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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep... after 3 years the frustration and thinking thats gone into this is still not paying off. i could just be bad at it. ive dosed more when i thought that was the problem (upgraded to pfertz), added more lighting when there wasnt enough, and added more co2 when there was no pearling. ive tried it all and i dont know what is happening. this is the last chance for my luck/skill to turn around or i think i may be moving on sadly. below ive listed what is currently going on and below that, my original post with tank specs, etc.

1. glosso is growing straight up even though i have 5 watts/gallon.
2. Nesaea red is losing its color and the leaves are looking bad.
3. i have algae, which seems to be thread algae, on all the leaves.
4. the limnophilia (sp) completely rotted and melted even though my drop checker was showing the co2 was adequate, the lighting was more than enough, and i was following the pfertz dosing instructions.

there are more but this is the main and i am confused. i understand.. BALANCE BALANCE BALANCE. but i have tried every mix and matched situation i can. here is the original post. thanks. and if you arent sure, still feel free to comment.

Lighting - 4x39W = 5 Watts/Gal.
Ferts - Pfertz
Co2 - pressurized @ 3 bps

Plants -
nesaea Reed
Nesaea Golden
Cabomba pulcherrima
Rotala 'nanjenshan'
Limnophila hippuroides
Heteranthera zosterfolia
Rotala roundifolia
Ludwigia arcuata


Please let me know what you think. JUST PLANTED SO IT WILL FILL IN! and also, glosso is on the way to cover the rest of the substrate

 

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An important piece of the puzzle you forgot to mention is what size tank this is. After doing the 5wpg math I'm guessing it's around 30g, but it doesn't look like a 30-long, and it also doesn't look like a standard 29g, so I can't guess about that. You also didn't mention what fixture you are using. Too much guessing involved there.

That being said, the drop checker is lime green, so you must be diffusing your CO2 well enough. That leaves ferts. I don't know anything about pferts, so I can't tell you whether you are dosing properly or not. Most people, especially people who don't call themselves experts, go the EI route, using dry ferts, and doing weekly 50% water changes to reset the water column.

I find the EI method to be virtually fool proof, provided you have your CO2 worked out (I assume you do by the green drop checker), and also provided you have your lighting worked out (I can't say if you do or don't, because for all I know you are using 3 year old generic bulbs with some crappy knockoff fixture).

For the glosso to be growing upward, I can only assume it feels it isn't getting enough light, so there's definitely a problem there. Are you using like 3 year old bulbs or something?

But in general, 5wpg of T5 is ridiculously too much! So for all I know, the glosso is just freaking out because it is being blinded by too much light. I just think you've possibly over-complicated things.

My suggestions this time around are:

1) Shut off 2 of those lamps, if you can. 2x39 is already considered high light for a ~30g tank. Make sure you are using quality, new bulbs.

2) Start EI dosing. I'm sure you can do it with those expensive ferts you have there. I don't necessarily think EI has to be done with dry ferts.

3) Make sure your drop checker stays green.


I just don't see how it's possible to fail if those things are in order. Best of luck to you. Your tank does look nice, for what it's worth.
 

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what exactly are your goals? From the limited info provided above about all i can say is that 5 wpg is typically a bit much, and that's a major contributor to your algae problems. What are your water parameters like? I would guess that your coloration issues and "rotting" issues may partly be caused by the water. What does your dosing regimen look like? Specifically what do you dose on a daily basis. A lot of what you describe sounds like a combination of too much light and too few nutrients.
 

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But in general, 5wpg of T5 is ridiculously too much! So for all I know, the glosso is just freaking out because it is being blinded by too much light. I just think you've possibly over-complicated things.
+1

Too much light, too little CO2, and probably not enough of anything else to keep up with that amount of light, either.
+1 (2) here.

My guess would be that instead of the glosso growing straight up because it's trying to get closer to the light, it's simply growing much too fast because of the excessive amount of light to bother with sending out runners.
I'd have to agree that while your dosing and CO2 levels may be great for a regular high light tank, they're probably too low for the amount of light you are giving the plants.
I would definitely try cutting back on the lights as well.

You are right, it's all about balance, but patience is of great importance as well.

Try cutting down the light but keeping up with the dosing and i think you'll see glosso that carpets instead of hurtling upwards, plants that grow a good speed, but not so fast as to run themselves out of nutrients, and surely you should see a decline in algae once the plants are growing fast, but slow enough as not to starve themselves.
 

