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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've got a 40b set up that is heavily planted.
i'm dosing excel daily, and flourish 2x a week. (have flourish tabs too)

current set up is 96w on 4 18in bulbs (tank is 36 long) the fixtures are the 24in glo light fixtures-2 of them on the tank side by side
they are 6in above the tank.

and my plants just aren't growing!

is it my lights? ferts?

I'm exploring other fixtures that are 36inch long, and did a TON of research on LED's...i've reviewed all the sticky/popular posts here but my main concern is the spreading w/ LED's to maintain the needed PAR values. (same with the t5ho 36inch long fixtures)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
does the excel not count as co2 or suffice on that aspect of plant nutrition?
since it is "liquid carbon"? i'm not entirely sure. I was using excel because co2 set ups can get complicated and i dont want it to malfunction and kill my fish. ya know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so i feel like the finnex led's are the best route to go.

however, i cannot decide if I need one or two of them.

I really enjoy the moonlight option of the fugeray, but the ray2 provides a higher PAR that would suffice to be a medium if I used one?
or would two fugeray's work just as well?
 

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The finnex fixtures give off a lot of light, I own a ray2. The fuge ray will give you around the right amount of light to grow practically anything. I like to be in the the high 30's low 40's in terms of par. That being said, I would follow jmowbray's advice and look into co2 before upgrading your lights.

Excel/glut is a carbon source but for a tank that size, the cost will run up very soon, espescially since you are thinking about upgrading your lights. Also, depending on what tyoe of fluorish, it is not a complete fertilizer. Look into the EI method, although will be dosing less than recomended because of your light/co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
valid points!

the pics are attached. I did various ones: overall look of the tank, light height above tank, how they are situated, and close up's of some plants and of course the fun algae
info:

plants have been in the tank for over 2.5 months now (prior to that, they were added in various waves, so I don't have a consistent time frame)

tank its kept at 80deg
substrate is black normal pea sized gravel
nutrients age: flourish tabs have been in for near 5months now (replacing every 2ish months)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Excel/glut is a carbon source but for a tank that size, the cost will run up very soon, espescially since you are thinking about upgrading your lights. Also, depending on what tyoe of fluorish, it is not a complete fertilizer. Look into the EI method, although will be dosing less than recomended because of your light/co2.
I'm doing both flourish tabs and flourish comprehensive for the fert part.
flourish comprehensive, i dose 2x a week. and looking into the EI method on some calculator i found through this forum said I should dose at least every other day on the flourish comprehensive? If I interpreted that correctly.

I really would enjoy not touching co2...the space around my tank isn't really suited for adding all that. plus I've seen so many tanks succeed w/o co2 and it confuses me why I cant do that. lol :redface:
 

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Pressurized co2, or even diy yeast, would definately help you out. My guess would be that if you added some sort of co2 system, your algae would eventually go away. All the plants you have can be grown in low light. You could even probably get away with just running one of those fixtures if you decide against co2.

This is what I would do:
$75 for an aquatek regulator(not the greatest but better than nothing)
$50 for a 5lb co2 tank
$15 for the first co2 fill that should last you a couple months
$25 for some dry ferts that will last you at least a year
$10-$30 for a glass diffuser or diy reactor

The 36" fugeray already costs $110, not to mention the fact that you will have to buy all the above also just to keep algae away. You already have a decent light fixture that should be able to grow whatever you want. Co2 is basically what you are missing. I also owned a hagen glo 2xt5 fixture and grew pretty much whatever I wanted.
 

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What is the Nitrate reading?

Comprehensive is mainly Micros and lacks Macros; Nitrates, phosphates and Potassium. I believe, it also is low in Iron.

You've got an imbalance. Could be not enough lighting. Lack of Macros.

More light you have the faster plants grow and the more demand for CO2 and fertilizers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
trates are right around 5ppm. (i just tested w/ the api mtk)


and you are correct w/ the balance issue. i've been trying to figure out what to do to correct that. but spending 150bucks on co2 to just test it out if that'll correct it doesn't appeal to me either. that is an expensive experiment.

i know the finnex are also expensive, but i'm not sold on those either.
 

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Why not try increasing the Excel dosing and observe. Some people say that 2 capfuls is probably the max you should use a day if you would use that much.

I dose more than that with Metricide 14 (same as Excel but 2x strong and cheaper) but only every other day or two when i'm at work, no ill side effects on fish or shrimp.
 

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I use to use Excel on my 55g with good results and I dosed 2 caps daily and after large water change I'd dose the 5 caps.

Try increasing Excel like mentioned.

Well re-reading your first post you have the Glo fixtures right, which is T5HO and you have 4 bulbs. You should have plenty of light and its the carbon source that's being short most likely. You are probably in the moderate/highlight range. I'm not the best with light determining. Lol

All you can do is make small adjustments and observe.

You may want to pickup Potassium as well and Iron.

Switching to dry fertilizers would be even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is a good experiment to run.

I'll dry the increasing in Excel and see what happens. If they seem to respond well, then i'll crunch some numbers on dosing excel vs a pressurized set up to save $ in the long run.

Did you mention that after a large water change, you dose 5 capfuls?

I think i'm in the med-high light range as well, but the issue I have is the fixture itself is 2ft long w/ 18inch bulbs and the tank is 36in long. so the horizontal spread isn't thaaaaat great.
But I had to get 2 (was given them for free actually. lol) to get the correct spreading needed for the depth (front to back) of the tank.
 

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sounds like to me..it need more than HIGH dose of excel and flourish...

it need micro and macro plus other stuff like iron, K..
 
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