got it wrong from the start ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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got it wrong from the start ?

well i know the answer is yes !....
u see i messed up by using gravel and expecting to grow plants successfully in it...
now im trying to find a solution to my plants not growing very well...
i have bits of plants going into my filters and i believe this is causing the cloudy water i am experiencing..
my tank is an 80 gallon rena aqaualife 120 x 50 tank with 8 altums ,some corys and tetras...
with as little disruption as possible ...would a co2 system save the day and mean that all the plants will grow well ?i use ro water,changing 10/15 % per week and the temp is at 80... my ph is around 6
im trying to get a nice planted aqauarium without constant decay of plants .. i cant really take my altums out and start again unfortunately ...hope u can help

cheers severn
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 06:06 PM
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Some people have great success using plain gravel. Eco-complete and Flourite may enable one to have more success though.

The key here may very well be your lighting. Some plants require extremely high levels of lighting to grow. Spend some time reading the lighting part of the forum to see what people recommend for lighting for a tank that size. Many commercially available hoods contain just one bulb, that ain't near enough for most plants.

What plants do you have? Java ferns, crypts, and anubias, amongst others, are considered low light plants. Since java fern does not grow in the substrate, you may have success with it.

Lastly, you will need to know what your kH is before you add any CO2. Why are you using RO water?

If you find plants getting into your filter you might want to consider placing some panty hose or the like over the strainer in order to filter out the bigger pieces.

Here are 2 of my fave sites for beginners:
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/
www.rexgrigg.com

In the meantime try to siphon out any dead/ dying plant matter.
HTH.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 08:46 PM
 
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What kind of plants do you have? There are many plants that thrive in gravel. If you have root feeders you can always use root tabs. Are you replacing the minerals that are lacking in RO water? That could be a problem. CO2 will always benefit a planted tank, even with low light, but it will not compensate for nutrient deficiencies.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 09:36 PM
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It's the combination of light and nutrients that makes plants grow. Low levels, and you get slow plant growth, high levels, faster growth. One without the other = algae.

If you tell us more about the lighting of your tank we can suggest possible remedies for your plants. Without knowing that I would not suggest that a CO2 system would save your day and plants.

The substrate would be the last thing to worry about. You can grow wonderful plants in gravel, no problem.

RO water doesn't contain nutrients (or very little) so plants can only use what you add to reconstitute it, and what you feed and your fishies metabolism provides.

If you do go out and buy a CO2 system, I suggest you get one that is automatically controlled, this is important when you have soft water and expensive fish.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for your replies...
the lighting tubes are 2 x f30w t8 sylvania grow lux and 2 x f30w t8 sylvania aquastar..i switched the order araound and now have the grow lux at the back,aquastar at the front...370 litres capacity
im using a rena xp3 and eheim 2026 as filters
ph 6.5,nitrate 20 ppm,total hardness 100 ppm .
im using ro water primarily becuase i want my altums are wild caught and want to give them the best chance possible.
[ive only had them 6 weeks or so]
im adding ro right to the ro water and usally have to use approx 5 gallons of tapwater becuase i run out of ro water..
i add leafzone every week...some plants do seem to be doing ok actually...perhaps i need to know which are recommended for a set up such as mine ?
i can get a picture on here if thats helpful..but getting good quality seems tricky
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