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for what its worth. i have 4wpg t5ho and it is essential for the ground cover in my 55. 3 wpg didnt cut it. for some people 2 wpg is too much but not for me.
your bulbs should be replaced once a year even though they last much longer than that.

what kind of solution are you using for your drop checker? is it 4dkh?

are you using any buffers? what is your ph and kh?

do you have enough water circulation? are all of your plants gently swaying?

also i wouldnt call pferts an upgrade. its just like all of the seachem products. they are the same ferts as if you were to buy them dry. they are just pre mixed with water. so you pay extra for water and shipping. buy your ferts dry and dose them yourself according to ei.
 

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How much circulation do you have in the tank, total gph of all the filters/powerheads. It's true that you don't want to break the water's surface with circulation, but you do want a fair amount of circulation to make sure the CO2 is being evenly distributed throughout the entire tank. How are you turning on your CO2? Is it on a solenoid or does it run 24/7? If it's on a solenoid, are you giving it enough time to run before the lights come on?

What type of biological capacity does your filter have, ie. what size a tank is it rated for?

How long is your photoperiod? With 5w/gallon you're asking for certain trouble if you run those for more than six hours a day.

Have you tested your N and P levels to make sure you're dosing proper amounts? Are you dosing micros at all? What type of substrate are you using?
 

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How could you be disappointed with your tank? It's beautiful! Once those stems grow up to the surface, it's going to look even better.

Algae problems can be very frustrating - don't let it discourage you. I had Black Beard Algae, Thread Algae, Green Spot Algae, and Staghorn Algae (just to name a few) all at once in my aquarium for about 2 months. Finally went away after i cut down on the light a lot, and stopped dosing ferts (i have no co2).

There's several times where i've just wanted to sell my 85g and leave the hobby for good. Just don't let your problems get you down.

IMO, it would be a shame if you gave up at this moment. I can honestly say that your aquarium looks fantastic - all the plants look lush, healthy and colorful. The layout is fantastic too.

Good luck,
AzFishKid
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just want to say that I will completely update, answer questions and respond to suggestions tomorrow in one big reply. I do not have thee time as my philadelphia phillies are about to start. I would like to also say that i am inspired and educated by all these replys and i will clearly answer all questions tomorrow. so if you commeented please check back in about 14 hours. i promise it will help you help me. THANKS
 

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I looked at your plants list and you have a mix in the easy to difficulty level. I've never heard of anyone being able to grow Nesea red submerged. It seems to do ok emersed. I think you should forget that one.

I would also work on learning to grow the easier plants until you get the nack for it. Then you can begin to branch out. Don't throw in the towel yet! :D

Plants - Easy to difficult to cultivate
Nesaea red - very difficult
Nesaea Golden - difficult
Cabomba pulcherrima - moderate
Rotala 'nanjenshan' - moderate
Limnophila hippuroides - moderate
Heteranthera zosterfolia - easy
Rotala roundifolia - easy
Ludwigia arcuata - easy
 

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How could you be disappointed with your tank? It's beautiful!
IMO, it would be a shame if you gave up at this moment. I can honestly say that your aquarium looks fantastic - all the plants look lush, healthy and colorful. The layout is fantastic too.
Totally agree with this and feel like a jerk because i forgot to mention that i think your tank is beautiful!

just kidding. i'm a red sox fan. we always root for the team playing the yankees. go phillys
Same here, YEAH PHILLIES!

I would also work on learning to grow the easier plants until you get the nack for it. Then you can begin to branch out. Don't throw in the towel yet! :D
This is excellent advice!
 

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The glosso growing leggy might be becos of insufficient CO2. You mentioned 3bps but I suggest you check the ppm concentration in the water. Either way it is too low for 5wpg. For your plants, I'll suggest no more than half of that.

For red coloration you need plenty of iron. Don't go by what the fert package says. I have taken samples from tanks in AF where they have their plants stocked and tested them for all the chemical composition, replicated them at home and home and got equally good results. That's = 2 ppm Fe instead of the recommended 0.5ppm

Finally, I can't figure out the substrate depth from the picture but you might want to have at least 3 inches of substrate. Most of the stem plants like limno, rotalas etc. will thrive better if they have sufficient substrate to expand their roots. Plants will always expand their roots before they grow above substrate.

