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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just registered to this forum but I have explored all the corners of this sites ever since I set up my tank. This is my first time having a fish tank, so bare with my noob questions lol. I'm gonna give a quick overview of my tank and specs and anything more be free to ask.
-The current problems
Twisting new leaves
-Very slow growth the deeper down in the down ( I have some ludwigia that are baby stems and have grown about an inch or 2 in 2 months) same for any plant near the -substrate.
-Some melting leaves from tips
-Brown veins
-Some transparent
I thought this was all a light problem because I have plenty of nutrients in the water column and substrate so here Comes the possible solutions. I had a 48 inch single t8 bulb fixture laying around so I got a bulb from Home Depot which says says LED at 4800k like 30 watts. It gave off a very warm color and ran this with my other LEDs together for about a 10 hour photo period. After 4 days I had a massive outbreak of Brown algae. My question is pretty much what to do. I have had the t8 bulb off to slow down the diatoms but the plants aren't thriving. This brings me to my next solution which was injecting co2

I'm trying to set up a successful planted. I know it sounds like I'm trying to go high tech because it started out as a low tech tank but I want better growth even if it means new lights or dosing excel which I have no experience with.

75 gallon long tank
-Substrate a bottom layer of about 80lbs of eco complete and top layer of 75 lbs black diamond blasting sand.
I dose api root tabs with diy osmocote plus root tabs
I also dose api liquid fertilizer weekly
A couple days ago I started a diy co2 for the first time at 1 bubble per second to introduce it to the tank, ph is still at 7.5 so it hasn't kicked in. I run the co2 directly into the filter in take to diffuse the co2.
The fish tank came from Craigslist and the lights that came with it don't have much info online. It's a 48inch LED light, it consists of 3 LED light strips. But since they don't have much info online I was guessing they weren't strong enough for the plants.
-Ammonia and nitrites are at 0 and nitrates are no high hence not the problem for brown algae

Anything would help I want my tank to look more like the planted tanks you would see online but I know this is very challenging. I have plenty of time and love the hobby but don't have a ton of money to spend on the tank because I already spent a ton.

106 Posts
Welcome to The Planted Tank!

Brown algae usually means you have too little light and too many nutrients. You will need to counter balance this with either more plants/CO2/light or more frequent water changes.

Until you get your plants established and really going, I would recommend laying off the ferts from weekly to "as-needed".

CO2 will only do so much unless you have the plants to "starve" the smaller organisms. Co2 = more growth for good plants = less nutrients for simple organisms like algae.

Also, sounds like you don't have enough light penetration to the bottom of the tank since your plants are stunted. You may want to either add more substrate or lower your lights. The latter is easiest of course. Also, all flourescent lights are not created equal, you need to have the correct PAR values in order to promote plant growth. There's a bunch of forum convo's regarding this.

Melting usually means lack of CO2. This is probably because you are injecting it into the filter and not the tank. I would recommend connecting it to your powerhead to get more dispersion or place it under your powerhead/spraybar/outflow.

Good luck!

104 Posts
He means lowering the lights down so they are closer to the water level (or alternatively raising the substrate up towards the light) there by getting more light to the bottom of the tank.

However with your LEDs they are probably already fairly close and not adjustable and sounds like you have a lot of substrate already.
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