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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Friends,

Definitely feeling discouraged. My planted tank was barely growing over the last year and based on researching online and speaking to a few locals who are also planted tank enthusiasts I finally added a CO2 setup for my tank hoping to change that. I'm using an inline diffuser for adding the CO2 and I got a drop checker with some 4dkh solution to go with it. After two months of using it the only plant in the tank that has taken off in my dwarf lily (Nymphaea Rubra). It went from a tiny stub of a plant to a respectable size, but the leaves still look a bit worn. My jungle val (Vallisneria Americana) is still short and the leaves aren't growing very long. They seem to be spreading but the new plants also seem to just stay small and look to be covered with a blackish algae that comes off when I rub the leaves. I also have Ludwigia Repens that seem to be growing very slowly still. Before I got CO2 the bottom leaves all melted off so now I have tall plants with only a few sets of leaves at the top. With the small amount of growing plants I've cut back on my Seachem Flourish because I was getting algae all over the tank.

Overall I'm just confused where to go from here. I'm afraid to buy a bunch of new plants because I don't want to invest the money if I can't keep the few I have growing.

Equipment List if it helps:
Substrate: Black gravel (just some generic stuff I picked up from the local pet store, finer grain size than what I'm use to for gravel but not as fine as sand.
Lighting:Aquatic Life LED (Full lighting from 7am to 7pm) (7pm to 11pm moon light)
Filters: Two EHEIM Classic 2215371 canister filters
Fertilizer/Additives:
Seachem Flourish once every two weeks at recommended dose.
Seachem Flourish Tabs- Replaced once every 3-4 months
Inline Atomic Diffuser: On at 7am off at 5pm

Thanks!
 

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sadly i feel like you were turned to poor advice.. simply adding CO2 to a struggling tank will not change anything except more head aches. Before going into any detail with your tank, lets talk lighting.. your photo period is way too long and moonlights will cause algae growth. Think about it, you have lights on your tank 24/7.. go swimming in a lake with full moon.. can you see anything underwater? nope. photoperiod really dosent need to be longer than 8 hours, no moon lighting.

whats your light like? can you find PAR ratings for it? how big is your tank? is your light right on top fo the tank or hanging above it?

I agree you shouldnt invest more money until you get a little bit of a handle on the current situation.

if your light is bright enough, and your drop checker stays green during your NEW photoperiod, then we look towards your dosing. youll need to add much more fertilizers is youre running high light and co2.

what does your drop checker do throughout the day? personally i would change your lighting and wait at least a month and go from there. As they say, "nothing good happens quickly" or something like that lol

feeling discouraged sucks but dont give up!! all of us tank people have had our hard times and not so pretty looking tanks but we learn and we get better!!

Cheers!
 

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Hello Friends,

Definitely feeling discouraged. My planted tank was barely growing over the last year and based on researching online and speaking to a few locals who are also planted tank enthusiasts I finally added a CO2 setup for my tank hoping to change that. I'm using an inline diffuser for adding the CO2 and I got a drop checker with some 4dkh solution to go with it. After two months of using it the only plant in the tank that has taken off in my dwarf lily (Nymphaea Rubra). It went from a tiny stub of a plant to a respectable size, but the leaves still look a bit worn. My jungle val (Vallisneria Americana) is still short and the leaves aren't growing very long. They seem to be spreading but the new plants also seem to just stay small and look to be covered with a blackish algae that comes off when I rub the leaves. I also have Ludwigia Repens that seem to be growing very slowly still. Before I got CO2 the bottom leaves all melted off so now I have tall plants with only a few sets of leaves at the top. With the small amount of growing plants I've cut back on my Seachem Flourish because I was getting algae all over the tank.

Overall I'm just confused where to go from here. I'm afraid to buy a bunch of new plants because I don't want to invest the money if I can't keep the few I have growing.

Equipment List if it helps:
Substrate: Black gravel (just some generic stuff I picked up from the local pet store, finer grain size than what I'm use to for gravel but not as fine as sand.
Lighting:Aquatic Life LED (Full lighting from 7am to 7pm) (7pm to 11pm moon light)
Filters: Two EHEIM Classic 2215371 canister filters
Fertilizer/Additives:
Seachem Flourish once every two weeks at recommended dose.
Seachem Flourish Tabs- Replaced once every 3-4 months
Inline Atomic Diffuser: On at 7am off at 5pm

Thanks![/quote @Pluto - I'm a newb to the forum & hobby but I think I can contribute here.

