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Help! Plants dying!!!

1381 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mrcozy
Recently set up a 55 gallon, planted, community tank. I was given a few java ferns, some java moss, and bought two amazon swords and something I forget the name of. I let it cycle for days with just live gravel and sand before adding plants and two weeks before adding fish. I currently have 10 Guppies, 3 Sunburst Platies, 2 Dalmatian Mollies, and some sort of serpentine Loach that came with the plants I was given. My swords are starting to turn yellow and some leaves have see-through patches starting. I am using the bulb that came with the tank. I know I've read about Watts per Gallon but does it matter what kind of florescent bulb I get?
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It does matter.

Most kits do not have the right light to grow plants.

Can you tell us more about the light you have?
T-8? T-12?
All other info?

Have a look though the lighting forum for a lot more info, but here are the bare-bones basics:

For T-8 and T-12, wpg is not too far off. A 55 is pretty tall, I would aim for at least 2 wpg just for a low light tank. The light needs to be the right color for the plants. They use certain wavelengths more than others. A bulb that is rich in those wavelengths will grow the plants better, though it might make some colors in the tank (like orange fish) look funny.
 
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