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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. This is my first post but been reading threads here for about 5 months and finally have found a great lfs. I cannot grow any plants. I mainly have gals that have been reduced to nothing. I have no ammonia no nitrites. My nitrates don't ever get to over 40 ppm in a weeks time(with weekly 40% water change). Ph is 7. I have a 55 gallon with 2 54 watt HO T5's. Been dosing flourish and excel for 2 weeks. I don't know what else to do. Wasn't planning on co2 until I got some plants started. Please help and thank u in advance for any advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The bald actually were reduced to nothing before the excel. Its hard to give a full background but I got the bald a couple months ago after getting the lights. I guess im just gonna have to buy the tests.for all the micros and digits out what is missing. I have flourite as a substrate and started also dosing potassium three days ago but haven't noticed any difference yet. The leaves seem to get holes inthem and certain leaves just turn brownish and if I don't tend them they just kinda wear away. Will add photos if anyone is interested.
 

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I know the drop checker isn't the most precise measuring tool...but I have found it to be most useful. It's cheap and does the job with accurate test solution. It's been very useful for me to keep a consistent amount of co2 in my tank. After a few weeks, I became very good at looking at the shade of green and knowing where the sweet spot was for my plants and fish. Lime green is the most my fish can handle...and my plants do well.
 

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You don't have to test for all those nutrients. Tests for micronutrients in particular are expensive, and you will be trying to test for miniscule amounts.

If you give us an idea of what kind of light you are using, and your tank size, we can give a better recomendation of how you should be fertilizing. If your light levels are fairly low, you may be able to get away with an all in one, comprehensive aquarium fertilizer of the type which is easily found in stores. If you're running high light and CO2, most of us buy dry fertilizer as mineral salts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have four corkscrew vals in a 55 gallon. Ammonia nitrites nitrates and ph r great. I have those tests. Emperor 400 filter with bio wheels and no carbon. Been dosing flourish and excel with no difference from when I wasn't. The plants just seem to eventually just melt away. Hard to describe. They just wear away. For lighting im using 2 54 watt HO T5s.
 

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Holes in leaves are usually a sign of low potassium.

You have quite a bit of light on that tank, so plants will need more nutrients than what the flourish bottle says to dose. Flourish is a decent source of micros, but contains little potassium or nitrogen (as your zero nitrate reading shows).

With that amount of light, you would really benefit from CO2 injection also.
 

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Not sure aboiut the K rating but I will check. I started recently dosing 7.5 ml of potassium every other day. I dose5 ml of flourish and 10ml of excel daily.
If you are dosing excel than I assume you've given up on the vals?

All i can say is that if you are just getting into planted tanks then i wouldn't try and do a high tech setup right away. but sinse it seems you already have the light setup i'm not sure what to tell you, other than buy presurized co2 and lots of nutrients.
 

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I misread your original post. You have zero nitrites (which is good) not nitrates. I'd say you're still likely lacking K and P though, if you're dosing flourish only.

I don't know many people who actually test for nutrients. Just make sure you add enough and don't worry about exact levels. Again, you'll be better off with CO2 at those light levels (there are some running that much light without it though).
 

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And wait you have 4 vals in a 55 gallon tank? This could be the definition of irony but I believe it was sharkfood that may have replied to one of my posts referencing plant growth when I joined. He gave good advice too... plant your tank. Stop messing around and plant it good and heavy (with budget allowing of course). You are putting all of these nutrients into your water column trying to get 4 plants to grow and your going to end up with a hot bed for algae because there isn't enough plant biomass in the tank to use what you are dosing.

Stop by the swap and shop and get your hands on a good amount of plants. Fast growing stems and floaters. Once you have enough plants to out compete all forms of algae then start dosing otherwise you're continually adding nutrients and begging for algae.
 
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