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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

So I've decided to try out a planted tank. I'm 19 now and have kept pretty healthy tanks my whole life... so I decided to make it a little more of a challenge! I had to downgrade from a 25gal to a 20gal for college. My current setup includes: Corkscrew Val, Wisteria, Javafern, Microswords, Amazon swords, Red Wentiies, and one dwarf lilly blub. 5 Aussie Rainbows, a slying fox, and a bristlenose.

Here are the issues I'm having:
My micro swords turned very dark and haven't been growing much at all.
My wisteria also has a dark tint to it, and seems a little more wilted than it should be.

I have a 2x24 watt and a 1x15 watt bulb on the top of the tank. The CO2 is DIY, but I've gotten a pretty consistent 1 bubble per second out of it. I have a small uv filter, and a classic eheim. I do flourish excel every other day, and the flourish standard fertilizer every week.

What am I doing wrong?? Do I need to go get another 2x24 watt fixture?
 

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That is a whole lot of light over the tank! Definitely take off the 15 watt fixture and if you can raise up the other or disable one bulb your plants will appreciate it. How much does the pH drop with the addition of the CO2?

With the high light and some CO2 you need more than just basic Flourish, isn't that mainly micros and some potassium? You need nitrate and phosphorus as well. Seachem makes them or you can buy dry powdered ones online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would think that just over one watt per gallon would be too little! I've been using a neutral regulator for the PH, and it stays pretty darn close to 7 even with CO2. I can run to my local aquarium supply store for the potassium, nitrogen, etc.
 

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Hi Fishfreak

Just curious if I could help, tell us what you consistently do to have healthy tanks. Some ?s

1) What has been your tank's temperature range?
2) Do you monitor dGH/dKH, fill tank to replace evaporated water, weekly water changes with conditioner?
3) Have you researched if sword plants prefer a current/pwrhead/spraybar?

I've posted my aponogenton plant leaves benefited from a pwrhead, I've read the current is beneficial for these plants.

Also wisteria I've kept was wilted and algea overgrown, until I pruned and spread them out around tank. After 2 weeks of liquid plant food, root tabs and DIY yeast CO2 they're much greener. Try spreading plant stems a little.
 

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The watts per gallon rule of thumb was for T12 bulbs and you have T5 HO which pack a big punch per watt especially if there are good reflectors on the fixture. New rule is 1 bulb of T5 over shorter tanks and you need CO2 if you use 2 bulbs. See the Lighting forum's stickies for info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To AirstoND:

1) 78-80º F in a daily period
2) I do, but not very often because the test strips are so expensive.
3)Nope, didn't really think about that because they are such sturdy plants. The ones you see in my tank are around 4-6 years old and have survived through several different tanks.

How much do you prune the wisteria? It's getting some new, pretty green leaves growing out of the top.

To Kathyy:
I'll check out the lighting forum. :)

To both of you who have helped so far:
Yes, I have stated that I have kept healthy aquariums the past several years. By that I mean I kept up with my water changes, and the fish a few plants I had did really well... until I got bored of the tank, or the fish jumped out. Either way this is a new setup for me. I've really tried to do some research on the planted tank stuff, but there are so many opinions everywhere that it's very difficult to figure out what to do. My dad taught me most of what I know in regards to aquarium care... but quite honestly I don't think he ever knew what he was doing. The chemistry of the aquarium is what kills me the most. I haven't the slightest clue how to really control anything but the PH. Help?
 

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Wisteria

I prune the side propagations and replant them, cut midway of largest stem and replant also. I also cut off excess root nodes and brown/black roots.
 
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