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I have a ten gallon betta tank running two biological filters, lit 8 hours per day with two 7W CFL bulbs (275 lumens, 6500 K). I just switched over from inadequate bulbs that were killing my plants and promoting brown algae. I have everything planted in black Eco-Complete substrate, and dose once per week with flourish. Is there any way I can ensure or maximize plant growth without buying a CO2 injectior? Should I get better bulbs? I'm new to planted tanks. Thanks

2 male bettas
Amazon sword
Italian Val
 

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I've never used eco-complete personally, but as I understand, it's an inert substrate; that is, it doesn't contain any nutrients itself. It does, however, store nutrients very well once you add them. If you haven't added root tabs to your substrate, your plants--which are heavy root-feeders--probably don't have much to go off of. They may also need some time to spring back from the algae. I think your light is probably OK given that you aren't using CO2. More might be an invitation for more algae.
 

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I have a ten gallon betta tank running two biological filters, lit 8 hours per day with two 7W CFL bulbs (275 lumens, 6500 K). I just switched over from inadequate bulbs that were killing my plants and promoting brown algae. I have everything planted in black Eco-Complete substrate, and dose once per week with flourish. Is there any way I can ensure or maximize plant growth without buying a CO2 injectior? Should I get better bulbs? I'm new to planted tanks. Thanks

2 male bettas
Amazon sword
Italian Val
BTW. Gorgeous Betta. Do you have a closeup of him?

Is the tank newly set up? New low tech tanks will go through what I like to call an algae cycle. You will get diatoms, then furry algae, then hair algae and maybe some clado or some other nasty form in between. My tanks have taken up to a year to settle in. I would get more plants. You may want to consider snails to eat the algae, but be ready to remove the snails if your Bettas attack them. (One of my Bettas spent the whole day flaring at his and ramming it with his head, another one bit the antennas off of his snail buddy).

I haven't used CFLs before. Are they daylight or full spectrum? I have LEDs on all my tanks. I've been happy with all of them including the weak stock lighting on my fluvals.

Getting back to you need more plants: plants will out compete the algae. The more plants you have, the better they seem to grow. As your tank ages, the Bettas poop will create mulm in your Eco complete (even if you vacuum most of it out). The mulm will act as soil. I used to use root tabs, I use liquid fertilizers now. Low tech tanks don't need a ton of supplements. I fertilize every few weeks, when I see algae starting up or weak growth or deficiencies (like yellowing leaves). In regards to plants, you may have to experiment to see what works for you. My tanks favor anubias and cryptocorn. The only stem plants I have luck with is something I think may be ludwigia. Here is a link to my Eheim Betta tanks. If you check out the plants, you will see that I lost a lot of S. Repens and grew lots of something else as time went on

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/22-planted-nano-tanks/719938-twin-aquastyle-tanks-work-progress-update.html
 

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Is the sponge filter air powered? It's probably stripping your CO2 out and reducing plant growth. I'd also stock up on a few more plants like Chain Swords, and fast growing stem plants like Ludwigia Repens and (or) Anacharis or Brazilian Waterweed, Star Grass, Guppy Grass, etc.
 

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I have everything planted in black Eco-Complete substrate, and dose once per week with flourish. Is there any way I can ensure or maximize plant growth without buying a CO2 injectior? Should I get better bulbs? I'm new to planted tanks. Thanks

2 male bettas
Amazon sword
Italian Val
Amazon sword will get too big for your tank. Cryptocoryne would do nicely in that substrate with your light. Ferns or moss would grow ok with your low light and no Co2 additive.

My favorite fert is Seachem equilibrium. I think it would work better than the flourish. May find it for a good price on amazon or evilbay.
 

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Several notes:

> 14 watts for a 10g is just under the minimum 1.5 watts/gallon. You may be okay for low light plants, but some plants may want for more light - you might increase your photoperiod some.

