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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after a hectic couple of years with a new job, new family, and all the stuff that goes along with it...I'm finally getting back into trying to grow a planted aquarium. I'm starting over small, so I have a 35 gallon tank (23H x 30W x 12L). I keep the water level a couple inches from the top so it has a bit over 31 gallons currently in it.

The tank is lightly stocked and lightly planted. I have a few tiger barbs, couple of minnows, a pleco, and a small goldfish. I have two rooted plants, some anachris, and string algae that I'm keeping in check through weekly pruning (going to get some mollies this weekend and they love eating string algae too).

For lighting I used a 24" Fluval LED light strip and two clamp lights with GE LED9BR30W grow bulbs.

Over the course of a few months I noticed that out of all the plants I had, only the algae was really growing. The plants had unhealthy looking leaves that were gradually being eaten and there was no new growth at all. Fertilizing the tank with API Leaf Zone and liquid carbon didn't help. Eventually I decided to try new lights.

A couple weeks ago I upgraded the clamp lights with two GE LED32P38W grow bulbs. These things are beasts. Almost 4x the light output of the old bulbs, focusing lenses to project most of the light into the tank instead of leakage out the sides, and a more natural looking daylight spectrum instead of the pinkish ones of the old bulbs. I took a pic after replacing just one of the bulbs and it was almost literally night and day comparing the two sides of the tank.

So I've been keeping an eye on the whole setup but so far I haven't noticed any changes. Not getting any worse, but not any better. Am I just being too impatient? Is it going to take more than a couple weeks to see new growth, especially given how long the plants have been light deprived?

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