09-16-2012, 08:47 PM
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I wouldnot put dual T5 over a 55g, but then I consider light from the fish's perspective first and foremost and I make the plants manage.
Before going further into this, you initially said the plants were not doing well, can you be more specific? A photo or two would help.
You're dosing macro and mico daily, which is a lot of nutrients, and I agree your T8 dual tubes are not matching this. But the CO2 is another issue; I am not a fan of liquid carbon supplements like Excel because they are toxic chemicals that outright kill some plants, and if overdosed will kill other plants and fish and bacteria. The sole ingredient aside from water is glutaraldehyde, an antimicrobial, bactericide, fungicide disinfectant used to sterilize in hospitals, so that says a lot about what is going in the fish tank. Diffused CO2 is a very different thing.
It is also worth knowing what you want from this tank? Is it a fish tank that happoens to have plants, or a plant tank with fish that are secondary? The expected plant response has to be considered when working out light/nutrients/CO2.