A few years ago we bought a 30 gallon high acrylic tank, some slight scratches in the tank, Eclipse II, with a stand for a pretty good price. I have kept fish for years, and decided to go back to the older way of keeping fish when I was young. By that I mean that I got rid of all my plastic plants, and increased my fish load to create CO2. My problem is that my lighting system to the Eclipse II broke. I have very little money, struggling in this economy so I cannot afford the correct fix. I bought a 9 Watt Flor., (about 25 Watt regular bulbs), under the cabinet light that is screwed on where the other lighting fixture is and seems to work.
I currently have 24 fish, the algae eater is too big, & the killifish have gotten a bit big for the tetras, but it seems to work for the fish.
I have been doing a 10% water change every week. I know that is low, but when I say water change I am also cleaning the bottom sifting the water through a towel and bucket that cleans the bottom, and throw that water back in.
The lighting just isn't good enough for the plants. The sword plants are not making it. I have ordered a Java Plant due to the low lighting and will put that in when I get it. I have normal aquarium gravel. I do not fertilize. In the past I have had luck with sword plants only when I have artificially CO2'd the tank with the 2 liter CO2 approach, (that was with a 20 gallon). I am about to try that again. The sword plants are not growing but they are dividing some smaller plants.
There is not enough lighting.
Do you think that around 25 watts for a 30 gallon tall is strong enough for Java Plants?
Do you think that the CO2 addition could compensate for the lighting being too low for the sword plants?
I know some of you are going to say too many fish, but that is not the problem why my plants are not growing, and a $1.00 to $2.00 fish dying every once in awhile happens.
Any cheap thoughts?