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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello all, so i just setted up a 55 gallon dwarf cichlid planted aqaurium. ive been having trouble keeping my plants alive, im new and need some advice please. i use pool filter sand, flourish excel, aquarium plant food, my lights provide 2 watts per gallon. i have amazon swords, java ferns, and micro swords. any info will be greatly appreciated. thank you!
 

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How long ago did you set it up? And what is in the plant food or the name of it? Do you do any co2? need more info about lights as well. 2 watts per gallon would be more helpful if we knew how good the light is being reflected back dow to the sand and what kind of bulbs and or fixture is creating that 2 WPG. Post that info and I am sure someone can help you figure out the missing link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ive had it up for about 3 months now, i use aqueon liquid plant food, i dont use co2 (i thought flourish excel was liquid co2), my lights are 108 watts, the fixture brand im using odyssea( i will try to find a better description online)
 

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sounds like you're running a 2xt5ho fixture, (54 watt pretty slim tubes?)

you need co2 and fertz. you're basically starving the plants. you need to either purchase planted aquarium substrate, eco complete, fluorite, etc. or roll up your sleeves and get dirty with some soil (look up MTS and walstad) or get root tabs from OverStocked (rootmedic.com)

any way you go you'll probably want to add ferts to the water column, i've been using this successfully on my 55g http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/pps-analysis-feedback/39491-newbie-guide-pps-pro.html

next you're going to need co2 in the form of pressurized gas. excel doesnt cut it in this case
 

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Honestly Co2 ISNT required...for a 55 gallon 108w is SUFFENCIENT. I used the same lighting on my 55 and did fine. Purchase some root tabs Seachem or Api or from some of our local vendors like Bobs Tropicals. Look into Dry Ferts instead of liquids.

Try this before making that leap into Co2.

amazon swords (heavy Root Feeder)
java ferns (should have no problems with this easy plant)
micro swords (Make sure its getting plenty of Excel and light)
 

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sounds like you're running a 2xt5ho fixture, (54 watt pretty slim tubes?)

you need co2 and fertz. you're basically starving the plants. you need to either purchase planted aquarium substrate, eco complete, fluorite, etc. or roll up your sleeves and get dirty with some soil (look up MTS and walstad) or get root tabs from OverStocked (rootmedic.com)

any way you go you'll probably want to add ferts to the water column, i've been using this successfully on my 55g http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/pps-analysis-feedback/39491-newbie-guide-pps-pro.html

next you're going to need co2 in the form of pressurized gas. excel doesnt cut it in this case
why eco complete or flourite? both are just as inert as sand =p. sand is fine, just start dosing your tank, dry ferts are nice and cheap however pfertz has a system of liquid ferts that are really simple. couldn't hurt to toss some root tabs under your sand.
 

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Seachem root tabs are micro nutrients, you need macro's with sand as substrate. As scapegoat suggested, try rootmedic, he's on this site, he has macro nutrient root tabs. Also, sand is inert, Flourite and Eco has a high level of CEC, it is NOT inert. I prefer pressurized co2 in my tanks over 30 gallons, excel gets expensive over time.
 

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why eco complete or flourite? both are just as inert as sand =p. sand is fine, just start dosing your tank, dry ferts are nice and cheap however pfertz has a system of liquid ferts that are really simple. couldn't hurt to toss some root tabs under your sand.
if he's using JUST a hard substrate i'd recommend eco or flourite. if he's using MTS, or non MT soil, sand, or any other capping gravel, can be used. I use eco capped over regular top soil in my 55 to very good affect and sand over mts in my 20. i'm preferring the eco over the sand, but the sand makes it easier to plant things.
 

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if he's using JUST a hard substrate i'd recommend eco or flourite. if he's using MTS, or non MT soil, sand, or any other capping gravel, can be used. I use eco capped over regular top soil in my 55 to very good affect and sand over mts in my 20. i'm preferring the eco over the sand, but the sand makes it easier to plant things.
only reason I gave you a hard time is he already has his tank running from what I gather and it has sand =p
 

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Seachem root tabs are micro nutrients, you need macro's with sand as substrate. As scapegoat suggested, try rootmedic, he's on this site, he has macro nutrient root tabs. Also, sand is inert, Flourite and Eco has a high level of CEC, it is NOT inert. I prefer pressurized co2 in my tanks over 30 gallons, excel gets expensive over time.

It is still inert =p there are no nutrients initially available =p High CEC does not mean it isn't inert for those reading this =p
 

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your tank is prolly not fully mature and establish yet i bet. i too have pool filter sand. it took me awhile for my plants to mature and grow. and mine is low tech no co2 and a lil under 2watts per gallon. i have had swords and it grew pretty big. and my dwarf sags are carpetting pretty nice.
 
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