> Plants that are root feeders benefit from root tabs as they get 80-90% of their nutrition from the roots. (Other plants obtain their nutrients from the water so depending on bio-load, some macro/mico ferts may also be required.

> More plants are better. Planting heavy seem counter intuitive but can really help a newly planted tank.

> Seachem's Equilibrium is a good source of calcium and magnesium, but it will increase your gH. (which could be an issue if your water is already on the hard side.)

> I hear cautions all the time that surface agitation, air stones, sponge filters and such will reduce CO2 and be a problem in the low tech planted tank. I have a bubble bar on the left side in my 60g low tech running 24/7 and my plants seem just fine. I'm no expert, but I think a gas exchange balance is achieved so an increase in O2 does not necessarily mean a decrease in CO2.
.....
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
1st Update!!!

I bought some new low-light plants at my LFS, extended my photoperiod from 8 to 9 hours, and started dosing with a weekly fert as the flourish I was using is not a plant food, it just contributes to the ferrous state of iron (whatever that means). I don't have a lot of surface agitation (more than none, but less than a lot), and both my filters are pump powered, not air powered, but I don't think that's a concern, since I've seen really healthy planted tanks with lots of aeration, and I do know that plants use O2 as well as CO2. I'll keep you guys posted with the new results!


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BTW. Gorgeous Betta. Do you have a closeup of him?

Is the tank newly set up? New low tech tanks will go through what I like to call an algae cycle. You will get diatoms, then furry algae, then hair algae and maybe some clado or some other nasty form in between. My tanks have taken up to a year to settle in. I would get more plants. You may want to consider snails to eat the algae, but be ready to remove the snails if your Bettas attack them. (One of my Bettas spent the whole day flaring at his and ramming it with his head, another one bit the antennas off of his snail buddy).

I haven't used CFLs before. Are they daylight or full spectrum? I have LEDs on all my tanks. I've been happy with all of them including the weak stock lighting on my fluvals.

Getting back to you need more plants: plants will out compete the algae. The more plants you have, the better they seem to grow. As your tank ages, the Bettas poop will create mulm in your Eco complete (even if you vacuum most of it out). The mulm will act as soil. I used to use root tabs, I use liquid fertilizers now. Low tech tanks don't need a ton of supplements. I fertilize every few weeks, when I see algae starting up or weak growth or deficiencies (like yellowing leaves). In regards to plants, you may have to experiment to see what works for you. My tanks favor anubias and cryptocorn. The only stem plants I have luck with is something I think may be ludwigia. Here is a link to my Eheim Betta tanks. If you check out the plants, you will see that I lost a lot of S. Repens and grew lots of something else as time went on

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/22-planted-nano-tanks/719938-twin-aquastyle-tanks-work-progress-update.html
Thanks! You have very nice tanks as well! I bought my fish from a breeder in Thailand. I'm going to breed him with a similar female and (if successful) will be selling his offspring in a couple of months. It's only my second time breeding bettas though. And also my lights are daylight. :)
 

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I bought some new low-light plants at my LFS, extended my photoperiod from 8 to 9 hours, and started dosing with a weekly fert as the flourish I was using is not a plant food, it just contributes to the ferrous state of iron (whatever that means). I don't have a lot of surface agitation (more than none, but less than a lot), and both my filters are pump powered, not air powered, but I don't think that's a concern, since I've seen really healthy planted tanks with lots of aeration, and I do know that plants use O2 as well as CO2. I'll keep you guys posted with the new results!


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Thanks! You have very nice tanks as well! I bought my fish from a breeder in Thailand. I'm going to breed him with a similar female and (if successful) will be selling his offspring in a couple of months. It's only my second time breeding bettas though. And also my lights are daylight. :)
Good luck on the breeding project. He looks similar to my poor deceased Waldo who I loved so much. Keep me updated when the fry get large enough to tell how they turn out. I would be interested to see how they turn out (you can always post a thread for us to subscribe to, hint, hint. :wink2:)
 
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