Your tank looks way better than what it should be to frustrate somebody. I have been in this hobby for over 2 years and I had good days and pea-soup days in my tanks, so you are not alone :)
 

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Key to your success

hi ara,

i think your lighting is not enough that's why your glosso is growing upwards... infact, 4x36watts is not equal to 144watts, instead it is still 36 watts... since you are only multiplying your lights' intensity and NOT its wattage... i will advice you to try using DIY hood with 2-100Watts CF's (compact flourescents) why two? it is because of its compacted size it is not enough to light the other side of tank if you will put it on one side, and to put some intensity. in this case, you can achieve atleast 3W/g.

onething else, your ferts and co2 are not absorbed by your plants. why? it is because your plants are not doing photosynthesis (again because you have no enough lighting). in short, plants are more hungry when there is more light and they don't eat when no enough light.

the only KEY to your planted tank success is through your correct lighting computation... remember 10x100watts is not 1000watts but still it is 100watts.

years of planted tank success!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What does your dosing regimen look like?
I dose 3 pumps every other day of m,n,p and k of pfertz

I would definitely try cutting back on the lights as well.
would it be better to up the dosage and keep the lighting where it is?

what kind of solution are you using for your drop checker? is it 4dkh?
yes its 4dkh

are you using any buffers? what is your ph and kh?
no im not using any buffers. last i checked my ph was around 6.3-6.5

do you have enough water circulation? are all of your plants gently swaying?
i actually just added a koralia powerhead nano about 3 days ago and yes all the plants are swaying.

How much circulation do you have in the tank, total gph of all the filters/powerheads.
i have an eheim 2213 filter (102 gph) and a nano powerhead (265 gph). the filter is rated for up to a 55 gallon tank

How long is your photoperiod? With 5w/gallon you're asking for certain trouble if you run those for more than six hours a day.

Have you tested your N and P levels to make sure you're dosing proper amounts? Are you dosing micros at all? What type of substrate are you using?
the photoperiod is 7 hours, i was thinking of getting a seperate timer and running 2 bulbs for 8 hours and then turn the other two on for 3 hours in the middle of that. so essentially 10-12 run 2 lamps, 12-3 run 4 lamps, and then 3-5 run 2 lamps. i have not tested cause i am doing a EI dosing method. and yes micros are included in the pfertz set. i am using fluorite substrate.

I've never heard of anyone being able to grow Nesea red submerged. It seems to do ok emersed. I think you should forget that one.
are there any red midground plants that are moderate difficulty to grow??

remember 10x100watts is not 1000watts but still it is 100watts.
is this true?? cause it doesnt seem correct that people with 8 lights in there hood are achieving what someone with 2 lights is. i dont know if this is accurate. and why would so many people be saying i have far too much lighting, and now i dont have enough?

well this was helpful and i hope i answered most questions and i can get more help from you guys. this forum, along with a couple others, are what have kept me trucking for the last 3 years. thanks to everyone and i hope to see some success in my tank!!
 

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would it be better to up the dosage and keep the lighting where it is?
probably not. You're gonna have to scale the CO2 and ferts up majorly, and it will be a very tenuous balancing act between algae and good growth. The less light you have, the more margin for error you will have when it comes to CO2 and ferts. At 5wpg you can screw your tank up in a day or two of incorrect CO2 or ferts dosing, at 3, you may have 3 or 4 days to catch your mistake.



the photoperiod is 7 hours, i was thinking of getting a seperate timer and running 2 bulbs for 8 hours and then turn the other two on for 3 hours in the middle of that. so essentially 10-12 run 2 lamps, 12-3 run 4 lamps, and then 3-5 run 2 lamps. i have not tested cause i am doing a EI dosing method. and yes micros are included in the pfertz set. i am using fluorite substrate.
that photoperiod sounds better, although you may want to start at 2 bulbs for 7 hours and the other two for one or two hours in the middle and work your way up to where you want to be, just to be safe.

are there any red midground plants that are moderate difficulty to grow??
Yeah... I'm blanking on them right now, of course, but check out the plant profiles linked at the top of the page for a pretty good listing with descriptions and the like.

is this true?? cause it doesnt seem correct that people with 8 lights in there hood are achieving what someone with 2 lights is. i dont know if this is accurate. and why would so many people be saying i have far too much lighting, and now i dont have enough?
that is absolutely false. If you could plug 5 30w lights in and only still be consuming 30w, then my electric bill would be $5 a month. wattage is energy per hour, and energy is additive, so 4*36w is 144w.
 

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"The less light you have, the more margin for error you will have when it comes to CO2 and ferts. At 5wpg you can screw your tank up in a day or two of incorrect CO2 or ferts dosing, at 3, you may have 3 or 4 days to catch your mistake".

RedFalcon35, can you help me understand this concept a little better. So, If I'm running 5wpg, I bascially have very low margin for error. Let's say my CO2 is good and is over 30ppm and that all of my plants are swaying back and forth. So, the only variable left is nutrient. With EI, you are always supplying everything in great abundance, so let's say I missed 3 or 5 days, and my Nitrate dropped from 30ppm to 15ppm - would that screw things up majorarily? Even at 15ppm of Nitrate, it's within target range for N.
 
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