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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! Was just hoping to get some advice on my little 5 Gallon!

Tank: Fluval Spec 5 Gallon
Dimensions: 20.5 x 11.6 x 7.5"
(52 x 29.5 x 19 cm)
Light: NICREW SkyLED 18-24" 18 Watts
Dimmer: NICREW Single Channel LED Ramp Timer
Filter: Sponge Filter (The filter that's built into the tank is baffled by a filter sponge to lessen the flow)
Heater: Fluval Submersible Heater "M" Series

-ThriveS (Weekly when doing 25% water changes, I'm planning to switch to Seachem Flourish though as I've heard it's pretty good for floaters)
-Seachem Iron (Daily)
-Seachem Flourish Tabs (I break them into smaller pieces, about quarters/thirds, admittedly placed inconsistently time-wise)

The Dimmer times are:
8:30am = 0%
9:30am = 5%
10:00am = 25%
12:00pm = 35%
2:00pm = 20%
5:00pm = 0%

I imagine my Ambulia aren't thriving because I dose tabs inconsistently, however a year or so ago I had a whole population of dwarf water lettuce die off (which I thought was impossible lol). I was weary of setting my lights power closer to 50% or higher because of algae. But just recently I've learned that plants need enough light to absorb the fertilizer you give them, otherwise the algae gets it. So I now figure I have to increase the light to have the nutrients I add to actually be used. I've just received a new shipment of Dwarf Lettuce and Java Fern tissue cultures so i'm hoping to prevent history from repeating itself.

My questions:
-I know Seachem makes chemicals for specific nutrients (phosphates, potassium etc), in tandem with some new Seachem flourish I plan to try, would those be something to look into?
-I've heard you have to increase lighting slowly, and a bit at a time. But with how low mine potentially is, is a bigger first boost a good idea to give it a head start?

If I missed any information needed my sincerest apologies, any advice/ideas is appreciated!!

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· Premium Member
So many tanks...
765 Posts
I would keep the lights lower as the tank matures, and bring it up if the plants need it obviously or very slowly if nothing is really dying off or melting. Something like 5-10% every 2 weeks. Again, unless something happens and it's obvious you're off on lighting. As far as raising it slowly, it's really just a matter of the nutrients in the tank, as light is a nutrient and plants eat them in a ratio. Too much or not enough (causes too much of others) will cause algae issues which can lead to plant degeneration.

Thrive S is an all-in-one. I should think that you could skip anything extra as far as nutrients like those seachem things. If you're talking about their Gaurd line to take those things out, I would avoid that all together in a planted tank. Just water change as needed (more if you have too many nutrients). If you start using some more intense plants or CO2 or something, then you might need more lighting.
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