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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have a 29gallon
inert sand with root tabs
Liquid fertilizers macro and micro
Fluorish excell dose every other day or every day.
Two AC 50 HOBs

30"long 12"wide and 18"tall
T5ho aquatic life marquis lighting (two bulbs, 30" fixture, bulbs are 21 or 22")

Elive LED modular track light fully stocked with red, blue, and plant light pods. (Cheaper type of LED)

Heavily planted.

It seems like I have medium to high lighting but my plants tell me otherwise...
DHG growing a few blades tall but not spreading, as if trying to reach more light.
Stem plants becoming leggy, also as if they are trying to reach the surface.
I'm more concerned about my dwarf hair grass. It's been six months and the stuff that has survived has not grown besides the few blades mentioned.
I also have yet to have ANY algae problems though I did deal with a bacterial bloom after reaquascapimg.
Any input greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Max


-->Max
 

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I almost bought that T5HO light for my 20L but I was told it would be overkill. You have that light and LED's so I am going to take a guess and say you have at least medium light. I would definitely double dose excel everyday or go pressurized. You may end up in algae city otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I almost bought that T5HO light for my 20L but I was told it would be overkill. You have that light and LED's so I am going to take a guess and say you have at least medium light. I would definitely double dose excel everyday or go pressurized. You may end up in algae city otherwise.


Right? No algae problems yet...though I have had the t5 for only about two months. I do normal excel dosing every other day. I seem to be getting great plant growth out of my stem plants.

Thanks for the input.
 

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First and foremost you'll need CO2 to really know what your plants need. As long as they're deficient in that you'll never see the healthy growth you're looking for no matter what light you have on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your underlying problem may very well be underlying. Meaning, you may need to consider feeding the bacteria in your substrate as well as the plants themselves. I would try dropping some cracked cell chlorella tablets in there,if you have shrimp they will eat this and the poop will feed the bacteria. I heard that the powder isn't good tho, something to do with absorption rate.

Speaking of substrate, are you using a flourite or similar material? It's always wise to use a substrate that promotes root growth such as Seacham Flourite or Caribsea Eco-complete. I really like the latter but both seem to work well.

I would also cut-back on the excel if you already have CO2. It's kind of like a double wammy. As important as CO2 is, you also should promote a lot of oxygen in your tank and the excel may be preventing this. Adding a powerhead may help if you don't have one already (also helps the nutrients properly dispersed throughout your tank).

Finally, drop in a few malaysian trumpet snails, they are great with cleaning your tank and they also hide in the substrate which stirs it up (which is always welcome to your substrate bacteria). If you're tank is as balanced as you say it is, there shouldn't be an outbreak of them (I had a huge pond snail problem but as soon as my tank balanced out, so did the amount of pond snails).

Good luck!

Edit: Nevermind about the substrate question. Just realized you are using inert sand. That may be a problem since it may not promote root growth as well as Flourite sand.


I don't have CO2, hence why I use excell. I also use plenty of root tabs and they are being utilized...and I have MTS... My tank isn't dirty, my plants are doing fine. Just wondering what people think of my lighting....that's it.


-->Max
 

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I don't have CO2, hence why I use excell. I also use plenty of root tabs and they are being utilized...and I have MTS... My tank isn't dirty, my plants are doing fine. Just wondering what people think of my lighting....that's it.


-->Max
LOL. I misread the CO2 part too apparently, but yeah this got a little off topic, but for good reason. Sometimes lack of horizontal growth is not necessarily a lighting issue.

If you have a lot of taller plants I would cut them back (a lot) to let in more light and allow more nutrients to go to the other plants. Also, maybe lower your light height if possible.

I used to be low tech with only excel but nothing beats CO2. My plants went crazy like it was on steriods and I'm never going back!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL. I misread the CO2 part too apparently, but yeah this got a little off topic, but for good reason. Sometimes lack of horizontal growth is not necessarily a lighting issue.

If you have a lot of taller plants I would cut them back (a lot) to let in more light and allow more nutrients to go to the other plants. Also, maybe lower your light height if possible.

