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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These plants are over 2 years old. Java fern does not grow, Anubias are covered in algae, Cryps make you weep.

Tank: 10' x 2' x 2'
Light: 2x 38W, 5000K, LED shoplights (I used to have a total of 4 lights, but switched 2 off for algae control. Seemed to make no difference for the plants.)
Substrate: Sand
CO2: none
Fertilizer: only fish poop (Stocking level too low for Mbuna. Will be replaced soon.)
KH 90 ppm
GH 150 ppm
NO3- close to 0 ppm (I have an automatic drip water change system and no nitrate in my tap water.)
pH 7.8

Should I start dosing fertilizer?

Other suggestions?


2,601 Posts
We can go into much more detail by collecting more test results and a full list of other variables, but I sense that a quick and dirty solution would be preferred.

- The light may not be the best for planted tanks. This may be the best place to start, but don’t get one with too much power. I’d suggest something like a Nicrew.

- A good AIO fertilizer would help to provide critical nutrients that aren’t supplied in typical tap water or by fish. Here, I would recommend Thrive AIO packages.

- Cleanliness (important for algae control): keep detritus down in the tank, clean your filter with each water change (initially) and change at least 30% of your water weekly. If you don’t mind snails, they can help, a lot, in cleaning the tank.

- Make sure that you have good circulation (all plants very gently moving from top to bottom) and good surface agitation.

Allow at least two weeks after instituting these changes. Watch the new growth and remove the leaves that are covered in algae. If you don’t like what you see, post again and we can go deeper.
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