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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,

I've scoured the internet for months trying to find similar conditions to mine and tried many suggested fixes but nothing has been helping. I've finally registerd and I'm hoping to find some help as to what my issue may be. My current setup is...

40 gallon tank with 2 x 36" coralife T5 38(?)watt bulbs. 1 actinic and 1 6700k. My PH is 7.3, my nitrates, nitrites, ammonia is all well within range. I have about 12 fish in the tank, all relatively small, around 1" average per fish. I have about 2" of gravel substrate mixed with ecocomplete. I dose with flourish and flourish excel, about a cap of each every other day.

My plants just cant make it. New growth comes in relatively quick and green, but within a week of new growth the old leaves die off and fall off. I used to have two 6700k bulbs in my lamp and I've just removed one and replaced it with an actinic, thinking maybe they were trying to grow too fast. I've attached some pics and I'm looking for any suggestions or help as to what might be causing my issues. I currently use a DI RO unit for 80-90% of the water replacements and then 10-20% tap water, once a week but sometimes stretched out to 2 weeks. I'm constantly having to clean out dead leaves. :(.

Thanks in advance!
 

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For starters, you are using marine lamps over freshwater plants.

Bring down the Kelvins to 6200K (i.e new lamps).

Your nitrates, nitrites, ammonia is all well within what range? Range of zero correct?

The plants just are not getting fed.

The dark algae plaguing your plants is BBA. Use your Excel and zap the plants a few each day with a dropper filled with a little air. Air bubbles help get the Excel to cling to the plant.

This is just a band-aid.

Proper light + Proper fertilizers + Proper CO2 + Minimal organics is the goal. Listen to podcast Scapefu
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My bulbs are going on about 7 months old so they are getting ready for a change soon. Looking on amazon I only found 6500K bulbs, would I benefit greatly from trying to find 6200s somewhere else? BBA - yes finally an answer to what the heck that crap is! all the pictures I see of BBA is exactly what mine looks like, thank you so much. I'll do some chem tests now and post the results.
 

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My bulbs are going on about 7 months old so they are getting ready for a change soon.
They are the wrong lamps period.

Change to 5500K-6500K as soon as you can afford them. 6000K is the sweet spot. You don't have to have all the lamps the same.

Petco has 6000K Aquatic Life. I'm sure you will find T5 for Freshwater plant articles online.

Use the old lamps elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PH 7.3
TDS 101
Amonnia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20-40 ppm (hard to see the color difference on my chart)
KH 53 ppm
GH 89 ppm
Phosphates .25-.5 ppm

Bump:
They are the wrong lamps period.

Change to 5500K-6500K as soon as you can afford them. 6000K is the sweet spot. You don't have to have all the lamps the same.

Petco has 6000K Aquatic Life. I'm sure you will find T5 for Freshwater plant articles online.

Use the old lamps elsewhere.
Thanks webskipper, I'll go look for these tomorrow.
 

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If it were me, I would change the actinic first to a more suitable bulb in the 5000K to 6000K range. I would leave the 6700K bulb for a month or so, then depending how things are going make a decision as to whether it needs to be changed. Switch it out if your plants still are not growing well.
I would try a 5000K along with your 6700K. That is just me, though,and I am sure everybody has their personal preference.
Also, I would dose the Excel daily and increase the number of plants in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This little guy? I couldn't tell you. Used to know when I first got it by I've totally forgotten. Sorry for the rotated photo my PC is auto correcting it for me to view but wont let me edit the rotation.
 

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Dano,
If you want to know whether Kelvin is important or not, best to ask in the Lighting forum. This question has been asked many times prior so you can search for the answer if you don't want to start a new thread. TL;DR: Spectrum is important, Kelvin is not.
 

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This little guy?
Looking like Hygrophila polysperma Rosanervig "Sunset Hydro" under brighter light it will turn to oranges and pinks, reds, yellows.

Go with replacing the actinic as Touch of Sky recommended.

One step at a time, and the Excel zapping will take a few days to see the BBA turning red, then white. Could be 2 weeks to see a clear tank.

Join a local club. You may score a used LED light for cheap.

Keep posting a picture each week so we can see the progress till the BBA is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looking like Hygrophila polysperma Rosanervig "Sunset Hydro" under brighter light it will turn to oranges and pinks, reds, yellows.

Go with replacing the actinic as Touch of Sky recommended.

One step at a time, and the Excel zapping will take a few days to see the BBA turning red, then white. Could be 2 weeks to see a clear tank.

Keep posting a picture each week so we can see the progress till the BBA is gone.
I'll get a syringe to start zapping tomorrow. Thank you for all your recommendations, I'm excited already for some positive changes now that problems have been identified. I ignored it for so long, hoping it would eventually just go away - worst idea ever :).
 

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Webskipper is right with his identification. I was thinking you could top the hygro and replant. Make it not so leggy. It would clean up the look a bit.

I am glad you are feeling more positive about things. It is learning curve, and seeing what works for your tank. Remember that it takes a few weeks to see changes. You will first see the plants reacting to more Excel and the spot dosing. Then the change in lighting. As I mentioned more plants help keep algae under control, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
They are the wrong lamps period.

Change to 5500K-6500K as soon as you can afford them. 6000K is the sweet spot. You don't have to have all the lamps the same.

Petco has 6000K Aquatic Life. I'm sure you will find T5 for Freshwater plant articles online.

Use the old lamps elsewhere.
I went to my local Petco and Petsmart today but neither had this bulb. I found Robot Check on amazon via your link so I plan on ordering at least one, but wanted to ask your opinion on whether I need to change both of them right away or leave one of the 6700k daylight bulbs in for a range of light?

I also ordered some long syringes for targeted excel treatments, it should all be here Tuesday. With the number of plants I have I have a feeling I wont be able to treat them all at once with a daily dose. Is it safe to increase the dose temporarily while I'm treating the BBA or should I just treat different plants each day as the normal dose allows?

Once I've got good growth going I'll probably top/trip most of my plants. A lot of them have grown very poorly and could do with a fresh start.
 
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