I used to be low tech with only excel but nothing beats CO2. My plants went crazy like it was on steriods and I'm never going back!


Just a tad! And yeah...that must be the issue. I do have ALOT of plants in there. I was hoping it would work like a forest, I don't mind leggy plants if its aquascaped correctly(canopy sloped towards the front of the tank,) causing the ugly stuff to be hidden under the more forward plants. I'm worried about my hair grass which won't spread.

I can't lower my lighting, but it's only a few inches over the surface...I use a glass canopy half the time...it gets dirty easily and I know that effects it a lot.

So you think I do indeed have high lighting? Maybe medium to high?



-->Max
 

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Just a tad! And yeah...that must be the issue. I do have ALOT of plants in there. I was hoping it would work like a forest, I don't mind leggy plants if its aquascaped correctly(canopy sloped towards the front of the tank,) causing the ugly stuff to be hidden under the more forward plants. I'm worried about my hair grass which won't spread.

I can't lower my lighting, but it's only a few inches over the surface...I use a glass canopy half the time...it gets dirty easily and I know that effects it a lot.

So you think I do indeed have high lighting? Maybe medium to high?



-->Max
Watch your water flow and make sure your hair grass gets it's share of the water column i.e. nutrients, if not, add a powerhead.

If you have an LED AND double TH5O I would say it's definitely on the high side imo!

Bump: Crap, totally forgot to mention that photo period is important too. How long are your lights on? Usually 8 hours is a good time but longer periods might not be bad. I would adjust if you see any increase in algae growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Watch your water flow and make sure your hair grass gets it's share of the water column i.e. nutrients, if not, add a powerhead.



If you have an LED AND double TH5O I would say it's definitely on the high side imo!

Bump: Crap, totally forgot to mention that photo period is important too. How long are your lights on? Usually 8 hours is a good time but longer periods might not be bad. I would adjust if you see any increase in algae growth.


IMO I get enough current through the use of two HOB filters set up to waterfall. On a 29, I think that's enough eh? I see even the hair grass sway a bit.

My t5 is on a timer for 8 hours, and my cheap LED fixture is on a little bit earlier and a bit later, maybe 10 hours +_ 1. Though the fixture is a cheap one, it is loaded with HO, blue, red, and "plant light" pods.

I would adjust it, but I think that would be fruitless with all the ottos and snails I have eating up the algae. I never have an algae problem but it could be because of those preventative measures....I do get LOTS of hair type algae in my filter piping that I have to clean at least once a week.


-->Max
 

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Well it's certainly not low light. Just guessing based on other t5 units with good reflectors, the marquis probably has you at least 70-80 par at 18" or so. Maybe a bit more, doubt its much less.

Not sure about that particular LED.

Regardless, you have plenty of light. The dhg most likely is in need of CO2. Hair algae is another sure sign of low co2 relative to light

You could try doubling the dose of excel, and dose it every day. A cheaper alternative is Metricide available from amazon. It's also stronger than Excel, approximately 6 ml = 10 of Excel
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well it's certainly not low light. Just guessing based on other t5 units with good reflectors, the marquis probably has you at least 70-80 par at 18" or so. Maybe a bit more, doubt its much less.

Not sure about that particular LED.

Regardless, you have plenty of light. The dhg most likely is in need of CO2. Hair algae is another sure sign of low co2 relative to light

You could try doubling the dose of excel, and dose it every day. A cheaper alternative is Metricide available from amazon. It's stronger than Excel, approximately 6 ml = 10 of Excel


I'll look into metricide. I will experiment with excell....I'm hesitant because whenever I dose in the mornings, axcording to the directions, my fish get antsy as if it bothers them....and a lot of the snails climb the glass shortly after, suggesting it's like toxic...? Maybe I should dilute it before injecting?


-->Max
 

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Wow, nice! I see a lot of tall plants there so definitely pruning the bigger leaves away will promote more plant growth. I think a good idea would be to break up the big clump of hair grass into smaller groups as well. Definitely looks like you have more than enough light. Maybe try putting the TH50 in the front and the LED in the back too, since the background plants are already really high.

