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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 75g with a two bulb t8 set (can't think of the exact specs, I'm not at home right now).

Stocking is a bunch of guppies, bristlenose, four cories and an apple snail, with a bunch of random pond snails.

Plants are an amazon sword, some jungle val, anacharis, lace java fern, a cryptocoryne ciliata that is falling apart, and some other crypt I can't remember the name of.

I think I'm doing something wrong, the amazon is growing new leaves, but they are a very pale to almost see-through green, and the vals have put out two runners but they aren't looking very green at all, not really see-through, just sorta colorless/brown. And I have algae that I think might be hair? growing on the plants. Do I need ferts, less light, more light? I was trying to keep this low light/tech, am I screwing up? I was planning on making this a fancy goldfish tank, but wanted to give the plants a good headstart before getting them.
 

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If you look to the top right of this page "Articles" reading some will help, also read most of the "sticky"(s) at the top of each section like lighting, etc. and this will help. New Sword leaves are light green and thin as are most plants, Vals & Crypts will melt in a new tank so just wait and they should be fine.

If you have a nutrient rich substrate in a low tech you shouldn't need ferts, your light sounds highish to me so reducing the photo period may help with algae or you could have stocked the tank too quickly before you have built enough nitrifying bacteria.

Try to hand clean the plants (and anything else that needs it) with a soft brush and limit water changes to every other month.
 

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Your 75 G

Good morning Sad...

Here's the basics on planted tanks. I try to adust my tank conditions to these:

Unless you're trying to grow more demanding plants, most will do well in 1 to 2 watts of light per gallon of tank size. I use T8/32 watt or T12/40 watt bulbs, 6500 Ks best mimic natural daylight.

Standard, pea gravel substate will work, but you'll need to dose a good fertilizer regularly. I prefer liquids, because they're easy and I dose several times a week in the evening when the tank lights go out. I use a liquid called "Earth Juice". It has a good mixture of nutrients.

I like to experiment with different liquids and soil to see what grows best in low lighting, no CO2. Attached are some pics of my larger planted tanks. The pots have organic potting soil & pea gravel.

If you have any questions, please PM me any time. I'm never too busy to talk about low tech planted tanks.

B
 

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Using Pots for Plants

Good morning johnny...

I get that question a lot. I experiment with different substrates and potting mixtures, so it's much easier to use the pots. You can stack the pots too, to get certain plants closer to the light source if needed. By using pots, you don't disturb the bottom gravel and cloud the water. I'm a fanatic about having crystal clear water.

Anyway, those are some of the reasons.

B
 

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Sad Panda- What kind of substrate do you have in the tank? You could think about some Otos to help clean up your algae problems, or maybe some Amano shrimp. Even ghost shrimp would probably help out a bit, and they don't really add a lot of bio load. I'd almost consider them load neutral, because they clean up so much waste in the tank. Anyways, good luck getting things under control!


Johnny- I have my plants in pots as well. I did it because when I initially set the tank up, I didn't put a good substrate down(just gravel), and then discovered how much better it is to have live plants. There was also an aspect of experimentation involved as well.
I've got to move in the next month, and this will be a lot easier than having to dig up the plants and risk damage to the roots. Now I can just pull the pots out, put 'em in a bucket, and move. After I'm settled in the new place, I will do a REAL plant set up with flourite, soil, and a sand or gravel cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not sure whether the lights are highish, my first post here was actually about lighting this tank, and everyone said I'd need better lighting to really grow anything, so I bought what I have now, 2bulb(32w). The substrate is just pool filter sand, I've been planning it with the cories and goldfish in mind. The tank is usually around 70 degrees because of this as well. Could that be affecting anything?

I'll try cleaning the plants off, that might help. The photo period gets kinda screwed up sometimes because we leave the house expecting to be back at a certain time, and then end up coming home hours later. Most of the time I try to keep it around 9 or 10 hours. Is this too much?

Lol, this is making my houseplants seem downright boring...
 

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The photo period gets kinda screwed up sometimes because we leave the house expecting to be back at a certain time, and then end up coming home hours later. Most of the time I try to keep it around 9 or 10 hours. Is this too much?
You just need a timer! They're like $10 at Home Depot, maybe even cheaper elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, quick update: Plants are doing a little better, cut the photo period down to about 3-4 hours per day. Wondering if I should just use the one t10 40w instead of the two t8 32w? I'm tired of having a dark tank all day. The amazon still looks like crap, and has some older leaves dying off. The Lace Java hasn't seemed to being doing anything at all. The vals are growing for sure though lol. Still not as green as they could be.

Had four cories drop dead in a week or so, they just sort of wasted away. The two I do have are awesome looking. Wondering if things will pick up after getting goldfish?
 
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