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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My plants aren't growing. They're fast growing medium light plants with 2wpg of 6700k for 10h/d, DIY CO2 and seachem flourish iron fert. My tank has been newly set up and is just out of the cycling phase, could it be because of my close to inexistent levels of nitrates?
 

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Seachem iron is not enough. You need to dose all three macro nutrients (NPK) and micro nutrients.

2wpg doesnt mean anything unless we know the size of your tank. How many gallons, and what is the wattage on the light? Also, what kind of plants are you growing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
45g
2x24w glo T5 life
2x16w full spectrum diy compact fluorescent 6700k
diy co2

willow leaf hygro, cabomba carolina, java moss(growing flowly) and moneywort
 

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Those ARE easy plants. One thing I'll say is that DIY CO2 is not efficient in a 45 gallon tank. How many 2litre bottles are you running? You probably need at least 2 or 3.

Id up the CO2 and start dosing macros/micros, and see if there are any changes. Another good idea is taking pictures of your tank. Sometimes you cant tell that plants are growing when you look at them everyday, but if you take a photo and then another photo a few days later, you can see the growth.

Also, have you checked to see if your plants are still putting out roots? Usually when I add newly cut stem plants, they spend a week or two putting down roots before they really take off and grow new leaves.
 

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I'm in the midst of figuring our a similar problem with my 58-gallon heavily planted tank. The problem's not identical, though, because I do have pressurized CO2 (which is monitored with a drop checker) and I have significantly more lighting than you have, tibob. I have a wee bit more than 4-watts per gallon but some of that is only on for 4-hours each day in a photo-period of about 10-hours.

I do a full regime of EI-dosing (which I do recommend) but I was dosing the amount of ferts for a 40 to 60-gallon tank.

All of that being said, I was initially getting great growth with no algae issues at all but then after about three months, the growth from some....and then all...of my plants got leggy and algae started to appear (spot algae at first, but then also red brush algae.)

I hadn't been testing the water for other than KH and GH but because of the issues I mentioned I tested for nitrates and found them to be very low...about 5ppm. I began dosing nitrates heavier (I started dosing for the 60 to 80-gallon recommendation) and the growth has made a rebound and I'm seeing far less algae at the same time.

I'd say, though, that despite the differences in our tanks, if you see adequate CO2 levels in your water (from a drop checker of other reliable testing) and you have your lights on for a reasonable photo-period, testing for nitrates may reveal a shortfall there. but in any event, I'd take Frosty's advice and go with the EI-dosing. Just bear in mind that I'd agree that DIY CO2 on a 45 gallon tank is pushing it a little bit and so any inconsistency in the CO2 levels will adversely effect your plants, even if minimally.
 

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Sure....The "macros" are the potassium nitrate and the monopotassium phosphate (and also the potassium sulfate, but re that, read further below.) I dose these dry measuring with kitchen-type measuring spoons and put them right into the tank without mixing in solution beforehand.) You'd also want to get the "traces" which I buy under the name Plantex CSM+B. And, you should use some additive...if needed...to maintain KH and GH. I'd suggest that you look at this:


General Dosing Guideline for High Light and Well Planted Aquariums
(wolfenxxx)


40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change


Note: K2SO4 is not required for dosing unless you need the extra Potassium (K). This K is found in KN03 and KH2P04. Dosing these two according to above will yield sufficient K levels. Therefore, one will be fine dosing only KN03 and KH2P04, and Plantex. If one needs to increase their K levels with K2S04, add the same measured amount as KH2P04. For example, if one is dosing 1/2 tsp of KH2P04, then dose 1/2 tsp of K2S04. In true regards to EI, added excess K is not detrimental in any event.


EI target ranges
CO2 range 25-30 ppm
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher
GH range 3-5 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher
KH range 3-5


The vendor I use for the ferts can be found here:

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp?Option1=products
 
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