Again, CO2 will probably be needed to get the horizontal growth you are looking for. Here's an old pic of my 5 gallon with CO2 (the background plants recently exploded and they grow a few inches every couple of days (mind the hair algae):
 

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I'll look into metricide. I will experiment with excell....I'm hesitant because whenever I dose in the mornings, axcording to the directions, my fish get antsy as if it bothers them....and a lot of the snails climb the glass shortly after, suggesting it's like toxic...? Maybe I should dilute it before injecting?


-->Max
Ive never had any problems with fish or snails dosing 2.5x straight metricide. That's with common tetras, guppys, otos, corys, etc. Usually it got poured straight onto the fish because they'd be gathered at the surface, following my hands expecting food.....nobody seemed to care.

But if you are seeing a negative reaction, then maybe they dont like it. Not sure what to tell you there. Diluting it first might help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, nice! I see a lot of tall plants there so definitely pruning the bigger leaves away will promote more plant growth. I think a good idea would be to break up the big clump of hair grass into smaller groups as well. Definitely looks like you have more than enough light. Maybe try putting the TH50 in the front and the LED in the back too, since the background plants are already really high.



Again, CO2 will probably be needed to get the horizontal growth you are looking for. Here's an old pic of my 5 gallon with CO2 (the background plants recently exploded and they grow a few inches every couple of days (mind the hair algae):


Thanks, I do hope to setup a co2 rig at some point. I don't have the time for a DIY one, I'd probably be inconsistent and cause more problems. For now, excell will have to do. No fish or snails (that I know of,) have died so they will have to put up with it if they don't like it.

I do occasionally put the t5 in front, I should try for an extended period of time even though it looks odd....it's only my kitchen...

Breaking up the hair grass...... Such a tedious task when the roots are matted... I think I might ditch the hair grass to be honest. Biggest PITA. It does grow fast (just a few blades will shoot up an inch or two while the rest of the blades won't....need to cut that back more often... Ugh I definitely bit off more than I can chew with such a heavily planted tank. Need to trim everything weekly.

Thanks for the input.


-->Max
 

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Thanks, I do hope to setup a co2 rig at some point. I don't have the time for a DIY one, I'd probably be inconsistent and cause more problems. For now, excell will have to do. No fish or snails (that I know of,) have died so they will have to put up with it if they don't like it.

I do occasionally put the t5 in front, I should try for an extended period of time even though it looks odd....it's only my kitchen...

Breaking up the hair grass...... Such a tedious task when the roots are matted... I think I might ditch the hair grass to be honest. Biggest PITA. It does grow fast (just a few blades will shoot up an inch or two while the rest of the blades won't....need to cut that back more often... Ugh I definitely bit off more than I can chew with such a heavily planted tank. Need to trim everything weekly.

Thanks for the input.


-->Max
Here's a link on trimming tips:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ZRE1y4jO4


I think you are ready for CO2, since you've "mastered" the low tech tank. You won't regret the move. Good luck!
 

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I agree with kinzo on his idea that you are ready for co2.

IME, dhg grows very slowly with excel only. It doesn't die and remains healthy looking, but takes forever to do anything regardless of light or ferts. I have it in my high tech 26 bowfront (co2, high lights, ei ferts, aquasoil) now and I'm mowing about 4" of it weekly.

From what I understand, it's not that dhg needs a lot of co2, or light/ferts for that matter, rather it is very poor at co2 uptake and the supply has to be ample enough for it to not have to compete for co2. Something that is tough to do with excel only in a multiple-species planted tank. If you had just dhg, it would be much easier with excel only because it doesn't have to compete with anything for co2, or light/ferts.

Also IME, DIY co2 is too unstable and continuous (can't shut off) to be a reliable source of co2. Does it work? Absolutely! But the inconsistency of diy caused more trouble than good for me in the long run so I ended up going pressurised and I'm happy that I did.
 
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