Plants keep dying (new lights?)
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Plants keep dying (new lights?)

This is a discussion on Plants keep dying (new lights?) within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hello everyone. New here. Well hopefully some of you can give me some advice. I've included a link to some photos. Basically I have ...

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Plants keep dying (new lights?)
Old 10-01-2007, 08:31 AM   #1
 
Plants keep dying (new lights?)

Hello everyone. New here. Well hopefully some of you can give me some advice. I've included a link to some photos. Basically I have a 55 with a single Coralife on top of two glass lids. This is what I have for a light:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...71&pcatid=9871

Well my plants keep dying as you can see from the photos in the next link. I went to my local aquarium place and was told that my coralife is inadequate for plants and that I needed two things. 1) upgrade to an HO light which he showed me (I think they were t5 bulbs. pretty bright and skinny. One was blue and one was white. Was told that I could remove the blue since it was for saltwater and replace with another HO white bulb) and 2) that my gravel size is too large, that for plants I needed to go with a really small gravel almost like sand, or use peat.

I tried to add some plant food but the after effect of it has caused the green film on the top of the water. Does anyone have a suggestion? Fish seem healthy and have a Rena XP3 for filtration. Just plant issues.

So do I need to upgrade my lighting and at least change to a smaller gravel size where the plants are?

Here are the photos:
http://picasaweb.google.com/CaritoBi...ey=ZrPPG3IIZGA

Thanks,
Carito
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
 
Grab some extra gravel. For planted tanks. I use Eco-complete and it's fine. You can use any ones that you want, it works a lot better than regular gravel.

What plants do you have and what is the supposed watts per gallon for them?

Also, look into a CO2 system. A cheap one that works decent is 25 bucks.

I really dislike liquid plant food. I used some for a few weeks and had algae problems for a while. I only use a CO2 system with plant substrate and my plants are looking tons better.

Here's a link to a plant test I did a little back ago. Now, it's a huge difference. The Eco part is like a jungle while the regular substrate is relatively the same.



http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ogID=303819414
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:28 PM   #3
 
Thanks. You know I actually do not know the type of plants I have. Maybe you can tell from the photos in the original post's link. Only have two types in there. I did have a fern type in there at one time which proliferated and then for whatever reason turned brown then died.

Would the HO lighting work better than the current coralife I have now? I was just under the impression that when I bought the coralife that 130W of lighting was ample for a planted freshwater tank. I will look into the ec-complete though.

Would you recommend redoing the entire tank with the eco-complete or just say a small area around the plants themselves? As for the CO2, I never looked into that since I only have a couple of plants right now. Someone else had told me that they also make a slow disolving CO2 tablet. Not too sure about that though.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:06 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaritoBito
Thanks. You know I actually do not know the type of plants I have. Maybe you can tell from the photos in the original post's link. Only have two types in there. I did have a fern type in there at one time which proliferated and then for whatever reason turned brown then died.
This one looks like Bacopa monnieri.
http://picasaweb.google.com/CaritoBi...39060244024610

My guess on this is Echinodorus but I cannot properly identify this so I'd leave this to other plant enthusiasts.
http://picasaweb.google.com/CaritoBi...38759596313842

Quote:
Would you recommend redoing the entire tank with the eco-complete or just say a small area around the plants themselves? As for the CO2, I never looked into that since I only have a couple of plants right now. Someone else had told me that they also make a slow disolving CO2 tablet. Not too sure about that though.
Never tried CO2 tablets but I'd look into pressurized CO2. You might have to look into the solid fert tabs which are buried near plant roots. My guess is your plants failed to use up the liquid ferts and the algae outcompeted the plants instead.

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:54 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaritoBito
Would the HO lighting work better than the current coralife I have now? I was just under the impression that when I bought the coralife that 130W of lighting was ample for a planted freshwater tank. I will look into the ec-complete though.
From the link on the lights it says it comes with 2 65 watt 50/50 so in other words if those are the bulbs in it you really only have 65 watts of use able light for the plants try switching them out with 2 6700k or 10000k bulbs. and yes i would look into presurized co2.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:50 AM   #6
 
Thanks Bullseye. I looked intot he 50/50. That is for the version that is intended for saltwater use where on bulb, 50% is actinic and the second full spectrum. Mine is the freshwater version which doesnot have the actinic but instead two 65w 6500K lights.

So I guess I still have a couple of questions. Would I need to do the entire tank with eco-complete or just where the plants currently are, I guess completely replacing the larger gravel.

And, if I look into the CO2 is there a particular one you guys have experience with for a 55g tank size?

Thanks
Carito
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:07 PM   #7
 
This is what I have. They raised the price for some reason. But once you mix in the activator and stabilizer it usually lasts about a month. I have a 55 gallon also, and the deeper you set the tube in the diffuser the more C02 you'll receive. I have mine about half way down.
http://www.petsolutions.com/Plant-Gr...17690+C13.aspx
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:30 PM   #8
 
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If you only have 65 watts of useable light then you need more light. 135 watts though on a 55 will almost demand CO2 injection and a very stable level at that. Pressurized is the absolute way to go if you can afford it because it is the best and easiest way to keep consitant levels over 30ppm which is needed to prevent algae. Fluctuating Co2 is the worse thing I have ever seen on any tank and caused the worst algae I have ever seen when I used DIY CO2 on my 10 gallon tanks.

It also looks like they could be suffering from both/either Iron deficiency/nitrigen deficiency. The lack of discoloration on the leaves says nitrates and lighting to me. I had a Red Melon sword do the same thing until I added a lot more light and gave it enough nitrates with both dosing and root tabs.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:35 PM   #9
 
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I have that very same light over a 55 and it works fine for Cabomba, Swords, Saggiteria, and Bacopa carolinia, Rotala indica, Wisteria, and Crypts of various sorts. I am mystified by this, since 50/50 lights shouldn't provide enough light for some of those, but there you have it. One option is to rplace the lights with 6700ks or 10000Ks as I am sure someone mentioned.

On the Sword plants, plug a couple of flourish root tabs down into the substrate. Swords are heavy root feeders, and when they get brown and ratty like that, they are begging for iron among other things. On the Bacopa monnieri, take it out and replant with the stems an inch or 2 apart.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:56 PM   #10
 
I've thought about getting CO2 system but I have always been hesitant. Afraid I would kill my fish if I made a mistake. I was looking around at all the different options though and am have a hard time deciding what would be a good system if I ever decided to get one.

There was one product called a Red Sea CO2 Pro System Standard or a Red Sea CO2 System Paintball? Not sure what the difference is or if that would be considered a "good" choice. I would like to have my planted tank flourish more but am teetering on whether or not to go with CO2.

Shannara~
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