You're supplementing a ton of micro nutrients and trace elements with Flourish but the real juice is in those macro nutrients. I don't think you are adding any macros, are you? If not, consider NPK dosing in the water column. I use Thrive, which is an all-in-one macro+micro.

Lighting - I don't think this is the cause but LEDs are generally much weaker PAR lights than traditional T5 lighting. (Here comes the LED fanboy stampede). Adding Co2 with a weaker light will only give you marginal, not maximum, benefits. For this reason alot of LED folks need to supplement with an additional light when adding Co2.Again, I don't think this is the reason for your woes, but something to consider if you haven't already.

Also, I agree with the other dude. Try cutting your light period down to 8 hours with no moonlight.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
 

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I second the lack of macros (NPK) as your number one problem. Everything else is secondary. I run my lights noon to midnight but you have to feed your plants proportional to the light they get.
 

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Equipment List if it helps:
Substrate: Black gravel (just some generic stuff I picked up from the local pet store, finer grain size than what I'm use to for gravel but not as fine as sand.
Lighting:Aquatic Life LED (Full lighting from 7am to 7pm) (7pm to 11pm moon light)
Filters: Two EHEIM Classic 2215371 canister filters
Fertilizer/Additives:
Seachem Flourish once every two weeks at recommended dose.
Seachem Flourish Tabs- Replaced once every 3-4 months
Inline Atomic Diffuser: On at 7am off at 5pm
Flourish comprehensive has no nitrogen and very low levels of micros. Flourish comprehensive depends on your water having micros to work. If you use RO/DI water Flourish comprehensive is simply not enough. CO2 also increases fertilizer consumption which doesn't help. Also I believe the water in new Jersey is soft which again doesn't help.

Many people using using CO2 use CSM+B which is much richer in micros. If your water is soft increasing GH By 2 degrees with a sulfur based GH booster Such as Sachem Equilibrium, or Nilocg.com GH booster. The GH booster, NPK dosing, and CSM will cover all macros and micro nutrients your plants need for a tank with CO2. You might also want to read up on EI dosing. It is a fertilizer method that works well on CO2 equipped tanks. Nilocg.com sells all of this.
 

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Lighting - I don't think this is the cause but LEDs are generally much weaker PAR lights than traditional T5 lighting. (Here comes the LED fanboy stampede). Adding Co2 with a weaker light will only give you marginal, not maximum, benefits. For this reason alot of LED folks need to supplement with an additional light when adding Co2.Again, I don't think this is the reason for your woes, but something to consider if you haven't already.
Haha, fanboys of light fixtures. A lot depends on the particular LED and both the width and depth of the tank. Budget LEDs don't generally have a good spread would be a better statement. I've noticed with the less expensive .5 watt units, a strip is needed for every 6-8" of width for good coverage. Depending on how tall the tank is will determine whether or not you will be able to get by with .5 watt diode models. There are much more powerful units out there with better lenses that penetrate even the tallest of tanks. Your statement may have been true 15 years ago, when the tech was it's infancy stages. I could also say that fluorescent fixtures are so 1970s but even they have progressed with the T5 HO and such since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much for the replies! I started by reducing my lighting to 8 hours, and turned off the moon lighting. I need to pick up a timer to get the CO2 on two hours before the light comes on.

To answer a few questions. The drop checker start with a dark green color in the morning and is light green-yellow by the afternoon. The tank is 24" tall, the top of the gravel is at 22".
Here's a link to the spec sheet for my LED light. I have the 48" model.
https://www.aquaticlife.com/light-fixtures-accessories/edge-led-light-fixtures/aquatic-life-edge-led-light-fixture.html

I'm also looking to buy the green leaf aquariums EI fertilizer package to start dosing the macros I'm missing. Guess I'll try these changes for a few weeks and see what happens!
 

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moonlights will cause algae growth. Think about it, you have lights on your tank 24/7.. go swimming in a lake with full moon.. can you see anything underwater? nope. photoperiod really dosent need to be longer than 8 hours, no moon lighting.
Newbie to high-tech tanks, so newbie question on the moonlights... I run 7.5 hrs of daylight and 1 hr of moonlights on my tank during the "sunset" of my daylight. Are you knocking moonlights relative to the long photo period the O.P. is using, or as a general rule?
 

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Newbie to high-tech tanks, so newbie question on the moonlights... I run 7.5 hrs of daylight and 1 hr of moonlights on my tank during the "sunset" of my daylight. Are you knocking moonlights relative to the long photo period the O.P. is using, or as a general rule?
Some moon lighting won't affect things one way or the other.
 
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