has done great things for my low tech fitted tank, I’m sure having a fitted tank itself helps but it was great. The FluvalSmart is turned up all the way. Right now I’m only having lights on for 6 hours. I’ll bump that up a bit, first week had algae but not since. And honestly I haven’t even tested water parameters due to be a slow process build and what not. I do not have a means of measuring KH either at the moment.
The fluval light is capable of producing a high light environment, but only right under the light. Dustin's lights.... who knows. It might be high light, it might be low light. I looked for anyone posting ppfd information and came up dry. I have a shop light I paid 30 dollars for overtop of my quarantine tank growing out low tech plants. Its working great. If I tried growing dhg in that tank I know it wouldn't do well. How is the dhg doing under the fluval as compared to the rest of the tank?
Dirted*

And all dhg is the same through the tank minus the ones in the shade, they are almost non existent.
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