I've been keeping aquariums for at least 15 years with varying levels of success - from the early days of fish dying because I didn't know what water changes were when I was 18, to pointlessly buying plants which would just die (except hornwort of course), to throwing money at every problem and hoping for the best.
First, here is my tank, and be warned it is an ugly tank:
46G euro with a brand new 4-lamp T5HO fixture (which I am currently running an old 6700k bulb, two 10k bulbs, and one actinic bulb which I will replace soon).
The plants you see are multiple Amazon Swords which I have had for 1-2 years and either just do well enough to maintain or slowly dwindle in health, a couple of different Anubias species, a Crypt, and some Java Fern which seems to grow well then die off.
My first major revelation of planted tanks was lighting - stock lighting was never enough, regardless of whether or not you got 'plant bulbs'. T5NO might not even be enough - you needed T5HO - and thanks to this I have been able to keep the plants you see instead of them simply being dead within 3 months.
However, there seems to be a lot of conflicting information online, so I wanted to ask for some general advice:
- How important are ferts? I have some Seachem Flourish that I dose once a week...if I remember. Never seemed to make much difference
- Lighting - I recently upgraded from a dual lamp T5HO to a quad lamp T5HO hoping that the extra light will help make the difference. Any advice here? My swords once did much better than they are now, with no ferts or CO2, but instead having my dual T5HO and also a T5NO dual as well (it later stopped working).
Thanks in advance!