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Hey all I’m new to this forum. After months of trying to make a flourishing aquarium... I give up and am asking for some help. It just seems like no matter what I do I cannot get anything to take off. So heres the specs. I have a 55 gallon tank with a Fluval 3.0 light [lights at about 30% power because of algae]. I’m using an organic potting soil substrate mixed with some clay as the base. On top of that there is about an inch or more of middle of the road sized sand/gravel. I’ve switched to full RO water and use co2 at about 3-4 bubbles a second. For nutrition I’m using the aquarium coop easy green and doing 5 pumps per week. For the test kit I’m using a freshwater master kit from api. All of my tests I run are perfect. And I mean PERFECT guys. As for the fish, they are loving life! So I’m just lost y’all. I really need some help. Thanks!


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Mind you the pictures make the plants look greener. But I’m looking for real growth. These plants haven’t grown much since planting which was about 2 months ago. Even tried trimming hair grass and bad leaves off plants. Thanks all!










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Hey all I’m new to this forum. After months of trying to make a flourishing aquarium... I give up and am asking for some help. It just seems like no matter what I do I cannot get anything to take off. So heres the specs. I have a 55 gallon tank with a Fluval 3.0 light [lights at about 30% power because of algae]. I’m using an organic potting soil substrate mixed with some clay as the base. On top of that there is about an inch or more of middle of the road sized sand/gravel. I’ve switched to full RO water and use co2 at about 3-4 bubbles a second. For nutrition I’m using the aquarium coop easy green and doing 5 pumps per week. For the test kit I’m using a freshwater master kit from api. All of my tests I run are perfect. And I mean PERFECT guys. As for the fish, they are loving life! So I’m just lost y’all. I really need some help. Thanks!


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Just a quick question, you said you switched to full RO water. Are you remineralizing it?

Without remineralizing the RO water, you may have issues with calcium and magnesium deficiencies.
Calcium deficiency:
Indicators of calcium deficiency are: severely impeded growth (also affects roots), growing points decay (in serious cases), chlorosis (on the edges or general in the form of spots), young leaves size reduction and deformation. Other sources indicate that leaves become brown. Furthermore, necrosis of points and young leaves’ edges is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just a quick question, you said you switched to full RO water. Are you remineralizing it?

Without remineralizing the RO water, you may have issues with calcium and magnesium deficiencies.
Calcium deficiency:

I am not. Is there anyway to test for these?


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I am not. Is there anyway to test for these?


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API GH/KH test kit.

GH test kit allows you to see what the General hardness of your tank water is. General hardness is the combination of calcium and magnesium in your water, however to test for the specific amount of calcium in the water you would need the calcium test kit.

You could probably get by with just the GH/KH test kit for the time being though because all you're testing for is to see if there's anything in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
API GH/KH test kit.

GH test kit allows you to see what the General hardness of your tank water is. General hardness is the combination of calcium and magnesium in your water, however to test for the specific amount of calcium in the water you would need the calcium test kit.

You could probably get by with just the GH/KH test kit for the time being though because all you're testing for is to see if there's anything in there.

Cool I ordered one and I’ll get back to you with the results here in a couple of days


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright I got the test kit. The GH came out to 143 and the KH came out to 125. So you can see I’m just on the high side for the recommended ppm. How do I drop down these tests? The instructions just say use a filter?



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Do not lose heart. I think with a few tweaks you will be able to see your plants thrive.

1) A water change will be the easiest way to drop your KH and GH. RO/DI water has a 0 KH and GH. If you did not add any supplements to mineralize the water, then hardness will build up in your aquarium as water evaporates if you are mainly topping off water. You should do at least a 50% water change but I think you should prioritize light and co2 first.

2) In order to make the most of your CO2 injection, you may need more than 33% of your lighting. I see you have a CO2 checker, what color is it? You want it to be lime green. How long do you run your lights? Do you have your CO2 on a timer?

3) You mentioned that if you provide more light, algea will bloom but that your API kit test is perfect. What is perfect? What is your PH, nitrates? If you are seeing algea, it means you have excess of something, typically nitrates ans phosphates. A water change will lower them enough so that you can give your plants more light.

4) Plants need light, CO2 and nutrients. You are dosing nutrients and CO2 but you need light to match in order for plants to thrive.
 
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