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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We (my fiance and I) are new to the site and recently downsized a 55 gallon into a 29 gallon and decided to try our hand at a low tech planted tank. We've tried plants in the past but havent had great luck. We have been very sucessful with a 75 gallon sps dominated reef thats been running 2 years and decided it was time to try plants again. The 29 has been running almost 2 weeks, although the filtration and most of the fish have been around 3 years.

We have a 2 bulb odyssea ho t5 fixture with 65000k ge bulbs. We are using eco complete substrate with a thin layer of back sand on top. Current plants are a few amazon swords, annubis, annarchis, java ferns, a few crypts and a water primrose.

We dose excel daily and flora pride every water change. So far things are doing ok, but not great, but i hope they will start to improve once they settle in. Some plants are recovering from very low light and low nutrients from the 55 gallon. We are getting some algae on the leaves and im thinking its just because the tanks new, but im not sure.

Along with the reef we also have a 75 gallon goldfish tank, which we will plant if we're sucessful with the 29. Ill probably have lots of questions, lol and i will get some pictures of our tanks up soon



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Hey lab :)

Try dosing your tank with the Excel at least every other day and stick some root tabs under your crypts and swords. That should help them out alot
 

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Welcome, Labnjab!

+1 to MCHRKiller's suggestion of root tabs. You're already dosing Excel daily, which is best.

But anacharis doesn't like Excel. It will melt and die, or at least grow slowly and a bit stunted.

So if your find your anacharis is still doing poorly when all other plants are doing well, that's why. If it becomes an eyesore, I'd dump the anacharis, rather than the Excel.

Depending on how far the T5HO bulbs are from your substrate, you might also have too much light, as per this chart:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

For a tank with Excel, instead of CO2 and heavy fertilization, you'll need to be at no more than medium light. The more light you have above that, the more algae becomes an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey lab :)

Try dosing your tank with the Excel at least every other day and stick some root tabs under your crypts and swords. That should help them out alot
Hi, I know you :smile: Are there any particular root tabs to use or will any do? Thank you for the suggestion

Looking at that chart we actually have high light:icon_eek: The fixture is about 20 inches from the substrate. I just bought the fixture and don't want to buy another, so we will probably have to look at doing co2, I didn't want to get into that but I want to be successful so I'll look into it and rethink the whole tank, lol. I use co2 in a calcium reactor on our reef and have an extra tank, I'll just need a regulator/solenoid, diffuser and controller, but until I can afford those I'll look into a DIY yeast reactor

As for the annarchis, it has been looking worse then the rest of the plants so I'll just toss it into the goldfish tank, it grows great in there.

Thank you for the tips and warm welcome
 

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You can look into CO2, and the other demands of a high light tank, if you like. But don't feel pressured into it just by the fixture alone. There are many ways to reduce light:

1) Physically raising the fixture.
2) One or more layers of window screening or similar material affixed to the bottom of the fixture (blocks partial light, still allows some air circulation for cooling).
3) A few fixtures will allow you to turn off or remove one bulb, while leaving the other running.

Are a few common ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We want to look more into co2 and a high light tank, our reef's pretty much come down to weekly water changes and fragging coral every now and then, so we need another challenge. Until then I disconnected 1 bulb which dropped us down to medium light and we'll go from there. I'll spend the next few weeks researching high light tanks and go from there.

Thank you for the tips
 

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The odyssea fixture's reflector and ballast isnt really of great quality, Id say its more of a medium light. Never been able to keep anything needing high light under an odyssea T5 fixture myself anyway. Always blamed the fixture for that

Sorry I mis-read the Excel part...thought you were dosing it weekly. Daily is best, so kudos on that. Any root tabs will work...I think Petsmart carries the API brand. Seachem makes some good ones, I have switched my planted tanks over to RootMedic stuff and am very pleased with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So for now i'll continue weekly flora pride and daily excel, and i will pick up root tabs tonight for the crypts and swords. For now i will leave it at 1 bulb because even the amazon sword is getting algae on its leaves. After a few weeks and when things start to look good ill put it back to 2 bulbs and see what happens. If algae returns then ill keep it at 1bulb, and consider co2.

I will keep you updated and thank you again for the tips, also, i should have some pictures up tonight

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
last night I picked up api root tabs and also added 6 bloodfin tetras to the tank. I completely forgot about pictures last night. Here is one from last week but it was before we got the primrose and new tetras

 
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