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Before I get to my question...here is my tank description (pics at bottom).

I have recently finished setting up my first planted tank. I added the plants 4 weeks ago, and I just finished stocking it. It is a 46 gallon bowfront with a 36" power compact fixture. It has 96W 10000K bulb and a 96W actinic bulb, but I mainly only use the 10000K bulb. I will be getting a 6700K bulb to replace the actinic though. I also am using a penguin 330 biowheel filter. I had a DIY overflow into a DIY wet dry filter but I kept losing my siphon so I gave up on it.

I have a DIY CO2 set-up using two 2-litre bottles connected and allowed to diffuse through a wood airstone placed right next to the intake of my filter. I am not dosing anything at the moment, but will be starting to dose KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4 and plantex soon as it arrives. My substrate is a layer of topsoil, layer of sand and a layer of pea sized gravel.

It is stocked with mainly tetras, Serpae, gold pristella, neon, blackskirt, and finally bleeding hearts...I am intrigued to see that the Serpae and bleeding hearts liked to school together.

OK for plants...I have a Red Melon, Red Rubin, Madascar Lace, Crispus, Java Fern, Spatterdock, corkscrew vals, A bunch of crypts (crispatula, Walkeri, undulata, wendtii bronze), a bunch of Anubias (Broadleaf, nana), foreground (Dwarf Hairgrass, Dwarf Sagitarria) and for bunch plants I have Cabomba green, Ludwigia natans, wisteria and anacharis.

The plants are growing really well, the lace is getting huge, the vals are sending out shoots and the sagitaria appears to be spreading as well. I realize now that I probably have too many plants considering the enormous size of my bogwood. I will most likely be transfering a couple of the crypts over to my 55 gallon tank once they grow in more.

MY QUESTIONS:

1)My bunch plants are growing very rapidly but they are growing mainly up as opposed to outwards and upwards...the ludwigia is about to grow out of my tank, I will be trimming it and replanting it soon (there are also tons of little sprouts at all the nodes). My cabomba is also looking really skinny, and sparse. In any case, the fast growth is giving them a very elongated, skinny look. What is it in my set-up that is doing this? Is there a way to get them to get more bushy?

2)also the ludwigia is only red on the underside of the leafs...is this normal?

Thanks for the help..sorry for the long post.

 

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That looks like a normal amount of space between the nodes. You just need to trim the tops and replant them next to the original bunch. The Ludwigia get more brownish red on top with more useful light. When you replace the actinic with the 6700K, they might get more red. Careful though, with the more useful light in combination with DIY CO2, you might be in for some algae issues. If you still have the Biowheel in the Penguin, you might want to remove it so you don't lose as much CO2.
 
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