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Aquarium re-do

629 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cassidy1190
Hi all,
This is my first post on the forum. I am really impressed with the site, and am very glad I stumbled upon this during my aquarium researching. I have about 7 fish in a 20 gallon tank that has been going great for the past 5 years or so. I’m sort of an aquarium noobie, but I feel at this point I have things pretty much down pat as far as water chemistry goes and the health of my fish.

I want to take the next step now and really get my plant life to thrive. My tank is planted now, but my plants (not really sure exactly what they are) are sickly looking and don’t seem to ever quite fill in. After poking around here I think I found what my problem is.

1. I have no type of substrate or fertilizer besides the nitrates in my tank whatsoever.

2. I have rather course gravel, which does not seem to be the best for the deep rooting plants I have (or my clown loaches for that matter).

I would really like to give my tank a sort of makeover, change out the gravel for a finer type, and put some substrate down. Would this be possible to do with an already stable aquarium? If someone could point me in the right direction I'd really appreciate it.
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Yeah forgot to mention that. It’s a 15 watt florescent tube, but I do get a little over lighting I think from the window in the room. I’ve pondered and pondered on where else I can move the tank, but unfortunately I think I’m stuck near this giant window. That explains the translucent splotches on some of my leaves.
Hmmm, that is most likely your problem then. Even the lowest of lowest light plants would have difficulty thriving in the substrate level of your aquarium...
So your saying the light level is my problem?
I would say so certainly, but maybe someone more experienced can weigh in. Best of luck!
For lights, you will need to say something about the goals for the tank, do you want a low light easy to maintain tank? (low light, no need for fertz, no co2 injection) or do you want a high light, (higher maintenance, co2 injection, full fertz. etc.)?

There are many ways you can take this. You can always supplement rooted plants, with fert. sticks of fert. tabs.

What kind of fish do you have in the tank already?
I have 5 tiger barbs, 2 clown loaches, and one angel. Low light would be ideal, but I am cursed with location. Light blares in my house for all sides and even with blinds, there is really no room that can sustain a low light environment for my tank.

EDIT: Say I could find a suitable location for my tank. Would I sitll need some type of substrate in order to sustain a low light environment? Any back to my first post, how exactly would I go about changing my current gravel configuration with an already established tank?
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