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Lush and green to yellows and brown. What can I do?

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Hi everyone,

This is my very first tank every and until a few weeks ago everything seemed to be going great.

I have a fluval edge 6 gallon. With C02 injection.
Lighting I have the stock LED lighting from the 12 gallon model (more on that later) and a Interpet LED Lighting System - Double Bright White 36cm light.

After everything was planted and cycled it became aparent the stock fluval edge LED (6 gallon) was just not enough. Everything was heavily bending towards the middle of the tank and the corners where dark.

I then decided to get the LED bar from the 12 gallon as a drop in replacement. It was better but things still where bending.

I decided to give this cheap LED bar a shot,
Interpet LED Lighting System - Double Bright White 36cm, as it was only £24 and has some good reviews. For a small tank I thought it was worth a try.

Lighting period is 4 hours on, 3 hours off, 4 hours on.

The substrate is tropica plant substrate.

No ferts or dosing or anything else.

Well it certainly has helped, its stopped the plants from bending and the tank seems overall brighter and the light is more evenly spread.

Things seemed to be going very well.
My dwarf sag grew crazy and became not so dwarf.
The stems at the back was going extremely fast, it almost seemed like an inch every 2 days or so. However it where growing very leggy.

The s. repens not much happening, but I could see a few roots appearing on the side of the glass in the substrate so they where doing something.

A pennywort also exploded and grew super fast.

This went on for a few weeks and I was almost happy.

As the stem plants where leggy, repens where not doing much and because I had no algae I decided to also add the fluval edge LED (12G) as well. I figured that as there is no algae problems right now I should see if I can increase the light. The more light the better - until you get algae right? To see if will help with the leggy stems etc.

I dont know if its a coincindance or if it is related but around this time it seems liked everything just started to go yellow and brown, start to melt and die.

The s. repens leaves all started to float off, be yellow and brown, a whole section of dwarf sag melted away and now my big ones are slowing melting. The stems are turning brownish and the whole tank just has a yellow / brown hue to it.

There isn't any major signs of algae however. No hair algae or anything major (unless the browning of the leaves is algae)?

I have taken some pictures and tried to show before and after - the current pictures look a lot darker only because of the camera settings - its me trying to capture the browning, because on camera it doesnt seem to look as bad as it is.

Has the extra light somehow killed the plants?
Or is it a coincidence and its about this time where the plants are saying they have run out of nutrients in the substrate? Or....?


Before
Green Tank - Album on Imgur

Now
Brown and Yellow - Album on Imgur
As you can see, in the right front corner the whole area is almost bare.

Its hard to capture its properly on my camera, it makes it look not as bad as it is.
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Sounds to me like you need some ferts! What are your nitrates at? Is there any bioload in the tank? How often do you do water changes?

If you have high light and CO2, but no ferts, your plants are going to grow themselves into deficiencies and death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds to me like you need some ferts! What are your nitrates at? Is there any bioload in the tank? How often do you do water changes?
I do a partial water change every 2 weeks. I have 10 small shrimp and 8 neon tetras and 1 nerite snail.

Nitrate is coming up as 0 / yellow.

So this means the extra light is bad?! Should I just go back to the original single light that I was using? What ferts setup is recommend for beginners?
Is something like the Tropica Premium Fertiliser pump bottle enough? What about root tabs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The stems are still as leggy as before, even with the extra light.
Can the lack of nutrients cause this or is leggy stems all down to the light?

What should remove all the dead / dying plants, or shall I leave it as it is, starting adding ferts and then see how things pick up before taking out plants?
 
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